Sabrenda Littles, PhD

Sabrenda Littles in camouflage military uniform in the field during a military tour.

Sometimes, inspiration comes from places we least expect it.

For Sabrenda Littles -- a member of TWU’s Houston nursing faculty, a business owner and a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves – inspiration came during numerous hospital waiting room visits as a child.

“The wait times were extremely long and the only thing that made it bearable were the nurses who were very attentive,” recalled Littles, who struggled with allergy-related issues in her youth. “They would give me coloring books and toys to keep me occupied while waiting. They also distracted me when it was time to receive immunizations.”

Those experiences served as the foundation for her love of nursing and a remarkable academic career that includes bachelor’s degrees in psychology and nursing, an MBA, a PhD in nursing science and a doctor of nursing practice. She earned her three graduate degrees from Texas Woman’s.

Her love for nursing evolved during her college years, when she got a taste for tutoring her fellow students who were struggling in nursing school. “I helped tutor my peers and I developed a love for teaching,” she said.

Illnesses affect everyone regardless of their ethnic background. It is up to us as nurses to provide the best care to all patients, regardless of race.

Littles knows about challenges. She herself encountered them while working to balance her academic schedule with her military obligations. Perhaps at no time was it tougher than it was while she was enrolled as a PhD student and called to active duty – twice. Serving her country meant postponing her PhD studies, a delay that was compounded by the fact that some PhD courses were offered only once a year.

As a testament to her academic commitment, Littles turned her challenge into an opportunity. Rather than sit out a semester, Littles enrolled in TWU’s MBA program. The decision turned out to be a fruitful diversion. It helped her develop critical skills for operating her anesthesia staffing company.

The mentoring and support she received while at TWU also had a lasting impression – and influence – on Littles. She noted that one Texas Woman’s professor in particular, Dr. Lene Symes (who retired last year), was especially instrumental in Littles’ quest to earn her PhD, offering advice and encouragement as Littles developed her dissertation.

These people sacrifice their lives to serve our country and my goal is to provide them with the best anesthesia care that I can give during their surgical experiences.

In all, Littles was pressed into military service three times while she was a TWU student. She provided medical care to soldiers during tours at Fort Meade, Maryland, Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

“These people sacrifice their lives to serve our country and my goal is to provide them with the best anesthesia care that I can give during their surgical experiences,” Littles said.

She credits her military service with helping her develop greater self-discipline and for instilling in her a sense of selfless service and integrity – principles she tries to pass along to her own students. She believes that the students she teaches will bring new ideas to the field of nursing, and she wants to encourage them to be engaged in research the way she was to improve the nursing industry. She also stressed the importance of being non-biased in the nursing field.

“Being a minority, I have experienced care from healthcare providers that was biased based on preconceived ideas and stereotypes,” Littles said. “Illnesses affect everyone regardless of their ethnic background. It is up to us as nurses to provide the best care to all patients, regardless of race.”

I helped tutor my peers and I developed a love for teaching.

Page last updated 12:47 PM, February 4, 2019