I started my nursing career in the Cardiac Surgery Intensive Care Unit at the University of Maryland Medical Center. I recognized the qualities of a great preceptor and what it took to mold a new graduate nurse into someone who would be successful on this extremely difficult unit. From day one of orientation, I felt that nursing school had taught me nothing. The learning curve was steep and my days off were spent studying and going to critical care classes. After three years I transitioned to the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) where new skills were being learned. I also had the opportunity to teach two clinical semesters for Stevenson University and precept two practicum students from University of Maryland School of Nursing. This experience solidified my love of teaching students. I felt that my bedside experience and memories of being a student myself allowed me to excel as a relatable clinical instructor that students did not fear. I was not only able to teach nursing skills and critical thinking, but was able to teach the students how to function as a nurse and other tips and tricks of the job.
This scholarship will allow me to finish my degree sooner and therefore begin teaching the next generation of nurses sooner. It will allow me to have flexibility in the hours I work, so my primary focus is my degree and clinical experience. The support of a mentor and a network of nurses that this scholarship will provide me will guide me into becoming a strong nurse educator and help navigate the furthering of my education towards a Doctorate in Nursing Practice. The knowledge I acquire will be used to educate future nurses for years to come as I continue to teach clinical and hope to further my career as a nursing professor.