Close up of a nurse in a white lab coat wearing a stethoscope

Erica Evans is an associate professor of nursing at MSUM and a 2009 alumna. She incorporates her unique nursing background into her teaching in the university’s nursing programs.

Evans has taught for the past year in the RN to BSN program. She received her associate’s degree at Minnesota State Community and Technical College (M State), her master’s degree at the University of Mary, and her doctorate at Capella University.

“I had a lot of autonomy working in that position,” she explained. “I prescribed dressing for the patients and saw them weekly as their wound improved, so it was a very rewarding experience.”

Erica Evans

She has spent the majority of her nursing career at the Fargo VA Medical Center. One of her favorite areas to work in was wound care.

Before coming to MSUM, Evans taught at Rasmussen College. There, she taught students in person in the classroom, lab and clinical settings. When she came to MSUM, she taught nursing courses online. Starting this fall, she’ll be back in the classroom teaching labs in MSUM’s new prelicensure nursing program.

Evans enjoyed teaching in the RN to BSN program this past year because the students were also working in the field and bringing that experience to class with them.

“They bring relevant, up to date experience into the classroom that we can base our discussions on,” Evans said. “The topics they’re picking for their papers and projects are pertinent to them.”

This summer, she taught an online evidence-based practice course. Her students brought an even more interesting perspective to class due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s amazing to hear from them the changes in real time with what’s going on today in nursing,” Evans said.

Even though Evans enjoys her online courses, she is eager to start classes in person but recognizes that this year will look different due to the pandemic.

“Because we’re teaching nursing students, I can’t imagine a more relevant or appropriate program for which we’re practicing this,” she said.

The guidelines the students learn to follow in class will be used in their careers.

“I’m excited to incorporate that into what we’re doing in the classroom and lab setting,” Evans said.“But more than anything, I’m excited to see the whites of my students’ eyes.”

Evans sees the need for nurses in the Fargo-Moorhead community and nationwide. She is excited that MSUM is contributing to address the nursing shortage and hopes students who complete the program at MSUM return for their master’s degree and continue their nursing education.

She offers these words of encouragement for students interested in a nursing career: “I can’t imagine anything that’s more rewarding because you are making a difference every single day in the life of patients and their families. It is a fulfilling career and it’s worth the hard work.”