Nursing Professor Kellie Anderson has been overwhelmed with the quality of the students and the faculty in the RN program in the short time she has been with Laurel Ridge.
Prior to moving to Virginia, Professor Anderson, who has more than 13 years in the nursing field, taught at Kent State University in Ohio, which is where she earned her bachelor’s degree. She received her master’s degree in nursing from Robert Morris University in Pennsylvania.
“When I came to the interview and met everybody, it felt like a really good fit,” said Professor Anderson, who is in her second year with Laurel Ridge. “I really like the community college and the community it creates. The cohorts are small for our nursing program, so everybody gets to know each other. They support each other, they help each other out, they form study groups. If somebody doesn’t do well on something, somebody’s always there to comfort them, or to help them.
“It’s just really great to see the support everybody gives each other. We kind of do the same thing with the faculty. I really love the group we have here in the nursing department. They’re supportive. They know just how to make me smile when I don’t have a smile on my face. And I love the students because they’re awesome. They want to succeed, and I want them to succeed.”
Professor Anderson specializes in the simulation training student nurses undergo on the Middletown Campus. Many simulations are virtual, although the students also work on manikins, including the program’s newest acquisition, a CAE Apollo.
“It’s the latest state-of-the-art simulator,” Professor Anderson said. “We just did a stroke simulation with him. Now we’re doing a code simulation.”
The Apollo, which can do simulations for male and female patients, can be used with a whole host of simulations, she said, including hemorrhaging, non-healing diabetic wounds and seizures.
“I spend a lot of time coming up with new things to do and utilizing our manikins the best way we can to help our students understand concepts,” Professor Anderson said. “They especially like using the Apollo because it helps to get them hands-on experience. He can talk to them, so they can work on their communication skills. It’s really a valuable tool.”
She has been impressed by the caliber of the college’s nursing students.
“Our students are very hard-working, and they all enter this program for the same reason – to become a nurse so that they can be involved in patient care and make a difference in somebody’s life,” Professor Anderson said.
Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.