By Daphne Larkin, Office of Communications
In 2016, Sarah Manacek graduated from Norwich’s Master of Science in Nursing, completing the education track because she wants to teach. She currently teaches clinical and health assessment lab, and in the spring, Manacek will become a new lecturer in the School of Nursing overseeing clinicals. She has worked at the University of Vermont Medical Center since 2013 on the cardiothoracic and vascular surgery floor, where she is spearheading a mentoring program.
Manacek has been the beneficiary of mentoring, and besides being a Norwich graduate, she has a deep tie to the nursing program. At UVM Medical Center, her preceptor—like a mentor—was Lili Martin, who came to work at Norwich as a lecturer. Because of that, Manacek shadowed Martin at Norwich, and when Manacek comes on full time this spring, Martin will be Manacek’s Norwich mentor.
The Office of Communications asked Sarah Manacek three questions to give her a chance to say—in her own words—who she is and what she brings to Norwich nursing education.
OC: What are your thoughts about leadership in nursing?
SM: Leaders are influential people who inspire others to think a certain way, and who lead by example. A leadership theory that speaks to the style of leadership I hope to emulate is the Transformational Leadership theory. This theory promotes teamwork and collaboration, empowers groups of people to be innovative and creative in working towards a common goal, and is practiced by leaders who are truly genuine in their philosophy because of the strong emphasis on role modeling. As healthcare shifts its focus to increasing responsibilities for nurses, strong nursing leadership will be imperative to the profession. Leadership in nursing does not necessarily come from titles like “nurse manager” or “director of nursing,” but, rather, emanates from nurses who can unite people in working towards a common goal.
OC: In what area or in what way do you see having the deepest impact on Norwich students?
SM: Healthcare is a fast-paced, ever-changing field, requiring healthcare providers to be current in their knowledge, and innovative with their thinking. In congruence with my ideal leadership style, I hope to inspire lifelong learning in my students – to inspire students to challenge the norm, pursue quality, and get excited about becoming powerful in knowledge.
OC: When did you know that you wanted to be a nurse?
SM: I knew I wanted to be a nurse when I was a teenager. Growing up, I was deciding between pursuing nursing, and pursuing education. Ultimately, I chose nursing when my mother had surgery, and I helped take care of her. My father is a cardiologist, and my mother is a nurse, so between growing up listening to medical stories at the dinner table, and the experience of taking care of my mother post-surgery, the decision to pursue nursing was clear for me. A couple years after I graduated from nursing school, I was teaching a nursing student how to read telemetry, and found myself getting really excited about education again. That’s when I decided to pursue nursing education – my dream job!