We sat down for a Q&A with Dr. Billie Phillips, an Associate Dean and Professor of Nursing at South College. Dr. Phillips has over 40 years of experience and brings an impressive passion to South College for molding exemplary BSN programs.
Before South College
Dr. Billie Phillips earned her Associate of Science in Nursing from what is now Central Texas College. She then attended Mississippi College where she earned her Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN). Continuing her education at the University of Mississippi, she earned her Masters of Nursing. While a professor at the university, she became the first person to receive a nursing doctorate from the University of Mississippi.
What led you to South College?
“I was in nurse management from 1974-1995,” Phillips said. “I worked in hospitals and long-term care doing nurse management. I moved back to Tennessee in 2001 to help establish the BSN program at Tennessee Wesleyan College. Then I came to South College in 2005 to assist in starting their BSN program. After some time away helping LMU (Lincoln Memorial University) start a BSN program, I returned to South College.”
What attracted you to South College in 2005?
“It was exciting to help start a new program. It was also an opportunity to teach maternal-child nursing which is one of my specialties. I am currently teaching Pharmacology, as well as Policy and Politics.”
What’s unique about South College compared to other nursing programs?
“It’s unique because it really is an accelerated program. After fulfilling general education requirements, the students at South College can earn their BSN in six quarters (18 months). That means that if you already have your general education courses, you can get your BSN in the same time that an ASN would take you elsewhere. Every quarter at South College is 10 weeks so the students are accustomed to progressing through at that pace.”
What do you think is unique about South College as a whole?
“We have a diverse student population. What stands out to me is that we have a lot of adult learners, meaning mid-life, non-traditional students. We also have our share of first generation college students.”
As Associate Dean, what is your favorite part about working on the administration side of things?
“I like the leadership aspect. I lead – I don’t manage; I believe in faculty government. There is such a broad wealth of knowledge among our faculty here. They have worked in all different kinds of roles. I think everything they bring to the table is amazing. When you let faculty govern themselves, it’s amazing what they can do and what ideas they have.”
What would you say to a student thinking about getting their BSN?
“I would advise that student to get all of the information they can. Also, they would need to realize it is an 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday commitment. I would advise them to take it one day at a time with the end goal in mind. They have to be very committed, and South College has a lot of resources to guide them and help them through the commitment.”
If you are interested in starting the exciting and challenging journey of earning your nursing degree from South College, contact us today.