Sydney Brummel – Staff Writer
For the 2020-2021 school year, the nursing department welcomed back one of their own. Originally from Sioux Center and having attended nursing school in Sioux City, Deb Kleinwolterink elected to continue her teaching career right in town at Dordt University.
Kleinwolterink began her career in the field practicing at St. Luke’s in Sioux City, later transitioning to some family practice clinics.
The experience she gained from her practice prepared her well for her teaching in the classroom.
“My work has been very general,” Kleinwolterink said. “I worked on the medical floor at St. Luke’s and then the medical clinics I worked at were a family practice, so that’s all very general.”
After working in Sioux City, Professor Kleinwolterink entered the realm of nursing education. She began teaching at Northwest Iowa Community College (NCC) in Sheldon, IA, where she worked for five years. Kleinwolterink taught at NCC for a couple years before transitioning to the director of the nursing program.
“I didn’t do much teaching in that role, and I really missed the teaching aspect and the relationships with the students,” Kleinwolterink said.
Kleinwolterink first heard about an open position in the Dordt nursing department around a year ago. Missing the teaching aspect of nursing in her own life, she immediately gained interest.
“The more I investigated Dordt and looked at what they believed and how they teach, I got quite passionate about actually being at Dordt in the teaching role,” Kleinwolterink said. “It’s been a good, good change.”
This semester, Kleinwolterink teaches two classes: Wellness in Self and Others and Professionalism in Nursing Practice. She has enjoyed her return to teaching and appreciates playing a role in the learning process of her students, watching them begin to understand big concepts.
“When you teach nursing, you’re teaching your counterparts.” Kleinwolterink said. “They’re going to be your co-workers someday, so having an influence in that is really cool.”
Throughout her work, Professor Kleinwolterink has found that one of the greatest challenges in teaching nursing is how dynamic the healthcare field is. With consistent research, best practices continue to change. It is the responsibility of the teacher to keep updated with such changes and ensure that the students are being taught the most current material.
“At Dordt I can correlate and integrate how we are created by God. It’s just so amazing how He did create us”
Overall, the experience had by Professor Kleinwolterink as an instructor at Dordt has proved enjoyable so far. She further values the Christian perspective she has been able to incorporate into her teaching.
“We’re dealing with teaching about the human body, and how it works,” Kleinwolterink said. “At Dordt I can correlate and integrate how we are created by God. It’s just so amazing how He did create us, and now I can pull that together and teach the students about that.”