Part of the equipment

Nursing instructor Joyce Huber hugs a nursing alumna at a retirement break in Huber's honor.

A simple, yet profound, statement hangs on Joyce Huber’s office door. Based on Mark 6:8, it reads, “Don’t think you need a lot of extra equipment for this – you ARE the equipment.”

That idea guides much of what Joyce does and what she tries to instill in students as well.

“Nursing is high-tech in a lot of ways,” said Joyce, a nursing faculty member for 40 years. “But there are some things for which you just don’t need equipment. Sometimes, nurses can provide as much healing by sitting and talking with a patient.”

Teaching nursing students requires a lot of theory, practice, repetition and hands-on experiences, but after decades of clinical and classroom experience, Joyce knows those things happen best when there is a relationship between student and instructor.

“We work hard at building relationships and being student-centered,” said Joyce, who is leaving clinical instruction behind beginning with the 2013-14 year. “We keep our office doors open and we spend a lot of time talking with students before and after class about their studies and their personal lives. Many students wear a lot of hats – parent, employee, spouse – we try to help them balance all of that.”

Joyce has been a clinical instructor each year she has been at Hesston, so most of her time is spent with students in local hospitals and clinics observing and guiding them as they put their classroom and lab learning to work.

In the Hesston College nursing program's 46-year history, 100% of of Hesston nursing graduates who have sought a nursing position have found a job and 99% overall pass rate on the exam to earn RN licensurein“Hospital staff have commented on how much Hesston College instructors are around in the clinical setting,” said Joyce. “I enjoy being in touch with the students and building relationships with them in a professional setting. It’s a time for me to connect with each student, talk about their patient and help find ways to apply their learning. It’s fun for me to see their ‘light-bulb moments’ when they make connections between classroom and clinical.”

Joyce led her last clinical in April, but she will continue teaching in the classroom, looking for ways to make meaningful connections with each of her students.

“Joyce has an amazing gift for relating to students and helping them learn,” said Bonnie (Kauffman) Ac65, ’67 Sowers, director of nursing. “When students are asked at the end of the semester about the positive aspects of their nursing courses, it is not unusual to see the words ‘Joyce Huber.’”

“It is such a blessing that Hesston College faculty take the time to get to know each student, pin-point their talents and characteristics and work with them to become holistic nurses,” said nursing graduate Whitney Hickert ’13, Hays, Kan. “Joyce daily demonstrates holistic nursing. She takes complicated subjects and breaks them down for students. She helps create light-bulb moments as we suddenly understand how a disease process works. She has truly perfected her calling to teach!”