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Dr. Heather Fenton, MSN Program Chair, Assistant Professor

Dr. Heather Fenton

"I want students to fully understand the content and applications so that they can take it to their workplace and immediately apply it."

Degrees Held:

  • Ed.D. – Walden University, 2012
  • MSN – Walden University, 2008
  • M.Ed. – University of Central Oklahoma, 2006
  • BSN – Northeastern State University, 2001
  • ADN – Bacone College, 1991
  • PN – Kiamichi Technology Center, 1989

Career Highlights:

Certifications:

  • Certified Nurse Educator
  • Board Certified Health Occupations Educator

Published Work:

Fenton, H. (2012) Factors Influencing the Academic Success of Part-time Practical Nursing Students. Doctoral Dissertation.

Presentations:

Professional Presentations made at local, state, regional and national conferences. Topics have included instructional strategies, collaborative learning, student assessment, online learning.

Awards:

  • Oklahoma Nurses Association Excellence in Nursing Award, 2016
  • Health Occupations State Division Outstanding Educator in Community Service, 2011
  • Educator of the Year for Health Occupations State Division, 2010
  • Outstanding State HOSA Advisor, 2007
  • Award of Merit – Outstanding HOSA Advisor at HOSA National Leadership Conference, 2007
  • Outstanding New Teacher for Health Occupations State Division, 2007
  • Inducted into Gamma Beta Phi Society for Scholarship, Character, and Service, 2005
  • Joyce VanNostrand Award for Achievement in Nursing Research, 2003
  • Inducted into Sigma Theta Tau, International Honor Society in Nursing, 2003

What do you want students to take away from your classes? What do you want them to learn?

I want students to fully understand the content and applications so that they can take it to their workplace and immediately apply it.

What is the value of a BSN?

A BSN is much more than just clinical skills—it is an enhancement of communication, critical thinking and leadership skills. Nurses with a BSN have better patient outcomes (lower mortality rates and lower failure to rescue rates). Hospitals seeking Magnet status value lifelong learning and want higher educated nurses. Being a BSN opens the door up to more opportunities than just having an associate degree in nursing.

Why did you start teaching?

Growing up as a child, my friends and I would play "school" and take turns being the teacher. I also had a love of health sciences. After graduating from my practical nursing program, I became a CPR instructor and discovered I really loved teaching. It was at that point I realized I could be both a nurse and a teacher.

What advice would you give to people considering the online RN to BSN program?

The online RN to BSN program is very flexible for the adult learner—however, the student must be able to devote time to completing the learning and assessment activities, have the ability to meet deadlines, and must communicate with faculty.

What qualities make someone particularly successful in nursing?

Altruism, determination and maturity.

What do you think is the biggest challenge that nurses face today?

Nurses today are prepared with the skills necessary to take care of patients; however, they are missing the mark set for collaboration. Collaborative skills are essential for nurses to be effective team members and facilitate better patient outcomes.

What is the one book you think everyone should read?

"The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health."

Tell us something interesting about yourself that your students may not know.

As an entrepreneur, I am the owner and lead nurse planner for a continuing education business. Continuing education events are held on cruise ships on sea days, allowing plenty of time for fun in the sun and exploring the island destinations.

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