When Lindsey L. Sample, of Union Mills, earned her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing during the recent Purdue University North Central commencement, she had the honor of speaking on behalf of the Class of 2014.
She is an outstanding example of what a motivated person can accomplish. Sample started her studies at PNC at age 30 with a major in Nursing and a minor in Holistic Health and Wellness. She had a husband, two children, a farm, a full-time job, a full-time course load and maintained a perfect 4.0 grade-point-average.
“School is expensive and I don’t have time or money for ‘do-overs.’ Failure wasn’t an option,” said Sample as she explained her success. “School was my priority and with my amazing support system, I never had to worry about my children.”
By the time she graduated, she had accepted a position at Porter Regional Hospital as an ICU nurse.
She plans to later continue her education to become a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) with a specialty in acute care.
Sample’s interest in the medical profession began as a child. Raised on a farm, she described being “dad’s equipment holder,” a job that evolved into all aspects of animal care – from immunizations to draining abscesses to delivering babies. “From birth to death I had seen it all, or so I thought,” she said. She dreamed of being a large animal vet.
Those plans changed. She married and had children. While she remains a fourth-generation farmer, she decided to earn a Purdue degree and utilize her life skills as a nurse.
Her family supported her decision and pitched in to help at home. She still participated in her children’s activities and helped out with Pop Warner, coached baseball and raised livestock for 4-H.
“I am glad my children witnessed my success,” she said. “The hours spent doing homework together are memories we cherish.”
As a student, technology became a lifeline. “I always had an I-pad or I-phone with me. I made flashcards on Quizlet and downloaded textbooks to study at any time,” she explained. “I listened to lectures in the car or while falling asleep. I joined extracurricular activities to network with faculty and students, so I could ask questions and feel more comfortable in class. I tutored students to keep information fresh in my mind.”
She joined the campus S.T.A.N.D. Nursing Club, serving terms as secretary, president and vice president. She was part of the Dean’s Leadership Group and Chancellor’s Leadership Seminar, was a student representative to the Nursing Department Curriculum Review Committee, a member of Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society and Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society.
Sharing her enthusiasm for learning, she “recruited” 11 adult students and three traditional-aged students to PNC.
“I developed relationships and friendships that will last a lifetime,” she continued. “I experienced so many opportunities on this campus I never thought were available.”
Sample has a long list of faculty members who helped and inspired her.
Kent Lange, continuing lecturer of Biology, was her first college instructor. “Sitting in a lecture hall, looking around at the students scared me to death; they were kids and I was 30 years old. After his class I knew I was on the right path and nothing could hold me back. He taught me how to learn, to engage myself and urged me to become involved on campus. “
Diane Spoljoric, interim department chair of Nursing, “She was my first Nursing instructor and she was tough. She held me accountable and told me that if I reached the bar of success she was going to raise it higher. I thank her for that.”
Karen Klosinski, assistant professor of Nursing, “She challenged me and made me think outside of the box. She taught me material I never could have learned on my own. When I struggled, I asked her to explain it again. She was never too busy to help.”
Annette Coates, clinical associate professor of Nursing, “The knowledge and skill she brought to the classroom made a subject I had no interest in one of the best nursing courses I have taken.”
Peggy Rose, associate professor of Nursing, “She held the bar high and expected students to adhere to strict standards.”
Bruce Garwood, clinical assistant professor of Nursing, “He was my final instructor at PNC. He graduated from PNC and is an ICU nurse. He offers study sessions on his own time to make sure we understand the material and are prepared for our final exams and NCLEX.”
Her advice is simple, “Make school your priority early in the semester. Do not wait until you are struggling to introduce yourself to your instructor. Be active on campus; engage with your classmates, students ahead of you and students behind you. Networking may provide lifelong opportunities and growth. Plan for the unknown and be prepared, life happens isn’t an excuse to get out of class or the work that is required to pass a class. Never expect results for work you don’t do. School is temporary but the pride of success is forever.”