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Traveled Instructor Strengthens WSC Nursing Program

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Traveled Instructor Strengthens WSC Nursing Program

Posted: Aug 28 2018

WILLISTON, N.D. - A former adjunct instructor, Arlene Layupan joins the Teton family as the newest full-time faculty member for the Williston State College Nursing program.

Layupan grew up on a farm in Davao, Philippines. As a child, she remembers seeing US Peace Corps volunteers doing humanitarian work and providing first aid in her community. "I thought I could be more useful to my community if I were a nurse," explained Layupan.

Layupan pursued this goal and graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Brokenshire College in Davao City, Philippines at the age of 19. She advanced to earn her Master of Arts in Nursing at Philippines Women's University in Manila, Philippines.

Prior to coming to the US, Layupan served as a community health nurse among the tribal groups on her island, worked as an Emergency and Operating Room Nurse for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Health, and was an associate professor at the University of Mindanao.

"I really do love to travel!" stated Layupan. "I have been in the US for two years and have already visited eight states. I look forward to visiting other states in the near future."

Layupan learned about WSC and the nursing program on her first visit to CHI St. Alexius Williston where she saw a banner in the Med-Surg unit welcoming nursing students. "Honestly, I made a wish and prayer upon seeing that banner that I could return to teaching in a nursing school," said Layupan. "At the time, I considered that wishful thinking because I am Filipino and was not educated here in the US."

In 2017, Layupan received an offer to become adjunct faculty for the WSC Practical Nursing (PN) program. "As first I was reluctant to accept," admitted Layupan. "But after praying I found the courage to call Gail and accept the offer."

Unsure of herself and teaching American nursing students in the beginning, Layupan soon realized that whether on the patient floor or in the classroom, there is not much difference between teaching Filipino and American nursing students.

"Arlene is a great addition to our team," said Gail Raasakka, Program Director for the WSC Nursing Program. "She brings years of nursing experience as well as experience in education."

In addition to Layupan beginning full-time, the WSC Nursing program opened its new PN site in Tioga, North Dakota this fall. Between the two sites, there are a total of 33 Practical Nursing students and 20 Associate Degree nursing students who will work hard toward the goal of graduating. "The new year began with a mixture of excitement and anxiety with the new PN students wondering if they have it in them to complete the program," stated Gail.

Layupan looks forward to the new year with excitement and working with WSC's seasoned nursing faculty and staff. "I look forward to producing nursing graduates that are excellent, competent, and well-prepared to face the real world of nursing," proudly explained Layupan.

Layupan is married and has one daughter.  

For more information on the WSC Nursing program, please contact Gail Raasakka at 701.774.4290 or  

For more information on WSC, please visit, call 1.888.863.9455, or stop by 1410 University Avenue, Williston, ND.    

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