Birdie Young, Nursing Department Coordinator at Delta-Montrose Technical College (DMTC), was recently recognized by the Colorado State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education as the 2013 Faculty of the Year at DMTC. Young has been an instructor in the Practical Nursing program at DMTC since 2006. In July 2011 she also took on the role of program coordinator for the department.
Young grew up in Crawford and graduated from Paonia High School. She has been in the healthcare profession since graduating with a BSN from the University of Northern Colorado in 1974. She worked in med/surg throughout Colorado until 1976. From 1976 until 1979 she was a school nurse for Cherry Creek School District in the Denver area. In 1980 she moved with her husband, Lonny, to Saudi Arabia where he worked for an oil company. From 1980 to 1985 she did ambulatory healthcare in Saudi Arabia. The Youngs returned to the United States in 1985 where she earned an Oncology Certification. In 1988 they moved back to Saudi Arabia where they stayed until 1998.
Young’s time in Saudi Arabia had a big impact on her healthcare career. It was while living in Saudi that she became interested in alternative health care. There were few opportunities for continuing education for healthcare professionals working in Saudi so the healthcare community worked together to provide their own continuing education. Among the members of the community were nurses from the UK where therapeutic touch was a common part of healthcare. Young learned therapeutic touch from them and, as a group, they learned more about alternative and integrative care. Since that time, Young has become a Reiki Master and uses energy work, therapeutic touch, reflexology, and other alternative care in her practice.
“I think if we had alternative medicine to help us maintain a better state of health…we could, in the long run, decrease the cost of medical care,” said Young.
The Young family returned to the United States in 1998. Young worked for several years overseeing the construction and start up of an alternative and integrative medicine center in a Wild Oats store in Colorado. She then returned to work in ambulatory care until she and her husband returned to this area in 2003 to retire.
In 2006 one of the instructors in the Nursing Education department at Delta-Montrose Technical College told Young there was a need for more teachers at the school.
“I’ve always wanted to teach in Nursing,” Young said, so she came out of retirement and began teaching part-time at DMTC. She returned to school and completed an MSN in Nursing Education at Walden University in 2010. Since 2011 she has also been the Director of the Nursing program.
In explaining Young’s selection as Faculty of the Year John Jones, Director at DMTC, highlighted Young’s dedication to her students. “Birdie truly cares about her students. She wants them to succeed not only in their education, but also in their careers,” he said.
During her brief retirement Young pursued an interest in gardening, becoming a Master Gardener and Advanced Master Gardener. In her limited free time now, she and her husband raise and hybridize iris and have an extensive garden which includes three koi ponds with connecting streams. She is also a Native Plant Master and enjoys quilting. Her favorite pastime is spending time with Lonny, her husband of 35 years, her two sons, and her 15-month old granddaughter.
Delta-Montrose Technical College is a public career and technical college in Delta, Colorado. It offers 57 secondary and postsecondary certificates in 12 different programs. All certificates can be earned in two semesters or less, with many of them only one semester in length.
Delta-Montrose Technical College
1765 US Hwy 50, Delta, CO 81416