Double Duty: Meet Nightingale College Faculty Member Haley Mathson

Nightingale College FacultyWe started out the year gaining several new Nightingale College faculty members who have made such an impact in three short months. Haley Mathson, who joined Nightingale College’s nursing department as an instructor in January, is a prime example. With her passion and interest in nursing since she was very young, Haley instantly knew nursing was her career of choice. She is Nightingale’s Clinical and Lab Instructor at our Evanston, Wyoming DDC area.

What is your favorite part about being a Nightingale College faculty member?
I love the environment and being surrounded by such educated and passionate people. I feel part of the family in such a short amount of time. I am also very grateful for the opportunity to develop confident, competent and compassionate nurses!

Why did you want to become a nurse?
Since I was young, every time I would enter a hospital, whether it was for a family member or myself, I was so intrigued. I always wanted to know what the nurses were doing and I gained so much respect for them. I finally took the plunge to become a nurse after I was 2 classes away from receiving my BSW. I never regret making that change.

Do you specialize in a specific field of nursing?
I work as an ER nurse currently and it is my passion. I wouldn’t say I am an “adrenaline junky” necessarily, but I love a fast-paced environment. It keeps me on my toes! I have worked Medical/Surgical and OB. I am a Certified Emergency Nurse and a Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse, which I obtained in the last year.

If you weren’t a nurse, what would your ideal career look like?
Honestly, I cannot imagine doing anything else. My first job is being a mom and is equally as rewarding!

Nursing is a tough profession. If you don’t mind, share one of your more challenging experiences as a nurse and the outcome.
It is a hard job (if anyone ever tells you it is not, they are lying). I have had struggles to overcome. Generally speaking, the first few years are tough as you are finding your niche and developing a foundation in nursing.

What is your one piece of advice for nursing learners? What is a piece of advice for recent nursing school graduates?
My advice would be to never give up and continue to seek out learning opportunities. The first few years are the hardest as you begin to develop a foundation in nursing and find your place. A good mentor/leader is key and it took me a few years to find that.

Many learners do not think a BSN degree will help their career. What is your opinion? Should learners plan on getting a BSN degree?
I absolutely believe you should continue your education. I continued after my ADN program and received my BSN 1 year later. It makes you more marketable, opens doors for much more opportunity and creates a well-rounded nurse. You can never stop educating yourself, especially in healthcare.

What are some tips for ADN Program learners about to graduate in the upcoming months? Tips on NCLEX? Finding a job?
Take the NCLEX STAT! You know the information. Be confident. As far as finding a job, you will not have a hard time. I have always been a firm believer in starting on a Med/Surg floor where you can develop a foundation.

Tell us about you.
I grew up in Lyman, Wyoming, population 2,000. If you drive along I-80 Eastbound approximately 120 miles from Ogden, UT…don’t blink your eyes, you may miss it. It was a great place to grow up. I am married, have a daughter who is 11 and 3 step-children, 18, 15 and 10. They are my world. My absolute favorite place to vacation is Maui, Hawaii.

Finish the sentence: When I am not hanging around doing Nightingale stuff, you can . . . find me at my other job as a full-time ER nurse.

What are some of your hobbies?
I love music, coffee and spending time with my family and friends.

Are you a Coke or Pepsi fan?
Neither! Coffee!!

As a nurse, what is your favorite nursing memory? What keeps you motivated?
The ability to make a difference is probably number one. The patients keep you motivated. When a patient thanks you, whether it is for something simple or for saving their child’s life. There is truly nothing more rewarding and fulfilling. The ability to connect with other people and help them to find meaning in their life. It really never gets old.

We’d like to thank Haley for taking the time to participate in this interview.