Transplanted from the snow and cold of Ontario, Canada, Dr. Maybeth Elliott, PhD, RN, is still adjusting to the hot and humid summers in Pensacola. Although accepted to three universities, she was looking for a good school to earn her nursing degree. She found PCC. It wasn’t the sunny white beaches that appealed to her but the Christian atmosphere she saw advertised in a Moody magazine. Twenty-nine years after arriving as a student, she now serves as chair of the nursing department and prepares future nurses to be the best they can be.
“I remember talking about becoming a nurse in a kindergarten ‘show-and-tell,’ ” Dr. Elliott shared. “I believe nursing was a God-given interest that began at an early age. Even before I knew what nursing actually meant or entailed.”
Ever since a child, Dr. Elliott was fascinated with reading detailed information on disease and illnesses found in encyclopedias and Reader’s Digest articles. In high school she took Anatomy and Physiology and whatever other health courses she could take as electives. Every year she would watch Children’s Miracle Network Telethon for the Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto—the hospital at which she intended to work after graduating from college.
“When I was a college student, my favorite aspect about studying nursing was learning about the human body,” Dr. Elliott said. She also loved working with patients in the clinical setting and especially enjoyed pediatric rotations.
Dr. Elliott had been reluctant to teach after a rough experience in a K4 classroom back home. But when PCC asked her to consider teaching after graduation, she was willing to give it a try and to stay as long as the Lord wanted.
Twenty-four years later, Dr. Elliott not only proudly calls teaching in the nursing department her career, but more affectionately refers to it as her life service to Christ. “I believe my passion comes from the interest that God instilled in me to be curious about suffering and disease, and I have a concern and passion for people who suffer with these ailments.”
Now as chair of the nursing department, Dr. Elliott regularly meets with the vice president of academics, deans, and department chairs to work on assigned projects. Dr. Elliott oversees the nursing faculty and the nursing program itself. She schedules students and faculty all semester, serving as a liaison between them and local hospitals. She is the central contact figure between the nursing department and Sacred Heart, Baptist, West Florida, and Gulf Breeze hospitals, along with Santa Rosa Regional Medical Center and many other community clinics and agencies.
She has taught undergrad nursing students and attended maternity and pediatric clinicals, arriving at least an hour earlier to prepare patient assignments for the students; then she would oversee the care that the students gave. She currently teaches Master of Science in Nursing students.
“My favorite part of working at PCC is the classroom. I am reminded of the privilege to provide students with material that they need to be Christ-honoring, driven, and first-rate nurses,” she said.