By Chancellor Dan Klaich
Nevada System of Higher Education
Over the last several days, I have been sending daily e-mails to our subscribers sharing the stories of our students and what education means to their lives.
During that time, we also re-launched a Web site dedicated to enhancing Nevada’s education system (K-12 and higher ed) and we’ve asked people to share their stories so we, in turn, could share them with you.
Below is a story from a CSN graduate and NSC faculty member who wants to make Nevada a better place to call home.
Susan Growe, College of Southern Nevada graduate:
In 1999, I graduated from the College of Southern Nevada with an associate degree in nursing. I stayed in the state of Nevada and worked for one year at Sunrise Children’s Hospital. While I realized I was not meant to be a pediatric nurse, I was fortunate enough to float to the pediatric oncology unit and I fell in love with oncology. It was great – the patients were not your typical sick patients. The families were so warm hearted and cared about their children, as well as the staff that cared for their child.
I decided to take a position at an outpatient oncology clinic and loved oncology even more. When I first started, I volunteered to teach the new patients about their disease and their treatments so it would help build my skills in oncology. At this time, I decided I would like to go into management so I went back to school and received my Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN). I did get promoted to supervisor and was a working supervisor. I gained experience working with nurses in the hospital regarding my patients’ care and follow up for the physicians. I found that many nurses were very rude on the phone or in person with me and it made me nervous that these rude nurses might be caring for my wonderful patients who did not deserve to be treated in this manner. To compensate, I worked even harder for the patients when they got discharged from the hospital and followed up with them when they were home so that they knew we cared about them and their family.
I got the opportunity to become nurse manager for this clinic and decided that I would go back to school and get my Masters of Science in Nursing. I was lucky enough that at the University of Phoenix, they have a MSN/Education program so I could learn about the education part as well. At the time, I thought this would help guide me in teaching patients about their disease process and did not realize it was about school education until I was too far into the program. While it was a mistake at the time, it turned out to be a blessing. During my leadership role as nurse manager, I had the opportunity to hire new nurses. I was amazed at the applications that I received from nurses who did not have any qualifications to become an oncology nurse. Some had never worked in the oncology units; others did not even know how to start an IV, which is a basic nursing skill. So, because of the nurses I had encountered that were either rude or lacked skills, I decided I would like the opportunity to educate nursing students while emphasizing caring about patients.
I looked at the universities and colleges in Nevada, as well as out of state. I chose to work for Nevada State College because the NSC School of Nursing’s philosophy is caring, which matches my own philosophy of nursing. This is who I am and who I want nurses to be when they graduate. I was fortunate to be hired by the Dean of Nursing at that time and learned as much as I could to help each student succeed in the program. NSC is a great school where we are creating excellent, professional, and CARING nurses to serve the citizens of Nevada. We cannot afford to cut from education. It will hurt our college and our state by not creating new nurses, as well as other employees from our other outstanding degree programs, who would stay and work in Nevada. If we cut our education, we will be cutting our students who will leave our state to attend school and may never return. This would be bad for our economy. We want to keep our students here in Nevada.