We know nursing students are desperate to find any shred of hope for studying the hard concepts in their courses. So we thought we would write a blog that provided helpful study tips, but when we were researching helpful tips, we also found some that were not so helpful. So we asked our staff members what they thought.

Most of them aren’t nurses, but have been through higher education and know how to study. None of these tips are made up, although some are paraphrased. All of them were found online, be it on Twitter, blogs, study pages, or other sources.

Let’s see what our staff had to say about some of these interesting tips:


  1. CSU Online now provides the ambient sounds of a coffee shop online to help their students study from home, so studying in a coffee shop must be helpful
  2. Positive affirmation is all you need to ace a test
  3. Take a 10 minute break for every hour of study.
  4. Write your class notes in horrible handwriting so you are practiced at reading doctor scribbles
  5. Fake it till you make it
  6. Study the key ideas of each chapter, don’t fill your mind up with every single piece of information in the chapter [skim].
  7. Learn to love coffee
  8. Memorize things even if you don’t understand them.
  9. Study by a window so you have things to look at while you think about the material

We all know that the nursing profession is not an easy one, and by no means a stress-free one. So what do nurses do to handle the stress and emotional trauma after a tough day at work?

We often forget that nurses are people too! They have feelings and sometimes they need a good cry just like everyone else. When their patients are extremely ill or even pass away, the nurse is often left feeling the pain long afterwards. Mikhail Shneyder, our CEO, was once a nurse himself. He said the profession is built on “unwavering dedication, personal sacrifice, and all-encompassing empathy.” Sometimes that empathy may get to be too much for nurses.

How do they move on? How do they handle it? We asked some of our nurse faculty and administration how they unwind emotionally after a traumatic incident. They offered up some advice to help you take some of that weight of your shoulders. Here are a few of their tips:

Remember why you became a nurse

Tayler Allen, an RN who teaches for our ADN program, said that she reflects on why she became a nurse, and that gives her more purpose to continue through the rest of the hectic workday. “The number one thing that I always do is just reflect back on why I even went into nursing, and that was because I truly enjoy helping people,” she said. “I want them to heal, I want them to know that I’m compassionate towards them and that I really care about their total outcome as a human being, not just as a patient.”

Talking it out

While it may seem obvious, another thing that can be helpful is talking it out with coworkers or family. Assistant Professor Amanda Nussbaum, who also works in an intensive care unit, said that after an unexpected death, she vents to the other health workers. “Dealing with mourning family members, and kind of that frustration with whether or not you could have foreseen what was going to happen, whether or not you could have done things to prevent the death…In dealing with that stress, I find that I reach out to coworkers, and we talk about our stories and our experiences and share that grief.”

You might have noticed a huddled group of nurses in the hall when you’ve been to the hospital. You may think it’s a bunch of nurses slacking off and shooting the breeze, but really, there’s more to the story. Chyleen Tucker, a nurse and Nightingale Area Regional Manager in Idaho, said, “They’re not really chatting, they’re processing. They’re processing that traumatic event by talking it over amongst themselves. ”

Personal time

As expected, nurses sometimes need some personal time to cry it out and just to embrace being really miserable for a little bit. They need time to internally process what happened, and this looks different for everyone. Karen Sincerbeaux, an instructor for our ADN program, said she takes quiet time to cry, pray, to “absorb” what happened. She said she likes to take that evening to watch the sunset or maybe study the bible, “Taking time to process and surrender those feelings, and then it allows me to let go and move on to the next day.”

While many may not be up for an evening outside, there are other ways to snag some personal time. Chyleen said she enjoys reading. A nice fluffy book to take your mind off the pain. “A fiction,” said Chyleen. “Something that will get me kind of out of the way, make my mind think and get me out of that world.”


Don’t you hate it when the answer is exercise? But it’s true. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins—chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers—and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress.” All four of the nurses we interviewed mentioned some kind of exercise as a way to lighten up. Long walks, especially in nature, are definitely favorites, because it allows them time to ponder and come to terms with the events of the day. They also mentioned running and yoga.

Moving on

Somehow, nurses always manage to move on. Aren’t they incredible? They still come to work the next day, ready to help the next ailing soul, even though they know that disaster could happen at any moment. That’s why nurses are so special. They witness so much pain, yet are always willing to lend a hand again and again. They know the value of health and life, and they don’t take it for granted. Amanda said that after a traumatic event or a death, she goes home and remembers to hug her loved ones a little tighter that day.

What are some ways you cope in stressful, even traumatic, situations?


Brooke Forney
Nestled in Pocatello, Idaho, scrapbook-loving and kayaking enthusiast Brooke Forney joined Nightingale College in December 2016. As an adjunct faculty member at Nightingale College and now NCLEX Success Coach, Brooke has the opportunity to not only share her nursing knowledge with our learners but provides individualized NCLEX coaching to help learners build the confidence needed to tackle the NCLEX-RN.

Brooke is an experienced nurse with twenty-eight years under her belt. However, she didn’t start out wanting to be a nurse as she imagined herself as an interior designer.

For me nursing is the most rewarding, diverse, and flexible career. There are numerous opportunities to expand your career in a wide variety of venues. YES, there is a tangible satisfaction in helping others achieve goals, whether it be in health promotion or nursing education. Having an influence on patients, students, and the community is the greatest reward in nursing.

What is your current position and at what DDC are you located?

Adjunct Faculty in Pocatello, Idaho and as all of Nightingale’s NCLEX Success Coach, which came about in the middle of April and I am loving it.

As the Learner Success Coach, how do you help learners succeed? Describe your job.

Our NCLEX Success Coaching Program focuses on both test taking strategies and mindset development. Both are important to be successful on the NCLEX.

What do you love most about being the Learner Success Coach?

Having a license to practice is the only thing standing in your way of earning the coveted title of RN and the salary to pay those loans back, nailing down the job of your dreams, and boosting your confidence that you are prepared to practice nursing. Yes, it’s scary. That’s why Nightingale offers a NCLEX Success Coaching Program to decrease your anxiety, boost your confidence, and increase your competence to pass the NCLEX using evidence from cognitive psychology, NCLEX testing, and mindset research.

What do you enjoy most about being a nurse and now instructor to future nurses?

I like nursing because it’s a profession that never stops giving. You learn new things every day, and the opportunity for growth is almost unlimited. I feel so good inside when I see improvement in my patients and when giving emotional support by holding hands of family members who have just experienced tragedy. It gives me inner peace that I can help somebody.

You have had amazing success with our learners. For learners and even grads getting ready to tackle the NCLEX-RN, what is your advice on preparation and one tip you would provide to them?

I know how hard it is to put your passion to work every day whether it’s in the classroom, hospital, or corporation while managing the (sometimes overwhelming) demands of being part of a rigorous institution as well as a contributing member of your family and your community. I want the learners to know it doesn’t have to eat you alive, that Nightingale is still in their corner.

What school did you graduate from with your nursing degree?

Weber State with my ADN, Boise State with my BSN and soon my MASTERS through WGU.


Nursing learners face challenges throughout their time in school and right after graduation. From your experience, what is one piece of advice you would give your younger self just starting your nursing career?

Find a mentor…If your hospital or workplace doesn’t have a mentorship program, it’s a good idea to find one yourself. If you work with a nurse whom you admire and is simply awesome at what they do, you can watch them quietly and learn from how they go about their work. This is a silent mentoring relationship where you just learn through association and observation.

What is your favorite memory as a nurse?

O.M.Goodness…She was a retired military nurse from Hills Air Force Base and worked at Davis Memorial where I was doing my preceptorship in L&D. She was very straight forward and I am a people pleasure so you can imagine the doom! We had a young patient who was delivering her first baby and for some reason she chose not to have an epidural and screaming “I can’t do this! No, No I can’t do it!” This nurse slapped her as hard as you could imagine on her buttocks (which was up in stirrups) and said “Did you feel that? That’s what you do to children so quit acting like one and push!!’ The room was silent and that little girl pushed! She delivered four pushes later. Later that night the same nurse asked me what I was going to name my baby but before I could answer, she replied “Sha-thead?” and giggled. That is not the way a L&D nurse spells this particular name…I’ll let you figure it out.

Some people follow their “dream jobs” from childhood. Did you always want to be a nurse? What attracted you to the field?

No, I was going to run off to the big city and be a famous graphic artist or interior designer but then I married and started thinking of children and my spouse still needed to finish his degree and the next-door neighbor told me she was going to nursing school and how much money they made. As soon as I started school, the bug bite me and I have loved every minute of it.

What brought you to Nightingale?

I just started into education at St. Luke’s in Boise, Idaho when we relocated to Pocatello. There was an ad in the paper for adjunct faculty so I sent in my resume. Susan Jero, Chyleen Tucker and I met for a late lunch and by the end of the meeting, I was talking to Ms. Jero as if I had already had the job. We all laughed and I have enjoyed being part of Nightingale ever since. Absolutely love it here!

What are three characteristics every nurse should have?

  1. Honesty – to yourself and others
  2. Integrity – or your dangerous to others
  3. Passion – if you don’t have the passion you will never be happy

Where are you from?

Pocatello, Idaho but after I married, we lived in Logan for 17 years and I would move back in a heartbeat.

Share three of your hobbies.

  • Scrapbooking
  • Interior Design
  • Kayaking

What is one thing on your bucket list that you look forward to checking off?

Go back to Europe but this time with my husband and spend an extended time in Ireland. Both my husband’s family and mine are strong Irish.

Goals are so important. We are quickly embracing the second part of 2016. What is one thing you hope to accomplish by the end of the year?

To complete my master ASAP and without killing anyone.

Share two truths and a lie. We will leave it to our readers to figure out what are the truths and which is the lie.

  • Have a passion for Mini Coopers and now own my forth one
  • Love snakes…find them fascinating
  • Want so badly to move in the “Tiny house” community, becoming a learner in materialistic items

What is your motivation in life?

My best friend…my husband Shawn Forney. He is absolutely brilliant to me and is always encouraging me to follow my dreams. Education and continuing education is intriguing to him and I find that passion very interesting and want to share.

Share anything else you would like our readers to know about you.

I am a grandma to one very energetic little boy named Daxtyn. My husband and I have always joked about “who was our favorite child” then Daxtyn was born. Tt was never questioned again! I love this little boy with every breath I take.

Along with Daxtyn, I have two wonderfully handsome boys who are nine years apart and the best of friends. Jacob is 28 and Daxtyn’s father, and my forever baby boy Justin who is nineteen.

We have two dogs: Henry is a 105 pound German Sheppard and Toby our newest member is a mini Yorkie and weighs 5 lbs.

As mentioned above, I had a best friend all through junior high and high school and then life threw us in totally different directions. Twenty years later I reunited with this wonderful man and he became the father my boys both deserved. I can’t imagine my life without him. We have so much in common and spend some of the funniest adventures together. I am truly blessed with all the trials and tribulations my life has given to me.

I am excited about this new journey I have just started with Nightingale and all its employees. I just adore my colleagues in Evanston, Pocatello and Twin Falls and am excited to get to know each of you within the Nightingale walls.

Nightingale College Official AnnouncementThe Nightingale College collaborators strive to elevate the organization in a manner that helps us achieve our long-term goals to improve communities our nursing graduates serve. But to help us reach our goal, we need our team to consist of exceptional and dedicated individuals. For that reason, we are excited to announce that the team at Nightingale College continues to grow and brings on more talented individuals. This week is the College’s New Collaborator Orientation Week that allows new collaborators to orient to the College and learn more about what the Nightingale Difference truly is.

We’d like to welcome the newest team members to the Nightingale family.

Beth Messinger, Instructor

Judy Elquist, Instructor

Erika Gunter, Instructor

Shane Otis, Instructor 

Amanda Nussbaum, Instructor

“I always thought to become a teacher or a nurse. I pursued my dream of becoming  a nurse, which was a  tough decision to make between the two. But once I became a nurse, I realized that I can also be a teacher and share my passion to mold and motivate future nurses.” Sheron Cox knew she wanted to be a nurse since she was very young. Not only did she fulfill her mission, but she was able to follow her other dream of becoming a teacher when she joined Nightingale College as an instructor at the Evanston DDC in December 2016.

Nightingale College Faculty

Where did you complete your nursing degree? Do you have any specific certificates?

I completed my nursing degree at University of Wyoming. I was a Robert Wood Johnson scholar in the BRAND (Bachelors Reach for Accelerated Nursing Degree) program.

What attracted you to teaching nursing learners? What is your favorite part about teaching nursing learners?

Teaching is very near and dear to my heart. I always thought to become  a teacher or a nurse. I pursued my dream of becoming  a nurse, which was a  tough decision to make between the two. But once I became a nurse, I realized that I can also be a teacher and share my passion to mold and motivate future nurses. My favorite part about teaching new learners is their drive to learn and motivation to become a nurse, and their willingness to devote their life to taking care of others.

What is the best feature about Nightingale College? Why do you love working here?

The best feature about Nightingale College is the compassion every collaborator has towards the learners, helping and guiding them to gain a nursing education. I love being surrounded by some of the most intelligent, experienced instructors who help me grow as a new instructor.

We have our three C’s: confidence, competence, and compassion. Do nurses need all three to be a great nurse? In your opinion, what is the number one characteristic a nurse should have in order to be a great nurse?

I believe every nurse needs all the three C’s to be a great nurse. However, compassion is the number one characteristic a nurse should have to take care of the suffering.

Why did you decide to pursue a career in nursing?

I grew up in a third world country, Fiji Island. Growing up, I realized how poverty, lack of education and lack of nurses affected the lives of many people. People were diagnosed with chronic illnesses but they didn’t understand the etiology of the disease, there were no medications available because people couldn’t afford them. Families didn’t know how to take care of their loved ones who were suffering due to lack of education, and illnesses were preserved as taboo. I always knew I wanted to change that perspective.

Most often when we are kids, we have our dream career. However, majority end up not in the profession their younger self predicted. Have you always wanted to be a nurse? If not, what was your dream career?

My mother used to tell me, growing up I would be a teacher one day and a nurse on other days. I would check my siblings temperatures and pretend to give them meds all day along or yell at them for not writing in a straight line. Deep within my heart I knew I wanted to be a nurse.  And here I am a nurse and a teacher. Not very many people get to live both dreams.

Going off of the previous question, what is your one piece of advice you want to give our nursing learners?

Keep investing in your own learning, even when it’s hard. And keep searching for a way to contribute to something that helps humanity!

Education is very important, especially when it comes to health care and caring for patients. Do you encourage learners to move forward to a BSN Degree then a MSN Degree? Are you an endorser for nurses to continue their education to at least a BSN Degree level?

Healthcare is a fast growing industry and as nurses, we need to combine our nursing skills and latest medical theory, research, and evidence-based medicine to improve patient care. Pursuing higher education has benefited me through my career and helped transitioned me to  a leader and focus on education, leadership and administration.

Share one of your favorite nursing experiences.

My favorite nursing experience is when I am out with my family in my small community of Evanston. I get lots of hugs from my patients and patient families.

Nursing school is a constant learning adventure, but you often run across a challenge or two. What was one of your bigger challenges you faced in nursing school and how did you overcome it?

I graduated from University of Wyoming’s BRAND program (Bachelors Reach for Accelerated Nursing Degree)  which was 15 months in duration . My biggest challenge was time management because I had never been through an accelerated program. I struggled with working on assignments, studying, taking tests and keeping up with friends and families. After my first week, I learned quick that I needed to put away 15 months of my life to be successful.

Always remember, nursing school, either be a traditional or an accelerated program, requires a tremendous amount of time and commitment. And all nursing programs are temporary. You will get your life back and it will come with two initials at the end of your name, RN.

Outside of caring for patients and training our learners to be nurses, what are some of you hobbies you enjoy?

I love traveling to different countries with my husband and experiencing their culture and of course, I am always curious about the country’s healthcare system.

What is your most proudest accomplishment?

16 years ago, I left my family and traveled to United States to pursue an education. Here I am with two BSNs, a nurse by profession, pursing MSN as a clinical analyst and leadership and married to my wonderful husband of 10 yrs.

Everyone has a bucket list. What are two or three items on your bucket list?

My number one thing on my bucket list is to join my volunteer organization Soroptimist International in a third world country to support women and girls in their quest to lead better lives, be empowered, ending violence against women and help women reach their full potential and live their dream.

What are some of your goals (personal and professional) for the next few years?

My personal and professional goal for the next few years to keep making a difference in others lives.

What will be your legacy?

I want to be remembered for my commitment, empowerment and motivation in supporting women and girls in their quest to lead better lives while gaining inspiration in my own life.

What has been the most daring thing you have ever done?

The most daring thing I have ever done is packed a suit case after graduating high school and boarded a plane to San Francisco from Fiji Island leaving my family behind to pursue  education and build my American Dream.

Is your glass half full or half empty?

Ah…. I see my glass as half full. I am very grateful for the miles I traveled to come build my dream. I guess if I didn’t take a chance, my glass could have been half empty. It’s all about your perspective.

Share anything else you’d like with us. 

I am very passionate about improving the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment. Growing up in a third world country where girls and women didn’t have access to education and training that they needed to reach their full potential and live their dreams always inspired me to make a difference.

I am a member of a global women’s organization called Soroptimist International and belong to our local club Soroptimist International Evanston. The name, Soroptimist, means “best for women,” and that’s what the organization strives to achieve. Soroptimists are women at their best, working to help other women to be their best.

Other than my career as a nurse and nursing instructor, I look forward to continuing my education and volunteer work.  I will be married to my best friend and husband Ben for 10 years in May. He is my ROCK and inspires me to do better everyday and brings out the best in me.

No matter how far away, collaborators travel from across the nation for a week-long College conference designed to inspire, motivate, and reignite the passion for what we do at Nightingale College. Together, collaborators are inspired and reminded of the College’s mission, building belonging and desire that help catapult the College forward towards its goal of […]

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.

mark-snapshotEver considered a career in flight nursing? Take nursing to the sky as a flight nurse. Flight nursing requires nurses to help monitor patients during transport to the hospital. Nurses who pursue a career in flight nursing need to be BSN prepared. Mark Larsen is a Nightingale favorite who works in the lab at the Ogden location. When he isn’t here helping learners during their lab simulations, Mark takes the time to save lives by continuing his part-time job as a flight nurse. The fast-paced career of a flight nurse is not for everyone, but for those interested in learning more, take some time to chat with Mark and get to know the specialty.

What is your current position at the College?

Lab and Simulation Coordinator

How long have you been employed with the College?
15 Months

Why did you decide to pursue a career in nursing? If you weren’t a nurse, what career would you most likely have?
I started out wanting to be a physical therapist and took and EMT class to further evolve my resume for admission into physical therapy school. However after taking that class, I found physical therapy to be extremely boring, so just before I was to start physical therapy school I changed my major to nursing in order to someday become a flight nurse. If I wasn’t a nurse, I believe that I would be in business or management as I enjoy performing those roles as well.

Prior to becoming a collaborator here, what was one of your favorite jobs you have had?
My favorite job prior to becoming a collaborator for Nightingale, was the part-time job that I still hold as a flight nurse. It was the job I went to school for and the goal that I wanted to achieve. Although I am now trying to move on from it, I still enjoy the excitement of the job.

You specialize in flight nursing. Can you provide a brief description on the highlights from that career path?
Some highlights would include starting out as a new flight nurse and all of the exciting places that I got to travel to. I always thought that it was cool to fly in places that most people never get to go, or have to pay a lot of money to see that I get paid to go; such as: the Grand Canyon, Lake Powell, Zion National park and all over the western United States. I also worked for 6 or 7 years as the Chief Flight Nurse, where I played an important part with company expansion, education, policy development, hiring and overall growth of the company.

View Mark’s full presentation on flight nursing and what it takes to be a flight nurse by clicking here.

What inspired you to pursue an teaching position where you work with learners?
I started out pursuing a masters as a nurse practitioner, but due to my job requirements as chief flight nurse, I didn’t have time to attend all of the required clinical, so I switched to education. And since my master’s degree would be in education, I thought I should put it to good use.

What has been a favorite moment while working here at the College?
My favorite moments are at graduation, when I see that I have helped the learners achieve their goals.

What has been a crazy memory you’ve had as a nurse? Share that experience.
I don’t know if there is really a “crazy” time in my career that stands out to me. I’ve done things like climb inside a wrecked car to treat a patient while the fire department cuts the care apart around me; I repelled off of a cliff to get to patients; I tackled people running from the police in the emergency department; and I have even helped catch a kidnapper in the ER as well.

Do you believe continuing education is important for nurses such as going on to obtain a BSN degree?
I believe that a BSN helps to increase the professional development of a nurse. I believe that an ADN is an excellent way to start in the profession, but obtaining the BSN is what makes the difference from changing nursing from just a job into a career. It also opens up many more opportunities in the future. As you continue to work in the profession your goals will change, and a BSN will open the doors for many more opportunities. Check out Nightingale College’s RN to BSN Bridge Program.

If you could pass on one piece of advice to our learners, what would it be?
Don’t ever stop working toward your goals. If you want it bad enough you will achieve it.

Are you originally from Utah? 
I am originally from a small town in central Utah called Salina. I have lived in Utah my entire life except for 6 years I spent in Page, AZ (which really is like an extension of Utah). My family and extended family is what keeps me here, because I absolutely hate the snow. But overall Utah is a great place to live.

Outside of hanging with all the cool people here at Nightingale, what are some of your favorite hobbies and passions?
My passions include first my family, then the Chicago White Sox, Harley-Davidson Motorcycles and watching movies. I pretty much spend all of my free time watching my kids sports activities or playing sports myself.

What are 3 items on your bucket list that you would like to complete?
I want to visit Scotland and New Zealand, retire, and win the lottery.

If your life had a theme song, what would it be?
Eye of the Tiger (Survivor)

Share anything else you would like people to know about you.
I graduated from Weber State nursing 16 or so years ago.
I am married (Cindy) and have four kids (Cole, Kyler, Mason and Reagan).
I have one Chihuahua (Skittles).
I hate to read (audio books or movies are the way to go).
Favorite movie is Braveheart.
Favorite song is The World I Know by Collective Soul.
Favorite band is The Smashing Pumpkins.


Karen Sincerbeaux has been with Nightingale College since its opening and can officially take the title as one of the original three instructors to be hired. Her immense background in nursing shines as she works one on one with our learners. Her passion for nursing bloomed as her love of serving others grew.

How long have you worked at Nightingale College?
I started April 11, 2011. I am one of the first original three instructors to be hired.

What is your current position with the College and what is your favorite part about your role?
I am an Assistant Professor and work as a lab/clinical instructor. I work a lot with first and second semester learners. My favorite part of my role is meeting new learners from all walks of life, connecting from the heart, and helping them to fulfill their dream to make a difference in this world.

What is your highest degree and where did you attend school?
I have a Masters in Nursing Education from Western Governors University. I graduated in April, 2015.

Why did you decide to become a nursing instructor?
I am very passionate about people and the importance of relationships. I wanted to make the biggest impact on the next generation of nurses and being an educator allows me to accomplish this. How we model nursing as educators is so incredibly influential to the kind of nurses we create at Nightingale.

Reflecting back, what was one of the more challenging situations either while you were in nursing school or during your nursing career? How did you overcome it?
This is a very personal story but if it impacts your heart then it was worth sharing. My father died when I was in my third year of nursing school. Needless to say it was a struggle. Soon after I was given a dying patient to care for at clinical and I fell apart. I was then told by one of my nursing instructors that I did not have what it took to be an RN. I overcame this obstacle by becoming an RN with my BSN, became a nurse educator and got my MSN. I love living our core values and demonstrating love and compassion!

Why did you want to become a nurse? And what is your favorite part about being a nurse?
I became a nurse because I love people, helping them to feel better and pay it forward. I believe we need to be prevention oriented in this country with regard to healthcare and we need to teach accountability for our health. My favorite part of nursing is the relationships, supporting people to cope and understand what is going on with their health.

Could you share what your opinion is about continuing education on past an ASN degree and what you believe the benefits are?
Education helps you to grow in ways you cannot even imagine. You look at things from a broader perspective, you grow confidence in all areas of your life, you are in awe at something that you accomplished that maybe you never felt you could accomplish! One of the best benefits is that you are an inspiration to others!

Who is your hero?
Jesus- he has and continues to do an incredible work in me.

What is your proudest accomplishment?
There are so many- getting my Master’s degree was a huge one!

What did you want to be when you were a child?
A veterinarian!

Share a hobby that you love to do.
Singing and songwriting.

If you had a warning label, what would it say?
Beware of your personal space! This woman knows how to HUG and she’ll do it!!!

Where is your ideal vacation?
Someplace warm and on the beach!

Share anything else you would like people to know.
I adore my family ( husband Rob and three children- Jesse, Genevieve and Joshua) and friends . I am honored to work with many amazing people at Nightingale. I adore my Baptist church, True Vine, where I am a Deaconess. I lost my beloved cats Rama and Gabriel this summer so if I speak about them you will understand my sadness. I am blessed to teach at Nightingale and I am honored to know each and every one of you!

Su-EllenSu-Ellen Weyland is no newbie to nursing. With 23 years experience in the profession, Su-Ellen specializes in labor and delivery, which quickly became her passion early on in her career. Joining Nightingale as an Assistant Professor two years ago, she continues to share her passion for labor and delivery nursing by instructing NUR 260, a class with a focus on women’s health and OB.

How long have you worked at the College?
I have worked at the College for 2 years as of August.

What is your current position?
My position currently is Assistant Professor. I teach the NUR 260: Concepts of Nursing in Acute Care I with focus on women’s health and OB.

What is your favorite thing(s) about working at the College?
My favorite thing about working for Nightingale is the amazing people I work with, and watching and helping develop learners into amazing nurses.

What is one piece of advice you would give to our learners about the nursing profession?
I would let them know that we should always continue to learn and grow. The profession of nursing and healthcare is always changing and we need to continue to learn and grow to always provide evidence-based practice to keep up with the changes. (Check out Nightingale College’s BSN Program to continue your education.)

How long have you been a nurse? And did you specialize in a particular field of nursing?
I have been a nurse for a long time. I graduated in 1993. I was the last class to take the NCLEX with the paper and pencil. I had to wait for almost 3 months to get my results so they could do the studies for moving to the computer-based exam. I specialize in Labor and Delivery. I worked that area for most of my career and loved it.

Why did you become a nurse?
I became a nurse to help women have the most amazing birthing experience possible.

What has been your favorite memory as a nurse?
There are so many memories I have but one that has stuck out in my mind is when I was at a community meeting. As we were introducing ourselves, a lady said she wanted to publicly thank me for saving her and her baby’s lives. She had an emergent delivery and told everyone that if I had not been there watching out for her and her baby and my quick action and knowledge, her baby would have died. This touched my heart and helped me realize that we as nurses are always making a difference in people’s lives and sometimes don’t understand just how much.

If you weren’t a nurse, what would you be?
If I wasn’t a nurse, I’m not sure what I would be. I was a business major before I changed to nursing. I can’t imagine being anything different. Nursing has been very good to me.

What are some of your hobbies outside of work?
Outside of work I like to play golf (not good at it but I have a good time anyway), spending time with my family. I love to travel and see new places. I really enjoy playing with my granddaughters. They are my pride and joy. I love to spend time boating and escaping to the cabin.

Name a few of your favorite things?
My favorite things include my 3 Chihuahuas, driving convertibles, relaxing on the beach, and old 80’s music and movies. I love going to concerts of all types. Love desserts and my coffee in the morning.

What is one thing you hope to accomplish this year?
This year I plan on getting my CNE (Certification for Nurse Educators) certification.

Share anything else you would like us to know about you.
I recently got married so my name will officially change to Johnson at the end of the semester.

DSC_5147Assistant Professor Earlene Cooper is not new to Nightingale College nor nursing. She joined the Nightingale team in 2013 and currently teaches didactic course NUR 240. Earlene received her Master of Science in Nursing with an emphasis in Education from Western Governors University. Her personality can illuminate the room and she always has a smile on her face. Let’s get to know Earlene.

What is your favorite part about working at the College? 

My favorite part about working at nightingale college is working with the learners and our collaborators. We have great collaborators that help each other and care deeply for the students. The learners make me smile. Learners are so smart and willing to grow.

What was your inspiration for becoming a nurse? 

My inspiration to become a nurse comes from many sources. I had a mother who cared for her aging mother. My mother had cancer for ten years during my teens. I was grateful to gain the skills to care for her before she passed away.

Share what your favorite nursing moment has been. 

My favorite nursing moments include coming to work and being with the wonderful people I work with. Seeing nurses work as a team to improve the lives of others.

What advice would you give to our current learners? 

Advice I would give to learners would be to press forward and support one another. It is hard but it is worth it.

Share 3 random facts about yourself. 

I can sing. I like to dance. I had my last child when I was 40.

If you were to make a bucket list, what would be some of your list items? 

I want to see Mount Rushmore, I want to go to Canada and see Niagara Falls, I want to see my grandchildren make good choices and be good people.

What are some hobbies you enjoy? 

Hiking with friends. Running and playing with children. Going on long walks with my husband, cleaning the house, and doing yard work.

If your life had a theme song, what would it be? 

Music is the many colors of life. Life has many songs and moments.

What else can we know about you? 

You are welcome in my home any time.

Did you ever think about becoming a nurse? Have a look at our ADN and BSN courses and make that wish come true!

image-13-05-16-12-52Veteran nurse, Mona Wilson, has been a dedicated RN for ten years, starting off her career in the Med/Surg floor in a hospital close to St. Louis. Mona is a newer collaborator who joined the Nightingale team mid-March. She is the Skills and Simulation Lab Technician so you can find her hanging out in our lab and having some fun running sims for learners, but her job expands as she is orienting to do scheduling for learners and providing support for faculty by assisting learners with remediation and clinical calculations.

Why did you become a nurse?
I came to nursing later in life, in my mid-thirties, so I wasn’t a traditional student. I had taken a personal inventory, and decided that nursing was probably the best way to utilize my strong communication skills and desire to help people feel better. In addition to providing medical care, people need emotional support and teaching, and also humor. Those were the things I felt were my forte. Ergo, Nursing program.

Start your nursing career today – find out more about the BSN nursing program.

What is your favorite part about being a nurse?
My very favorite part of nursing is therapeutic communication, and providing clients, families, and learners with more easily understood explanations of diagnoses, interventions, prevention tactics. I have always found that people are more likely to be compliant and take more interest in their own self-care if they truly understand HOW the body works, how different diagnoses affect the body, and WHY the recommended interventions will help them feel better. Understanding the ‘how’ and ‘why’ give the client an incalculable advantage in accepting care from others, and enhancing their own self-care.

Why do you think nurses are important?
Nurses today are providing the vast majority of healthcare in our country, under MD supervision. We have the ability to change things for the better.

What is your one piece of advice for nursing learners?
Instead of memorizing terms, diagnoses, s/s, and the like, learn how the body works, and why we choose the interventions that we utilize. If you can teach it to someone else, you really know it.

Finish the sentence… When I am not at work, I am ____
usually spending time with my husband and my dog, and/or crafting.

What else would like to share about yourself?
I graduated with an ADN in 2006, in Illinois, while living in a small bedroom community close to St Louis. I worked at a hospital in St Louis for several years, on a Med/Surg floor. At the time, I had four children at home, ages 18yrs, 15yrs, 14yrs, and 10yrs. I later moved to a SNF, where I worked until I moved to Utah. Here, I worked at another SNF for the last several years. I really enjoy making jewelry of all different types: crocheted, beaded, working with plastics and textiles. I also love to crochet other projects like hats, scarves, gloves, etc. It’s very relaxing to me. My children are all adults, and live in Tennessee, and although I miss them very much, they are strong, capable people that have made good lives for themselves. My husband and I have a Cairn Terrier dog-child, Yancy, who is very much like a perpetual toddler with ADHD. I also have a Facebook page, Put On Your Big Girl Panties, which reached over 77,000 fans this last week; the page features recipes and/or crafts sometimes, but mostly it’s just things that I find entertaining, or funny — anything that tickles my sense of humor.

Last Friday, we celebrated the graduating cohort of 33 ADN learners and 2 BSN learners. We are so proud of their success and can’t wait to see what the future has in store for them.

BSN Faculty Address by BSN Program Manager, Shanda Clark

Valedictorian Address by Joshua Fowles

ADN Faculty Address by Assistant Professor, James Benson

FullSizeRenderAs a Nightingale College original, Taylor Keele has worked at the College for four and a half years since October of 2011. She is our Clinical and Lab Coordinator. To start off, we asked her to share 3 random things about herself. Needless to say that we got some awesome answers like the second fact that definitely sparked our curiosity.

  • I’ve been married for 3.5 years.  We met while we were both temporarily working in Louisiana. He was on TDY with the Air Force and I was a travel nurse.
  • I once shut down the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. for 30 minutes…ask me and I’ll tell you the story.
  • One of my ancestors is William Wallace (from the movie Braveheart).

Where did you go to school? And are you currently attending school? Is continuing your nursing education (such as going on to get a BSN, MSN, etc.) something you would recommend to all nursing students and current nurses?
Received by BSN from University of Arkansas-Fayetteville. I’m currently enrolled at WGU for my MSN. I definitely recommend continuing education.

Why did you choose nursing as your career? Do you have a nursing specialty?
I always knew I wanted to help others and in the medical field. I’ve worked ICU/step-down my whole career.

What has been your favorite moment in your nursing career?
I’ve had too many favorite moments, but they all involve patients and their families. I’ve met some wonderful people in my career that have changed my life. One moment that stands out was when I had a particularly tough patient. She was very ill and her family had been worried and with her 24/7. After I came on shift and established a rapport, they told me they felt like they could go home. That was the first time they’d left the hospital since the patient had been admitted. It was a nice complement to know they trusted me that much with their family member and her cares.

Why do you think nurses are important?
We are the caregivers at the bedside 24/7. We can be the difference in whether a patient receives good care or not.

What is one thing that you perceived about nursing prior to working as an RN that wasn’t true?
I don’t know that I had any perceived thoughts that weren’t true. I knew it would be a tough job and sometimes thankless. I will say that this is true.

Nurses are the toughest of the tough. If you don’t mind sharing, what is one experience you have had that has made you a stronger person and nurse?
Nurses are the caregivers at the bedside 24/7, and patients and their families trust us with their care. I don’t think it’s truly understood until you’re in that position. I’ve become more assertive since becoming a nurse. The difference between the patient and the grave is the nurse. Following your gut feeling has helped too!

What would be your one piece of advice to nursing students?
You will get through this!

Finish the sentence… When I am not at work, I am _______
doing homework for grad school or outside in the summer!

If you were not a nurse, what job would you most likely have?
I’d probably be a history professor.

What are some of your favorite hobbies?
I like to read, go to concerts, travel, outdoors/camping.

Share anything else you would like people to know.
I have two cats: Sundance Kitty and Munchkin.
Favorite quote: “Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so love the people who treat you right, forget about the ones who don’t, and believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life…let it. Nobody said that it’d be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.”
Favorite places to travel: the lake in Arkansas, home to Missouri, Napa
Bucket List: skydive, visit all 50 states by the age of 35 (I’m currently at 36!)

chyleen tuckerPocatello is one of the College’s newest learning locales, headed by Chyleen Tucker. She works face-to-face with learners in Pocatello and is the College’s representative in the area. Chyleen’s passion for nursing and education fuse together as she fulfills the Assistant Professor position at the DDC site in Pocatello.

What is your position at the College and what do you do?
I am an Assistant Professor at the DDC site in Pocatello. I do all the clinicals and labs here.

What do you love most about your job?
I love interacting with the learns, watching their faces when they accomplish new tasks, talking them through learning a new concept.

If you could gift one piece of advice to our learners, what would it be?
I would tell them to read their textbooks. I hear learners say they don’t have time, but it is so important to have the background that the textbooks give them. Maybe I am old fashioned, but reading those texts is what saved me when I got my RN license. I also firmly believe that most people don’t feel they can learn and achieve. I remember when I finally earned my RN license, how empowered I felt. I think if learners really want to they can do what it takes. It is a matter of setting priorities and getting it done. I was an LPN and learned to be an RN through distance learning. There was no internet at the time. I know it is hard. I also know it can be done.

Do you also wish to pursue an online degree program? Find out more about our flexibile online RN-to-BSN bridge program.

As a nurse, do you have a specialty field that you work in? And why did you choose that field?
I worked for about 23 years in home health. Before that I had spent time in labor and delivery, orthopedics, and in the operating room. I became a certified wound, ostomy and continence nurse (learn about the WOC certification) about 17 years ago and I love it. It is a little known unloved part of nursing. I really enjoy helping people that really need help and don’t know where else to turn.

Share with us one of your more bizarre nursing stories from your career.
I have taken care of patients with some horrific, large wounds in dirty homes with dogs sitting beside me.

When you are not being an amazing instructor, you probably are . . . (fill in the blank)
hiking, walking, reading, and spending time with my husband, kids and grand kids. Side note: I also love to travel and play the piano.

Why did you want to become a nurse?
I have wanted to be a nurse since I was a child. I love science, helping people, and I like to be needed. It is a great fit for me.

If you weren’t a nurse, what would you do?
I would be an accountant or a hospital administrator.

Ever thought about taking your nursing career to new heights–literally? Mark Larsen, one of our current instructors, presented this week on his experience as a flight nurse and what it takes to become a flight nurse. Check out his presentation below if you were unable to make it.

Download his PowerPoint slides by clicking here.

We would like to thank Mark for taking the time to come share his experience with our learners. Visit with our Career Services department if you are interested in learning more about flight nursing.

20160114_111126-1-1_resizedShanda Clark is known for her enthusiastic FLAME! FORWARD! energy that is contagious and for her outrageously fun nursing stories that will keep you on the edge of your seat. She brings a smile to anyone’s face with her positive and spirited personality. Celebrating her third year with the College, Shanda has contributed so much to our learners as an instructor and program manager. Currently, Shanda is one of our BSN Program instructors and our BSN Program Manager.

What is your favorite part about working at Nightingale College?

I would have to say the people are my favorite, including the learners. I love working with learners and helping them succeed. I also love creating new ways to help educate learners and prepare them to be the new generation of nurses.

I have been a nurse for 24 years and someone has to take over the profession when I no longer work at the bedside. For this reason, educating nursing students is so important! I want to make sure they understand that they are the future of healthcare, and it’s important to me that they get started on the right foot.

What made you want to become a nurse?

I had a hard time deciding what career path I wanted to take. I took a CNA course in high school and started working at an extended care facility. Unfortunately, I had a very bad experience that made me not want to continue on to nursing school. However, I did stay in the medical profession and become a medical assistant. While working as a medical assistant, my dad would say, “Shanda I think you should be a nurse. You would be good at it!” After a short while I decided to go back to school for nursing.

I had no idea what opportunities being a nurse would offer me. I am still amazed at what can be accomplished with a nursing degree. I have been part of so many new and exciting advances in the medical field. I have cared for great people and their families. I have stood with other nurses to help make improvements in our profession. I have also been able to care for my family and make sure they have food on the table and a warm place to sleep. Now I am able to teach nursing students how to be great nurses. And I have never regretted my decision to go back to school to become an RN (thanks dad).

What has been your favorite nursing memory?

I do not have just one favorite memory. I do like to sit back sometimes and think about some of the many patients I have cared for. I also like to think back to my first day working as a nurse. I sat in my car in the parking lot so scared to go into the hospital, because I knew patients were depending on me and would actually think that I had all the answers. How could I have known that walking into the hospital that day would be the beginning of an exciting career filled with such adventure, sorrow, and joy?

What is one piece of advice you would give to any nursing student?

I would tell nursing students not to quit and do not give up on your dreams. Learn to appreciate your failures. This is how you learn. I know it sounds so cliché but it is true. The trick is to always continue learning and move on to become better. No one became great without having adversity in their lives. Adversity makes us stronger; you never know when you will need that strength in the future.

If you could be any character in a movie, who would you be? the Tardis

Well this is a difficult question because there are a few great characters. I love Wonder Woman, the Black Widow, Tauriel the elf, Mrs. Weasley, Hermione Granger, and Professor Minerva McGonagall. Not to mention I do love Cat Woman but just the one played by Julie Newmar. Oh and I almost forgot, I would love to be Dr. Who’s companion!

Share anything else about yourself.

When I am finished with my PhD, I am going to join a LARPing group. For those who do not know what a LARPing group is, it is a live action role playing group.

JamesJames Benson is an Assistant Professor at Nightingale College. Known for his off-the-wall jokes and card tricks, Mr. B. is a great asset to the Nightingale team. He has been a part of Nightingale since its opening in April of 2011.

Where are you originally from?
I was born in Chicago, IL and moved to Utah in 2000.

What inspired you to become a nurse?
I am probably the exception to most nursing students. I had no relatives that were nurses or had an amazing nurse take care of me or a loved one. I obtained my health care administrator degree and license. I decided to become a nurse to balance the business side of health care with the clinical side. I found out that I was very good at nursing and stayed in the field.

What is your favorite or most memorable experience as a nurse?
There are so many to choose from. I did save a patient’s life one time. However, I think that my most memorable experience came after taking care of two ladies (in their 70’s and 90’s) for about eight months at a long-term care center. They shared a room. One night while completing the evening medication pass those ladies told me that I was the only one (staff) that talked with them. I was surprised, because I know people talked with them every time they came in the room. However, I actually talked with them and about them. The woman in her 90’s saw the world change. Her parents had a horse and buggy. They had some of the first ice boxes, refrigerators, automobiles, washing machines, etc. The woman in her 70’s grew up in Slovenia. Her family had to move a lot during World War II to avoid being killed by the Nazis. I took from that experience that nurses should show an interest in their patients as people and not just patients in order to provide their best care (within professional boundaries, of course).

Do you specialize in a specific field of nursing? And why did you pursue that specialty?
I worked in long-term care/Gerontological nursing and then home care, which ended up having a great deal of Gerontological nursing in that. I grew up in a bad neighborhood in Chicago. We were sort of on an island of relative safety among an area which had seven gangs in a two mile radius. There weren’t many children in the neighborhood for most of the time I was growing up. A number of families moved out within the first three years we were there. However, there were a fairly large amount of elderly people that my grandfather and I would talk with when we sat on the porch for a while each evening. Gerontological nursing was a natural extension of this background.

Why did you decide to become a nursing instructor?
I was looking to move to another part of nursing from home care. (Although I have loved what I did in each area of nursing that I have worked, there are so many areas of nursing to expand our capabilities.) I saw an ad for a clinical faculty position at Nightingale College and sent my resume. I had taught various Sunday school classes with my church, taught many small classes for continuing on the job education for U.S. Customs, and had spoken publicly on a number of occasions and had done well with those, so I took a chance and applied, even though I had no formal classroom academic teaching experience. I have done well with teaching, although there is always room for improvement. I enjoy those moments when learners “get it” (the proverbial light bulb moments); when they start making connections, critically thinking, and become self-directed learners. The greatest reward is when learners succeed by doing well in their courses and passing the NCLEX in spite of any challenges they face. It’s an amazing feeling to share in that joy with them.

What advice would you like to share with current learners?
Don’t give up. Nursing school is difficult. Any good nursing program is. I found out that my nursing education was the most challenging I had been through, even though I had challenging moments in my business and health care administration degrees. Everything is about how we apply and analyze the various facts of information we learn. The shift from understanding facts that are learned to learning to think deeper about that information can be a bit of a shock at first. However, millions of people have done that and become nurses, so we can too. None of us are anything special. We are all just regular people that have learned to become more than we might have thought we were capable. If we don’t understand something, we need to work with our instructors and peers to fix those issues when they are small. Don’t wait until the little snowball becomes an avalanche.

If you were not a nurse, what would you do and why?
I would be an astronomer. I love looking in the sky and the physics behind everything. I have a 12 inch primary mirror Dobsonian mount Newtonian reflector telescope that I will be using a lot more once my comprehensive examination and dissertation are done. There is so much beauty in the universe. It’s kind of like looking into the mysteries of creation and figuring out what makes everything work from the very small to the grand scales.

If your life was a musical, what would it be called and what would be your theme song?
The musical would be called “Faith and Reason.” The theme song would be “Look What We Can Do.”

Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself?
I am a Doctor Who fanatic. I have every episode from 1963 to today. I also am looking forward to getting another bass set up and sing and play in a band after completing my dissertation, although Mrs. Benson wants to take a cruise after completing her dissertation. I will have to force myself to do that as well.

Mekael HoltMekael Holt is a clinical instructor at our DDC locale in St. George. Although she is in southern Utah enjoying the warm weather, we wanted to official welcome her to the Nightingale team. We got the chance to talk and get to know a bit more about her.

Where are you from?

Everywhere. My dad was in the military when I was kid, so we moved around a lot. Home is wherever my family is. (We love that answer.)

What inspired you to become a nurse?

My grandfather had a stroke and lost his ability to speak. Several years after his stroke, he fell and broke his hip. The nurse he had while he was in the hospital was awful and grouchy. I decided to be a nurse, so I could help make sure patients were treated properly and with care.

What is your favorite or most memorable experience as a nurse?

The most memorable experiences is not a pleasant one! I have plenty of funny experiences from working in the operating room.

Do you specialize is a specific field of nursing?

Surgical nursing and then Family Nurse Practitioner.

Why did you decide to become a nursing instructor?

I’ve always wanted to teach. I think it’s awesome to teach and inspire the next generation of nurses and help teach them how to be the best nurse possible!

Is there any advice you want to share with our current nursing learners?

Don’t ever give up! Nursing can sometimes be hard, school can sometimes be hard, but the rewards of nursing cannot be found anywhere else. Also, every patient you care for is someone’s mother, father, sister, brother, child, etc. They deserve to be treated and cared for as if they were your own family.

Now to the real questions.

Do you prefer Coke or Pepsi?

Is that even a question? Wild Cherry Pepsi!!

Do you have a favorite TV show?

I have several favorite TV shows, but I don’t watch much TV. When I do, my favorites include Law and Order SVU, Modern Family, The Goldbergs, and the Blacklist.

Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with us?

I love reading mystery novels, historical fiction, and personal development/improvement books.  I love playing board or card games.  I’m married, have four kids and a cat.  I began my nursing career with one child and was pregnant with my second during my last year of nursing school (and I get very sick with pregnancy).  I had four children when I completed my Master’s, so if I can do it, you can too!  My favorite season is Spring.  My favorite color is purple.  I love 80’s music.  Someday I hope to go on a medical mission to a foreign country.

By: Kathleen Frisbie, MSN, RN, Faculty

In order to practice as a nurse, one must obtain licensure. The governing bodies which grant licensure are individual State Boards of Nursing. Licensure is the process by which boards of nursing grant permission to an individual to engage in nursing practice after determining that the applicant has attained the competency necessary to perform a unique scope of practice (More at: NCSBN – About Nursing Licensure). Each State Board of Nursing determines if an individual meets the criteria for licensure. Once eligibility for initial licensure is verified, the individual may seek licensure in their state of residence through testing. Across all U.S. jurisdictions, the national nursing licensure examination is the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination). This is a psychometrically valid examination designed to test minimal competency as a nurse. Passage of this exam indicates that the individual has the minimal competency needed to practice nursing safely. If the individual currently holds a nursing license and is seeking licensure in a new state, they may seek licensure by endorsement. Policies regarding licensure by endorsement vary from state to state. Those seeking licensure by endorsement must contact the appropriate state board for regulations.

Licensure by endorsement requires the individual to complete an application to the state board of nursing in which they are seeking licensure. The individual must possess equivalent credentials and qualifications as those seeking the same licensure by examination. The individual must have graduated from a nursing program approved by the state board of nursing and hold a license with no restrictions. Some states require specific continuing education requirements as well as holding an unencumbered license. Most states also require the individual to pass a criminal background check.

Another consideration in determining whether you need to seek licensure in another state is the Nurse Licensure Compact. The Nurse Licensure Compact allows nurses to hold licensure in their home state but practice in other states without obtaining another license. Not all states belong to the compact so it is important to determine if the state you want to work in belongs to the compact. Currently there are 24 states in the Nurse Licensure Compact. The list of states can be found at NCSBN – Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) States.

Licensed nurses are eligible for a multistate (compact) license if: 1. they legally reside in a compact state; 2. hold a current RN or LPN license in good standing; 3. declare a compact state as their primary residence. It is important to note that licensees must abide by the practice act in each state. Therefore, it is imperative to review the practice act for whatever state work is done. To assist individuals in determining the process for seeking multistate licensing a flowchart demonstrating the process can be found at NCSBN – Navigating the Nurse Licensure Compact: Licensure by Endorsement.

What happens when a nurse moves to another state? If the current primary state of residency is a compact state and the new state is also a compact state, then the nurse can practice on the former residency license for up to 30 days. After the 30 days, the nurse is required to apply for licensure by endorsement, pay any applicable fees and complete a declaration of primary state of residency in the new home state, whereby a new multistate license is issued and the former license is inactivated. Proof of residency may be required. If the move is to a non-compact state, then the nurse must seek licensure by endorsement, pay any applicable fees and will be issued a single state license. The nurse is required to notify the former state board of nursing they are moving out of state.

There are definite advantages of the Nurse Licensure Compact. The most obvious advantage is that it provides greater mobility for nurses. Improvement in mobility of nurses can have a direct impact on improving access to quality healthcare services and addresses workforce needs. Another advantage is that the compact licensure can provide improved access during times of a disaster. In today’s fast paced technological world, the concept of telemedicine and telenursing is becoming a reality. The compact licensure has provided clarification of the authority to practice for nurses engaged in telenursing.

The processes for obtaining licensure in different states are relatively straight forward and simple. Individuals seeking licensure in a different state should carefully read the policies located on the State Board of Nursing websites. It is also imperative that nurses understand the Nurse Practice Acts in whatever state they are licensed to practice in. If the individual has any questions, they should contact the State Board of Nursing for clarification.

Every year, National Nurses Week focuses attention on the diverse ways America’s 3.1 million registered nurses work to save lives and to improve the health of millions of individuals. This year, the American Nurses Association (ANA) has selected “Delivering Quality and Innovation in Patient Care as the theme for 2013.1

Annually, National Nurses Week begins on May 6, marked as RN Recognition Day, and ends on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, founder of nursing as a modern profession. Traditionally, National Nurses Week is devoted to highlighting the diverse ways in which registered nurses, who comprise the largest health care profession, are working to improve health care. During this week, Nightingale College honors its registered nurse graduates, current RN nursing students, and all nurses that walk in the footsteps of Florence Nightingale. Florence truly lit up the path for our success with her unwavering values.

Today and always, Nightingale College and its graduates walk in her footsteps of excellence, integrity, respecting humanity, continuous improvement, collaboration and accountability, and going beyond self.

Nightingale College understands the role RNs play in the ongoing improvement and transformation of health care systems of this great nation. ANA reports, “The Affordable Care Act and the Institute of medicine’s (IOM) Future of Nursing report places nurses at the center of health care transformation in the United States.”1 Nightingale College invites RNs everywhere to positively influence the quality of care and overall performance of the health care system to which they belong.

ANA’s website provides a brief history of National Nurses Week:

1953 Dorothy Sutherland of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare sent a proposal to President Eisenhower to proclaim a “Nurse Day” in October of the following year. The proclamation was never made.

1954 National Nurse Week was observed from October 11 – 16. The year of the observance marked the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s mission to Crimea. Representative Frances P. Bolton sponsored the bill for a nurse week. Apparently, a bill for a National Nurse Week was introduced in the 1955 Congress, but no action was taken. Congress discontinued its practice of joint resolutions for national weeks of various kinds.

1972 Again a resolution was presented by the House of Representatives for the President to proclaim “National Registered Nurse Day.” It did not occur.

1974 In January of that year, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) proclaimed that May 12 would be “International Nurse Day.” (May 12 is the birthday of Florence Nightingale.) Since 1965, the ICN has celebrated “International Nurse Day.”

1974 In February of that year, a week was designated by the White House as National Nurse Week, and President Nixon issued a proclamation.

1978 New Jersey Governor Brendon Byrne declared May 6 as “Nurses Day.” Edward Scanlan, of Red Bank, N.J., took up the cause to perpetuate the recognition of nurses in his state. Mr. Scanlan had this date listed in Chase’s Calendar of Annual Events. He promoted the celebration on his own.

1981 ANA, along with various nursing organizations, rallied to support a resolution initiated by nurses in New Mexico, through their Congressman, Manuel Lujan, to have May 6, 1982, established as “National Recognition Day for Nurses.”

1982 In February, the ANA Board of Directors formally acknowledged May 6, 1982 as “National Nurses Day.” The action affirmed a joint resolution of the United States Congress designating May 6 as “National Recognition Day for Nurses.”

1982 President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation on March 25, proclaiming “National Recognition Day for Nurses” to be May 6, 1982.

1990 The ANA Board of Directors expanded the recognition of nurses to a week-long celebration, declaring May 6 – 12, 1991, as National Nurses Week.

1993 The ANA Board of Directors designated May 6 – 12 as permanent dates to observe National Nurses Week in 1994 and in all subsequent years.

1996 The ANA initiated “National RN Recognition Day” on May 6, 1996, to honor the nation’s indispensable registered nurses for their tireless commitment 365 days a year. The ANA encourages its state and territorial nurses associations and other organizations to acknowledge May 6, 1996 as “National RN Recognition Day.”

1997 The ANA Board of Directors, at the request of the National Student Nurses Association, designated May 8 as National Student Nurses Day.

As of 1998, May 8 is National Student Nurses Day and as of 2003, National School Nurse Day is celebrated on the Wednesday within National Nurses Week.

Nightingale College wishes all current and future RNs a happy Nurses Week!

Flame! Forward!


  1. National Nurses Week, May 6, 2013