Meet: Karla Udell Yates
WCC Class of: 2006
WCC Degree: Associate Degree of Science in Nursing
WCC Legacy: Both parents, Mark and Lori Udell, attended Wytheville Community College
Favorite WCC Instructor(s): Naomi King
WCC Claim to Fame: Nursing Class President--Class of 2006
Favorite WCC Memories: “When I graduated from the nursing program, we graduated in a huge tent in the parking lot. As new graduates, we were so excited to walk across stage. During one of the graduation events, it rained on us, and it was freezing cold. We all were huddled together under the tent, but we were so proud of our accomplishments.”
After WCC: Karla passed her N-CLEX and went to work at the Progressive Care Unit at Carilion New River Valley Medical Center. Karla loved the patient population and truly enjoyed taking care of those who were hospitalized. Karla went back to school immediately and received her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from the University of Phoenix while working full time.
After working on the floor several years, Karla decided that she was interested in education. She applied for the Virginia Nurse Educator Scholarship and was awarded it to start working on a Master’s Degree. Karla began her career at WCC as adjunct for the LPN program at Wythe County Technology Center and later accepted a position as WCC’s Simulation and Clinical Coordinator.
”WCC is home. It’s where I received the amazing start toward my dream job.
I can honestly say I love what I do, and I look forward to coming to work every day. Not many people can say that.”
Today: Karla is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at WCC. She teaches Health Assessment, Pharmacology and Second Level Med-Surg Courses. She loves her students and is constantly looking for ways to make her class more engaging and entertaining.
Giving Back: Karla is currently a member of the Wythe County Public School Foundation for Excellence and previously served as the secretary for the Brock Hughes Free Clinic Board of Directors. She has started scholarships honoring two people she loves very dearly—the Rita Blevins Scholarship and the Mark Udell Second Chances scholarship which will help benefit students attending WCC.
Fun Fact: Karla and several of her peers from WCC have presented twice at the International Nursing and Clinical Simulation Learning Conference, once in Las Vegas and once at Disney World.
P.S.: Karla enjoys play roles as a standardized patient for her students. She has played various roles from a pregnant mother to an elderly man. She received an “Academy Award” from the Nursing Class of 2013 as the Best Actress in Clinical Simulation.