Paving the Way as a Clinical Nurse Educator

My name is LaToya Turner. I am a registered nurse and I have got a Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in education.

When I first started the program, I was in management as a clinical coordinator, in charge of nurses and the day to day operation of our floor. Once I got into the program, I noticed there was a lack of education, so the more I looked into that, the more I pursued my education track.

There was not a position for me at the time when I went to write a paper on a project of a need that I identified at my hospital, one of the needs were for a clinical nurse educator or a clinical education area. So, I presented that to my Director of Nursing, she reviewed it, she loved what I, the research I did and what I turned in and then she decided to say, "Hey, that is something we can possibly consider." So, just about two months ago, I interviewed for the position she created and I actually start on Monday when I return back.

I will be in charge of the clinical nurse educator, which means educating the nurses that are currently there, providing them with up to date information of current practices. Making sure they are staying updated with their licensing and whatever practices they need, and also bringing in new nurses and getting them prepared for the floor and making sure they have everything they need in order to succeed as a nurse.

My career path started as I continued, as I grew more into the education program at Norwich. In the beginning, I did not see myself eventually teaching. I just knew that was something I always wanted to pursue and I was like, I'm going to pursue it. Just have it in my back pocket. But as I grew more and more, it started opening doors and then, hey, now I have some different options to go to.

It's impacted greatly because not only was that the, that was not my only job offer at the time. I was able to go to the local college and do my clinicals there. Just having that education kind of open up some doors for me. Doors I didn't realize was being opened. They had a position that came up as a Clinical Nurse Instructor with the students. That position was also offered to me, as well. That really has changed a lot now that, pursuing my Master's degree and opening up more doors.

So far, the most things that have been impacting was meeting everybody. Finally getting to see a face to those answers behind those discussion questions and finally get to meet people one on one. I want to say my discussion boards that we did today was, by far, the best because you get to interact with other nurses from other areas and understand how things are run there and it gave me great ideas to take back to my hospital to say, "Hey, this worked here so let's try to do it there."

And networking. It definitely helped with networking. So now I know I have a group of people behind me. If I have an issue or problem I can just email them and see what they think and just get another point of it.

It's been a really, really great experience. I definitely would recommend this to anybody that wants to pursue online and not be afraid to just go out on that limb and do it. Once you get out there, there are people there that would take you by the hand and guide you. You got professors out there that's willing to if you don't understand, let me help you and break it down for you. You're never alone. Never alone. And that's what's great about it.

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