Below, I talk with Lisa Shine, BSN, RN, a lab and simulations instructor at a nursing school in Virginia.

What is your background in nursing?

I got my bachelor of science in nursing from Marymount University in Virginia, and then started working in an urban DC emergency department.

How did you hear about your current position as a clinical instructor?

When I was in nursing school, I told my old lab director that I would be back someday. She told me if I had one year of nursing experience she would take me to run simulations and teach labs. After a year, I walked into her office and she gave me the job.

I teach the lab portion of a course in the fundamentals of nursing, which focuses on clinical skills and development, and I run nursing simulations for medical-surgical nursing, mother-child nursing, mental health nursing, and community health. 

What is challenging about the role?

It depends. I hear ” I have kids” or “I work full time to support my family” a lot. It can be difficult to teach people who have a lot going on in their personal lives.

What is rewarding?

I love that I am able to teach our future nurses how to manage various kinds of diseases, acute and chronic. Watching the “ah-ha!” moments and recognizing the growth in my students is why I continue to do this in conjunction with a full-time night shift nursing gig in one of the craziest emergency departments in the city. It is my privilege to mentor and “raise up” the next generation of nurses. I try to build good relationships with my students. I currently have a stack of recommendations I need to write—I guess that means they like me!

Who would you recommend for this position?

I think this role would be good for anyone who wants to take a more active role in the development of the new nursing workforce, or who might eventually want to become a professor. It’s great experience. You definitely must have patience and a passion for knowledge. The baby nurses need a lot of support, so you kind of need to be nurturing and warm.

What are your future plans with your career?

Eventually, I plan to go back to school to get my master’s degree. With a master’s I will be able to teach the lecture portion of the undergraduate nursing classes. Right now, though, I enjoy teaching baby nurses clinical skills, like how to drop a good IV line and put a foley catheter in a mannequin.  

Laura Kinsella

Laura Kinsella, BSN, RN, CEN, is an emergency room nurse in Washington, DC.

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