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  • February/2018

Meet Our Austin MSN-FNP Program Director: Jeanne Hopple

by South University
February 16, 2018
A photo of Jean Hopple.

"I became involved in nursing because of a desire to help others and improve their wellbeing," explains Dr. Jeanne Hopple, a nurse practitioner with 41 years of nursing experience who today serves as the Program Director for the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a Specialization in Family Nurse Practitioner Program at South University, Austin.

Acquiring Experience across the Nursing Field

Helping people, Hopple says, has always been her passion. As a young woman, she enjoyed volunteering as a candy striper in a local hospital, and, when her sister became a nurse, Hopple decided to follow in her footsteps.

After earning her BSN in 1977, Hopple began working as an RN in a Florida hospital. Over time, she explored numerous specialties, working in neurology, medical intensive care, critical care, and medical progressive care as well as spending time as a Cardiac Rehabilitation Nurse Specialist. She was particularly drawn to palliative care for older adults and doing her part to makes their lives a little better.

Before long, Hopple was educating other nurses as well. "I always enjoyed being the clinical preceptor or being in charge of orientation for new nurses," she says. "For a while, I wound up teaching critical care, bringing in my mannequin and crash cart, checking to see how the nurses answered codes and handled rapid response drills. I discovered a love for teaching."

To develop her skills across these diverse areas, Hopple earned her MSN specializing in adult health nurse practitioner and cardiovascular clinical nursing and minoring in nursing education. Equipped with this degree, Hopple spent the next decade working mostly in cardiology as a nurse practitioner across medical centers, physicians' offices, hospitals, and nursing homes. In 2002, she accepted her first position teaching nursing at a university where she also worked as a nurse practitioner with student health services.

Soon, however, Hopple became interested in providing care across the lifespan, not just for adults. She returned to school again, first for a post master's family nurse practitioner certificate and then for a PhD in Nursing Science. While in school, Hopple held various nurse practitioner roles in acute care, nephrology, women's health, and family care while also teaching and serving as a clinical preceptor.

Bringing Nursing Expertise into the Classroom

After finishing her PhD in 2011, Hopple began shifting more of her time to teaching (first in Florida and then in Tennessee), while still maintaining her clinical skills in part-time nurse practitioner roles. In 2014, she joined the South University family, moving to Georgia to teach in our nursing programs in Savannah. While there, she worked first at a federally qualified health care center and then with a VA clinic doing intake assessments for veterans coming out of active duty.

In 2017, Hopple relocated again—this time to become the director of our MSN-FNP program in Austin. She also teaches in the program, including the course that introduces new students to the nurse practitioner profession. "This is broadening way out from the RN role," she says. "From day one, you’re learning a whole new role. You’re building on your RN knowledge and it’s going to help you, but now you’re going to be the advanced care provider for people with all types of health needs, from infants to elderly."

To prepare students for this transition, Hopple shares many of her own experiences from family medicine. She also makes sure her students understand the academic resources available to them and brings in the campus librarian to teach research and writing skills as well as review the library services. Being in Austin, she even arranged for her students to attend the Health Care Policy & Leadership Conference for Texas Nurse Practitioners last year at the Capitol building.

"The personal connection is what I love about South University. I can pick up the phone and call my students. They know me, I know them," she says. "If they're struggling, I can ask what's going on and whether there's anything I can help with or that they want to talk about. Sometimes it's a family or health or personal issue. Life happens. They know my door is open. We’re here. We care about them. We want to take you forward, to make a difference in your life."

Interested in learning more about the nursing programs and faculty at South University? Explore our College of Nursing and Public Health today!

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10 Things You Didnt Know about the Online Library

by South University
February 1, 2018

By now you probably know you can access South University's online library resources in the Campus Common, but did you know you can also access these same resources through any Brightspace course? If you haven’t taken the time to explore our library system, you’re missing out on a big opportunity to enhance your learning experience.

10 Things You Didnt Know about the Online Library

Ready to take advantage of all that the South University Libraries have to offer? Then you have excellent timing because February is Library Lovers Month! Learn 10 things you might not know about the campus and online libraries at South University.

1. We have full-time staff

All of our libraries have a full-time staff member who you can contact directly with questions. Feel free to call or email your library for assistance. If we miss your call, please leave us a message with your name and number so that we can call you back.

2. You can live chat with a librarian

Need a little help finding research material? If you're working on an assignment and don’t know where to start or where to go next, use the chat feature to ask our library staff. Our librarians can answer your questions and point you in the right direction, so you don’t have to worry about wasting time looking in the wrong place.

3. There's a Research Guide for that

Research Guides contain recommended articles, websites, books, and other information that can assist you with research, assignments, or general knowledge on a specific subject or area of study. To find them, simply click on Research Guides on the library homepage and select your campus location (or that you’re an online student). From there, you’ll be able to browse guides specific to the programs at your school.

4. We host live workshops

We regularly offer events for South University students, including live workshops online. Check with your librarian to see what kind of learning opportunities are available or coming soon!

5. You can arrange a one-on-one meeting with a librarian

Would you like some one-on-one help from a librarian? Just contact your librarian to arrange an appointment! All of their email and contact information is available by selecting your library location right from our main library homepage.

6. Thousands of eBooks are available to you

Did you know you literally have thousands of eBooks at your fingertips? We offer unlimited access to multiple databases of eBooks that you can use to complete assignments or simply read to further your knowledge in your field of choice.

7. Our Library Help Videos are a great place to start

If you haven't spent much time at the library, it can be a bit intimidating at first. That's why we created training videos to help you get acquainted. You’ll find videos on using the library search feature, finding an article from a citation, and more. To see the full video list, click on "Training Videos" from the library homepage.

8. We can help you improve your study skills

We strive to be as helpful as possible to students. That’s why we offer print books and eBooks that feature tips on how to improve your study habits. Visit or contact your librarian to find resources that can help you become a better learner.

9. You can access even more materials through interlibrary loans

An interlibrary loan is a service that provides access to materials not owned by South University Libraries. Through cooperative agreements, participating libraries share their collections with students and faculty from other institutions. You can access this service by clicking on "Interlibrary Loan Form" under "Services" from the main menu on the Library homepage.

10. The Online Library has a Job & Career Accelerator resource

Job & Career Accelerator™ combines everything you need for your job search—including a job search platform, tutorials, cover letter and resume builders, career path information, and quizzes that tell you what occupations match your skills and interests—all on one website.

Want to know more? Contact your librarian or start exploring the resources in your South University library today!

Not a student yet? Want to know more about South University? Request information today!

Note: This post was originally published April 16, 2015 and updated February 1st, 2018.

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