Dr. Carol Sabel, professor and School of Nursing chair, reflects on her first year at MSOE, her vision for the nursing program and what makes her tick.

Dr. Sabel on her first year at MSOE

I really devoted myself to learning about the university, the School of Nursing and the faculty and staff with whom I work. I was at Alverno for eight years, teaching for three in the nursing programs and then as associate dean of the MSN program – but getting used to the pace of the quarter system at MSOE was a challenge. Faculty, staff and students have been extremely helpful.

On her career evolution

I worked in obstetrics for 17 years, during which time I was in charge of unit staffing, taught prenatal classes and taught newborn resuscitation classes to nurses, doctors and anesthesiologists. Then I needed a change of setting so I transferred to an ambulatory surgery center where I cared for patients. I became involved in the creation of Pre-Admission Surgical Services (PASS), a new department focused on increasing the quality and safety of patient care. Around the same time, I enrolled at UW-Milwaukee to earn my Ph.D. I started teaching at Alverno in 2009. As associate dean for the MSN program, I implemented several new programs. In 2015, I became a project manager for the Wisconsin Center for Nursing – a clearinghouse of data and analysis for nursing workforce development so that the people of Wisconsin will have an adequate, well-prepared and diverse nurse workforce.

On what makes MSOE special

The focus on hands-on application-based learning is what sets MSOE apart. The individualized attention that students receive due to our small class sizes allows them to be successful. In the School of Nursing, we have faculty and staff members who work tirelessly to ensure that the curriculum meets the needs and expectations of today’s health care environment. Our state of the art simulation labs in the Ruehlow Nursing Complex allow us to integrate lab and simulation in almost every course. This helps students learn the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to provide safe, quality care. The quarter system allows us to offer clinical experiences in a variety of settings, which may not be possible in the semester setting.

On the future of the nursing programs

I would like to increase enrollment in the undergraduate program – both in the traditional and accelerated second degree tracks. At the graduate level, I would like to see the MSN in leadership program grow and offer more tracks. I would also like to increase inter-professional education experiences, like our partnership with the Medical College of Wisconsin. Increasing philanthropy and building relationships with our alumni – both MSOE and Milwaukee County General Hospital School of Nursing (MCGHSN) – will be critical going forward as we continue to grow.

On personal motivation

Everything I am and everything I do is for my family – my husband, my parents and my children. It is because of their sacrifice and support that I am where I am. I have been married for 30 years to my husband Larry who is an MSOE alumnus. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business management. We have three children and seven grandchildren.

On making the most of free time

My husband and I love spending as much time with our grandchildren as possible. We own an old farmstead and have about four acres, much of which has been converted to flower gardens. We also enjoy camping and have a seasonal site near Wisconsin Dells. We both have a motorcycle and ride as often as we can.