In this instructor spotlight, we ask Tanya Smith, MSN, RN, who is an Assistant Department Chair and Assistant Professor, and Undergraduate Program Coordinator at Fort Hays State University about her passion for nursing.
We asked Ms. Smith about her background and education and her passion for teaching in this course work and found out the following:
Tanya completed her BSN and MSN nursing degrees at FHSU. She has extensive nursing experience in peri-operative areas including pre-operative, surgery, and post anesthesia care. Her nursing administration experience includes management of surgical and joint care services. Ms. Smith has five years of nursing education experience and is currently completing her PhD in nursing research. Most recently Ms. Smith has assumed the role of assistant chairperson within the department of nursing as FHSU.
The following is the rest of our interview with Ms. Smith about her career, education and nursing as a future career for students interested in the field.
How did you become an Assistant Professor in the Nursing Department at FHSU? What is your degree in?
“After extensive nursing experience I was approached by other nursing instructors at FHSU and asked to apply for an open position. My degree is a MSN with a nursing administration emphasis. I am currently pursuing a PhD in nursing research with a minor in nursing education from the University of Kansas Medical Center.”
How long have you worked in this field?
“I have 15 years of nursing experience including 6 years of nursing management.”
What tips do you have for students so they can be successful and complete their degree program?
“The department of nursing offers several online programs including a RN-BSN, MSN, and DNP. Online courses are beneficial to students as they allow flexibility with those who have extensive work schedules. Being a successful online student requires good time management and discipline. Courses need to be checked on approximately 2-3 times a week.”
Who is the ideal student for this major? What personality traits (i.e. outgoing, analytical, etc…) have you seen them have in common?
“RNs who are looking to expand their professional opportunities are ideal candidates for the RN-BSN, MSN, and DNP programs. Students need to have a strong work ethic with attention to detail.”
What career options would you have with a bachelor’s degree in Nursing?
“The BSN degree, as completed through our RN-BSN program, offers already practicing RNs the chance to expand their careers. BSN nurses typically work in management, quality, education, and case management positions.”
What are the demand for jobs in this field? Industry growth?
“Nursing is still in a shortage for qualified RNs. The push for the BSN still continues and now organizations are looking for nurses with advanced degrees to lead the profession.”
How can you succeed in this field? What growth paths are available?
“Furthering one’s nursing education allows the possibility for growth in leadership, education, and advanced practice positions. Nurses have a wide variety of options when looking to further their careers.”
Where the majority of jobs in this field located? Are they more regional?
“Nursing jobs are not just in hospitals anymore. RNs are needed in clinics, schools, industries, and communities.”
What is the average salary for a new graduate who has a BSN degree?
“Salaries for nursing range from $35,000-$100,000 depending on the type of job and one’s education.”
How do you gain “employable” experience for this industry? What can you do as a student to have a resume that is of interest to a prospective employer?
“Nursing schools offer internships that provide employable experience for students. Any volunteer or job related activities that place the student in a healthcare organization can enhance their resume.”
What trends you see happening in this field over the next 5 years?
“Nursing is a field that is expanding into health promotion and wellness. I see more positions available as nurse navigators or health coaches in the outpatient and community settings.”
Is this a field you would choose again? Why? What do you like about it?
“Absolutely! Being a nurse is not just a job but a chance to impact lives in many ways. The benefit of being a nurse is the chance to try multiple positions in many settings with the same degree. There is great need for nurses so job security is a benefit.”
We want to thank Tanya Smith, MSN, RN, Assistant Professor at Fort Hays State University, for her time sharing her education and a deeper look at nursing as a career.
You can find Assistant Professor, Tanya Smith, Assistant Chair – Department of Nursing, at Fort Hays State University and find out more about completing your degree at FSHU here on our site https://edukan.edu/about-edukan/edukan-fort-hays-state-university/.
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