After a happy childhood in an affluent suburb in New Jersey, Bob Atkins, PhD, MSN, BSN, BA, embarked on a conventional journey through young adulthood: he started college at Brown University, double-majored in political science and American civilization, and set his sights on a career as a lawyer.
The daughter and granddaughter of nurses, Susan Bakewell-Sachs, RN, PhD, PNP-BC, never aspired to be a faculty member. But in the early 1980s she happened to hear nursing icon Claire Fagin, R.N., Ph.D., F.A.A.N., then dean of the school of nursing at the University of Pennsylvania, discuss the importance of nurse education on the national news.
Within 6 months of graduation when she was working as a community health nurse Diane Billings, EdD, RN, FAAN, chancellor’s professor emeritus of nursing at Indiana University School of Nursing, Indianapolis was asked to teach a session to senior nursing students who were having a clinical rotation at an agency. She immediately realized that in doing so, 10 more nurses would have knowledge and skills and be inspired to work in community health.
Karen Dalonzo, PhD, RN, APNC has been teaching nursing students for almost 25 years now. Those twenty five years have gone by very quickly, largely because as the saying goes, “Time flies when you’re having fun.” Hardly a day goes by when she is not having fun because for her, the work of a nursing faculty member is challenging, invigorating and highly creative.
As a senior in high school Claire P. Donaghy, PhD, CCRN, APN, CNE, associate professor at William Paterson University Department of Nursing decided she wanted to teach nursing. For financial reasons she attended a diploma nursing school but continued on for her bachelor’s and master’s in nursing. Nine years after beginning her nursing education, Donaghy was ready for her first teaching job!
When Gloria Essoka was a girl, she didn’t even dare to dream about becoming a nurse. That’s because poor Black girls like her had almost no hope of saving enough money to pay for the training required to become a professional nurse. And even if they were able to gather enough cash to cover tuition, room and board, racist admission policies prevented them from going to nursing school.
Donna Fountain loves teaching professional nursing excellence and preaching the importance of scholarship development. Nursing education, mentoring, and guiding the next generation of Nurse Leaders are the ultimate goals for as an expert nurse. She remembers being a novice nurse desiring a smoother path for those who positively impact the health care outcomes within the community.
Nursing is an integral aspect of the healthcare team. Nurses must be patient care providers, educators, and coordinators of care between all the members of the healthcare unit. Nursing is no longer a career that is simply task oriented, but one that requires critical thinking. Healthcare providers must be knowledgeable in chronic disease management, patient assessment, and have the skills to evaluate patient outcomes.
Nursing faculty are critical in the development of the next generation of nurses. Catherine Alicia Georges, EdD, RN, FAAN, a NJNI National Advisory Committee member has had the opportunity to be a nursing faculty at the same institution for over thirty years. Health care delivery systems have changed since that time and so has the practice of nursing.