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Courtney Davis '06, MSN, RN

Courtney Davis photo

Nursing Instructor

Chattahoochee Technical College

"St. Ambrose is the place if you want to be treated like a person-and to be in a program where people want you to succeed."

How to succeed

"At my other colleges, the professors weren't around outside of class. At Ambrose, I called my professors at home many nights with questions. That was never a problem."

For transfer student Courtney Davis, St. Ambrose wasn't just a place to "finish up." It was a place to start. In her successful career, she worked as an occupational health nurse at Tyson Foods and earned a master's in nursing from Walden University. Now she teaches nursing at Chattahoochee Technical College in Georgia.

In her own words

How smooth was your transfer to St. Ambrose?

I was what one might call a "hop-around student." I took a lot of classes at a college in Illinois and one semester of nursing at Scott Community College. But transferring was easy. St. Ambrose walked me through the steps. I met with a professor. I submitted my application and was admitted in a couple weeks. It took me a while to decide where I wanted to be, but Ambrose was certainly the right decision for me.

Which classes have been most useful in your nursing career?

I have to admit that I struggled through the Research Utilization Project class, but it was worth it. We analyzed the scientific literature about postpartum depression. In my job with Tyson, I read a lot of research, so I became known as the nerd nurse! I was the one saying, ‘Wow, did you know hospitals are doing this?' Once I started my master's degree, I called my Ambrose research instructor and thanked her for being so tough. It really helped me understand the concepts of research.

How are St. Ambrose grads viewed in the working world?

St. Ambrose nurses are known for having a good rapport with the community. They are prepared to think on a deeper level and to pull all the pieces together. Their critical thinking is intact when they arrive on the job because it's threaded through the whole program.

Why did you move into teaching?

As a student at St. Ambrose, I led some nursing labs and discovered I had a knack for teaching. Students related to me. I was able to show them tricks about how I get things done on the job. I'd show them the different angles of viewing the tympanic membrane in the ear, for example. I love seeing students' faces light up when they get it.

My passions are nursing and teaching, so I've combined them in this job. Someday I hope to have a PhD and a tenured position at a university. That's my goal.

How does the community feel of St. Ambrose play out?

Let me put it this way. When I lived in Iowa, my son hurt himself one weekend playing baseball, so we had to go the emergency room. I knew four of the nurses there. Three were my fellow classmates, and one was a student in my lab class!

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