People who teach those who come after them often do so because they want to give back or have a positive influence on upcoming students in the field. That’s exactly what Susan Zori, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, an assistant clinical professor in the College of Nursing and Public Health at Adelphi University in Garden City, New York, does.
Zori took some time to explain to us what she does, why she does it, and what she would recommend to those thinking about becoming a professor at a nursing school.
What follows is an edited version of our Q&A.
What does your job entail? Do you specialize in specific topics that you teach? How many courses do you teach each semester?
My job is to inspire the next generation of nurses. I teach theory courses for Fundamentals of Patient Centered Care, Care of Adult 1, and Care of Older Adult, and I teach 2 to 3 courses per semester.
I constantly challenge myself to instill concepts and safety while bridging knowledge to actual clinical situations. I believe in active learning and incorporate active learning into classes.
Why did you choose to teach?
I have had an extensive career in clinical nursing and nursing administration. I am passionate about nursing and love teaching. I love seeing students light up as they make connections and become passionate about caring for patients. I find great satisfaction in “paying it forward” and preparing the next generation of nurses for a very different health care environment.
What are the biggest challenges of your job?
The biggest challenges are preparing students to pass NCLEX, with all that is entailed in writing tests, administering tests, and grading tests.
What are the greatest rewards?
I still work occasionally at a hospital in an administrative role. I sometimes come across an RN that I had as a student. When I do, it is wonderful to see them and know that I had a very small part in helping them in their journey.
What would you say to someone considering this type of work?
Nursing is a wonderful profession that gives one the opportunity to make a difference in patients’, students’, and nurses’ lives every day.
Being successful in nursing requires intelligence, perseverance, and passion. It is one of the hardest courses of study, but it is rewarding and offers one many different opportunities such as masters and doctorate level study as well as opportunities to continually learn, and truly shape health care.
Nurses are the perfect professionals to engage patients in wellness, manage chronic illness, coordinate care, and thus shape the current health care system into one that is accessible and equitable for all. Nurses can and will do this.