About Macon State
Macon State nursing students Mary Jo Nieser, left, and Laura Diboll, center, talk to Dr. Janet Andrews, the College's new director of nursing programs.
By Sheron Smith
At age 17, Janet Andrews' life took a detour when an unplanned pregnancy forced her to drop out of high school.
While there was no question Andrews would eventually finish high school and go on to college (her well-educated parents insisted on it), she had no specific career goals until she was in the hospital giving birth.
"There were two student nurses helping to take care of me, and I was so impressed with them that I wanted to be like them," said Andrews, Macon State College's new director of nursing programs. "They gave me even better advice than the physicians on how to take care of my baby and myself. I decided then to become a nurse, and I've never looked back."
Her determination to keep moving forward has helped Andrews, now 57, carve out an impressive career in nursing, both as a practitioner and teacher. She is among the relatively small percentage of professional nurses nationwide with a doctorate in her field, and she continues to work as a family nurse practitioner on Saturdays at clinics near her home in Covington.
"We're extremely fortunate to have Dr. Janet Andrews as director of our nursing programs," said Dr. Rebecca Corvey, chair of the College's Division of Nursing & Health Sciences. "She has a rich background in curricular development, nursing program administration, student admissions, nursing research and practice. She has also taken an active role in developing international study abroad programs for nursing students. Her leadership and vision will profoundly influence our nursing programs."
Most recently professor of nursing/family nurse practitioner programs at Georgia College & State University, where she spent 12 years, Andrews joined Macon State this past summer. She had been following the development of Macon State's bachelor of science in nursing and was drawn to the College because of its expanding role as the primary provider of professional RNs in Central Georgia.
"There is an atmosphere of generosity at Macon State that is very impressive," she said. "The whole campus works together to try and help students. Nobody says, â€˜We can't do that.' That's not something you find on all campuses."
Since joining the Macon State nursing faculty, Andrews has focused on reviewing and strengthening the College's associate's and bachelor's degrees in nursing. She also wants more nursing majors to participate in study abroad programs to learn how the profession is practiced in other parts of the world.
Andrews is also coming up with long-range plans for expanding the programs and, in light of the nationwide shortage of nursing faculty, she is encouraging current students with teaching potential to continue on to advanced degrees and possible academic careers.
"When I got my Ph.D, one of my friends sent me some flowers and a note that said, â€˜Not bad for a high school dropout,' '' Andrews said with a laugh. "I'm just grateful that fate led me to a profession that I truly love."
The Janet Andrews File
Born: In Kansas City, Mo., 57 years ago. Moved to Georgia in 1991.
Family: Husband, Larry L. Andrews; three grown daughters; six grandchildren.
Education: Ph.D, Medical College of Georgia; master of science in nursing, University of Missouri; bachelor of science in nursing, Penn Valley Community College.
Professional Experience: Most recently professor of nursing at Georgia College & State University, Andrews has also taught at Georgia State University, Emory University, Webster University and St. Luke's Hospital School of Nursing. She also has 25 years of experience as a nurse practitioner.
Title: Director of Nursing, Macon State College.
Favorite Hobby: Breeding and riding American Quarter Horses.
She Said It: "The best thing about teaching nursing students is seeing the light bulbs go off in their heads in class and knowing they will go on to become good, caring and knowledgeable nurses."