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Faculty Spotlight: Susan Dewar

Northwestern-instructor-nursing-Susan-DewarIn honor of Heart Health Month, February’s faculty spotlight is on Northwestern College Associate Professor of Nursing Susan Dewar, MSN, RN, MA, CNE. Susan has been working at Northwestern College for one year and has about 10 years of experience in higher education overall. She brings incredible knowledge to Northwestern College students through her nursing expertise in rehabilitation, home health and hospice, and recovery in same day surgery.

With a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and Foreign Language and a master’s in Elementary Education, one may wonder how Susan ended up in the field of nursing. She taught English as a Second Language (ESL) and Composition for many years. Throughout this time she realized that she is great with people and had a passion for teaching. She “just felt a calling. A real calling to become a nurse,” passionately adding that it was “just a good fit” for her. She went back to school to pursue her associate in nursing and eventually obtained her Master of Science in Nursing Education. Something she continues to instill in her students is that 75-80% of nursing is teaching, and you should always be educating your patients.

When asked what she is most proud of in her career, Susan reflected, “I am very proud of my dedication to students and the work I’ve done at every institution I’ve worked – everything I have done to move the quality of nursing education forward.” Not only has Susan practiced as a nurse for many years and continues to be an influential educator but she is also QSEN Certified with a goal of continually improving nursing education and helping to make healthcare safer as a QSEN trainer. QSEN stands for Quality and Safety Education for Nurses and is a national effort to focus on the development of curriculum in regard to the quality and safety procedures within the nursing field.

Susan’s unique and compelling background does not end there. She is also an avid birder, enjoying annual Florida trips with her husband to the National Wildlife Refuge near the John F. Kennedy Space Center. Although well schooled in the biological sciences, her creative side still remains strong. Susan and her husband are part of an African drumming group, she plays the piano and she continues to write poetry in her free time.

What has all of this incredible experience taught her? What words of wisdom would she share with prospective or current students of Northwestern College’s nursing program? It’s rather quite simple – to become a nurse, you have to really want to be a nurse. This is not a career you should seek solely for the job prospects; rather, you need to come in with a love for the field or else you will never succeed. Susan went on to say, “You have to have a passion for it.”