For 21 straight years now the nursing profession has been named the most trustworthy in America.
Quite simple, nursing is the lifeblood of healthcare.
And for those charged with training the next generation of nurses, the responsibility for the future is held sacred.
Faculty at the University of Oklahoma’s Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing stand in the gap when it comes to nursing education.
Each has their own unique story, but all share a passion for nursing education.
Stacy Frisbie, DNP, RN, CNE serves as the BSN Track Coordinator and Curriculum Chair for the college.
“Nursing is the absolute oxygen of the health system,” Frisbie said. “Nurses advocate for their patients on a daily basis and are often the first to notice a change in a patient’s condition. Decades of research not only supports the value of nurses regarding patient satisfaction, but also their impact on morbidity and mortality.”
Unfortunately, Oklahoma has fewer nurses per capita than 48 other states. That’s a crisis in care for our state.
“The importance of nursing care has been increasingly recognized across the world,” Frisbie said. “By vastly increasing the number of nurses we are able to educate across our five sites in the past year, and again for this year, the Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing is making a difference to Oklahomans needing care across the state.”
“I am confident the students we graduate will continue the tradition of nursing excellence we are known for, and my hope is that our partners across the state who are supporting our new graduates in healthy work environments will be able to keep them here for years to come.”
Lori McElroy, DNP, RN, CNE is an assistant professor and ABSN and degree completion track coordinator.
She’s proud of the college’s mission and its results.
“It is a bit cliche to say that nursing education is attempting to make changes to keep up with the rapidly changing healthcare landscape because we have been saying this for decades,” she said. “At the Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing, located in the heart of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, we truly believe that nurses are the oxygen of the healthcare system and they are educated to adapt and make changes continuously to improve health outcomes with a holistic approach while considering self-care and a healthy work environment.”
“We are growing by leaps and bounds, which happens when you provide more oxygen. We have doubled student enrollment in the undergraduate programs, tripled the number of student affairs staff to offer more student resources and student support, and expanded clinical partnerships across the state. We are working to expand and enhance our facilities to accommodate more students and create consistency across the state at each teaching site.”
With that, McElroy noted the school continues to hire more faculty and staff to support the incoming students.
“This exciting time of change, innovation, and reenvisioning of teaching, learning, and clinical experiences provides infinite possibilities to improve nursing education, patient care, and outcomes for our Oklahoma communities,” she said.
Brayton J. Amidon, MSN, RN, CHSE is a clinical instructor at the college. Primarily teaching in the college’s Experiential Learning Center, Amidon helps students apply what they learn in the classroom to real-life patient scenarios.
It’s this type of learning that closes the gap between classroom and the patient room.
“Our primary mechanism for this instruction is simulation – whether that be skills education or realistic patient scenarios,” he said. “Our goal in the Experiential Learning Center is to narrow the theory-to-practice gap and prepare our students to excel as newly licensed RNs. We have created a safe place for students to learn and practice their critical thinking and clinical judgment. Our Experiential Learning Team across the state works together closely to ensure that our students have the best possible learning experience.“
For more information about Oklahoma’s Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing, visit: https://nursing.ouhsc.edu/.