Individual Author Record
Lois lives in Chicago, Illinois.
Biographical and Professional Information
After “reading, eating, and sleeping nursing” for nearly forty years, Lois Roelofs now schedules her days around having fun – writing creative nonfiction, promoting Caring Lessons, taking classes of all kinds, going to concerts and plays, and volunteering for the Mental Health Ministry at her church.Lois is a Professor Emerita of Nursing at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Illinois. Throughout her career she held positions in practice, education, research, and administration. She worked in hospitals, an HMO, and a steel mill, and taught in four nursing programs: Prairie State College in Chicago Heights, IL; Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, IL; Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, IN; and St. Xavier University in Chicago, IL. She earned a diploma in nursing from Blodgett Memorial Hospital School of Nursing, B.H.S. in Nursing Practice from Governors State University, and M.S. in Psychiatric Nursing/Ph.D. in Nursing Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Recently, she completed three years of the University of Chicago Basic Program of Liberal Education for Adults.It was near her retirement that she and a friend began discussing writing books about their nursing careers. With a lack of memoirs written by nursing professors describing their career paths, Lois found that her life story as an ordinary suburban sandbox mom who ended up teaching nursing and getting a PhD was needed. With a national shortage of registered nurses (over a half million projected by 2025) and a shortage of nursing faculty that causes nursing programs to turn qualified applicants away, Lois believes that Caring Lessons may encourage readers to think about becoming nurses and could also stimulate nurses to think about becoming teachers, both of which would address these critical shortages. She also believes that Caring Lessons will educate readers about mental illness and help reduce its stigma.
- Caring Lessons: A Nursing Professor's Journey of Faith and Self, Deep River Books, 2010
Titles At Your Library
Caring Lessons: A Nursing Professor’s Journey of Faith and Self
Deep River Books LLC. 2010
Imagine not wanting to be a nurse, teacher, or teacher of psychiatric nursing only to find yourself doing all three-and loving it! In Caring Lessons, Lois Roelofs tells her stories about being a rebellious minister's daughter, reluctant nurse, restless mom, perpetual student, and eventually, fun-loving teacher. She used to tell her students that if she, an ordinary suburban sandbox mom, propelled by restlessness and prayer, could end up having a career, growing in faith, and getting a PhD, they could too. Roelofs brings the "therapeutic use of self" required in nursing to her writing. You will be amused, saddened, and inspired as you read this intimate and introspective memoir. You may even run to enroll or teach in a nursing program, and, if you're already teaching nursing students, you may discover renewed gratitude for the privilege. The main theme of the book is caring-caring for others and caring for oneself. The "others" in Roelofs' career involved students as well as patients: students in the classroom, clinical settings, and her office and patients in inpatient as well as in a variety of outpatient settings. In caring for others, the nurse as caregiver must care for herself she did so by changing jobs to suit her interests, going back to school more than once to feed her crave for learning, and seeking professional help when first her restlessness as an unhappy housewife and much later, illnesses of several people close to her and her husband's cancer invaded her personal life. The idea for writing Caring Lesson came while Roelofs in Chicago was talking to a nursing friend in North Carolina. They were nearing retirement, wondering what they would do with their time, when the subject of writing their nursing stories popped up. They both had a passion for their profession and felt people need to know more about nurses. What do they do? How do they think? How do they choose where to work and what kind of work they do? And because she couldn't find any memoirs written by nursing professors describing their personal and professional lives, she felt she could reach out to others with her story. Readers will learn the importance of faith, family, and friendship that applies to their own lives whatever their profession and will come away with a new appreciation of caring for themselves as well as caring for others.