How Going Back to School Has Made Me a Better Instructor

When people first heard that I had made the decision to go back to school to pursue an associate degree in professional nursing, almost everyone had an opinion about it. Most supported my decision with statements like “that’s great”, and “good for you”, while others seemed perplexed by my choice, “But why? What made you decide to go back to school? You already have a Ph.D.” 

Well, there are a few reasons why I decided to go back to school.  First off, since I began working for Rasmussen College in New Port Richey as a science instructor in 2010, I have seen the nursing program here grow in leaps and bounds, expanding in both student numbers and in the number of nursing faculty hired each quarter to meet the growing demand for the program.  Wanting to be a part of this new development, I knew that I would need a degree in nursing in order to accomplish this goal.

Secondly, and probably most importantly, I wanted to better understand the information that my students would be exposed to in their future nursing courses in order to help prepare them to be successful in their education. 

In some of the courses I taught, such as Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology and Human Biology, I would educate students about the pathophysiology of diseases and disorders, the signs and symptoms and how these diseases might be medically treated. However, what I was unable to teach students at the time was how to care for a patient inflicted with these disorders.  Now, through my education in nursing, I am not only able to educate my students about the inner workings of the body, but also how to care for the person as an individual. Now, when I talk about disorders in the classroom, I can describe nursing diagnoses that relate to the patient, nursing interventions that can be used to provide comfort to the patient and ways nurses can provide education to their patients. 

Overall, I feel my decision to go back to school has helped me be a better educator to my students. Now, instead of wondering if I am teaching them enough, I know I am better preparing them for their core nursing courses.     

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Nicole Luther, Ph.D. is a full-time instructor for the General Education and Nursing program at Rasmussen College in New Port Richey. She has worked in the field of Biomedical Research for over five years. Nicole has a Ph.D. in Biomedical Research with a concentration in Molecular Cell Biology from the University of Florida. She is also pursing an Associate degree in Professional Nursing, to be completed in June 2013.

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