Former AC student named director of college's ADN nursing program

By Joe Wyatt

As the new director of the Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) program at Amarillo College, Dr. Sandra Brannan happily finds herself back on familiar ground.

A native of Shamrock, Texas, Brannan has come full circle to oversee an exceptional program at the very College she attended as a freshman in the 1970s when launching her distinguished career in nursing education.

“I am so glad to be back in the Panhandle, I have deep roots here,” said Brannon, who succeeds retiree Lyndi Shadbolt as ADN director.

Brannan began her duties at Amarillo College in October following seven years as director of the nursing program at Galveston College. Prior to that, she was director of nursing at the federal prison for men in Beaumont, Texas.

She also spent 14 years as coordinator of the RN to BSN program at Lamar University, during which time she earned her doctoral degree at Texas Woman’s University in Houston.

“Education has always been a passion of mine,” said Brannan, who completed her prerequisite classes at AC in the ‘70s and went on to attend the Northwest Texas Hospital School of Nursing, which has since ceased operations.

Brannan notes that AC’s ADN program is on firm footing after receiving commendations over four consecutive reporting periods from the Texas Board of Nursing for first-time pass rates by graduates on the national licensure exam.

“Amarillo College has a very, very strong nursing department,” she said. “For the last four years, we’ve had pass rates above 90 percent, which is an exceptional feat. The faculty are very strong and student-oriented.

“Everyone I’ve talked to in the community since I’ve been back has had nothing but praise for graduates from this program.”

The forward-looking director says it is an exciting time in nursing education.

“Things are moving fast,” Brannan said. “There is so much technology that nurses are going to be involved with over the next 10-15 years, and you have to continually educate the faculty, too.

“Nurses in the operating rooms have to work increasingly with robots that are contributing more than ever to surgeries, and intensive care units now contain all sorts of advancements in technology and updated monitoring systems. We’ve got ensure that our nursing students keep pace with all of that,” she said, “and I look helping make that happen.”

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