During the time when I was considering what path I was going to follow in terms of my professional development, I realized that my career goals offered me the chance to achieve 2 goals simultaneously. My short term goal is to master psychiatric nursing well enough to be able to teach it by obtaining all possible experiences related to psychiatric nursing by working part-time as either an employee or volunteer in a psychiatric facility.
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These are exposure methods which I believe will help me achieve my long term goal of becoming a full time, effective educator in a local community college. The idea is to join the faculty of their 2 year A.A. Nursing program within 6 years. Realizing the cut-throat competition I will be facing in the part time instructor field, I have taken a proactive stance by already applying for part time instructor positions. It is my hope that I will be hired by one of the colleges with the full intent of transitioning my position into a full time teaching slot when I am finally ready to do so.
Statement of Purpose
I have found that the Masters of Nursing Program met my expectations with regards to learning the skills that will be required of me once I become a nurse educator in the future. The program introduced me to the various technological approaches now available for learning. More notably, the classes also expounded upon and introduced me to the different teaching principles that will help me develop my adult learner teaching method.
The classes helped me to realize and understand what is expected of me professionally. I now understand that I am responsible for making sure that the student – instructor expectations are clearly defined. My preceptor made it quite clear during my clinical rotation that providing accurate information and clear direction is of the utmost importance in order to insure that the student will be able to fulfill their educational expectations and goals. Something which I personally thought was often lacking in today’s student-instructor set up. By taking what I learned during my rotation, I am now highly committed and confident that the nurse educator path is truly the career road I want to take.
Professional Plans for the Next Five Years
As I have recently completed my MSN Nurse Educator program, I am not eligible to apply for either an educator position or as an assistant nursing director. My plan is to work in the department educational planning unit where I can devise various nursing education methods covering a variety of nursing subjects.
With any luck, I will able to work in the aforementioned position over the next five years while teaching part time in the associate degree nursing program. In the future, I might even pursue a doctoral in Nursing Degree. Everything else after my main plan of becoming an educator is tentative and will probably take on a more final shape as the years pass and I come to a deeper understanding of what skills are really required of me as an educator in an ever changing nursing landscape.
In 1994, I began teaching my first medical terminology class at the Ladera Career Paths Training Center in Los Angeles. I handled a class of 15 students for one year from 9 A.M. To 12 P.M. This was one of the classes required for the medical record program which was attended by young adults who needed to learn a skill as quickly as possible. Approved by the state of California Bureau for Private Post Secondary Education, all the training that was provided was designed to prepare students for entry level employment as medical record coders, billers, or transcriptionists.
By the Spring of 2007, I began teaching Legal and Ethical Aspects in Healthcare classes part time at the Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science in L.A. This is a required course for anybody pursuing an Associate Degree in Health Information Technology.
As an instructor, I was introduced to the significance of the adult learning principles. The older students, who were in their early or late 50’s often did better in class than their younger counterparts. I found that the older students were more committed to being responsible for learning the information presented in class and they did very well on their tests. The techniques that I used in teaching this course besides lectures were power point presentations, Internet based readings, and role playing for a student population composed mostly of African Americans and Latinos who were eager to make a career change. I also served as a trainer for our annual skills validation laboratory.
Here I was tasked to evaluate our nurses knowledge of sanitary procedures and guideline, making sure to take those who failed the training course were taken to task and retrained in the skills where they showed wanting in competency.
I also worked as a public health nurse for the County of Los Angeles Public Health Department, specifically the sexually transmitted disease program. This was a job that was dear to me because it allowed me to share the responsibility of educating the high school students about STD’s by assisting the health educators. I took the lead on this assignment and presented information about various STD’s, transmission methods, and how they are treated. Aside from lessons regarding safe sex practices. One of the strategies that I used was to engage the students participation by encouraging them to ask questions.
By January 2007, I was already trained at the USC Life Support Center in Alhambra, CA as a Cardiopulmonary Resuscitator, Basic Life Support trainer. Now I was allowed to handle monthly CPR/BLS training for the nurses and physicians and any other ancillary personal that requires CPR/BLS training. I handled only 6 students at a time as allowed by the American Heart Association usually on site. There were instances however, when I would be requested to train others at various locations. During these times, I utilized various class teaching methods such as DVD viewings, lectures, demonstrations, and return demonstration from the students.
I gained clinical and teaching experience from the role performance courses in the MSN program for nurse educator. My role performance was completed at Mount Saint Mary’s College, Associate of Nursing Degree program, located in Los Angeles. The course that I gained my experience from was the Mental Health Nursing course.
Under the direction of my preceptor I was able to lecture on certain subjects taught in the mental health nursing course using power point presentations. I attended the clinical site and assisted the preceptor in the supervision of the students in the clinical setting. I conducted pre and post conferences with the students, engaging them in discussions of their clinical experiences with their patients. Interacting with the students in post conference and listening to them discuss their patients mental illnesses always presented moments for me to expound on the students knowledge or provide further clarification on various related topics.
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Leadership and Management Experience
I was promoted to nurse manager in August 2006. My assigned area was the pediatric clinic and the immunization program. In addition to managing the clinic, I supervised eight nurses, 3 RN’s, 2, LVN’s and 3 NA’s. I ensured that the day-to-day operations of the pediatric clinic was carried out in compliance with policies and procedures of the hospitalwhile maintaining the mission and vision of the facility. This was my first management position, so it was a little challenging at first. Especially when I had to deal with the physicians who were resistant to change. They had to be reminded constantly about their commitment to comply with preset rules and regulations such as safeguarding patient information as mandated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations.
At the beginning of March this year the clinic started charting on-line via electronic medical record. The nurses and physicians all had training on how to chart using the electronic medical record system. However, the physicians were resistant and complained about the length of time it took to enter a whole record in the computer, and that it was slowing them down from seeing their patience. They wanted the nurses to enter only certain patient visits into the computer for electronic charting. From this experience I learned that there will be times when, as the nurse manager I will have to take a stand and make difficult and unpopular decisions when dealing with the physicians. I learned to be consistent, persistent, and firm while maintaining professionalism.
Another lesson I learned is that the nurse manager is the backbone of the unit or clinic. Although most of the time I work well with the chief physician, I still find myself having to make sure the clinic has everything it needs to operate. From supplies to equipment to adequate nursing staff, while staying within the allotted budget. I am also the front runner in making sure the clinic is compliant with Joint Commission standards, and other licensing and accreditation agencies. There are times when my critical thinking skills have to kick-in. Such as when I am problem solving with issues concerning the staff or making a decision for the betterment of the clinic.
I learned how to prioritize and utilize all of the available resources to get the job done. Through some challenging experiences, I learned to build alliances up and down the organizational heirarchy, establishing strong working relationships with my staff, colleagues, the medical staff, other departments, as well as upper management. That way, when problems arose and I needed immediate assistance, the good rapport that I have established is already in place to help me achieve desired results. Being a nurse manager is a challenging role, especially because of the many issues, circumstances and details that I have to handle.
When I came aboard as nurse manager I was assigned to chair the nurse recognition committee. As the chair person I scheduled the meetings and oversaw the activities performed by the committee. The nurse recognition committee consists of one nurse representative from each clinic area. Along with the committee we plan for nursing activities to take place during nurse recognition week. The committee organizes fund-raising activities to obtain funds to sponsor the activities.
This committee is also responsible for passing out nomination forms to the other nursing staff and physicians encouraging them to nominate a nurse they feel is outstanding supported by documentation to be selected as nurse of the year. The committee was also responsible for organizing a facility wide nurse recognition luncheon which was paid for by funds raised from the fund raising activities. Personally, I did not like chairing the nurse recognition committee. It was very time consuming and I had to constantly encourage the committee members to get their peers involved in the activities.
The other committee that I currently co-chair with the chief physician of the urgent care clinic is the code blue team committee. The purpose of this committee is to form a team and train them to respond to a code blue call. The code blue team is provided with up to date cardiopulmonary resuscitation and basic life support information.
The code blue team committee meetings are scheduled by the chief physician from urgent care and depending on the information to be presented either he or myself will chair the meeting. Usually when I chair the meetings I present information on how to resuscitate an adult, child and infant, with demonstration and return-demonstration from the committee members. I enjoy co-chairing this committee. All the committee members are committed to their part of the code blue team and they take it seriously.