This will be the space for my research statement
Nursing education requires students to gain intellectual knowledge and practical skills in order to work effectively as a nurse. Knowledge about health, sickness, treatments is necessary to adequately assess patient status but then necessitates the ability to translate that information into practice. This balance between intellectual and skill-based learning can be found at all levels of nursing education from pre-license, to masters and doctoral degrees. To that end, as a nurse educator, I am focused on helping students gain a solid knowledge base that will serve them well as they move forward with clinical practice.
Encouraging Curiosity and Growth
Teaching methods that help create desire for lifelong learning and curiosity include engagement, emotional connection, and relevant critical thinking exercises. Student nurses need to have a basic knowledge about health and physiology to do their job, but they should also develop the desire integrate new technologies, treatments, and innovation into their nursing practice. I want to capture student’s attention in the classroom through critical assessment and openness to challenge current standards and protocols. The freedom to ask questions allows for progressive thinking to get past just doing something because ‘that’s how it’s always been done’ but to learn new ways to ensure patient safety and translate new knowledge into practice. This thoughtful process will separate them as leaders among their peers within the nursing culture. I also provide opportunities for students to engage thoughtfully with difficult case studies. These case studies challenge students in two ways: (1) enhance their assessment in order to prioritize the patient needs; (2) provides a non-threatening setting to explore their own personal values and biases that may influence the care they give.
I enjoy teaching students in both the classroom and clinical setting. Each setting has unique challenges and rewards. As an education both settings require adaptability with learning styles and emotional availability. The clinical setting requires hands-on, real-time teaching; thus, teachable moments are ever-present. In these one-on-one moments with students, often the best type of learning takes place and there is an immediate impact on their practical skills and critical thinking. This type of learning connects the practical with an emotional component, which often roots the experience more firmly in the student’s knowledge base. For example, students are often extremely hesitant to perform an injection on a newborn in the room with the parents. Rightly so, they are nervous, they are not confident in their skills; however, after walking them through the procedure and affirming their ability, the end result will be a greater sense of confidence if they perform the task and explain to the parents what they are doing. This gives them the chance to confirm what they are doing but also builds rapport with the family. It is more than just performing a task, but guiding them through patient interaction, building rapport, and tuning into surroundings. Even this smallest encounter provides a background for how I view teaching: give them the knowledge, allow them to practice, be present and answer questions but push them outside of their comfort zone. Thus, the next time they encounter a situation where they are unsure, they will already have had a successful experience of which to draw from.
Through teaching I live out my passion for improving the health and well-being of all patients. Throughout my nursing career, I have taught other nurses as a bedside preceptor for new graduates, in the classroom through formal lectures, and as a clinical instructor. My teaching has focused largely on perinatal-neonatal and maternity nursing. I focus on improving health for well-born infants to sick neonates who require intensive care. Not only must I have specific knowledge of infant health and development but also the ability to guide and teach parents through their experience dependent on the setting. Thus, for all my students, it is important to impart a family-first mindset. It is neither the infant or the parent that is the patient, but the whole family. This is a challenge because it often requires a greater emotional presence and situational awareness; but building rapport with the family ensures improvements in outcomes for everyone.
Not only do I expect an openness for learning and translation of new knowledge for my students, I am dedicated to the constant improvement of my own professional learning and teaching skills. I look forward to the opportunity to bring a balanced teaching perspective to all levels of nursing education from undergraduate and graduate degrees as a nurse-educator and scientist.
Diversity Statement Here