National Nurses Week is a time to celebrate our frontline heroes. Celebrations begin May 6th and culminate on May 12th, Florence Nightingale’s birthday. Nightingale is recognized as the founder of modern nursing. This year, we’re putting the spotlight on our nursing educators, who are impacting the future of healthcare by shaping the nurses of tomorrow.
For Elaine Foster, vice president of nursing at Education Affiliates, becoming an educator was a passion of hers from a young age. She started teaching at a local community college when she was just 23 years old.
“I had only been out of nursing school with my BSN a couple of years and was heading back to get my Masters,” she said. “I had always wanted to be a teacher—actually more then I wanted to be a nurse—so I thought ‘why not?’”
She contacted the local community college and set up an interview with the dean to talk about an adjunct teaching position.
“I think she about fell off of her chair when I showed up at her door to discuss teaching,” she recalled. “Well lucky for me, she must have liked me or saw something in me that made her give me a chance. The first time I walked into the classroom I knew that was where I wanted to be the rest of my life. The rest is history. Here I am 38 years later, still working in education.”
Foster’s favorite part of teaching is seeing the excitement in a student’s eyes when they learn new things.
“They can change the outcomes for a patient and their family,” she said. “I love helping new nurses be the best nurse or educator or administrator that they can be.” An experienced nurse and educator, Foster loves giving advice to new nurses. “There are a couple of things that I really stress to new nurses,” she said.
First, never stop learning.
Healthcare technology and protocols are always improving. “Always read and stay up to date, no matter what area you are working in,” Foster said. “It is critical to our healthcare organizations and the health of our patients to do our due diligence to be the best nurse, educator, administrator, etc. Remember that you or your loved ones could be the one on the receiving end of the healthcare and you would want them to have the best nurse possible.”
And second, always be kind and supportive to each other.
“Nurses’ jobs are so important, but can be difficult,” said Foster. “As nurses, we need to support each other and protect our nursing workforce so we can deliver the best care possible to our patients.”
Nursing students gain so much when they’re led by amazing educators like Dr. Foster. If you’re considering becoming a nurse, Fortis can help you get started by providing a quality education. Click here for more information on our nursing programs or call us today at (855) 436-7847 and speak to one of our admissions representatives.