Making a better world – OC nursing instructor shares her faith
by James Coburn, Staff Writer
Courtney McCoy knows how tedious nursing school can be and how determined students must be, she said. As a registered nurse, McCoy is a nursing instructor at Oklahoma Christian University.
“I admire the ones that are really able to stick it out,” she said. “If they decide this is what they want to do, they’re going to make it happen. I know that is hard to do when you’re 19 or 20 years old, to take time out of social activities. I admire their motivation and determination to stick with it.”
She teaches Health Assessment this summer, which is a prerequisite class nursing students must take before they can start the program.
“It’s about basic learning like how do you listen to heart sounds, vital sounds and what is normal and what’s not,” McCoy said.
She is one of eight nursing instructor at OC. McCoy said she likes the feeling she gets when knowing she has taught her students something they did not know. This is why she decided to pursue nursing, she said.
“What I found I really like about nursing is the patient education part. I had some diabetes education before I came here. So I really liked that one-on-one time with the patients and empowering them how to manage themselves and not be reliant on medications or their doctor.”
She transfers her knowledge base to her students so they can move forward in their careers. When they work at a hospital they can think, “Hey, I learned this,’” McCoy said.
McCoy also earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree at OC as part of the first nursing class in 2008. She went on to receive her master’s degree from Oklahoma Baptist University in 2014.
“I just feel like OC is a really unique place, especially for nursing school when it’s really intense and time consuming,” McCoy said. “You really spend a lot of time with those people. For me, that’s where I have made some of my longest and best friendships.”
These friendships are from people she knows from nursing school and the instructors she now is able to teach with and watch students grow in their skills. OC is a smaller university that carries a strong sense of loyalty, she said. McCoy has opportunities to get to know her students.
“You really have the time to become invested in them. They’re not just a number in the classroom,” she said.
OC is a Christian centered university that speaks about Christianity in all of its classes, McCoy said. She said that practice is something different that is not available at all universities.
Her summer class only has three students that allows lecturing and lab.
“It’s nice because they get a lot of time to ask questions,” McCoy said. “Last year I had 11.”
Students in her class will be juniors in the fall. They are just beginning their rotations, but some of them have an idea about the type of nursing they want in their career, although their decisions might change during their clinical work.
“So by the time they’re seniors in their last semester, they have a pretty good idea where they want to work. And some of them are already working at a hospital,” McCoy said.
When McCoy is not teaching, she enjoys yoga. She is working on her yoga teacher certification and also teaches a yoga class at OC. She intertwines yoga with Christianity.
“It’s yoga with a little bit of a devotional,” she said. “At the beginning and end when you’re doing those quiet couple minutes of yoga and meditation that you always do, I add a Bible verse that is the theme for the hour.” She said yoga is a mind, body and soul type of exercise.
“That’s what I like about it. I feel people benefit from it in different ways. If someone wants to be really physically active and wants it to be challenging, it can be,” McCoy said.
Other yoga participants may want to use it to stretch and relax, she said. Yoga is not a competitive sport and takes an individual approach.
“That’s what I like about it,” she said.
This summer, McCoy will also teach the RN to BSN online program at OC. Additionally, during the end of the semester she traveled to Honduras as a student sponsor.
“That’s the first time I’ve been back since I went as a student,” she said of the Health Care Missions class. Students can either go to Honduras or stay local and provide mission work in the metro area.
“We have both of those options and I’ve done both with the students. I think for our students who are young and haven’t seen a lot out there. It’s kind of an eye-opening experience. It helps you kind of understand the health care system in different places. It’s not that bad here, it could be worse. We are learning to not take things for granted and to know what’s going on in other parts of the world.”