Christy Secor

Assistant Professor of Nursing


Department: Nursing

What are the main classes you teach at Crown?

  • NUR 302 – Foundations of Professional Nursing
  • NUR 315 - Pharmacology
  • NUR 320 – Med/Surg Nursing I
  • NUR 325 – Med/Surg Nursing II
  • Clinical Instructor – Med/Surg
  • SCI 260 – Nutrition

Degrees & Institutions you received them from:

BSN from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

MSN – Nursing Education from Indiana Wesleyan University

Published works or other accolades?

  • 2008 - current: member of Sigma Theta Tau International
  • 2009: Learning Strategies that Facilitate Critical Thinking and Reflective, Evidence-Based Practice selected by Indiana Wesleyan University to demonstrate exemplary student work in their CCNE accreditation review
  • 2009 – 2012: Lenten devotional for Crown College (editor; contributing author in 2009)
  • 2010: Guest Lecturer: FSIL (Faculty of Nursing Science of the Episcopal University of Haiti) in Léogâne, Haiti
  • 2010: Presentation Speaker at the Innovations in Nursing Education Conference at Indiana Wesleyan University – A Fresh Look at Caring for Our Online Students
  • 2010: Panel Participant - Lab Skills Coordinator Roundtable Webinar
  • 2011: Back to School: What I Learned Teaching Cross-Culturally – article published in the Journal of Christian Nursing (July – September 2011)
  • 2011: Crown College Faculty Excellence Award – Distinguished Work with Students
  • 2012: Clinical Post-conference Online – article co-authored with Dr. Tim Bristol. Scheduled to be published later this year in Teaching and Learning in Nursing

Before Crown, what did you do?

  • Staff nurse at Rex Hospital in Raleigh, NC – medical / surgical patients with a high concentration of oncology patients who were there for chemo / hospice care
  • Utilization Review at Rex Hospital in Raleigh, NC
  • Ombudsmen for the USS James K. Polk – Charleston, SC
  • Home-school educator
  • Staff nurse at Silas B. Hayes Army Community Hospital in Fort Ord, CA
  • Wayzata Evangelical Free Church Staff Member - focus on missions / administrative work
  • Staff nurse at Presbyterian Homes in Spring Park, MN
  • Crown College Nursing Department Operations / Resource Manager

Your Testimony?

I grew up believing if I “behaved” myself and lived up to the expectations of my parents; then I'd be able to have the things I wanted and dreamed about for my life. My thought process was, "If I do my part, then God will do His part." But bad things still happened...life still happened. Over time, I decided I would be the one "in charge" of what happened to me. I had one “face” for my parents, one “face” for those at work, one “face” for those I hung out with on the weekends, and even a “face” for God.

It took many years and a lot of physical and emotional pain for me to find my way back to God. I had made so many mistakes in my life; I wondered how He could ever want me back. But He did. In His love, I found complete acceptance and forgiveness. I didn't have to "be" a certain way. I didn’t have to complete a long list of things in order for Him to say, “You are worthy.” He loved me as I was...He wanted relationship with me in my “mess” and current state of chaos. That realization was the start of an incredible journey. A journey I still walk today.

It’s not that I have all the questions answered in my life or that I reflect balance. There are times I still need to wrestle with Him – it’s almost like I have to come to the end of my own strength to fully realize the power of His strength. I want to be real in my relationship with Him and in my relationships with others…especially with my students. It’s part of the journey we walk together – discovering who He wants us each to be as we follow His amazing plan and purpose for our lives. It’s a life-changing experience for each of us.

Favorite Bible verse and why?

The LORD will guide you always;
He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail. - Isaiah 58:11 (NIV)

I’ve tried living life with “me” in control. It didn’t work. Trying to do things in your strength leaves you exhausted, empty, and without hope – especially when you’re trying to please everyone else in your life.

This verse is guiding me as a woman in my 50’s. The reality is that more of my life is behind me than what is ahead of me. I want my life to count for Him. I want to make a difference in the lives of others so they experience and know the impact of a completely forgiven, redeemed life. I want students to show care and compassion in a way that reflects how Christ loves each of us. I want each student to see the possibilities for creating positive change in their own lives, in the lives of their families, where they work, as well as in their communities at both a local and a global level. Such possibilities for change do exist when we are connected to the true source of strength in our lives and as we live our lives according to His plan and purpose.

Hobbies and Interests?

  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Movies with lots of action and explosions (it happens after raising two sons!)
  • John Wayne movies
  • Facebook - it’s been a great way for me to stay connected with my family, my students, and our grads

Affiliations:

  • 2007 – current: Nurses Christian Fellowship
  • 2007 – current: National League for Nursing
  • 2007 – current: American Society for Pain Management Nursing
  • 2008 – current: Sigma Theta Tau International
  • 2010 – current: Haiti Nursing Foundation

What do you enjoy most about teaching at Crown?

What I enjoy the most is the chance to interact and to influence the lives of students. I have the opportunity to work with students in one of their first nursing courses, Foundations of Professional Nursing. I tell the students at the start of each semester:

This program will change your life. You find yourselves stretched in ways you never thought possible. You will also find yourself accomplishing more that you thought possible and you’ll have the opportunity to grow deeper in your relationship with Christ. You are going to change the lives of others. And in the process, you are going to be changed as well.

What I've come to realize is that it’s more than the student’s lives who are changed. I know that I am changed as well. Each May as they cross the stage to receive their nursing pin, I remember where they were during that first semester. I remember the times I've interacted with them in the classroom, in clinical, in the Nursing Lab, in my office, by email … and even by Facebook. I see dreams that have been realized and the promise of new dreams that have yet to be fulfilled.

What differentiates your program from similar offerings at other colleges?

There are many positive differences between Crown and other colleges:

  • Our smaller class size. In the courses I took as a student preparing for my BSN, I was one of over a hundred students. There wasn’t time for interaction. Classes were basically lecture and we’d write down notes as fast as we could.

    I expect students to come to class prepared and to have read the material ahead of time. But it can be difficult for a student to know how to break down a chapter into what is important. I “scaffold” or outline the chapter for them ahead of time. It helps students to know what to focus on as they read.

    I do use lecture, but I also use other learning activities as well, such as:
    • Small group activities
    • Simulation
    • You Tube videos
    • Case studies
    • Real life experiences from my own practice/life as well as what the students are seeing in clinical
    • Pictures or mnemonics to describe certain conditions
    • Links and focused activities that are available on the web
  • I want to be open to the student’s questions. If we’re not sure about an answer, sometimes we’ll look it up together during class. If it’s a question that involves a bit more research, I’ll send out the information and links to the students after class.
  • Many students arrive at college “learning” the way they were taught in high school. But our brains operate / learn in a variety of ways. I work with students to help them develop strategies that will fit the way their brain processes information. It maximizes their learning and their success.
  • Reflection is a part of most of my classes. Studies have shown that students who are stronger with reflection do better on their Boards. They also make better nurses. Every three weeks, my students submit a reflection. They look at their strengths, what they are learning, challenges they have faced personally and academically, and where they are spiritually. If they identify a problem, I ask them to look at strategies to help address that need. I want students to write down what is real for them – not what they think they want me to have them write. I read each reflection. I use what they share to pray for them and to better meet them where they are.
  • There are great opportunities at Crown to put feet to your faith by participating in cross-cultural experiences. Maybe this means working with elders in a long-term care facility or with families at a local food shelf. Maybe this means a missions trip here within the States or somewhere overseas. These experiences give students the chance to look at the world around them with different eyes. They also begin to see steps they can take to impact the lives of others.

How do you define “Academic Excellence?”

Academic excellence requires action to take place because of an investment and commitment that I’ve made as well as my students. It is a dynamic partnership that sets the tone for a lifetime of learning.

For my students, it means:

  • Having an open attitude towards learning.
  • Coming to class prepared.
  • Using the resources that are in place to equip them to succeed.
  • Giving me their very best.
  • Incorporating the feedback I share with them into future assignments and their overall thought process.

As a faculty member, it means:

  • Helping them to stay centered in their faith and to continue to keep Christ as their focus.
  • Knowing the needs of my students – academically and spiritually.
  • Coming to class prepared with information that will equip them to be nurses who care and who provide safe, competent care.
  • Providing a variety of different ways for students to “connect” with the information.
  • Being honest and real with my students.
  • Being open to their questions and frustrations while we move together to where they need to be.
  • Giving students the ability to see themselves as leaders and change agents within this profession.

What would your students say about taking your classes?

I set the bar high for my students, but I also provide support for my students to meet that bar. My students know that I care about them. I work to be aware of where they are. This is why I scaffold their courses and provide additional resources for them both in / out of class. This past semester, I felt that students would benefit from some additional support academically so each week, I provided an extra two-hour study session. Students weren’t required to attend, but many made the choice to be there. We used the time to focus on content the students were covering in both pharmacology and in their med-surg nursing course.

Our work paid off – the students in my Pharmacology class take a standardized final that is given in nursing programs across the nation. Their average score on this final was 100 points higher than students in other BSN nursing programs across the nation. I see that as an affirmation of the work, effort, preparation, and prayer support each student was willing to put into this class to do their very best.

Sometimes students will say that they have been “Secor-ed” on a quiz – which usually means all the pieces didn’t quite come together for them for the score they wanted to receive. And there is a certain “tension” in our classes. Student’s goals include successfully passing a quiz or successfully passing a course. My goals for them look more at the long-term – I want to prepare them to thrive in this demanding, chaotic, and life-changing profession. I want to equip them to be leaders. My brother posted this on my Facebook wall in response to my congratulations to the work and accomplishments of our juniors and seniors…it expresses my commitment to each student:

Being "Secor-ed" has come to mean: 1. Prepared me to be the best I can be with God's help. 2. Loved me when I felt all was lost. 3. Mentored me to give everything I had for the sake of God's Kingdom and be His hands and feet among the hurting.

From a career standpoint, what will students be prepared to do with a degree from your program?

Students who graduate from Crown’s nursing program are prepared to provide safe, competent care to individuals in a variety of settings – from long-term care to acute care. Each student has also been equipped with skills and training to serve as leaders. They are moving into positions of leadership and management in the workplace. They are pursuing graduate degrees as advanced practice nurses. They are serving over-seas in short-term and long-terms capacities. They are giving of themselves to make a difference in the lives of others.

What would you say to parents of prospective students about having their son/daughter at Crown?

Crown College’s nursing program is a place where your son and daughter will:

  • Be supported, encouraged, and challenged to grow beyond their expectations.
  • Make a difference in the lives of those they encounter in clinical, in their communities, and the world.
  • Find opportunities to use their skills, knowledge, caring, and servant leadership to create positive life change to people in a variety of cultures and across the lifespan.
  • Develop a deeper insight of the needs of the world and the possibilities within themselves as they look through the eyes of Christ.