"The more nursing education you have, the more options you have. Nursing is lifelong learning. Our profession has a world of opportunities."
I am a board-certified Medical-Surgical Nurse (BC-RN,) and test-item writer for the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) certification exam. I am a Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) through the National League for Nursing (NLN), a certified online educator through Northeastern State University, and a peer reviewer for Quality Matters.
Which classes do you teach online?
Professional Nursing Role, Health Assessment, Cultural Competency in Nursing, Professional Nursing Synthesis
What do you want students to take away from your classes? What do you want them to learn?
I want students to see that prior to the RN to BSN program at Northeastern State University, they didn't know what it was they didn't know, not because they aren't capable of learning, but simply because they had not yet been exposed to the information.
What is the value of a BSN?
The more nursing education you have, the more options you have. Nursing is lifelong learning. Our profession has a world of opportunities. By earning a BSN, students will conduct research and use evidence-based practices, preparing them to lead and advocate for patients. A BSN will expand their consciousness and broaden their perspective so they may look at nursing beyond simply one nurse, one patient, one encounter, one bedside. BSN-prepared nurses know that healthy individuals make up healthy families, and healthy families make up healthy communities. The expanded thought process that comes with earning a BSN allows students to apply elevated nursing practices to both individuals and entire communities.
Why did you start teaching?
Literally, on my very first day of nursing school, I looked toward the front of the tiered lecture hall and realized my faculty were both nurses and educators. I started to teach nursing because I wanted to follow in their footsteps. What I find most rewarding about teaching is seeing students grow and getting to know who they are along the way. I enjoy our conversations over the phone or during video conferences, but watching them deliver their presentations is where I really get to see them shine.
What advice would you give to people considering the online RN to BSN program?
Time management is essential to balancing family, work and school commitments. Whether it is on the kitchen wall, a paper and pencil planner, or in electronic form, take the time to enter assignment due dates on a calendar. Be organized and make use of small blocks of time in case larger blocks of time to devote to school work don't occur. Learn to say no and to delegate. Furthering your nursing education requires sacrifice, but it is temporary. The investment in your future will be worth it. The tassel is worth the hassle!
What qualities make someone particularly successful in nursing?
Critical thinking is a quality that serves a nurse well. No matter the setting, in our profession it always comes back to critical thinking in the form of the nursing process. The successful nurse applies the nursing process to care of individuals, families and communities. Successful nurses also adapt the nursing process to leadership, research and evidence-based practice opportunities.
What do you think is the biggest challenge that nurses face today?
The nursing shortage is a very big challenge facing nurses today. Not only do we need more nurses providing hands-on care, we need more nurse educators prepared to educate the next generation entering our profession.
Tell us something interesting about yourself that your students may not know.
I began teaching nursing during my final semester as a student in this program and find it hard to believe that was more than 25 years ago. I have taught at the practical nursing, associate degree, RN to BSN and graduate levelst at Bacone, Bill Willis, NEO A&M, Oklahoma State University-IT and NSU. It is a privilege to teach at my alma mater. My husband Greg and I are both true "Okies from Muskogee" and fortunate to have many extended family members in town. He is a multimedia projects supervisor/web designer for Cherokee Nation and my resident tech support. I really mean it when I say call me if you have questions or concerns. My job is to facilitate your learning and to make this semester a pleasant experience for all of us!