Pursuing My Passion

After 20 years of practice, I realized how much I enjoyed mentoring new nurses and teaching what I had learned in practice. As a critical care nurse, I considered becoming a nurse anesthetist. At this time I was reading Wild at Heart, a book by Christian author John Eldredge that encourages men to recapture their uniquely created masculine heart that is wired for adventure. This quote literally jumped off the page:

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and do that. Because what the world needs are people who have come fully alive.”

This quote gave me permission to pursue what I believe is my God-given passion and talent in nursing, the ability to teach. So after completing my BSN, I pursued my PASSION and went right to a master’s in nursing education program. I have been both a clinical adjunct and full-time professor the past eight years while continuing to work in the clinical setting.

Trouble in Paradise

After my second year of classroom teaching in 2010, I began to feel a disconnect. Between the traditional content-heavy lectures and NANDA-driven care plans, I felt this traditional approach was not fully preparing my students for real world clinical practice.

Everything changed when I read Educating Nurses: A Call for Radical Transformation. According to the Carnegie Foundation research headed by Patricia Benner, to transform nursing education, classroom content and clinical realities must be brought to life in the classroom and nurse thinking developed by emphasizing clinical reasoning.

This captured so concisely in writing what I was feeling inside that I knew it demanded a response and I had to do something different— and fast! The clinical reasoning case studies and resources I have created are a reflection of this ongoing desire to transform nursing education.

National Stage

When nationally known nurse educator Linda Caputi previewed my case studies, she recognized the value of what I created and gave me an opportunity to present my work at a breakout session at Elsevier’s Faculty Development Institute in Las Vegas in 2012. This has since opened doors to speak at additional nurse educator conferences and workshops around the country. See me speakers page for more info.

Since I created my clinical reasoning case studies three years ago, they have been revised and improved to contextualize content to the bedside and develop nurse thinking.