At the heart of Frontier Nursing University is a talented and diverse community of students, alumni, faculty, staff, Couriers and preceptors. Spotlight blogs feature members of our FNU community that are focused on the mission of educating nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners to deliver quality health care to underserved and rural populations.
Through her role as Student Services Coordinator at Frontier Nursing University, Sharon Tankersley has demonstrated a commitment to the success of students at the university. Because of her deep commitment to students, Tankersley was a recent recipient of FNU’s Circle of Caring Award.
A resident of Versailles, Kentucky, Tankersley has worked at FNU for approximately five years. In her role, she helps onboard incoming students, provides staff support to the FNU Student Council, and coordinates annual commencement ceremonies.
“It’s very rewarding to welcome new students, ensure they feel supported, and assist as they find their way to resources that support academic goals,” she said. “Secondary to that, I enjoy those spots where my work intersects that of fellow employees, and finding ways to lighten their load when I can.”
Helping the Helpers
Before joining the FNU staff, Tankersley worked as a certified prevention specialist with 15 years of experience in youth and family mental health promotion. After working on the front lines in a helping profession, Tankersley said she often witnessed the impact of poor health and lifestyle choices, which began to take a toll on her.
“I had said goodbye to far too many clients to addiction,” she said. “I was burned out and needed some margin in my life.”
However, Tankersley said she didn’t want to leave the healthcare profession entirely and wanted to continue the work of fostering healthier communities.
“I sought a role where I could ‘help the helpers’ and serve in a supportive, behind-the-scenes way,” she said.
An Inclusive Environment
Through her work with FNU, Tankersley said answering the call for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) is essential. This emphasis is inspired by her own personal experiences as a member of a mixed-race family, as someone who grew up traveling often due to her family’s military status, and as someone who deals with a chronic illness that impacts movement, sensory processing, hearing and vision.
“We have much work to do to make our communities equally supportive of all types of individuals,” she said. “I’m thankful to be with an institution that seeks to grow more and more inclusive.”
In addition to FNU’s emphasis on DEI, Tankersley said she also is proud of the university’s Culture of Caring.
“We truly strive to use it as a guiding compass for how we treat everyone, how we make decisions, how we change and grow in response to the needs of our students,” she said. “I hope that in my small way each day I model the Culture of Caring.”
Outside of her work with FNU, Tankersley enjoys creative writing and traveling. She has been married to her college sweetheart for 32 years and is a devout Christian.
Thank you, Sharon, for your unwavering dedication to the students at FNU and your embodiment of the Culture of Caring in your daily work.
FNU is recognized as a Great College to Work For and a 2022 Honor Roll Institution. Learn more about career opportunities at Frontier Nursing University.