Faculty Spotlight: RN-to-BSN professor makes online classes come alive

Thursday, May 14, 2020
Written by: Emily Hollingshead

Photo: Lori Theodore (right) accepts a certificate from Seminole State College's Leadership Academy from President Emerita Dr. E. Ann McGee.

Fun Facts: 
Favorite zoo animal: Tiger
Go-to comfort food: Pizza
Instrument you'd play in a band: Lead singer!

“I can remember as a little girl, they bought me a little blue dress with a red cross on it. It had a little cape and a little cap, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever,” recalled Seminole State College of Florida Nursing Professor Lori Theodore. “And it was just something I knew I always wanted to do. It was just there.”

While she felt the call from a young age, her journey to becoming a nurse was anything but a straight shot. She started college as a theater major before switching to criminal justice and then found herself moving from Indiana to Florida where she worked in the tourism industry for 12 years. After talking herself out of going to nursing school several times, she finally decided she didn’t want to look back and regret never trying to achieve her dream.

Lori Theodore, professor of nursing. 

Similar to many of her students now, she came later to nursing. She found that she could pull upon her past in theater and tourism as a nurse, utilizing her public speaking skills and her experience connecting with strangers. “Being able to project that air of confidence or happiness or whatever you need to do to make your patient feel safe is something I carried over,” says Theodore. In fact, she says that the intermixing of experience levels in the RN-to-BSN program makes for some of their most interesting discussions, with new graduates, experienced nurses and those who are going into their second or third career all bringing in different perspectives.

The RN-to-BSN program is entirely online to accommodate the busy professionals who are working in the field in tandem with taking classes, which can be extremely difficult. “I like to be present. I think one of the fortes of our program is that we offer a lot of feedback, and we communicate a lot,” says Theodore, who strives to be just as available to her online students as to those she teaches in person. “We try to let them know there is a real person who cares behind the name on the screen.” Her hard work, and that of her colleagues, has paid off as Seminole State’s RN-to-BSN program is now fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

Theodore also had the honor of being awarded the E. Ann McGee Endowed Chair teaching award for 2020, recognizing her commitment to her students. “Every person who I have taught or am working with now in the RN-to-BSN program, it feels like you are a ripple in the water,” says Theodore. “The impact is just so far reaching of being a teacher.”

Interested in becoming a nurse? Check out our Associate in Science in Nursing. Already an RN and looking to earn your BSN? Learn about our RN-to-BSN program.

About Seminole State College

Seminole State College of Florida, established in 1965, serves nearly 30,000 students across six sites in Central Florida. A comprehensive college, Seminole State has awarded more than 100,000 credentials, from bachelor's degrees to high school diplomas, and offers more than 200 degrees, certificates and programs designed for success. For more about the college, visit seminolestate.edu
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About the RN-to-BSN Online program

With the ability to be completed in as little as one year, and a total cost of about $5,000, Seminole State’s RN-to-BSN Online is fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and is designed specifically for currently registered nurses (RNs) and those who are now eligible to take the NCLEX RN. The RN-to-BSN program courses are delivered 100% online. This flexibility enables nurses to continue working while pursuing their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Learn more about Seminole State’s RN-to-BSN Online program at seminolestate.edu/rn-to-bsn.