Lakeview grad to take spot as dean
DANVILLE — When Chastity Osborn enrolled as a student at Lakeview College of Nursing, she never imagined herself as one of the school's top administrators.
But later this week, the 2004 graduate will step up as the dean of nursing.
Currently an assistant professor at the 120-year-old school, Osborn will succeed Irene Steward, who has served as the interim dean since August 2011.
The Danville resident credits the college — which has campuses in Danville and on Eastern Illinois University's campus in Charleston — with providing her foundation and love of learning, nursing and teaching.
The mother of two took time out of her busy life to talk about the different hats she wears at the college and what she's looking forward to in her new role.
Q: You received your bachelor's degree from Lakeview in 2004. When did you return?
A: I came back to my alma mater as a nursing instructor in August 2010. Throughout my career as a faculty member, I have worked in several diverse roles — most recently as an assistant professor, the Student Affairs Committee chair, the nursing research course coordinator, the community health nursing coordinator and health records coordinator. I have also been involved in nursing foundations, maternal health, gerontology, palliative care and RN-BSN orientation.
Q: As an assistant professor, you wrote a proposal to gain additional space at 903 N. Logan Ave. — donated by Dr. Marc Paap, a local dentist — for a planned nurse-managed clinic and developed the first college-sponsored mission trip for public health nursing students. How will they benefit students?
A: As a faculty member, one is always looking for the next-best place to grow nursing students' knowledge and experience and provide expertise and leadership opportunities. I believe there is no better way to build our students' clinical leadership skills than within unique clinical settings.
My short-term goal is to identify additional lab and clinical space for students to practice their skills, including disaster preparedness. My long-term vision is to create wonderful opportunities for our students to implement Lakeview's core values: accountability, caring, excellence, integrity and service.
Q: As dean, what are some of the things that you'll be tackling and/or looking forward to?
A: My goal for graduates is to ensure professional work readiness. The national agenda is changing the face of health care. Students not only need to be able to become practicing nurses but should also be ready to lead, guide and develop the nursing profession well into the future. In order to ensure that our students are leading this ever-changing profession, Lakeview is moving forward to provide students with the most up-to-date tools nursing education has to offer including electronic health records simulation, simulation labs and a robust curriculum.