Can you share with us more about your own educational journey?
I have a diverse third-level educational background in nursing, education, research, psychology and technology. On leaving secondary school, I studied audio-visual media technology at IADT, following which I worked in the entertainment industry for a short time. In later years, I returned to college as a mature student and studied Nursing at UCD. This led to further education in education, research, and psychology at several universities. I most recently completed my PhD in 2023.
I have over ten years of experience teaching third-level education, with an ethos that promotes a Universal Design approach, creating equal opportunities for all students. I advocate a constructivist approach to teaching, believing student-centred learning encompasses students actively constructing meaning and knowledge to gain a deeper understanding of the presented material.
What drew you to the field of nursing?
When I was younger, I looked after my granddad when he was unwell. I remember feeling immense pride that I could be there for my granddad when he needed care. Equally, my mum is also a nurse and inspired me to follow my nursing career.
What are some ways technological advances have shaped the profession?
I have a keen interest in experiential learning, in particular simulation training. I have designed and created innovative Immersive Virtual Reality (IVR) storytelling experiences as part of my teaching practices. This concept merges groundbreaking virtual reality technology with the traditional art of storytelling. Virtual reality storytelling offers a rare opportunity to present abstract experiences and permits my students to step into someone’s shoes and experience situations from another perspective, i.e., a patient’s perspective. Students have reported a greater sense of empathy and improved communication skills from the experience.
What sets the BSc (Hons) in Nursing in General Nursing at Hibernia College apart?
Hibernia College provides an innovative blended learning programme that offers our students highly engaging and collaborative learning experiences. Our programme embraces the advantages of traditional teaching in the classroom, simulation-based learning and synchronous and asynchronous digital learning. One of the key advantages of blended learning is its flexibility. Our students can access course materials and resources anytime, anywhere and at their own pace. They are supported with weekly online webinars and weekly classroom-based learning. Research has shown that blended learning can lead to improved learning outcomes. Our students receive a well-rounded education by combining the benefits of online resources and face-to-face instruction.
What are some of your favourite experiences with the programme so far?
As an educator, I most enjoy my interactions with the students. One of the greatest rewards of teaching is seeing your students’ progress. From when students understand a difficult concept to helping students learn new nursing skills that they will apply throughout their nursing careers. The students on the programme inspire me with their determination and resilience to achieve their goal of graduating as a nurse. I feel immense pride in our students and the excellent nurses they are becoming.
Can you tell us more about the importance of clinical practice placements for our nursing students?
Practice placement forms an integral part of the BSc in Nursing programme, representing 50% of the undergraduate nursing programme. A practice placement is where a nursing student applies their knowledge to practice, learns key skills and achieves the required competencies for registration. Learning in the contextual setting of clinical practice enables a student to confront many of the challenges and issues related to caring. Lifelong learning is promoted and enhanced through practice placements.
What is on the horizon for the programme and our students?
As the programme continues to grow and expand, Hibernia College will continue to educate and produce highly educated competent nurses who will help shape the future of nursing in Ireland.