SON Student Life

WBU School of Nursing students have a variety of ways to get involved on campus and in the community!  We also love to highlight our current students and alumni!


Student & Alumni Highlights


Stacey Polanco MSN, RNC-MNN

Hello, my name is Stacey Polanco. I have completed both my graduate and undergraduate studies with Wayland Baptist University (WBU). Although coming from a long line of nurses, I was somewhat of a late bloomer and began my journey with Wayland in 2015 after having been a stay-at-home mother for many years. I am so grateful for the flexibility Wayland offered with evening and online classes which I am sure some of my fellow adult learners can relate to. In addition to being attracted to Wayland Baptist University’s Christian environment, I was so pleased they accepted my transfer classes. Mainly, at the time Wayland was one of two universities in the state of Texas that had LVN to RN BSN programs. I was amazed that I could actually get credit for the experience I had garnered as a licensed vocational nurse (LVN) and use it towards my RN with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Upon completion, I worked as a medical surgical nurse for a time and then began my dream of working as a maternal newborn and woman's health nurse. After a year as a woman's health nurse, I took the National Certification Corporation (NCC) exam and became a Certified Maternal Newborn Nurse. My next challenge was to enhance my skills further and become a nurse educator. My natural choice was to return to my Wayland family, which of course did not disappoint! I took one class per semester while continuing to work and completed my Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a 4.0. Recently, I was also, inducted to the Delta Alpha at-Large Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, for Global Nursing Excellence. I have always felt valued as a student here and look forward to any future endeavors with WBU!


Sarah Brothers MSN, RN

I began my journey with Wayland Baptist University in 2014. I had to complete the religious classes required for the entrance into the nursing program.

BSN, 2015
MSN, 2018

Wayland was the 2nd program for me. I was not successful in my first semester at the SAC and needed a smaller program. Now that I look back, it seems nursing school and that era of my life was a blur, but I KNOW it wasn’t. Wayland was intense, exhilarating, and it gave me hope for a better future.

I had 1 baby right before I started the program and I had one during. I remember all the classmates and teachers being very supportive and encouraging. They even threw me a baby shower. Dr. Smith would even help hold her when I had to go pump or to the restroom. Educationally, all instructors were great. Ms. Wright, I remember taking her time to truly educate us on med-surg and health assessment. Most of all Dr. Moore was so inspirational. She had a way with words and would inspire those students who were struggling and they would instantly do well (RIP). Dr. Whitehead was great too, all instructors were great, I could go on. I felt like the program truly helped me achieve my accomplishments. I remember my very first day with Dr. Smith teaching us about diabetes and my very last day in the masters program giving my presentation to the undergrad students. I have so many memories that I could probably go on. The course work was challenging and it seemed at that time very busy. I know now that it helped prep me to handle patients and their complex comorbidities.

Three months after I completed my BSN, I enrolled in the MSN program. I knew I wanted to be a teacher before I enrolled in the BSN program. During my undergrad years, I would give presentations and help mentor others. I had a passion for teaching. The MSN program at Wayland was very challenging. Dr. Diaz was stern, but fair. Clinicals were complex and truly helped to prepare me for my future as a Nurse Educator, Leader, and floor nurse. My preceptors for the MSN program were awesome. They gave me real time constructive feedback. I completed the program in 2018 and had my very first teaching job a month later.

My education at Wayland has helped me advance in the nursing world. As a floor nurse, I worked in various specialties: surgical specialty nurse, pediatric home health nurse, rehab, and mental health nurse. After 1.5 years on the floor I advanced to leadership. I am currently the Director of Nursing of the Surgical Specialty Unit and the Acute Rehab Unit at St. Luke’s Baptist Hospital. I also have been in the role of an Interim Admin Director focusing on Neuro/PCU and Tele. Simultaneously, I have maintained employment with Galen College of Nursing since 2018 as Clinical Adjunct Faculty. Lastly, after 8 years at Baptist, I have accepted new role as the Director of Progressive care at Main Methodist Hospital (HCA).

I absolutely love what I do. I love being a nurse, leader, and educator and Wayland is the foundation of all of it. I often share my experience a nursing student, hardships and all, with my nursing students and staff nurses. I feel it inspires them to want to continue on, no matter what is thrown their way.


Elaine Almquist BSN, RN

Thank you for asking me to participate in the Wayland Alumni Spotlight. After graduating in 2018 from Wayland Baptist School of Nursing I went on to pass my boards and then accepted a job offer from Northeast Methodist (NEM) Hospital in Critical Care. In March of 2020, the hospital and world changed because of the Covid-19 pandemic. This was such a challenging time for all of us, hospitals like NEM were understaffed and reactionary to the onslaught of Covid-19 patients.

I was very grateful for my time at Northeast Methodist and through this experience I had the opportunity to transition to a new role with Comal ISD. In the summer of 2020 school systems were preparing for the new school year and keeping staff and students safe. Comal ISD used federal emergency funding to open Covid-19 Case Management positions and I was hired for one of them. During the 2020-2021 school year I worked with leadership at Comal ISD, a team of four nurses, and the Comal County Public Health Department to navigate policy, mitigate, and manage Covid-19 within the school district.

During the worse parts of the pandemic I had several acquaintances and friends pass away from Covid. My husband and I always wanted the opportunity to live overseas and felt that we needed to pursue our dreams, especially in light of the pandemic. We both applied for jobs with the U.S. Army and accepted positions in Wiesbaden, Germany. Since 2021 I’ve been working as a civilian Army Public Health Nurse. It’s been a really interesting job and over the last year Public Health has moved from primarily focusing on the pandemic to restarting Public Health initiatives. We will end our three year assignment in September of 2024 and I’ll be looking for my next opportunity back stateside.

I think if there’s one nugget of advice I can pass along to the current nursing students it’s to allow yourself opportunity to take a chance at something different. I really had my heart set on Women’s health, L&D/NICU, and that’s not at all were I ended up. However, with my current position I have the opportunity to teach expecting soldiers about pregnancy and caring for a newborn. I’m also involved with civilian pregnancy support, the exceptional family member program, and Child Youth Services. So, I ended up being in Women’s and Children’s health, just not how I had expected!


Student Organizations

SNA-Student Nurses' Association

The WBU SNA aims to provide support to nursing students, reach outside organizations in order to increase the WBU nursing program to local exposure, and support the community.  Some of SNAs activities also include attendance to the National Student Nurses’ Association Annual Convention and mentorship of junior cohort students.


Sigma Global Nursing Excellence

WBU School of Nursing belongs to the Delta Alpha At-Large Chapter of Sigma Global Nursing Excellence.  The mission of Sigma is to develop nurse leadership anywhere to improve healthcare everywhere.  Students from WBU School of Nursing are invited to join Sigma when they demonstrate excellence in scholarship.  Being inducted as a member of Sigma is a great honor, and WBU School of Nursing is proud to announce the induction of two students at the 2023 Delta Alpha At-Large Induction Ceremony held at UT-Health San Antonio.  WBU School of Nursing, in conjunction with University of the Incarnate Word Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing and Health Professions, UT Health San Antonio School of Nursing, will welcome the 2023 inductees on April 15, 2023.



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