Q&A with Leah Roscoe ’06

Where do you consider your hometown? Where do you currently reside?
I grew up in Green Bay, WI. I now live in the Madison area, and I love living here!

Why did you choose the UW–Madison School of Nursing?
I knew I wanted to be a nurse at a very young age, and I knew I wanted to be a Badger in elementary school. That made the UW–Madison School of Nursing the only nursing school for me!

What has been your nursing journey so far? What is your current role?
I knew I wanted to be a nurse when I was four years old, and I told people I wanted to be a “norse”. When asked what that was, I responded that it’s the person who helps people when they’re sick. When I came to UW–Madison, I still wanted to be a nurse and was thrilled to get into UW–Madison School of Nursing — a dream come true! After I graduated from the School of Nursing, I was a staff nurse on a large inpatient multispecialty unit. I then moved to Colorado and worked outpatient as a float nurse in three multispecialty clinics. While in Colorado, I received my master of science in the family nurse practitioner program at the University of Colorado–Denver, and I started working as a nurse practitioner in Family Medicine. When I moved back to Wisconsin, I worked as a nurse practitioner in Endocrinology outpatient and Diabetes Management inpatient. I then transitioned to education, and my current role is as a clinical instructor at the UW–Madison School of Nursing.

Leah Roscoe and Britta Lothary.
Leah Roscoe and Britta Lothary.

What’s the most rewarding part of being a nurse or within your current role?
The most rewarding part of my current role is educating future nurses. I absolutely love teaching! I love helping people understand things, and it’s so exciting to see the connections happen and watch my students grow so much in a semester. It’s an honor to be a part of the nursing students’ journey. I think being a nurse is one of the most amazing occupations with such awesome responsibility. It truly is a privilege to be a nurse and care for others.

What advice would you give current nursing students or individuals considering teaching or instructing?

The hard work is worth it! There is so much you can do as a nurse and so many different paths you can take. Keep learning! Make sure to take time to take care of yourself too. Teaching/instructing has been amazing, and I would highly recommend teaching if you have a passion for education and nursing. It’s rewarding in so many ways.

Is there anyone from the School of Nursing who had or continues to have an impact on your nursing journey? If so, how and why?
I will never forget my first clinical instructor, Diana Girdley. She was such a wonderful educator and provided great support during that first clinical rotation. Her enthusiasm was infectious, and I learned so much from her that first semester. I will also always remember my second clinical instructor, Paula Jarzemsky. She pushed me to be the best I could be during that clinical rotation and helped me gain confidence and grow. I still utilize what I learned from both of them now that I’m a clinical instructor teaching future nurses. I’m happy that I can pass along the wonderful things that they taught me.

Britta Lothary is the reason I’m a clinical instructor, and I’m forever grateful to her for helping me realize my passion for nursing education. She is a fantastic instructor, and she continues to be incredibly supportive.