Preparing to say goodbye to a well-loved LLC employee: College Nurse Sharon Uphoff


Madelyn Kidd, Editor-in-Chief

A nurse is more than just someone to give medical attention to those in need. They are some of the most compassionate, kind, empathic, intelligent and dedicated people we know. While a textbook definition of what a nurse does is a simple list including taking pulses, temperatures and blood pressures and more duties, nurses do so much more than that. They talk to you like you’re a long-time friend, help manage to lessen any anxiety you have and treat you like your reason for their assistance is more important than anything else at the moment. Because to them, you are a friend despite if you just met, they don’t want you to feel anxious, and you are their only focus in that moment. That is a real definition of what a nurse is, and College Nurse Sharon Uphoff fits this description perfectly. Because of this, we are sad to announce Sharon Uphoff will be retiring at the end of this fall semester. 

Sharon Uphoff has worked at Lake Land College for 17 years, but she has been in the nursing career for almost 45 years. Before working at LLC, Nurse Uphoff was working at Carle Clinic in Urbana, Ill., which had a long commute time for her. 17 years ago when Lake Land College was looking to employ a new college nurse, Nurse Uphoff applied for the position. Talking about why she applied for the position Uphoff stated, “I live 3 miles from the college so no more commuting! At that time in my career, I was ready for a change. It was a huge change and had many challenges, but a great way to end my almost 45 year nursing career.”

One of the best traits of nurses is their love for their career, thinking back to Nurse Uphoff’s favorite memories while working at LLC she stated, “[I] love working with the students!  We have laughed together and cried together!” Thinking about working with the Laker athletes she stated, “Having worked with the athletes every year, I enjoy seeing their success in the classroom and on the field or court!” Also looking back on her experience with the nursing students, she stated, “At one time I was the intake person for all the nursing student’s medical files required for their program. Meeting them as incoming freshmen then watching them succeed in their program was such a blessing for me!” Overall, Nurse Uphoff’s favorite memories are from graduations, “My always favorite day was pinning and graduation! Watching all the students walk across the stage, while their friends and family cheer is such a great feeling!”

Nurse Uphoff commented on her reason for retiring, “After almost 45 years of nursing it is time to do the things I have put off for so many years!” As to what she will miss the most after retiring, she said, “I will miss interacting daily with the people who walk through the Health Services door!” Nurse Uphoff looks forward to the personal and family time she will have after retiring. She also commented on her big post-retirement plans which included, “My husband and I plan to travel and spend more time with our six grandchildren!” 

As advice for the next Lake Land College Nurse, Nurse Uphoff said, “The advice I would give to the next Lake Land College nurse would be to be available to students and staff, work with the community health resources, and listen!” As advice to all the nursing students, “My advice would be study hard, drink in all the knowledge from your instructors, be the nurse you would want caring for your family!”

As Nurse Uphoff was interviewed and thought back to her experience at Lake Land College, a few tears were shed, happy and sad. Likewise there will be more happy and sad tears shed by LLC students and employees when she retires in December. However, Lake Land College will welcome the next College Nurse with open arms as the new nurse provides the same wonderful personality as Nurse Uphoff did as they assist everyone on campus.

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