Joanne Chappel, a nursing instructor at Polk Community College for 18 years, has been named Nurse Educator of the Year by the Florida Nurses Association Consortium, a state organization that advocates for the nursing profession.

anne Chappel, a nursing instructor at Polk Community College for 18 years, has been named Nurse Educator of the Year by the Florida Nurses Association Consortium, a state organization that advocates for the nursing profession.

Chappel, who holds a master of science degree in nursing from the University of Florida, worked as a neonatal intensive care nurse at Tampa General Hospital before joining PCC in 1989. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, a nursing honor society; the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses; and the Florida Nurses Association.

A native of Pennsylvania, Chappel began teaching when her two children - now adults - were young, "so I would have the same hours as they did."

Although she expected to return to hospital nursing as her children matured, she found she loved teaching and has remained dedicated to educating future nurses.

"I love seeing the excitement of the new student nurses as they enter the program, and the excitement when they graduate," Chappel said. "I am so proud of our PCC registered nurses when I see them in the community, and I am proud to have been a part of their education."

Chappel is married to Dr. Gary Chappel, a radiologist. They live in Winter Haven.