John Blakeman

Rebekah Icenesse

John Blakeman loves to learn. Coming from a long history of family educators, it was no surprise that he went into the education field and became a professor. He is not only a professor at Millikin but also a registered nurse.

He always had an interest in the medical field, but did not realize until high school that he could be a teacher and a nurse together. It was the perfect opportunity for him to work in the two fields that he was passionate about.


Blakeman got a taste for the classroom when he was younger and visiting his mother’s third grade classroom. Once he saw the opportunities and impact that professors can have on their students, he wanted to be a part of the education and medical field. He graduated from Millikin in 2013 with a Master of Science in Nursing and decided to go back to teach at Millikin after graduating because of the strong Nursing program.

“You can’t just go to any liberal arts college and have all of the different levels of programs and the opportunity to teach in a variety of courses,” Blakeman said. He is currently in his fifth year of teaching at Millikin.

Blakeman’s favorite part of teaching is getting to work with and know so many diverse and different people. “I didn’t realize until I started teaching that every student is different and every student has particular strengths,” he said. “Every student that I encounter, there’s no two students that are the same.”

Not even the twins he has met are the exact same.

It is fun for him to learn his students’ backgrounds and to get to know their different perspectives. In the classroom and in clinicals, when discussing current world and society issues, it reminds him of how diverse and different, but similar everyone is. “At the end of the day, it seems that everybody has a lot of the same concerns and a lot of the same issues. It’s just coming from a different perspective,” he said.

He is extremely happy being both a professor and a clinical nurse because he can have a bigger impact in the world. He wants to help shape his students in the classroom and in clinicals to become better nurses and make a difference in the world after graduation.

“I feel like if I do a really good job in the classroom and in the clinical setting, I am actually having a much broader impact than I would have if I was just on the clinical setting at the bedside,” he said.

Outside of the classroom and medical field, Blakeman does not have a lot of spare time on his hands because he is currently finishing his third year of his PhD in Nursing at Illinois State University. But when he does have a minute to spare away from his studies, he is reading articles or writing papers on the research he conducts.

He has published multiple scholarly articles and journals over Myocardial Infarction fatigue symptoms experienced by women and the gender/sex differences in cardiovascular disease research. He also wrote a book in 2015 during his Master degree and three year stay at the hospital about what it is like to be a nursing student.

Looking towards the future, Blakeman wants to keep teaching and providing additional training for his students. He would like to expand his knowledge of the medical field and teach more on the research he has conducted.

His students and patients constantly inspire and influence him to continue doing what he loves to do: helping people and making a difference in the world.