Stacy Zobel remembers walking into Madison College Reedsburg campus for her first nursing classes 30 years ago. Even 17 years after she began her teaching career at Madison College, she carries those same feelings when testing her students as a part of the campus’ nursing program.
“That feeling in the gut when I take them back for skills testing and they are all nervous, I feel it,” Zobel said. “Because even though it was 30 years ago you still know what they are going through.”
The Doctor of Nursing Practice for Madison College campus at Reedsburg was selected as the 2019 Distinguished Teacher of the Year for Madison College’s regional campuses. Zobel said she was “honored and kind of humbled” to receive the selection because she feels her role is to “praise the students and make them good nurses.” She teaches nursing fundamentals and nursing skills, two required classes for first year nursing students.
Her students said Zobel’s teaching and caring personality help them navigate the skills necessary the nursing industry, like communication, critical thinking and the responsibility of taking care of patients.
First semester student nurse Rebecca Lahr said she credits Zobel’s teaching to her success in the classroom and while on clinical rotation. Another first semester nursing student, Danielle Lohr, said Zobel’s personality isn’t out of the ordinary.
“I feel like our entire class feels if we’ve got an issue she’s automatically our go to person because of her personality,” Lohr said.
Dylan Schultz, another first semester nursing student at Madison College Reedsburg campus, agreed.
“She’s very personal, she’s kind of like a counselor too… since nursing school is really taxing, she wants to make sure you’re still motivated,” Schultz said.
Zobel said the nursing program at Madison College Reedsburg campus “is like no other,” an intense program where students learn skills vital to the nursing industry. The Madison College nursing program admits 24 students every semester in Reedsburg.
Zobel graduated from Reedsburg Area High School in 1985. After briefly attended University of Wisconsin-Madison to study business administration, she applied to Madison Area Technical College’s nursing program and came back to Reedsburg. When she graduated from the program, she worked in Madison, at what is now Meritier Hospital, and as a traveling nursing in San Diego. She later moved back to Reedsburg in 1991, holding nursing positions at Reedsbrug Area Medical Center and in home health care and hospice for Home Health United, where she was promoted to hospice coordinator. Zobel served on the Sauk County Board of Health for 12 years.
Zobel earned a master’s degree from Viterbo University and a Doctor of Nursing Practice from Concordia University-Wisconsin. While earning her master’s degree, she completed a clinical rotation at Madison College. That led her to the teaching position with the college in 2001.
Zobel said her favorite part teaching is seeing the students gain knowledge and grow more confident in the program.
“It’s so neat to see them blossom,” she said.
Aside from teaching, she enjoys working on her “hobby farm” at her home outside of Reedsburg and spending time with her six children.