SUMITON — Nursing educator Dr. Jennifer Killingsworth is being recognized for the impact she makes in the lives of her students.Killingsworth recently received an Outstanding Faculty Award from …
SUMITON — Nursing educator Dr. Jennifer Killingsworth is being recognized for the impact she makes in the lives of her students.
Killingsworth recently received an Outstanding Faculty Award from Bevill State Community College for her work on the college's Sumiton campus.
She joined the college as an adjunct instructor in 2012 before she began teaching full-time in 2013.
Killingsworth is a product of Bevill State, then UAB Walker College, where she graduated with her associate's degree in nursing. She admits earning her associate's degree was the most difficult, despite going on to obtain bachelor's and master's degrees in nursing from he University of Alabama in Huntsville. She also received a doctorate degree in nursing from Samford University in 2017.
"Really, I was just wanting to further myself and see what I could do for the profession of nursing," Killingsworth said. "I was trying to look at different ways that I could influence patient care."
Killingsworth started working at Walker Baptist Medical Center after earning her nursing degree. She says she gained experience working on all floors of the hospital, in the intensive care unit, and in other areas.
She stayed with Walker Baptist until she started teaching full-time at Bevill State.
With the exception of obstetrics and psychology, Killingsworth educates her students at Bevill State on a variety of specialties. She also facilitates their clinicals and observes simulations.
"I always tell them, 'I want you to be the type of person that I want to take care of my family members,'" she said.
The compassion it takes to be a nurse comes naturally to Killingsworth. Her mother, Gail Earnest, was a nurse at Walker Baptist. Like her daughter, Earnest had experience in a number of areas at the hospital, including critical care, medical-surgical nursing, and emergency medicine.
Killingsworth says her mother worked at Walker Baptist (then Walker County Medical Center) in April 1983 when a man said he saw the face of Jesus on a door at the hospital. He saw the image while waiting on a report about his son, who was in critical condition following a motorcycle accident.
Her mother reportedly helped care for the man's son.
The door made national headlines and brought a reported 10,000 people to Jasper to view the door, according to the Daily Mountain Eagle archives.
Killingsworth said it's her mom who inspired her to be a nurse.
"I saw what she felt for the patients," Killingsworth said.
When Killingsworth learned she was the recipient of an Outstanding Faculty Award, she said she was shocked and humbled. Knowing she was voted on by her peers made the award even more special, she says.
"I truly wasn't expecting it," she said. "One way that I can actually influence patient care is through student engagement and teaching future generations."