Essential I: Liberal Education for Baccalaureate Generalist Nursing Practice
- Corresponds to VCU RN-BS Program Outcome #1: Integration of theories and concepts from liberal education into nursing practice
- Anatomy and Physiology (BIO 141 taken at Piedmont Community College): This class taught me about the basics of anatomy and physiology which was foundational to my further studies in nursing. One must understand basic anatomy and physiology before one can understand how disease processes impact the various body systems, or how one might intervene to help with healing.
- Biochemistry (CHEM 4410 taken at University of Virginia): This course taught me the chemical underpinnings of different biological processes that occur in the human body. For example, I learned about the chemistry of vitamins, and have a very detailed understanding of how different vitamins play a role in a human health. This class encouraged scientific inquiry, research, and data analysis. Because of this class, I have a strong understanding of the chemical mechanisms that influence health. This helps me better understand pathophysiology as well as pharmacology.
- Developmental Psychology (PSY 230 taken at Piedmont Community College): This class introduced me to psychological issues faced by individuals from birth till death, including theories of development and individual needs based on developmental level. This is essential as it helps me to understand the needs of my patients based on their own developmental level. I find this particularly helpful in the nursing work I do now, because I care for pediatric patients as well as adults on a daily basis.
- Theology, Ethics, and Medicine (RELG 2650 taken at University of Virginia): During this class I learned about different issues of biomedical ethics, and how various world religions view these issues based on their religion’s theological concepts. For example, I learned about the issue of abortion from the theological point of views of Catholicism, Islam, Judaism, among others. Understanding ethical issues from a wide range of religious perspectives will help me provide culturally humble care to diverse populations, and help me understand that my patients will have varying spiritual needs and ideas that should be accommodated and included in the plan of care.
- Modernist Women Literature (ENLT 2552 taken at University of Virginia): This course focused on literature during the modernist period written by female authors. This course sharpened my writing and critical thinking skills, and helped me to appreciate abstract thinking and creativity. It also introduced me to queer perspectives and issues of women’s equality, which were central themes in many works during the modernist period. Beyond gaining critical thinking and essential communication skills, I have a deeper understanding of different perspectives from the LGBT community that will help me care for diverse populations.
- Studies in American Literature (ENAM 3550 taken at University of Virginia): This course focused on literature about Harlem, specifically by African American and Latinx authors. Beyond developing stronger writing and communication skills, the literature in this course helped me to understand perspectives from diverse populations within a historical and modern context.
- Islam in the Modern Age (RELI 2080 taken at University of Virginia): Through this course, I learned about the different spiritual beliefs and needs of the Muslim population, and this will help me to provide culturally humble care for Muslim patients.
Essential II: Basic Organizational and Systems Leadership for Quality Care and Patient Safety
- Corresponds to VCU RN-BS Program Outcome #2: Knowledge, skills and attitudes in leadership, quality improvement and patient safety to provide high quality health care
- Professional Nursing Concepts (NSG 130 at Reynolds Community College): In this course, a very generalized summary of health care structures and leadership were discussed, as well as safety principles.
- Advanced Professional Nursing Concepts (NSG 230 at Reynolds Community College): this course focused on nursing leadership (including styles of leadership), communication, ethics, informatics, and trends in health care policy.
Essential III: Scholarship for Evidence Based Practice
- Corresponds to VCU RN-BS Program Outcome #3: Professional nursing practice grounded in the translation of current evidence
- Statistics (MTH 245 taken at Piedmont Community College): Statistics created a foundation for synthesizing and analyzing data mathematically. This knowledge is used when evaluating others’ research and figures, and will be useful when doing original nursing research.
- Supervised Chemistry Research (CHEM 4951 taken at University of Virginia): During this research course I did original chemistry research under the supervision of a Principle Investigator, and learned basic lab bench skills, as well as computer programming in the R language. R is very handy for synthesizing raw data and creating useful graphs. This course sharpened my research skills and promoted a spirit of inquiry.
- Nursing Informatics (NURS 301, currently enrolled at Virginia Commonwealth University): This course is helping me transform my knowledge about research in the sciences into knowledge about research in nursing. Thus far, I’ve learned about the levels of evidence in nursing research and search strategies in online databases tailored to nursing research.
- Evidence-Based Practice Project in the Nurse Residency Program at VCU Health: I am currently working on formulating a PICO question related to the needs and interests of the Burn Center at VCU, and will use database searching skills to review research, critique the levels of evidence, and generate a recommendation that links research to practice for the hospital.
Essential IV: Information Management and Application of Patient Care Technology
- Corresponds to VCU RN-BS Program Outcome #4: Knowledge of skills in information literacy, management and patient care technology
- Nursing Capstone (NSG 270 taken at Reynolds Community College): this clinical course allowed me to really begin using technology in patient care more independently, from pumps to monitors to charting in an EHR. I completed my hours at the Progressive Care Neurology Unit at Henrico Doctors Hospital, Forest.
- Nursing Informatics (NURS 301, currently enrolled at Virginia Commonwealth University): The focus of this course is healthcare information management, from the perspective of nursing. Thus far I have
- Current work at Evans-Haynes Burn Center at VCU Health: as a part of my daily routine, I incorporate technology into the care I provide my patients. I use various technology such as monitors, pumps, the computer to navigate the EHR to enter and access information, scan medications using a barcode system, check best practices using UptoDate, and maintain competencies related to patient information safety and confidentiality.
- Essentials of Critical Care Orientation Modules by the AACN: I am currently working on completing these modules as a part of my Nurse Residency Program at VCU Health. These online modules include 90 hours of course work, much of which has to do with the use of different types of technology in healthcare, such as ventilators, monitoring capnography, monitoring heart rhythms via telemetry, among other topics.
Essential V: Health Care Policy, Finance, and Regulatory Environments
- Corresponds to VCU RN-BS Program Outcome #5: Knowledge of health care, financial and regulatory policies that influence the nature and functioning of the health care system
- Health Care Participant (NSG 152 taken at Reynolds Community College): This course focused on population health, and introduced concepts such as health care disparities, health insurance and health finance systems, and social trends that influence health.
- Professional Nursing Concepts (NSG 130 at Reynolds Community College): This course introduced me to the state of Virginia’s Nurse Practice Act, as well as ethical and legal issues such as mandatory reporting, abandonment, malpractice, and informed consent.
Essential VI: Interprofessional Communication and Collaboration for Improving Patient Health Outcomes
- Corresponds to VCU RN-BS Program Outcome #6: Effective communication and collaboration skills with the interprofessional team to deliver high quality and safe patient care
- Clinical Concepts II (NSG 211 at Reynolds Community College): This class taught me the principles of therapeutic communication, and how therapeutic communication can help care for patients as well as improve interprofessional collaboration.
- Clinical Experiences in Behavioral Health at John Randolph Medical Center (clinical portion of NSG 211 at Reynolds Community College): During these clinical rotations I worked with patients working through mental health issues in different types of care settings: inpatient psychiatry, inpatient psychiatry for members of the military, and structured outpatient behavioral health work involving daily therapy and groupwork. Through these clinical experiences I practiced skills in relationship building, therapeutic communication, conflict management, safety, and group dynamics.
- Nursing Capstone (NSG 270 taken at Reynolds Community College): Through my capstone on the Progressive Care Neurology Unit at Henrico Doctors Hospital, I was able to practice my interprofessional communication and collaboration skills every day I was there. I was responsible for consulting with different specialties depending on my patients’ needs. For example, if a patient developed a kidney issue, I was the one to call the nephrology office and involve their team. I also participated in ground rounds, where I spoke to the different therapy groups, management, social workers, and care coordinators about my patients’ needs.
- Current work at Evans-Haynes Burn Center at VCU Health: As a burn nurse, I’m responsible for collaborating with many different groups to ensure my patients receive the best possible care. If a patient is in intensive care, I round daily with the ICU team of doctors to communicate my patient’s needs and learn the team’s goals for the day and how that will guide my plan of care. I also participate in grand rounds with physical therapy, occupational therapy, social work, care coordination, and trauma psychiatry each day to update the patient’s more globalized plan of care, and learn how the idea from each of these disciplines will contribute to my plan of care for the day. I practice therapeutic communication daily, whether I’m speaking to my patients, my nursing colleagues, or communicating with doctors or other allied health teams.
Essential VII: Clinical Prevention and Population Health
- Corresponds to VCU RN-BS Program Outcome #7: Health promotion and disease prevention at the individual and population level necessary to improve population health
- Health Care Participant (NSG 152 taken at Reynolds Community College): This course was my first introduction to the levels of healthcare prevention, as well as different prevention strategies including patient education. It also taught me the basics of epidemiology, and how this applies at the population level and the community level. Another focus of this course included the spiritual aspects of care, and how cultural and spiritual topics can impact health. One particularly relevant project from this course was the “windshield survey,” in which I drove around my community and assessed the potential health care disparities and assets within the community, as well as environmental factors that might contribute.
- Clinical rotation working with Feed More Community Kitchen: During this rotation, I helped prepare and package food for individuals in the Central Virginia area facing hunger, which helped me understand nutritional concepts and how lack of access to nutritious food impacts communities and individuals across their entire lifespan.
- Health Promotion and Assessment (NSG 200 taken at Reynolds Community College): This course introduced me to Health People 2020 (now 2030!), which is a project by the US Department of Health and Human Services which sets national objectives to improve population health over the next decade, based on current health care data. It helped me acquire a much broader understanding of the health issues and disparities our nation faces. As a part of this class, we participated in a poster session based on our research into a particular health objective, and educated the school about our chosen topic. I taught about STI prevention for the LGBT community, which was a national health promotion objective in 2020, as well as for 2030.
- Health Promotion Community Education (clinical rotation for NSG 170 taken at Reynolds Community College): During this clinical rotation I spent multiple shifts teaching community members about breast cancer prevention strategies, such as nutritional goals, smoking cessation, self-screening, and age-based mammography recommendations.
- Clinical rotation at the Marshall Center (clinical rotation for NSG 211 taken at Reynolds Community College): During this clinical rotation I worked with adults with schizophrenia and/or bipolar disorder who attend the day program at the Marshall Center (part of Richmond Behavioral Health Authority). As a part of this clinical experience, my group taught different health promotion topics relevant to this particular population each day, including nutrition, self-care, exercise, and smoking cessation.
Essential VIII: Professionalism and Professional Values
- Corresponds to VCU RN-BS Program Outcome #8: Professionalism that reflects the inherent values of altruism, autonomy, human dignity, integrity and social justice fundamental to nursing
- Professional Nursing Concepts (NSG 130 at Reynolds Community College): This course gave me an introductory understanding to the idea of professionalism in the field of nursing. It gave me a basic historic context of nursing, as well as an idea of some of the core values of nursing.
- Foundations of Professional Nursing 1 (NURS 307, currently enrolled at Virginia Commonwealth University): this course has given me a strong foundation in the history of nursing, has developed my understanding of professionalism by introducing me to theories regarding the professions, and has helped me to form a professional nursing identity that is value-based. It has also helped me to see the important role played by nursing professional organizations such as the ANA.
- Cultivating Cultural Competence and Inclusion, a webinar attended through VCU Health: This course promoted cultural humility and helped me reflect on my implicit biases to help me better care for my patients regardless of gender, race, or age.
- Participation in VCU Health’s Nurse Residency Program: Thus far in NRP, different educational topics have included the importance of self-care, communication, methods for problem solving, and cultural humility.
Essential IX: Baccalaureate Generalist Nursing Practice
- Corresponds to VCU RN-BS Program Outcome #9: Competence to practice with patients, including individuals, families, groups, communities and populations across the lifespan and across the continuum of health care environments that respects the variations of care, the increased complexity and the use of health care resources inherent in caring for patients
- Introduction to Nursing Concepts (NSG 100 taken at Reynolds Community College): This course focused on the basics of nursing care, such as pain management, the impact of the patient care environment, how to protect your patient’s skin, how to optimize mobility, infection control, safety, basics of pharmacology, nutrition, and issues specific to the geriatric population.
- Nursing Capstone (NSG 270 taken at Reynolds Community College): Through this clinical experience I fine-tuned my ability to prioritize patient-care needs under the tutelage of my preceptor, learned principles of delegation as I worked with care partners, and practiced caring and healing techniques.
- Clinical Concepts II (NSG 211 at Reynolds Community College): This course taught me the skills of therapeutic communication, the importance of nonjudgmental care, and various psychobiological interventions appropriate for a wide range of patient mental health conditions.
- Health and Illness Concepts (NSG 170 taken at Reynolds Community College): This course focused on a wide range of physical conditions that patients experience across the lifetime, ranging from infants to the geriatric population. This includes pathophysiology and how it relates to different therapeutic interventions, pharmacology, complementary therapies, nutrition, pharmacology, and nursing care and care prioritization.
- Nursing Informatics (NURS 310, currently enrolled at Virginia Commonwealth University): This course is teaching me about healthcare information management, how technology integrates into practice, and skills related to evidence-based practice.
Below is my Career Vision Board!