Q&A: Talking with Nurse Dana

By: Hannah Abbate

While Sterling College is not large by any means, we still find a way to spread out among buildings and activities. The center of it all is the Student Union, home to the Caf, where students can eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Union is also home to Cornerstone, Student Life offices, the mail room, and the campus nurse’s office. The nurse’s office has not always been located on campus. Prior to 2015, the nurse was located off campus on a nearby street. Moving our campus nurse into the Union brings them right into the middle of campus. This makes services and health care more accessible than it has been in the past.  

This year, we welcomed a handle full of new staff members and professors to Sterling, including Nurse Dana Ely. She is our new campus nurse and was kind enough to sit down with me to answer a few questions students may have regarding her position and health care services available at Sterling College.  

SCTVWhat brings you to Sterling College? 

NURSE DANA: I have been a family practice nurse in Hutchinson for the last 21 years with the same physician. And he retired so this seemed like a good opportunity to maybe change and do something different. I think it’s going to be a great fit. 

SCTV: How long have you been in this profession? 

NURSE DANA: I have been a registered nurse since 1995. 

SCTV: How did you become interested in health care? 

NURSE DANA: Probably like in grade school. I found a paper that… talked about what you want to be when you grow up and I picked a nurse back then. I kind of drifted away from that. I thought, I was going to go to pharmacy school and just ended up switching to nursing and it’s been a great fit.

SCTV: What hours might someone be able to come see you in your office? 

NURSE DANA: Right now, I’ve kept the previous nurse’s hours so I’m working Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 9am-3pm. And we are closed on Wednesdays.  

SCTV: How much do students pay for an appointment with you?

NURSE DANA: It’s a free service. The college provides that for everyone who is a student, which is a great thing. If we do have to refer you to see a doctor or dentist or another provider, then that would be billed through your own personal insurance. But any services that we offer right here are free of charge.   

SCTV: What services do you offer? Are you able to prescribe medications? 

NURSE DANA: No, I cannot prescribe medications. We have some basic over-the-counter things that I can hand out. Basically, we can provide triage nursing services so, we can do minor injuries and illnesses. If any antibiotics are needed then we would refer you on to a doctor. Dr. Dashiell is the overseeing director, so we could set you up to see her. Or one of her partners, if you wanted to be seen here at Sterling Medical Center. We’re also able to refer out to other providers such as Dennis [Dutton, Vice President of Enrollment], mental health professionals, [and] people like that. Some of our other services we do are flu shots and TB skin tests.

SCTV: What is your favorite thing about being here at Sterling College so far? 

NURSE DANA: Just everyone has been so friendly and I really like the diverse student population.   

SCTV: Do you have anything you would like to say to the students? 

NURSE DANA: Please come see me, that’s why I’m here. If you’re starting to feel ill [or] if you have any medical questions, feel free to come and see me.


Sterling continues to care for its students by hiring kind and caring staff and faculty members. The addition of Dana Ely is just the latest example of all the great people you will get a chance to meet here on campus.

%d bloggers like this: