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Faculty Profile: Amanda Barton
Assistant Professor of Nursing

For Dr. Amanda Barton, being a nurse practitioner and an assistant professor of nursing is all about personal relationships.

Dr. Barton knew early in her college years that becoming a nurse was what she was called to do, because caring for people was what she loved most. “I realized that I wanted a long-term relationship with patients. I wanted to care for them over time, to watch their children grow. I knew that being a nurse practitioner was what I wanted to do.”

And indeed, she hasn’t turned her back on that dream, but rather has expanded on it. Today, Dr. Barton is a practicing nurse practitioner one day a week in addition to her position as assistant professor at Hope, where she loves building relationships with her students. Some of her favorite things about Hope’s nursing program are its flexibility in accommodating individuals’ interests and the size of the program, which allows for warmth and familiarity between staff and students.

“We get to know our students,” Dr. Barton says. “We know the families they come from, we know what their hopes and dreams are, we know how they learn best. Students are never a number — they are always individuals.”

Dr. Barton also enjoys the diverse spectrum of opportunities that Hope offers to serve and learn. For instance, she is involved in a project to improve the water quality in the village of Nkuv, Cameroon, with Dr. Jeff Brown of the engineering faculty and the Hope College student chapter of Engineers without Borders. Since March 2006, the project has had a positive impact on the morbidity and mortality rate in the village due to water contamination. The education and communication departments are now also involved in the interdisciplinary research/service-learning project.

Many people have worked long and hard on the project, but Dr. Barton affirms that it’s worth it. “It makes a difference,” she says. “Not only are lives saved, but lives are changed — in Cameroon and the village, but also my students and me.”

In addition to her passion for Hope’s department of nursing, Dr. Barton devotes energy to other campus programs as well, her two favorites being the Senior Seminar Program and the CrossRoads Project, which explores calling, vocation and faith. She agrees wholeheartedly with the missions of the programs, but again, it’s primarily the opportunity to interact with the students that draws her in.

“It all comes back to the students,” she says. “Hope has fabulous students. That’s why I look forward to coming to work every day.”

This profile was written by Danielle K. Johnson, a 2008 Hope College graduate from Kalamazoo, Mich., for the 2008-09 Hope College Catalog.

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