My clinical experiences in critical care nursing – combined with my experiences teaching BSN students and nurses – have largely shaped my educational values and beliefs. Nursing education should provide strong foundations upon which graduates can effectively transition from academia to real-world career environments. With the foundations, students will be able to make an effective career-building transition by integrating and applying general classroom knowledge, skills, and attitudes towards practice areas of interest that require more specialized knowledge. To achieve this goal of smooth transitioning, I strive to achieve three major teaching missions: 1) to make course topics and materials engaging and interesting; 2) to encourage students to develop critical thinking skills; and 3) to provide mentorship opportunities that treat students as colleagues who will take the lead in the nursing profession.
Making course topics and materials engaging is the first step to facilitate students’ positive learning. The BSN curriculum needs to deliver large amounts of information in a limited amount of time – including practicums in multiple clinical settings. Without students’ enthusiasm for learning, it is almost impossible to achieve successful educational outcomes. Based on my experiences teaching BSN students and nurses in community health, the most effective means of creating an engaging learning environment is to encourage students to use their own experiences. For example, I gave an assignment of practicing breast cancer self-examinations to BSN junior students. This practice included the students’ mothers as examination subjects as well. My students evaluated the assignment as successful in bringing their attention and interest in studying pathophysiology and patient education. Furthermore, encouraging students to relate information they learn in class to their outside experiences with disease or caregiving will keep them connected to the real world. Finally, selecting and inviting well-prepared guest speakers will be helpful in providing connections between classroom learning and actual practice.
My clinical experience as a critical care nurse has taught me that excellent nursing practices require sound decision-making, prioritizing, and team collaboration. To succeed in these areas, critical thinking is crucial. To assist students in developing critical thinking skill, my mission as a teacher is to help them develop their own approach in processing information and its application. For example, when I was working with beginning home health care practitioners, I encouraged them to simulate steps and identify relevant critical points for inserting a urinary catheter at patients’ homes. Creating and revising their own systems to approach a topic or skill based on what they learned in class offers opportunities to find areas and ways of thinking that they need to work on and reduce errors.
Finally, as a teacher, I advocate mentoring. I want my students to leave my class with their own philosophy on nursing. When I was training beginning nurses, it was a joy to witness them grow into responsible healthcare professionals. It was encouraging to see my nurses treating patients as human-beings rather than as diseased objects. I incorporated reflective activities into my senior BSN student curriculum, which was helpful in enabling students to think about their nursing roles. In these reflective exercises, I asked students to write essays on what they learned and observed, and what life lessons they can take away from their experience. I strongly encourage students to develop their own perspectives and to view the clinical practice as not merely focusing on completing daily tasks, but continually staying updated on what is going on in their clinical field. I want my students to continually strive to understand, define, and achieve what it is to be a good nurse.
-  bachelor's degree College of Nursing, Seoul National University
-  master's degree College of Nursing, Seoul National University
-  doctor's degree School of Nursing, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
- Critical care nurse, Seoul National University Hospital (1996-03-05)
- Clnical instructor for senior practicum, College of Nursing, Seoul National University (2005-09-01)
- Clinical instructor, advanced practice program for home-visit nursing, Seoul National University (2005-03-01)
- part-time lecturer, teaching Introduction to Medical-Surgical Nursing (2005-08-29)
- research associate, School of Nursing, University of Washington (2012-06-11)