The fall semester of 2019 has brought considerable changes to Mississippi College’s quaint campus: Chick-fil-A, faculty leaving, and the closure of Ratliff Hall. This season of changes has not passed over one of MC’s most talked about programs—the School of Nursing (SON). MC has prided itself on an excellent School of Nursing since the program started in 1969. This year, that tradition continues with a few new additions. The MC SON hired three new professors to join the department this year. Coming from different backgrounds, these new additions bring fresh insight to one of MC’s most distinguished programs.
The first professor to focus on is Katie Spann. Specializing in mental health, Spann brings over 10 years of psychiatric experience to the table. Originally, Spann graduated from MC in 1995 with a degree in biology and then went on to get a Master’s in Healthcare Administration, also from MC. She then returned and graduated from the MC SON in 2008. She currently teaches a psychiatric class and some lessons in semester one. For her, the best part is “the flexible schedule and that I’m just familiar with MC. I loved it when I got here, so I took this job because I knew what their Christian standpoint was, and that made the biggest difference to me. That’s probably my favorite part.”
A lively spirit, Spann is a favorite with students as well. Emilee Johnson, a first semester nursing student from Minden, La., remarks, “I love Ms. Spann. She is funny and goofs off with us sometimes, but she really knows what she’s talking about and makes learning fun.”
Another new face around Cockroft is that of Jordan Owen. Before Owen was a professor of unstable adult health, she worked in the adult intensive care unit. It was during this time that she met Nicole Jagger, another professor in MC’s SON. Jagger recruited her, and Owen is excited to join MC’s nursing family this semester. Her favorite part is working with the students as he strives to “take the pressure off.”
Both Spann and Owen attest that a big bonus to their new positions is the other faculty. Owen loves “getting to know the other faculty,” while Spann laughed and said, “Half of these people taught me. The newer ones have been welcoming and trying to help me as much as they can as well.”
The third new faculty member is Lauren Blakeney. An alumna of the University of Southern Mississippi for undergraduate and the University of Mississippi Medical Center for her master’s, Blakeney now teaches chronic health problems and clinical reasoning in semester three.
Together these three women join a seasoned faulty for another great year in MC’s SON. One of the biggest factors adding to this remains that the School of Nursing, and MC as a whole is centered on Christ. Spann emphasizes this saying, “Even though MC is probably gonna be a little tougher than a lot of schools, I think what makes the difference is being able to pray and include Christ in everything. That makes a difference.”