As a youngster, Sally Jordan would thumb through her older sister’s nursing textbooks. Some kids might consider the contents of medical books to be “gross,” but it didn’t take long for the pictures, text and diagrams on those pages to inspire Jordan to follow in her sister’s footsteps and pursue a career in nursing.
With generations of OU Sooners in the family – her father, mother and brother all attended the OU – Jordan said heading from her hometown of Duncan to Norman and later Oklahoma City was a no-brainer.
“My first two years at OU I lived in Adams Tower. My junior year I moved into an apartment in Oklahoma City with two other nursing students to be closer to the Health Sciences Center. But I missed all my Norman friends and the social life associated with living on campus, so I moved back to the dorms for my senior year,” said Jordan, who earned her BSN from OU in 1982. “We (nursing students) went to school Monday through Thursday. As a senior, I would sometimes drive back to the Health Sciences Center on Fridays to tutor the junior students, but generally I loved the long weekends. All lectures were held in the nursing building, and we had a lab, too, where we worked in smaller groups. We started IVs on each other and gave shots to oranges. Only a few of us volunteered for NG (nasogastric)tube insertion; it looked really uncomfortable.”
At the time Jordan was a nursing student, the nursing building was very new. Jordan said that “having a new building helped us know nursing was important to OU. Definitely the brand-new building was a factor in how we all felt about being nursing students at a time when there was not a nursing shortage. The building -- along with the great professors and staff -- was positive for the image of OU’s College of Nursing.”
Jordan said the nursing college’s faculty and students were a close-knit community, often meeting in small groups, and the doors to professors’ offices were always open to students wanting to talk. She added that students and faculty at the HSC as a whole were relatively close, with the campus hosting social functions so that students in various health disciplines could mingle. One event she recalls with great excitement was a casino-themed party, which Jordan and her then-boyfriend/future husband Johnny Jordan (OU 1983 BS in chemical engineering) attended – although she is quick to note they didn’t win any of the great prizes.
Jordan, who lives in California, is currently an adjunct professor for Santa Barbara City College's Associate Degree Program in Nursing. She said a lot has changed in medicine, but much of what she learned while at OU is still pertinent to the nursing profession. “I saved some of the manuals from nursing school and looked at them today. Most of the information is still applicable. Of course, CPR and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support have changed a lot. AIDS was something we were just beginning to hear about. We would treat GI bleeds with ice lavages and thought gastric ulcers were caused by stress and not bacteria.”
Jordan added: “I am thankful that the nursing education I received at OU prepared me to become the nurse I am today. It taught me how to think like a nurse, which is not an easy task. I am reminded of this every day with my students.”
Please take a few moments to share your memories of your time at OUCN and update us on your work and activities today.
If you have pictures you would like to share, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail a copy to:
OU College of Nursing
Attn: Lindsey Manning
1100 N. Stonewall
Oklahoma City, OK 73117