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Interview with Helen S. Faller, June 5, 2007 | UNCW Archives and Special Collections Online Database

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Interview with Helen S. Faller, June 5, 2007
June 5, 2007
In this interview, Helen Faller, retired nurse and former professor at UNCW's School of Nursing, discusses her research work in Maternal and Child Health, her time teaching at UNCW, and her retirement.
Phys. Desc:

Interviewee: Faller, Helen Interviewer: Riggins, Adina Date of Interview: 6/05/2007 Series: Voices of UNCW Length: 40 minutes

Riggens: Hello, my name is Adina Riggins. I'm the archivist for UNCW, and I'm here today in the home of our interviewee, Dr. Faller, to conduct an oral history interview for Voice of UNCW, which is an oral history program sponsored by University Archives, wherein we interview people who have been involved at the University as faculty or administrators or in other roles, and have information and history to share with us and with future researchers, on the topic of the university and their department and related topics. My first part here, is to say the date. Today is June 5, 2007, and my name is Adina Riggins, again. And Dr. Faller, please state your full name for the tape, please.

Faller: Helen Faller.

Riggens: I pronounce it "Faller," right? Sorry about that. All right, where were you born and where did you grow up?

Faller: I was born in Washington D.C., moved to Winchester, Tennessee, when I was nine months old. I don't remember much of that. At any rate, I was there for 12 years, where I grew up with grandparents and went back to live with my parents in Washington D.C. when I was 12. I went to high school there of course, and went to Johns Hopkins Hospital School of Nursing. I worked at Hopkins for two years after graduation, and decided it was time to travel, so I went to Denver, Colorado. While I was in Denver, I started out working first as a staff nurse in a children's hospital. From that, I moved to specializing open heart surgery patients, and then returned to public health, which is the place where I spent most of my clinical working years. Went back to graduate school at that point, I guess, not graduate school then. I went back to Loretto Heights College to get my Bachelors. I had a diploma from Hopkins, went back to Loretto Heights to complete a Baccalaureate degree.

Riggens: Was that in that '60s some time?

Faller: '61 to '63.

Riggens: Oh, sounds pretty early for Baccalaureate, don't you think?

Faller: No, Baccalaureate programs-- there was a Baccalaureate program at Hopkins. In fact, if you entered with two years of college credit, you graduated with a Baccalaureate degree from Johns Hopkins University, and those were two separate institutions. But then I went back to public health nursing. Actually got married the day after I graduated from Loretto. Worked in public health for several more years, and went back to work on my Masters; got a Masters from the University of Colorado Boulder. And taught after that, started out for the first two years, three years I taught in an associate degree program in nursing, and then went back to Loretto Heights to teach in the Baccalaureate program, where I taught for seven years.

Riggens: Where you were a student?

Faller: I had been a student, and I then went and decided that I had done the things that I had wanted to do in the area that I was working in, and decided that it would be a good idea to go back and get my Doctorate. Was able to get a sabbatical from Loretto Heights, and that gave me the opportunity to do coursework during one semester and summer school. And I completed my dissertation in 1981 and went back to Loretto.

Riggens: How do you spell Loretto?

Faller: L-O-R-E-T-T-O.

Riggens: Oh, Loretto Heights College.

Faller: Right, it was, at that time, as a matter of fact, a Catholic girls' school. It became a school for both boys and girls, and ultimately was bought by the Japanese in the beautiful site up on the hill. Was-- not only taught to Japanese, but in Japanese, and this would have been in the Eighties. At any rate, that little piece of history. I went back taught there, and about that time my son was 15, and I decided that I had completed what I wanted to do in Colorado and really felt a need to move back to the southeast. So I came back to Huntsville, Alabama, where I taught for three years. Then I taught five years in Greenville, North Carolina, ECU. And in 1989, accepted a position as Junior level coordinator at UNCW, the School of Nursing.

Riggens: Junior level coordinator; what's involved with that?

Faller: The students in our program had two years of college work at that time, before they entered the School of Nursing, so it would have been their first year, so it would have been their first year in nursing, but their third year at the university. And they had a coordinator for the Junior level and a coordinator for the Senior level.

Riggens: To go back to your teaching; you did a lot of clinical work in public health area, is that correct?

Faller: This is it.

Riggens: In Colorado?

Faller: No.

Riggens: Your clinical was--

Faller: The clinical work was maternal/child health, which was the outcome, actually, of my master's degree. It was clearly related to public health, because a large part of your involvement as a public health nurse is with pregnant women. So the prevention of health becomes an issue of great importance, health of both children and pregnant women.

Riggens: And your Masters level work was in maternal/child--

Faller: Maternal/Child Health.

Riggens: And your Doctorate was in?

Faller: Nursing Education.

Riggens: At the University of Colorado?

Faller: Actually, that was at the University of Northern Colorado.

Riggens: Right, the other UNC. Very good. What did you teach all those years that you taught, before you went to UNCW? What were your areas that you taught, or what did you like to teach?

Faller: Well, it would have been Mother and Child Health. And so, it would have been working with children in either pediatric areas, or pregnant women in the outpatient services before labor and delivery, and care of mother and baby after delivery, were my primary areas of teaching. The clinical that goes along with those, I think, is often typically thought of as in the hospital. I worked with a place that you really see the people who you need to understand are in home. Therefore it becomes a community health kind of activity.

Riggens: And so your work took you outside of the hospital?

Faller: Definitely outside of the hospital.

Riggens: Did you work with nursing, breastfeeding and things like that?

Faller: Not so much breastfeeding. In fact, the really interesting thing that I was able to do at UNCW, was to identify that the first thing you need to learn about children in pediatrics, is how to talk with them and how to evaluate their normal health situation before you start trying to deal with the illnesses that are superimposed on them. So that I taught developmental screening, having been involved with the standardization of the Denver Developmental Screening Test in Denver; brought that back and we taught that, and were able to get a small grant from McDonald's to go into McDonald's and teach developmental screening. And we would schedule the children; they allowed us to have the space in McDonald's from nine to 11, which is a downtime in their business.

Riggens: That was here in Wilmington?

Faller: Right, and we scheduled the children and parents to come in for the screening test. And the students then practiced the developmental screening on healthy children, which was a way of giving us a population of healthy children to work on. We really couldn't bring those into the university. There were places at the university we could have brought them in, but insurance would have been a problem. McDonald's already had the insurance. So that was an exciting time. The other thing that I was involved in, besides teaching, was research, and had been involved with the Hmong people in Colorado.

Riggens: H-M-O-N-G?

Faller: O-N-G, right; they in fact came into Denver, in, as I remember, '76, and I worked with them and became particularly interested in the Hmong women and their pregnancies, and how we deal with people who have very different cultural beliefs. I mean, a thing as simple as, they were taught never to put their arms over their heads. And the first thing we ask them to do when we want to do a breast exam, is, "Put your arms over your head." There were many things that were culturally defined behaviors for them, which were in conflict with the kind of things that we do in healthcare. But at any rate, I've been involved with that program, and was interested to find, after I came to Wilmington, that there was a community of Hmong in Morganton. And so with another faculty member, we would go to-- and that was Adrian Jackson, who you may or may not have met. Adrian and I would take off to Morganton, where we were able to review labor and delivery records, and study how the pregnancy process was going on there with Hmong women. And again, interesting things: like the nutritionist in the clinic put the translated nutritional instructions into the Hmong language, but the thing they didn't know was the women were illiterate; they had not had an opportunity to learn. So it was, again-- so that whole experience was an exciting thing for Adrian and I.

Riggens: Did you use the data to--

Faller: We had two publications from that data, the names of which I do not remember now, nor do I remember the content right at this moment. But that was a neat experience.

Riggens: So that was one of the appeals of Wilmington that you were able to do research?

Faller: The Dean, Marlene Rosenkoetter, who was here when I came, was a person who I see was instrumental in moving the UNCW program from a two-year program, which it had been previously, to the four-year program. While I'm sure there's some controversy over this, the fact is that Marlene was able to do what was necessary to move the four-year program into a community which resisted strongly. They had two-year programs; they did not want the four-year program at the University.

Riggens: The community of--

Faller: The community-- That is, the healthcare community, the nursing community within Wilmington, were not anxious to make that happen. The other aspect of that: if you're going to move doctorally prepared people into a program at the Baccalaureate level, then I think you also have to adhere to the standards of the University, in expecting faculty to do research and publish. So that those kinds of things that were an opportunity for me, proved to really be an exciting part of my own professional career are things that I think probably are not as important now as they were then.

Riggens: Well, certainly, research is still--

Faller: Well, at the university, but probably not within the School of Nursing. The teaching is probably the more important aspect.

Riggens: I'm not sure, the School of Nursing-- that's one reason why they like to talk to people like you, because all the schools are like that, but I think professional schools in particular-- and business, nursing, and education-- the faculty are so busy doing their practice, teaching, I don't hear as much what we're doing, you know, what it's like there. I know how it is in the College of Arts and Sciences. Did you persist in other research interests, or did you stay with researching the Hmong throughout your time?

Faller: That was probably the-- I continued to work with creating, really, clinical sites in the community, which is what-- I mean, I considered McDonalds a clinical site. And you got my name, as a matter of fact, from a daycare. That was the other thing that we did, was to go into daycare centers where the students could work with children, learn how to entertain children, learn how to work with them in a healthy state, so that they could then apply that to children as they moved into a hospital setting.

Riggens: Right, so that they could at least have a taste for what it's like.

Faller: And if they had their own children, sure, but that's not 100-percent of the nursing student population.

Riggens: And the ones that do, because they forget what it's like.

Faller: Now, the other opportunity that I had, and this was, in fact, supported by the University, is that my church had a mission in Haiti, and as I had joined that church, and as a matter of fact, somehow decided that I needed to be on the missions committee; I happened, at my first meeting, at the same time, the surgeon who in fact created the clinic in Haiti had just learned that his scrub nurse was not going to be able to go on their next trips. And so I suddenly found myself in Haiti playing scrub nurse. That's considerably different than dealing with maternal/child health. But at any rate, I made a half dozen trips down there over the years, and the university allowed me the time away. I also took my vision screening skills down there and started teaching the teachers in the school to do vision screening. We had a refractory program at our eye clinic, so that those children could be referred, and was teaching other Haitians who I've worked with, who were translators, really, to do vision screening. And that was fun, and a neat part of being part of the University.

Riggens: And did you keep up them after various visits? Did they continue to--

Faller: The clinic, as a matter of fact, one reason that I stopped going, is that I had said I really wanted to go out to the daycare centers, so I was going out-- and you have to understand, I don't speak Creole, but I had a translator, and so I went out to the daycare centers with a translator and did vision screening. And a large number of children had lazy eye and other conditions that are very observable and actually observable by their teachers. However, we did not have a pediatric ophthalmologist, and big people ophthalmologists don't take care of little people eye problems. So that was the area-- I'm not a scrub nurse and the scrub nurses returned, which was good, but that was not my real area of interest.

Riggens: Scrub nurse being in operations?

Faller: They were doing cataract surgery. So anyway, I know about cataract surgery now, more than I did before, but as I did the screening in the local preschools. The thing I learned, were there were major problems, but they were problems that needed to be handled by a pediatric ophthalmologist. And I don't believe you go and identify problems unless you have a solution for those problems. So I kind of backed away from--

Riggens: The vision screenings elsewhere, where you trained student teachers how to--

Faller: Right; there's a Star program out of, I think, Raleigh, that has actively trained people in communities to do-- and as a matter of fact, the reason I was at the daycare center you mentioned, I think, as I remember, was because we did the vision clinic. We had the students doing the vision testing.

Riggens: That would be a good place for it, where there's resources, and then they can follow up.

Faller: And you have the population that you need to work with.

Riggens: They just mentioned thank you for bringing your class, and it was pretty big. I saw a mention on the website for a daycare center, and after-- [phone rings]. But it was pretty big. It just thanked you for bringing your class to work with the children. So you went back and forth to Haiti a number of times.

Faller: Actually, I retired in '98, and actually, I did go one more time, maybe twice after that. But the major portion of the time was actually on work time at UNCW, and I was allowed to take that time to go, which was very nice.

Riggens: That's a personal call. Hold on a second. When you came to UNCW, what did you find about the school, as compared to, I imagine, ECU, where you had been previously-- much bigger place, more established-- how did that compare to UNCW when you came, the School of Nursing, in particular?

Faller: I don't know that I can-- [chime sounds]. It wasn't a thing that I was comparing.

Riggens: Well, not comparing, what were your impressions?

Faller: Well, one of the things that I had been told, was that they had, the previous students, had had difficulty on state board exams on pediatrics. So, my focus as the level coordinator, was to see that we incorporated a different level of pediatric teacher, which was really what I was about, as I'm talking about it. And I believe I was successful at doing that. You're asking about my impression of the students; I--

Riggens: Or did the students change in the years that you were? Did you observe changes in the types of--

Faller: My dissertation was on anger in beginning level nursing students-- not that I solved to any problems in my dissertation, nor in the time that I was teaching. Some of the behaviors like that, which I had seen in previous settings, were there.

Riggens: Anger in your clinical situations, or the whole process?

Faller: The system, the system. You're teaching us to be caring people, and yet nobody cares about us. It seemed to be a kind of underlying statement. And when I say "you," I don't just mean me; they were talking about the setting. I guess, as I moved from place to place, I do think that in Colorado, students were functioning at a different level than they were as I moved back to the Southeast. Otherwise, I don't really have a--

Riggens: You were just moving along.

Faller: Now, I do know that the computer lab was upstairs and the dean had a computer, and I announced I wanted a computer and had one put on my desk immediately, and the computer people were always very kind to me, because I was the only person nursing who was willing to reach out and start working on the computer. So that was fun.

Riggens: You had a PC in 1989. And you were using that. When you were teaching pediatrics, were there others who taught in pediatrics as well or were you the--

Faller: Oh, absolute-- Yes, there were, and as a matter of fact, there were people who did the in-hospital pediatrics. I did that for a short period of time, but my real interest was getting them into the community, and that was what I was about doing and creating places. We went to the YWCA. We went to daycare centers. We went to McDonald's; wherever we could find children. I'm not remembering, now.

Riggens: Yeah, to gather the data, instead of just all the services being for in-patients.

Faller: Well their entire senior year is focusing on illness. And with that in mind, it was my focus look at health, not only for children but for mothers, as well.

Riggens: Prevention.

Faller: Premier prevention, right.

Riggens: Well, what do you remember about some of the students that you encountered? Do you still see some of them around town?

Faller: I get Christmas cards from some of them. One student in particular, who happened to deliver the same week that my granddaughter was born, has routinely sent letters. But no, I think the thing I told you-- that when I retired, I closed that door and my life has gone on. I hear people who talk about, "Oh my goodness, I'm going to have to retire." All I can say, is plan for it, prepare for it, and move on to the next step in your life, and I've done that. So that some of the things you're asking, are things that I really haven't focused on for ten years.

Riggens: Oh, for a long time, right, I understand.

Faller: Maybe not ten years, maybe eight years. Maybe nine years.

Riggens: Feels like ten years. So you're so busy with-- I think what a lot of people experience, is they're so busy in their professional life, and then--

Faller: Well, that's their identity.

Riggens: Yes.

Faller: And so, to leave it is-- but one of the things that I learned from my own family, is that you plan ahead. And I knew that I had worked continually, and that I was ready to learn to play, which I really had not had the opportunity before. I'm very focused on what I do, and play had not been-- essentially, raising a son on my own, play hadn't been a part of my life. But I knew that I liked the idea of having bridge groups, and I knew that I liked the idea of exercising, so five years before I retired, I went out and took bridge lessons.

Riggens: You didn't know before how to play?

Faller: Uh-huh. And as I mentioned to you earlier, two years ago I decided that it was time to take piano lessons. And we talk in education about lifelong learning. And I guess that I addressed that issue often enough during my years of teaching that it was natural for me to pick that up, and my educational background was so many years of education, and then I would work, and then I was back in education, and five years later, I was back in education. And I'm picking that same patter up, so that there are a lot of things going on in my life that don't really cause me to go back and focus on what-- so when you say, "What about your students?" Well, they were students. What do you want me to say?

Riggens: Some people might have memories of certain ones or certain conversations where some struggled, and not all of them-- I know in nursing, some really try hard but they don't all make it.

Faller: Right...and some come in believing that they have credits that they don't have, and all of a sudden, it's time to graduate and they don't have enough credits, and this has never been communicated to them. So they're--

Riggens: That's a nightmare.

Faller: Those were part of the every-day activities.

Riggens: Some of the things that you have talked about, are certainly things that have stood out, such as applying for and getting the grants, and doing the research, and having some leads.

Faller: And getting those papers published.

Riggens: Yes; that took some time, I sure. So, well, we'll have to get copies of them. I'll be able to find it. We have a scholarship collection where we keep articles and scholarship written by faculty, so if we don't have yours, then we'll get them. Did you-- any particular faculty members that you worked with that you maybe think I should interview if I haven't already? Or anyone who was influential to you when you were here?

Faller: I mentioned Adrian Jackson. Adrian and I continued a friendship. She's the, as a matter of fact, one person from the department that I have continued to be in touch with.

Riggens: Was she a student also at UNCW?

Faller: She was a student. She was in their ADN program.

Riggens: I think one of my colleagues interviewed her.

Faller: Her husband was chair of the Psychology department. He is now faculty, and you may have spoken with him. He is Andy Jackson.

Riggens: I haven't interviewed him yet.

Faller: But, no. Adrian came on faculty about the same time I did, and as a matter of fact still teaches, of course. I guess she's retired, and now-- I'm not sure.

Riggens: She might be on contract to teach a few courses every semester. You state you started around the same time, you worked together.

Faller: And the other person who came with me was Maggie May, who is now, and actually, she's going back and gotten a degree in Nutrition and is in Greensboro. She's not local. But she was one of the faculty for a period of time.

Riggens: I guess, when you came in 1989--

Faller: Doretha was the coordinator for the senior level, so that Doretha and the Dean and I worked closely together. And I don't think there is anyone on the faculty, now-- I feel Junie Keppenon was there at the time, actually she wasn't. She had been there before. She was not there during the period I was there, and then she returned the next year.

Riggens: So, you're trying to see if anyone who was there--

Faller: But I don't think anyone else.

Riggens: It's possible. Like Susan Shirley; she retired a couple of years ago.

Faller: Susan had been there for a year, maybe two years. She was teaching at the senior level, so that I really didn't get to know her.

Riggens: And let's see-- Yeah, there's Jane Wu--

Faller: Jane was there and has since retired. I see her around the community periodically, and am aware that she is very active in work with the students' ministry at her church.

Riggens: Yeah, and Doretha is active in her--

Faller: She's got her, actually, she and her husband had started a business, and I'm assuming that she has carried that on; I don't know.

Riggens: I think so, yeah. In a similar interview, there was a business involved, and she was also a home health service of sorts.

Faller: Home health service-- That's quite possible, but I don't know.

Riggens: I'm trying to remember, but I think she also worked with the clinic on 4th Street.

Faller: That's a possibility, too.

Riggens: I have to review my notes or the tape from last year. But we did interview her and that was great. Got her transcribed and all that. Well, just trying to test your memory here: What committees did you serve on? I know if you were involved with the junior level curriculum; I don't know if there was an official committee for that, or if that was you.

Faller: Well, no; the faculty formed the committee. It's essentially a department chair, except it's for a level, rather than for the whole program. So, I was responsible for seeing that the classes were-- the syllabus was complete, the classes were scheduled, the students were scheduled, the clinical sites were procured, grades were in.

Riggens: I see, so you had department chair, without the--

Faller: Right, without the salary [laughs].

Riggens: Yeah, that's a lot of arrangement. And you had to work with faculty and all that. They all had their input.

Faller: And in fact, they were responsible to me, and I was responsible to the Dean for the Junior level faculty. Doretha was responsible for the Senior level.

Riggens: And that was throughout your time there; you were the junior level coordinator.

Faller: The last two years, I was not.

Riggens: I don't know if it made any impression on you, but when you came in 1989, there was William Wagoner who was president, right? A couple of years later, Dr. Leutze came in. Was there an interest in him in the School of Nursing? Did people talk about-- Did you sense any changes with the changed guard at the top? It's going back a ways.

Faller: Well, no. I'm sure I know, at the time, but to go back and to put it into sequence, no. And I guess that's a way of saying I think I don't want to talk about that.

Riggens: Oh, okay. That's fine. I would like to ask you, and I asked other people too, about your time in retirement. And you talked about it some, your approach to lifelong learning. What has occupied you in retirement?

Faller: Travel, music, exercise, bridge, my yard, my house, the church.

Riggens: It has not been difficult for you at all.

Faller: No. In fact, one of the things that was very clear in my mind when I retired, was that I was not going to start volunteering, because it's very easy to get caught up in that and not have time, otherwise. And so my mission work at church has been important. Last year, one of the men in church said, "Okay, what good thing have you been about this time?" And I thought, "That's what life is about."

Riggens: What church do you go to?

Faller: First Presbyterian Church.

Riggens: that's what's keeping you going. Is your son nearby?

Faller: He's in Knoxville, and is divorced. My granddaughter is ten. And as a matter of fact, the three of us are going to be going to Colorado at the end of the month for two weeks.

Riggens: More traveling?

Faller: Uh-huh.

Riggens: Colorado, that takes a lot of time, I'm sure.

Faller: But he's doing it.

Riggens: He's doing the planning?

Faller: It has to take 40 years, but he's finally growing up.

Riggens: He's doing the planning and the driving.

Faller: Right.

Riggens: What is it that you would like any future viewers or readers of the transcript to know about your career: in nursing education, in higher education? What has it meant to you? Well, a paycheck.

Faller: It was my life, and I mentioned earlier, I focus on what I'm doing. And the interesting thing to me, is that throughout my life, each thing that I did somehow, it seems to me, contributed to what became the overall thing. The summer before I went to nursing school, I was code clerk in an insurance office, which is about the most boring thing in the world. But then, when I got to research and had to code research, code data, I'd been there. And this happened. So with each of my transitions, in terms of work and environment, each thing somehow led to the next, and it's been purposeful. And I feel that I have accomplished. And you're going to say, "What?" And I'm not sure.

Riggens: What you've accomplished?

Faller: Right.

Riggens: Would you recommend Nursing to students now?

Faller: No, I believe that Nursing has lost its goal to become a professional group, since '54, '51, when I entered nursing. There was a move to make us something besides the handmaiden of the physician, and there was a real move in that direction. And I feel that's been lost. If I were going to advise someone to go into healthcare, I would probably say that the growing group right now would either be physical therapy or Radiology.

Riggens: Radiology, you mean technicians?

Faller: No, Radiology as in-

Riggens: M.D.?

Faller: Well, now that you're saying that, I'm not sure, but I think that--

Riggens: Radiology, I can't remember--

Faller: Well, no, and I'm not thinking of just being able to take the X-rays. So maybe I am thinking about a medical degree at that point. But nurses were taught to be decision makers, and we were also taught to follow instructions. And I'm not sure the instruction part of it hasn't overcome the decision-making aspect. But your question was would I recommend it, and I would in fact discourage it.

Riggens: That's interesting. You found that it was more professional in the earlier days, in your view.

Faller: Well, I think where we were headed. I don't know that we were more professional, but where we were headed, we have not gotten.

Riggens: Now, a lot of times, there are student nurse practitioners and physician assistants, and they do a lot of work. They don't make what physicians make, but they're doing a lot of the same things.

Faller: Okay, and actually, when the first nurse practitioner program came about, it happened to be pediatric nurse practitioner. Right now I'm thinking of the lady who started that, but I spent several lunches arguing with her in Denver, over the fact that they would simply become the people providing healthcare where the physician was most needed. The physicians don't want to go to the small communities, the back lying communities, and those are the people who need medical care. But the nurses will take less pay and live in a less glamorous environment.

Riggens: And this is in Colorado, when you were still there?

Faller: Right, but at any rate, that was the beginning of this notion of the nurse practitioner. I do think nurse practitioners have a finer education than the physician assistant. They had years of education, which I think better qualifies them. Adrian keeps saying to me, "You're no longer an individual; you're an aggregate." Well, I don't care to be an aggregate.

Riggens: What's that?

Faller: And aggregate is: If this many people have this problem, this is the way you treat it. I don't care to be a part of that aggregate. I insist, and as I'm part of the medical community now, I'm really fighting that, but I think somehow, as we deal with this aggregate instead of individual need--

Riggens: Because they don't spend the time on individuals. They kind of size you up according to protocol.

Faller: They no longer take a history and physical. They take a blood test, and you get treated according to whatever the machine that you've been hooked up, whatever you've come in with, there's going to be a machine that's going to give in--

Riggens: That's fine. One thing I told you, I'll ask questions from here and there as I remember them, the graduate programs here at UNCW, they may have just been starting around when you left. Do you remember anything about the graduate programs at UNCW in nursing?

Faller: There was an RN access program and the graduate program-- In fact, Susan Charring, who you mentioned, I believe, came to be a part of that program. So I'm not exactly sure when it started but that--

Riggens: RN access. Is that--

Faller: RN access; if you have an Associate Degree, and you want to change that to a Baccalaureate Degree, this is a program that acts as a kind of transition for those people.

Riggens: You don't recall; I can check the dates easily in archives, but you don't recall the graduate programs, or maybe it was a nurse practitioner program that started first-- Perry Gomar, were you there when she was there?

Faller: Yes, Perry was there for at least one year, and perhaps two years before I quit.

Riggens: Before you started and she- Oh, before you quit, she came in. And then she retired a couple of years ago.

Faller: Well, she's on phased retirement.

Riggens: Right, so she's teaching some. I think she might have one year left on phased-- she said she'll talk to me in August, so we'll see. I'll try and pin her down, too. She came from Ohio, and I think, worked with the graduate programs they started. I'll talk to her about that, find out what she's doing now in her spare time, since she's not teaching as much as she used to. How many classes did you teach as coordinator? Did you teach the same number of classes as all the other faculty? Trying to remember?

Faller: I taught a certain number of classes, and it seems like it was three. And then, in addition to that, there was clinical. No, we had a full schedule. And I don't remember-- I know there was some reduction in my load, but I don't remember what it was.

Riggens: A full load plus clinicals.

Faller: And the clinical in Nursing is the heavy part of your load. That's six or eight hours straight, where you're in fact, essentially responsible for the care of all of the patients your ten students have been assigned to.

Riggens: That's a lot of students, and each one has a number of patients.

Faller: Depending on the setting, I mentioned earlier, there were those people out there who were from the ADN society, associate degree group, who were not anxious to participate and help, when in fact, technically, they were responsible for the patient, and should have been working more directly with students. But it was a difficult time in nursing education.

Riggens: They felt because of the fact, the change to that [inaudible]

Faller: We were preparing people who were going to take their jobs, and they were going to--

Riggens: That's not how it was.

Faller: No, but that was their perception.

Riggens: I guess it could never be certain, but yeah, there was a whole big move. And I think, to start the four-year program here, I would think the university wanted a four-year program.

Faller: Yes, it's an expensive program.

Riggens: It still is.

Faller: It is an expensive program, again, because of the clinical, and because of the number of hours the faculty need to spend there. But yes, I would say that the university wanted it.

Riggens: That state--

Faller: The state wanted it.

Riggens: Hospitals wanted it.

Faller: And there was a need.

Riggens: And the hospitals, the doctors-- well now, with the new School of Nursing, ground is supposed to break in August, I think. It's a very expensive building, and it's a small school. It's the smallest of our four colleges. But there's always talk of a nursing shortage. I don't remember in my lifetime ever hearing that there were enough nurses. It could happen at some point.

Faller: I know that my friend and I left Hopkins and headed for Colorado. We were 23, 24 years old. We had $500 in our pocket, and thought we were going to have two-weeks vacation in Denver before we started to work. We didn't have a job. We didn't have a place to stay. Her aunt and uncle met us at the airport and took us about Denver and found us an apartment. And then we learned that while we paid $70 a month rent in Baltimore, we not only were going to have to pay $270 rent, we were also going to have to pay for utilities and telephone and all this stuff up front. It was like-- and besides that, she developed an infected wisdom tooth and the dentist took part of her money, too. So it was--

Riggens: So you didn't get a job right away.

Faller: Oh yeah, we did. We knew that we were going to work at the university hospital. We knew where we were going to work; we just didn't have a job.

Riggens: So, no time for vacation.

Faller: No, we didn't get our vacation. We're going to have it next week.

Riggens: That's right; finally have a vacation in Colorado. Well, thank you very much for your time here and your very insightful comments. I look forward to giving you copies of these.

Faller: You're free to edit whatever you would like to take out.

Riggens: No editing needed, thank you.

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