Q1: How did you become a teacher?
A: As a clinician, I’ve always enjoyed teaching new parents. My specialty is maternal/child nursing, a population that requires lots of education. About 15 years ago, I was approached by a nursing instructor who said, “I think you’d be good at teaching. Would you like to take a group of students?” I did and I’ve been teaching nursing students ever since.
Q2: What advice do you have for current college students?
A: I tell them not to settle for “good enough.” I want them to strive to be exceptional and I believe that having an open mind when learning is essential. Those of us who are fortunate enough to have an education should see it as a gift and not a privilege. I tell students to challenge themselves and squeeze every drop out of learning.
Q3: What do you want students to take away from your classes?
A: I hope that my students know that I really care about each one of them. When I’m in the classroom, I often think of students as my patients. I’m there for them and I think it’s my responsibility to inspire them in some way, so I try to prepare for my classes and express my passion for the work that I do. I also try to add a good dose of humor. We usually wind up laughing. I have a saying that my door is always open for a student who brings me a cup of coffee. All kidding aside though, I try not to limit it to office hours. If a student needs me, I try to be available.
Q4: How are student nurses trained outside of the classroom?
A: I take students into clinical settings. I’ve spent a lot of time at Beverly Hospital in the obstetrics department and brought many students through a rotation there. In my position at Merrimack, I work with other departments to establish clinical sites for our nursing program. It’s been exciting to go out, meet people and see potential places where our students can gain clinical experience.
Q5: What’s your favorite medical drama on television?
A: I love “Call the Midwife,” a PBS show about midwifery in London. I think the stories are amazing and the clinical scenarios are very accurate. But if you were to ask me to come over and watch “Grey’s Anatomy?” Well, I’d probably be “too busy.”