Mid-Plains Community College President Ryan Purdy congratulates former MPCC nursing instructor Barbara Christensen on Friday at the Quality Inn and Suites in North Platte. Christensen was named as a Woman of Achievement in the field of education.
A former longtime nursing instructor for Mid-Plains Community College has been recognized as a Woman of Achievement.
Barbara Christensen was honored during an awards banquet at the Quality Inn and Suites in North Platte on Friday. She was one of five nominees in the category of education.
Another MPCC instructor, Karen Bowlin, who teaches emergency medical technology and CPR classes at the college, was also nominated for her work in education.
Christensen began her career at Mid-Plains in 1975 as an instructor for Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) courses. The purpose of CETA was to train and provide work for people with low incomes and the long-term unemployed.
After six months, a full-time medical surgical nurse educator position opened up in the college's LPN program. It was offered to Christensen.
Christensen shared an office with Elaine Kockrow, now deceased, who taught fundamentals of nursing and was a clinical nurse educator in obstetrics. The two became a dynamic team.
They pursued a master's degree together, and it was their master's thesis that changed LPN instruction around the world.
The duo wrote and published the book, "Fundamentals of Nursing and Adult Health Nursing," in 1991 then created a new edition every four years for the next 20 years - a total of six editions.
The textbook was all-inclusive and covered the entire sphere of the LPN curriculum – everything from math, nursing procedures, medical surgery nursing and pediatrics to obstetrics, psychiatry and pharmacology.
Popularity of the textbook gained speed. It sold in Canada, Australia and New Zealand in addition to all 50 U.S. states, where it continues to be the number one LPN textbook in the nation.
Christensen taught at NPCC for 33 years, and half of that time, it was out of her own textbook. She continued to teach and work as a nurse up until her retirement in 2008 – at the age of 73.