Top Notch Teacher: Bobbi Schamberger

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT)– It started off with a long career in nursing, when Bobbi Schamberger felt the need for change. She wanted to continue helping the next generation of nurses, just in a new way.

For about 27 years, Bobbi Schamberger worked as a nurse in clinical practice, where she spent a lot of time educating student nurses. It was through that experience she found her passion.

“The time felt right about three years ago,” said Bobbi Schamberger, an assistant professor for Viterbo University.

She went back to the classroom, not as a student, but as a teacher.

“To educate future nurses and share my years of experience,” Schamberger said.

She found the right place to do just that at Viterbo University.

“She tells us her stories, we listen, we learn from that. It’s good to have someone with a lot of experience in different situations,” said Morgan Sandvick, a student at Viterbo University.

While being in the classroom setting was different for her, she’s been able to adapt– finding new ways to improve her teaching.

“That’s just part of ongoing learning and lifelong learning that everyone should participate in,” Schamberger said.

She’s also found that not every student learns the same, but a hands-on approach works well for many especially for teaching critical thinking skills.

“The more interactive it is in the classroom, the more engaged students are, the more they’re learning and able to make connections with critical concepts,” Schamberger said.

It’s something that has set Schamberger apart from the rest, according to her former student Melinda Kunes.

“You get through your nursing school career, you have all this knowledge, you took all the classes but I think that Bobbi does a great job of challenging you to think of, ‘OK, how do I use what I learned to take care of a patient?'” said Kunes, who graduated in December.

Her passionate and empathetic care for patients extends to her students.

“She puts herself in the students’ shoes and walks with them. She’s very understanding of any student’s situation no matter what situation a student brings to her. She always listens,” Sandvick said.

“I think you need to feel challenged and supported at the same time and I know she does that inside and outside of the classroom,” Kunes said.

The best part of her job is that student connection. All the more reason why it’s tough to see students go.

“I have such a sense of pride when I see them graduate when I participate in their pinning ceremony the evening before graduation. They’re prepared. They’re ready, they’re going to make the difference,” Schamberger said.

Even though the students graduate, that’s often not the last time they see Bobbi. With so many medical facilities in the area, she often reconnects with former students when teaching in clinical settings. She enjoys catching up with them and seeing how they’re enjoying their work.