Tami Laursen Departure from BVU

Hannah Kramer and Charisma Mendez

On a chilled winter day, students and staff gathered in celebration in the Siebens Forum Mack Lounge and the atmosphere was anything but cold. The purpose, to help commemorate the wonderful career journey Tami Laursen has had here at BVU.  February 3rd marked Laursen’s last day as Director of Health Services & Wellness.

“I’ve been here since 1998,” Laursen said.

Laursen has worked within and been a part of the BVU community for over 20+ years. When she first started her venture here, the nurse’s office was located in the basement of Lage. A single room where students had to traverse through the nurse’s office to even reach the exam room area.

“-it was part-time [the nurse position at BVU], so I actually worked part-time at the hospital which was my previous job in OR and Recovery, and here part-time. Kim Craver was here at that time, -she just worked part-time too. So when it started out, our whole goal was to get Health Services up and going. So that students could utilize it and [so] we had a purpose on campus. But it’s kind of funny because I didn’t even have a computer when I started, everything was done by hand notes. So like if a student was sick, and couldn’t go to class, we would give them a note, and then they could either take it to their professor or we would put it in their professor’s mailbox. It was the most archaic thing ever,” Laursen adds.

Starting with what was available, Laursen helped the Health Services & Wellness department of BVU flourish to what it is today. With Health Services being officially utilized by the student body, eventually when renovations began Health Services got to move out of Lage and into the Field House.

“-then in 2001 they were doing a renovation, so we got busy enough that Kim [was] working with me. So I was here full-time, -I got a full- time position. -Kim would work three days with me, and then I’d work two days by myself. And then in 2004-2005, they allowed me to hire another part-time nurse,” Laursen explains.

This is when Lorie Stanton began her career in BVU’s Health Services, Stanton and Laursen have worked together for over 16 years. In all that time together they developed a wonderful work dynamic and an even more so wonderful friendship.

“There are not too many opportunities where you get to work with your friend and co-worker, because we’re friends-,” Stanton said.

Stanton will be taking Laursen’s previous position as Director of Health Services & Wellness.

“I know there are big shoes to fill -I will try to carry on the legacy she’s leaving here, ” Stanton said.

Running Health Services is not a one-woman job. With Stanton becoming BVU’s Director of Health Services & Wellness, another nurse was needed in order to help keep Health Services thriving.

“It’s going to be hard, but she [Stanton] will be great at it. We hired a super nurse, Brenda, and change is good for everyone,” Laursen said.

Brenda Goodner earned her bachelor’s degree in Nursing (BSN) from Upper Iowa University. Goodner, Stanton, and Laursen have been working together these past few months to prepare for Laursen’s departure.

“I’m excited, I’m nervous, I hope the transition goes well, it’s a big deal we got another nurse to replace my position. That was probably my biggest fear this semester – it’s a huge blessing to have Brenda, she’s going to be fantastic. She comes with a lot of background skills and it was meant to be,” Stanton said.

What seemed like an abrupt and unexpected decision to students, the choice to leave was the answer for Laursen. The new grandmother needed flexibility within her schedule so she could put her family first. While it was the right decision to make for her and her family, it still wasn’t easy. Prepping for transition in leadership, and ensuring her hard work to build Health Services & Wellness into the astounding resource that it is today was no simple feat.

“I set out to build a program and I feel like I did that. I did just turn 60 and I just became a grandma, and I want to be able -this was an opportunity to spend more time with my family and my granddaughter,” Laursen concludes.