School of Nursing alumna values Baker connections

Brought up in the Methodist Church with a passion for helping others, Laci Lingenfelter felt right at home at Baker University after growing up in Gridley, Kan. She attended the Baldwin City campus for two years, completing her prerequisites for Baker’s School of Nursing in Topeka and was a member of Alpha Chi Omega.

“I liked the small class sizes at Baker, and the professors were always friendly and willing to help you,” said Lingenfelter. “Dr. (Darcy) Russell and Dr. (Charmaine) Henry made coursework fun and interesting, applying the lessons learned in lab to the real world. “

Interacting with the science professors prepared her well as she pursued her career ambition of being a nurse.

A 2008 graduate of the School of Nursing, Lingenfelter works in the critical care unit at Stormont-Vail HealthCare and is an adjunct faculty member for Baker. Working as a nurse at Stormont-Vail carries added significance since her grandparents both received care there.

“When my grandparents were hospitalized, I saw the interaction they and my other family members had with physicians,” she said. “I was familiar with the physicians and thought it was a great place to be. Knowing that Baker had a connection to Stormont-Vail made it more special.”

The history with Stormont-Vail and the critical thinking skills acquired at Baker contribute to Lingenfelter’s work.

“I care for two patients daily and I enjoy getting to know them and the families while seeing the complete picture,” she said. “I know what the Baker program is all about and can really relate to the students. I have been through the same clinical experiences and I understand what they are going through with the goal of obtaining a BSN and being an RN and passing the boards.”

Lingenfelter recently applied to graduate school to become a nurse anesthetist. Her late maternal grandmother, Flora Lee Ryan, was influential in Lingenfelter continuing her education. She was an elementary teacher in Burlington and obtained a master’s degree and pursued a doctorate at a time when most women really didn’t consider graduate school.

“She always pushed my brother and I to stay motivated and to make education fun,” Lingenfelter said. “She was passionate about education.”

Lingenfelter continues to carry on the family tradition.

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