by Vickie Jenkins, Staff Writer
Southern Nazarene University is a Christian, liberal arts college, an educational Christian institution, committed to helping students achieve their academic goals. Located in Bethany, Oklahoma, the SNU School of Nursing is approved by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing and accredited by the Collegiate Commission on Nursing Education.
Here, you will find some of the finest professors; one of those professors is Michelle Crillo, DNP, RN, CIC, who graduated from UCO in 2011. She teaches at the SNU School of Nursing to students who have a desire to go into the medical field.
Professor Crillo was influence to be a nurse by a very special RN that has been a nurse for the last 35 years in a hospital in Detroit; that nurse is her mother. Mother like daughter, they both have that driving desire to succeed, reaching their goal, going even farther, getting stronger all the time.
“With my former jobs, I have always taken on the teacher or leader role, teaching in different realms, depending on the subject matter. I have always felt like teaching was something that I was led to do,” Professor Crillo commented. “It was actually a few nurses that caught my attention when my children were young. When three of my four children were born, they were in NICU. Each time, I noticed how caring the NICU nurses were and how much strength each one of them had. I went to nursing school, realizing how much I loved it and went even farther. I knew I wanted to teach. This semester, I will have around 32 students. I have had up to 60 students before and I like to give them as much individual time that I can,” she added. Professor Crillo is motivated by her drive to succeed.
Asking Dr. Crillo what her favorite part of her job is. She replied, “It is when my students have those ah-ha moments. It’s those moments when that light bulb clicks and the students understand the different concepts and how they come together to provide quality care with patients. So many concepts with the nursing students and they finally get it and they see the whole picture and they say, oh, I understand now.”
What is your biggest challenge? “My biggest challenge is trying to get everything done and trying to coordinate the students to their needs of the department onto the needs of the facility, making sure the priorities are met,” Professor Crillo replied.
What qualities do you thing make a good nurse? “I think a nurse has to be a good listener, be empathetic, and have critical thinking. They have to know that the pieces are not always laid out in a certain matter. They have to look at the big forest view, be detail oriented, drawing back and seeing the big picture, “Professor Crillo replied.
Asking Professor Crillo to describe herself, she said, “First of all, I am an adrenalin junkie,” she said with a laugh. “I have to stay busy. I multi-task and I am good at connecting with people; a real people oriented person, seeing them face-to-face. I am definitely a people person! I see the whole picture and I definitely like to have fun. My biggest asset at work has to be my organization skills. I am always stopping a task, only to start again,” she replied.
What advice would you give to someone going into the medical field? “I would tell them to relax and realize someone in the medical field is in a servant environment and to always remember they are there for the patient and the other staff members. Don’t put your desires on hold,” Professor Crillo answered with confidence in her voice.
When Dr. Crillo is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her four children, and two grandchildren; Madyn, three-years-old and Harper, one-year-old. “I have always and will continue to encourage my children and grandchildren in whatever they set out to do, knowing they can do anything they set their mind to do,” she said. What a wonderful example Professor Crillo has set for her family and her students.
When not spending time with her family, Professor Crillo lives a very fun active, adventurous life. Her hobbies include rollerblading, skiing, diving, kayaking, rock climbing, (Mount Scott) and also enjoys a more common hobby…gardening. “I love to be adventurous,” she said.
Summing up Professor Crillo’s life in one word, with a quick answer, followed by a laugh, she said, ‘BLESSED.’
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