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Meet Linda Williams

Get to Know your Faculty Series

Linda Williams, MS, RN

GET TO KNOW YOUR FACULTY Series: Linda Williams

ABOUT THE SERIES: This spotlight on Professor Williams is the first in a new "GET TO KNOW YOUR FACULTY" Series. Here we ask each faculty member the same set of questions, but will be certain to find great diversity in their answers. Here's to a fun series ahead, where we will learn about the individuals whose passion for nursing education has brought each to the University of Wyoming Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing!

What courses do you normally teach?

  • I have been teaching Health Promotion for the RN student online, since 2000. It was the first course I developed as a new nurse educator. I continue to teach this course and keep it up to date with current content. I really enjoy promoting the health of nurses while teaching them about promoting health across the lifespan.

  • I have been teaching Nursing Leadership online as well for the RN student since 2002. This is a critical course for BSN nurses facing a future career in nursing. Nurses tend to be stimulated by the discussions with their peers from around the state and around the country. It is exciting to connect with nursing students in other states and learn about leadership and management in different work environments.

  • I also coordinate the Adult Health II Nursing Practicum for BSN students on campus in their second semester of nursing school (NURS 3875) and have been doing this since 2009. The students in this course are excited to be learning all aspects of caring for adults in a variety of settings. They are novices, and it is rewarding to watch their skills develop, knowledge increase and confidence build.

What students (e.g., in which program/s) will most likely have you as a professor during their program tenure?

All undergraduate students on campus will have me as a professor in their second semester, junior year. Some RN/BSN completion students online will have me as their professor when they are taking Health Promotion or Nursing Leadership, if they are in my section.

What brought you to Wyoming, UWYO?

I moved to Wyoming in 1973 after one semester at CU-Boulder when I was 18 years old to spread my wings and continue my education. I loved the state and stayed. It was good to be out on my own, yet within driving distance of family and big city happenings. As an alumni of the University of Wyoming twice (I received both my nursing degrees at UW), when I decided I wanted to teach, UW was where I wanted to continue my career with the teachers and colleagues I knew.

How long have you been with UW SoN?

I have been at the School of Nursing teaching nursing students for almost 16 years. My commuting between Cheyenne and Laramie has gone on through two nursing degrees and my career as a nurse educator. Good thing I enjoy driving!!

Where were you before you came here and what were you doing previous to this position at UW?

I live in Cheyenne and my previous full time employment was with the VA Medical Center there. I am still employed there part-time and keep my hands in nursing practice on the medical-surgical unit, caring for mostly older adult veterans.

What is your passion area?  

I am passionate about designing courses and assignments and keeping course content up-to-date. I believe students deserve a quality education that includes current content that is progressively updated. I also enjoy curriculum development. I very much enjoy teaching Nursing Leadership, Health Promotion and as a former Public Health Nurse, I love Public/Community Health Nursing.

If you are doing research, please also talk about that. 

I currently do not hold a nursing position that provides time for doing research. I would have enjoyed getting involved in research projects with my colleagues at an earlier time in my career. I have worked on a few very small research projects but would have liked to have done more.

Many faculty have “side interests” that help define who they are. Can you share?  

Caring for aging family members has taken up a considerable amount of my time in the past 15 years. I really am a member of the “sandwich generation” and this has defined me. Many people have commented that this happens when you are the “nurse” in the family. When I have been able to enjoy some free time, I am an avid concert goer, and I love music. I once played the piano and would still love to devote some time to learning to play the harmonica. I love the blues and classic rock. And, I am just starting to do some more traveling, and you can bet I will be going to some interesting places to listen to music!

Do you see a relationship now or in the future with your side interest linking up with nursing?

Not really. I think my remaining years on this earth are going to be more about me, my family relationships, good friendships and my own health promotion! Although I see myself loving teaching until my dying day, I really do want to do something different. My nursing career is currently at almost 42 years. I am definitely one of the many nurses who are reaching retirement age.

What do you like best about teaching?

For me, it is the challenge and the creativity that goes along with teaching. Creating learning activities and finding ways to engage the student so that learning is apt to take place is what I find gratifying. It is when the student says that he or she has learned--that is music to my ears! It is really when the light bulb goes on, because the nurse has connected nursing practice experience with new knowledge.

Editor's Addition

In 2014, Williams was recognized by the College of Health Sciences with the 2015 Innovation in Teaching Award, "for her fascination with and use of technology in online instruction." 

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