Shanda 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.
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.