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Inspiring Teacher: Anne Eliason, assistant professor of practice in nursing

Anne Eliason teaches maternity nursing and clinicals and interprofessional education for the NDSU School of Nursing at Sanford Health in Bismarck. During her career, she has built a reputation as a strong leader who inspires students and faculty to reach for excellence.

Eliason’s students work at the Sanford birth center for hands-on experience caring for mothers and babies. The experience, along with the maternal child simulation lab in Bismarck, helps build the foundation for their careers.     

HOW DID YOU DECIDE TO PURSUE YOUR PROFESSION?

Both of my parents started out as registered nurses. I have wanted to be a nurse since I was a little girl. Once I was done with school, I worked in labor and delivery and taught childbirth classes on the side, so my love of teaching started very early in my career.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT TEACHING?

My students. We start out with maternity nursing being such a foreign concept. The growth I see by the end of our time together is amazing. As an assistant professor of practice at NDSU, I get to concentrate on the kinds of things that brought me into nursing as well as getting to share my love of nursing with my students. I have the best of both worlds.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR TEACHING STYLE?

I tend to have a relaxed, casual classroom. This works for me because I really focus on civility and respect. We develop class norms together and we stick to them. Once the ground rules are in place, it’s easier to role model the flexibility that all nurses need to develop. My mission is not just to teach students about babies and moms, but also how to become a true nursing professional.

WHAT IS THE MOST COMMON TRAIT OR TRAITS OF A SUCCESSFUL STUDENT?

Students who really succeed in my classes plan and stay organized. They schedule time every day to review content in several different ways, like reading Power Points, creating quizzes and using the online resources from the text. They also show enthusiasm and ask questions in class. They are collegial with their peers and encourage others in class.

HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU’VE SUCCEEDED WITH A STUDENT OR A CLASS?

Participating in the graduation ceremony is always a thrill for me. I get to see my students walk across that stage knowing the level of commitment and hard work they put in to get there. It really moves me. And because I’ve been teaching at NDSU for the last 10 years, I also get the pleasure of working alongside former students every week during clinicals, which is definitely the best reward.


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