"I would say that most of the nurses who graduate go on to realize that the skills we need to be better nurses involve more than the hands-on skills that we perform every day."
Which classes do you teach in the RN to BSN online program?
NUR 309: Holistic Health Assessment with Lab and NUR 342: Health Promotions
What do you want students to learn in your classes? What's the takeaway?
My main goal in my courses is for students to gain a deeper understanding of content that they can apply into practice. I also enjoy delving into current topics that are transforming our understanding of how nutrition affects the mind-body connection (such as the gut-brain connection) and how we as nurses can use this knowledge to improve preventative measures for risk reduction of top health issues we face in practice.
What advice would you give to those considering the RN to BSN online program?
My best advice for nurses considering enrolling in our RN to BSN online program is to start with a few classes to get their feet wet and to master how to navigate the system and get used to the difference between face-to-face and online delivery of content. Once the first semester is completed, I would then advise students to organize a plan that involves time off to spend time with their families and friends to avoid burnout and feeling overwhelmed with juggling all the commitments that go along with being a student.
What is the value of a BSN?
The best value of obtaining a BSN is that it broadens the scope of our understanding of our role as nurses. Many times I have heard students starting in the program say, "I am already a nurse—what do all these courses have to do with making me a better nurse?"
I would say that most of the nurses who graduate go on to realize that the skills we need to be better nurses involve more than the hands-on skills that we perform every day. We need to be better leaders, better researchers, and better at looking at how we can include policy makers and communities into improving practice.
What do you think is the biggest challenge nurses face today?
The biggest challenge nurses face today is having time to keep up with all the changes, and the diversity of roles they are asked to assume.
Why did you start teaching?
My motivation to transfer into teaching was the recognition that capturing incoming nurses could have a major impact on healthcare. One of my former students once told me that I should look at teaching as impacting a broader audience as each student goes on to care for patients. I am also a strong advocate for furthering one's education and hope that most of our students will go on for advanced practice or degrees that will impact healthcare around the world.
What is the one book you think everyone should read?
“The Gift of Pain” by Philip Yancey and Dr. Paul Brand
Tell us something interesting about yourself that your students might not know about you.
I once dreamed of being an oceanographer and roaming the world to help reduce pollution of our environment.