NNU News

Libero Linnea Phillips sets the standard

September 28, 2015


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Nursing majors are notorious for burying their heads in books or working off campus in clinicals at all hours. Volleyball players practice almost every day and travel part of most weeks when in season. A volleyball-playing nursing major is even busier. While some may shrink away from the challenge of making these two schedules work in harmony, Linnea Phillips, a senior from Yakima, Washington, embraces it.

When Linnea is not donning her scrubs and listening to heartbeats, she plays for the NNU Crusaders, a team that last year went to the national championship as the No. 1 seed in the NCAA West Regional tournament.

“I couldn’t do it without the support of the nursing program, my coach, and all three of us communicating to work around conflicts."
When Linnea first spoke with NNU’s coach and the nursing department about her desire to pursue a career in nursing and to play the sport she loves, she met some resistance. Both nursing and volleyball have demanding schedules that do not naturally fit together, and many people told her it would be too difficult to attempt both. While she could have easily given up in the face of resistance, all Linnea said was, “challenge accepted.”

Following NNU’s desire to foster well-rounded students, Linnea’s coach and the nursing department worked together to help her succeed. “I couldn’t do it without the support of the nursing program, my coach, and all three of us communicating to work around conflicts,” Linnea said.

It’s not as simple as booking a different flight so Linnea can be back from a game in time for her clinical rotations; the success is also due to her dedication. Coach Doug English has seen the desire that drives Linnea to work hard: “I see it most on the road where she diligently and consistently works on her school work in the airports and any free time we have. She has incredible time management skills and the want, need and work ethic to be both a great volleyball player and a great student.”

With practice or a game almost every day, classes and an average of 130 clinical hours to complete per semester, Linnea has had to work hard to be as successful as she is today. Last season she was named to the GNAC All-Academic Team for the second year in a row, proving she has not only balanced nursing and volleyball, she has excelled at both.

She takes it all in stride and is grateful for the opportunities afforded her at NNU. “Being able to play on a team is such a privilege; any minute on the court is an accomplishment in itself.”

Celebrate NNU’s great history of competitive volleyball during Homecoming and Family Weekend 2015 as we honor current and former players and coaches with a reunion luncheon, game and Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Learn more at nnu.edu/homecoming.

Photo by Chad Case Photography.