November 2004

Jane Metiu

Professor in Associate Degree Nursing program since 1976

B.S.N.  Georgetown University, M.S.N. University of Texas

Quotations from award nominations: 

“Jane is one of those faculty who goes about her work with integrity and intelligence….

She has been an ambassador for the college by her active collaboration in the community, the high schools, the health care facilities and other community college nursing programs…. Jane makes it her mission to offer herself as a resource and friend to anyone who needs help… She always takes the time to talk with and help students to succeed in the program…. She epitomizes what is great about Santa Barbara City College.”

Teaching tip/advice:

 Be organized, convey enthusiasm for the material, and show students that you have a genuine interest in their learning.  Working individually with students in the Nursing Lab    helped me as a classroom teacher by giving me an understanding of the different ways in which students learn. Incorporating a variety of activities helps to address different learning styles and promotes active learning in the classroom.

Words of Wisdom:

I do not really have any words of wisdom.  I am still struggling to become the teacher I would like to be. As a nurse educator, I realize our knowledge and understanding of health, disease and healing is changing rapidly.  So it is essential that nurses know how to think critically and continue their learning throughout their career. The challenge is to guide students to become independent learners.  With each class, I try to integrate content with two important aspects of effective nursing: critical thinking and compassion.

Jobs before working at SBCC:

I started working at a young age and so had a variety of work experiences before I became a Registered Nurse.  These jobs included doing child care and some cooking for a family with seven children, doing inspection work in a small tool and dye factory working in the accounting department of an electronics factory, assembling hinges in a factory that had been operating in the original building on the Naugatuck River since the late 1800s, and switchboard operator.  As an RN I did medical-surgical hospital nursing in Boston, public health nursing in Texas, staff development for the University of Chicago Hospital, public health nursing and school nursing for the City of Boston, and teaching in a diploma nursing program.

Most influential teachers:

From the time that I started school and figured out that becoming a cowboy was not going to happen, I wanted to become a nurse.  Many terrific teachers helped me along the way.   In elementary school, one teacher who stands out was Mr. Berkowitz who made science exciting and accessible and was always so proud of his wife who was nurse.  In high school, I encountered a wonderful teacher of American history, Mr. Johnson who planted the seed for me becoming a teacher. Another high school teacher, Mr. Zeisner changed the course of my life by having confidence in me. He encouraged me to apply to Georgetown University.   Once accepted, he was key in helping me get the scholarships and loans that made it possible for me to attend.   As a nurse educator, the teacher who had the biggest impact was Jacque Huth, the former Director of the Vocational Nursing Program. In graduate school I had courses in pedagogy and curriculum design.  However, there was no formal preparation for the most difficult part of nursing education, which is teaching students in the hospital while simultaneously ensuring that patients receive the best care possible.  The assumption has always been that the clinical instructor will just learn on the job.  So, I was very blessed to begin my teaching career at SBCC with Jacque Huth in the Vocational Nursing Program.   Jacque generously mentored me and taught me all I know about effective clinical teaching.


A favorite interest is traveling and this has been a fantastic summer.  My husband and I traveled to New Zealand to visit our son.  Michael is studying architecture and landscape design at UC Berkeley and spent spring semester of his junior year in New Zealand.  Along with being used to driving on the left, Michael knew every nook and cranny on the South Island and was an excellent tour guide. We had a great time exploring the cities of Christchurch and Dunedin, beaches, mountains, glaciers and fiords.  I also had the opportunity to explore Berlin this summer while my husband, a recipient of the Humboldt Award, collaborated with other scientists at the Fritz Haber Institute. My other interests include reading, hiking, knitting and needlework.


Reading is my most favorite activity. We do not have TV, which allows me more time for reading.  I usually have a couple books I’m reading at any given time. I have just finished reading a memoir by Isabel Allende entitled My Invented Country.  Allende discusses the concept of nostalgia and presents a surprisingly honest and often humorous view of Chile and her life. I am also reading a book, my son shared with me called the Botany of Desire:  A Plant’s Eye View of the World.  The book consists of essays linking the desires of sweetness, beauty, intoxication and control with four plants that satisfy them.        Pollan shows how these plants have evolved to satisfy man’s basic desires.  He suggests that as we have benefited from these plants, the plants have also benefited from association with us.

Love about job:

Without a doubt, what I love most about my job are the people I work with… my colleagues, staff and the nursing students.  I love teaching.  There is a special satisfaction to seeing so many of our graduates in the local hospitals and clinics doing a fine job providing nursing care to the Santa Barbara Community.

Greatest accomplishment:

I began working in the SBCC Nursing Lab in 1976.  My greatest accomplishment has been to assist in the evolution of that Lab to the state of the art Allied Health and Nursing Laboratory that we have today.  Assisting with the designing, building, equipping, and staffing of that Lab has been a tremendous learning experience.  I believe that the quality of a nursing lab and its staff is the critical factor in preparing students to care for patients.  So I have made an effort to share my experience of planning and building a nursing lab with the other nursing programs in California.

 Historical figure:

 I would love to hear Marco Polo speak of his many travels and adventures. 

Favorite place in the world:

Santa Barbara is my first choice as my favorite place to live.   However, my two favorite places to visit are the Grand Tetons in Wyoming and the Dolomites in Italy.


My personal motto is to think positive and keep smiling.  I also like this motto of Confucius…”He who learns but does not think, is lost.  He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.”