Many of us would be happy if we wrote something that just one person found beneficial. Dr. Janet Weber, professor of nursing, co-authored a textbook that has been used worldwide!
A conversation with an author from Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins Publishing in 1987 started the whole process. After mentioning her idea of assessment cards for nursing students, a publishing editor asked her for a sample. She sent one and the company was so impressed with her sample, editors decided to make a series of them into a handbook. In 1992, because of the success of this handbook, she was asked to write a more in-depth assessment textbook which contains 33 chapters, 14 of which she authored and served as editor or coauthor of the other chapters. Some of the book contributors (L. Bugle, G. Green, B. Johnson, B. Morris, A. Sprengel, T. Woods, and C. Young) also teach in the Department of Nursing.
“The most challenging aspect of writing was finding the time and the discipline to work on it everyday. During the summers, I would get up at 5 a.m. and spend anywhere from 30 minutes to five hours a day on the book. I have had to make it part of my daily routine, especially since I continue to write new editions. ”
Her dedication paid off as now, Nurses’ Handbook of Health Assessment, is going into its seventh edition. Health Assessment in Nursing by Weber and Kelley and the accompanying Student Workbook by Weber, Kelley, and Sprengel are going into their fourth editions. These texts have been used at approximately 55 different colleges or universities, including campuses in Canada, Australia, Japan, Korea and Portugal and the books are available in four languages.
“I have enjoyed working with international publishers on this project. I was able
to travel to Japan and work with a translator to adapt the book to meet the needs
of their culture.”
Nursing has always been part of Dr. Weber’s life. Her mother was a nurse and after spending a summer caring for her grandmother, she decided to go into nursing as well.
A native of St. Louis, she received both her B.S. and M.S. in Nursing from Saint Louis University. She received an Ed.D in Adult Education from Memphis State University and says she sees nursing as a gateway to many options for students.
“Nursing offers a wide range of career opportunities, including practicing nursing in communities, homes, clinics, hospitals, educational settings, preventive health care etc. Educational opportunities do not end with a bachelor’s degree; one may go on to obtain a master’s or doctoral degree in nursing.”
Dr. Weber has taught at Southeast for 29 years. The personalized attention students receive is one of her favorite aspects of the University, along with the small-to-moderate- size classes that allow using a variety of teaching methods to meet the individual learning needs of students.
“Students motivate me to continue to write meaningful, interactive textbooks. They always give me new creative ideas.”
She is married to Dr. Bill Weber from the Department of Computer Science, and they have two sons, Wes and Joe.