Angela Sass, MCC Nursing Instructor
MCC Nursing instructor Angela Sass started out with a full-ride scholarship for pre-med, but half-way through the program, she realized that her passion was to make a difference in a patient’s life and spend more time with patients than the typical doctor. She quickly switched to study nursing and became an RN and has been caring for patients for the last 19 years.
"I love patient care,” Sass said. “I don’t know where else I’d rather be—it suits me so well. This is a career where you can make such a difference in someone’s life."
She regularly sees a difference in the patients she cares for in the ICU Department at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Elgin, where she works two 12-hour shifts a month. In just one shift, a patient’s condition can improve so much, she said.
Her caring nature spills into the classroom, where she has taught nursing for 10 years, preparing students for a career that requires passion and critical thinking skills. She instills her love of nursing and compassion for patients and often shares real-life patient scenarios from her own nursing role to challenge her students.
"The same compassion that I show to students is the same compassion I show to my patients," she said.
Not only does she teach the required skills and techniques, she listens to students’ concerns.
"I understand what some student nurses are going through and try to be as supportive as possible,” she said, adding that some students sacrifice family time to go through school and some struggle financially."
While she loves all aspects of teaching, she said the most rewarding part of her job is to see the light bulb moment—when students get it.
She said students in MCC’s nursing program are getting top-notch instruction for a fraction of the cost of a four-year school.
"It's remarkable that MCC offers this program to students," she said. "For the cost-savings, students can get an RN degree and get a job and make $60,000 as a first-year nurse. As a career, the nursing field offers a wide variety of work settings to choose from, that it never gets boring, she added.
Determined to make another difference—as an employee—Sass is pursuing a Doctorate of Nursing Practice in Educational Leadership and plans to graduate in June 2019. "It opens my eyes to the bigger picture and issues of education. It will position me to be a better employee," she said.