Loyola University Chicago

Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing


Focus on a Graduate

By Anna Gaynor

After earning her BSN, Linda Dybowski’s first job came about because she was offered a free trip to San Diego.

It was courtesy of the US navy, and because of it, she spent three years as a naval nurse during Operation Desert Storm.

“Just serving my country, in and of itself, was rewarding,” Dybowski said.
“Sometimes those spur of the moment decisions are the best you’ll ever make.”

She began her Naval career as a pediatric nurse, eventually transitioning to the emergency department. In 1996, she joined the Loyola University Medical Center as an ED nurse.

Throughout her 26 years in the field, Dybowski has been interested in helping and teaching other nurses and medical staff. She was always the one to show the ropes to new hires as well as nursing and paramedic students. So in 2012, Dybowski graduated as a Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist—today called Acute Care CNS—from Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing.

Today, Dybowski works as a clinical staff educator in the emergency department at the hospital.

“As a nurse practitioner, you impact one patient at a time, but as an educator or a CNS, you’re impacting every patient because you’re impacting the nurses,” she said. “Even though I’m not in direct patient care anymore, what I do helps nurses be better nurses.”

Dybowski, who is responsible for about 80 nurses and 15 medical techs, makes sure her department has the education and information they need to thrive. This includes organizing yearly competencies as well as running orientation and assigning preceptors for new hires.

“Health care changes daily, it seems,” Dybowski said. “To provide the best care to the patient, everyone needs to be updated on the latest—whether it’s new equipment or a new process.”

Down the road, Dybowski hopes to move her passion inside the classroom, where she believes her clinical experience can help motivate nursing students, whether it’s in university or junior college setting.

To learn more about Loyola’s CNS programs, contact Enrollment Advisor Toni Topalova at atopalova@luc.edu.