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Julie St. Clair, RN, MSN

Julie St. Clair attended Western Kentucky University for her ASN and BSN degrees. After graduating in 1980, she earned an MSN at the University of Evansville in 1986, and also obtained a post-Master's degree to prepare her for a future teaching job. She joined the USI faculty when teaching post in her specialty area (public/community/population nursing) opened up in 1990.

Before joining the USI faculty, St. Clair worked at the Vanderburgh County Health Department, and her experience there continues to fuel her passion to improve maternal and child health. "I feel an obligation, both personally and professionally, to make this community a better place and to strive for health equity," she says. "I try to do so with personal involvement and with student engagement."

Q&A with Julie

Why did you choose nursing as a profession? I was always good in the sciences and enjoyed those courses. I felt that nursing would be and exciting and interesting profession, and I have never been disappointed!

Where have you worked as a nurse? My first job was when I was a student in my BSN courses at Western Kentucky University. I worked at Greenwood Hospital, a small for-profit hospital in Bowling Green, Kentucky. My main assignment was on an ortho/gyn surgery floor, but I was often floated to other areas including IV therapy and outpatient. My first job in Evansville after receiving my BSN was at Welborn Hospital in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. Although I loved the work, I learned that I could not work night shift after just a few months. I then went the Vanderburgh County Health Department for a public health nurse position. I made home visits in the inner-city area, primarily to pregnant and parenting moms. I also staffed immunization clinics and worked with several parochial school health programs. After about three years, I moved into the Director of Nursing position, which I held until I came to USI.

What or who inspired you to teach? ? I think my junior high school science teacher, Mrs. Holland, inspired my love of science. I enjoyed working with the students who did clinicals at the Health Department when I was a PHN. I also gained inspiration from the UE faculty there, especially Dorothy Houseman and Berniece King. I have been at USI for nearly 34 years. I teach in the undergraduate BSN program and teach both RN to BSN and pre-licensure senior students. My main teaching assignment is in the Population Focused Nursing course for both levels. I am also a clinical faculty in the junior level Mental Health Nursing Course.

Why is it important to set aside a week to honor the nursing profession? I would say that it is a great way to support the profession. Nursing is a challenging profession, and a week to honor us is a nice way to say “thank you.”

What advice do you have for the next generation of nurses–for students who may be considering this profession? Anyone who is considering nursing needs to be prepared for a rigorous and busy schedule of courses and clinical. I would highly recommend nursing because you have so many options in practice sites and specialties.