In August of 1992, Sherry Woods ended her employment as a practicing nurse so she could teach future nurses. Now, after 23 years as a faculty member and earning the rank of full professor, Ms. Woods is retiring from Hazard Community and Technical College so she can return to work full-time in the medical profession again. Sherry will be employed as a nurse practitioner at Primary Care Centers of Eastern Kentucky located in Hazard, where she has been working on a part-time basis around her teaching schedule.
Ms. Woods contributions to HCTC are appreciated and students applaud her teaching noted Dr. R. Kathy Smoot, HCTC Provost. As one student recently wrote, Sherry Woods is one of the best instructors that I have had the pleasure of taking at HCTC. She treats everyone as if they are valued and her teaching style is wonderful. She has helped me with the many questions that I ask in class and does it with a smile on her face. Nursing instructors like Sherry are the reason why I want to be the best nurse possible. Another noted that Ms. Woods was the best teacher ever. She creates a great learning atmosphere and is willing to help students to do whatever it takes for them to succeed. Another student wrote, I think Sherry is an excellent instructor, I have learned a lot from her this semester. She is always willing to help us or talk to us about anything we do not understand. She cares about us and wants us to go on to become excellent nurses.
The importance of students obtaining advanced nursing degrees is stressed by the faculty; students can obtain those advanced degrees now through the University Center of the Mountains (located on the Hazard Campus of HCTC). Hospitals are wanting more educated nurses. They are looking for nurses to hold leadership positions, Ms. Woods said, noting that now about 1/3 of the graduate HCTC nursing students go on to earn bachelor s degrees.
Ms. Woods holds a bachelor s degree in nursing from Eastern Kentucky University and a master s degree in nursing from UK. However, her education did not stop there. Sherry also presently holds post master s nursing degrees from EKU in both family psychiatric nurse practitioner and family medical nurse practitioner.
Sherry was employed by Hazard ARH as a nurse for eleven years where she worked on the surgical, medical and outpatient floors, and seven years in the intensive care units. Prior to that, she worked at Mary Breckinridge Hospital in Hyden and Laurel Creek Nursing Home in Manchester.
Donna Combs, Nursing Program Coordinator, was instrumental in hiring Ms. Woods and she s been glad of that decision ever since. Sherry is a very pleasant, personable person with a very calm demeanor. She is very intelligent and has always been able to get things done. She has been a perfect fit for us.
Ms. Woods said she will miss teaching and she is appreciative of the bonds she formed
with other faculty who helped her in the classroom. Debbie Hogg, Alicia Cook, and
Sue Riddle all provided much guidance which I appreciated, she said of former faculty
members. The nursing department is a lot like a big family and I will continue to
keep in contact with them. Those people will always be a part of my life, like sisters,
Her future may include earning a doctorate of nursing practice. She may even return to teaching, on a part-time basis. What s for certain is that Sherry will continue to utilize her nursing talents whatever the future may hold.
Sherry lives in London. Her daughter, Gabriella, age 23, is applying to medical school
at UK. Her parents are Carl and Mary Barnes of Sizerock.