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Suzanne Lefever, Adjunct Professor of Nursing

"The online environment offers new challenges and the opportunity to push both the student and faculty to learn more about themselves and the field of nursing. Try not to approach classes as a checklist to complete, but read and learn to understand the information and the significance it has in the nursing profession, in real life instances."

Degrees Held:

  • MSN – State University of New York, 2004
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Certification, Georgetown University Medical Center, 1990
  • BSN – Goshen College, 1983

Career Highlights:

My nursing career began over thirty years ago in orthopedics, med-surg, trauma ICU, and oncology. I finally settled in Neonatal Intensive Care as a transport and charge nurse. After about six years I was given the opportunity to continue my formal education for my Neonatal Nurse Practitioner certification through Georgetown University followed by my MSN at State University of NY – Stonybrook. I practiced as an NNP for over ten years and then journeyed into education.

In which online program do you teach?

RN to BSN

Which classes do you teach online?

Transitions, Leadership, Evidence Based Practice

What do you want students to learn in your classes? What is the expected outcome?

I hope that my students are able to apply their knowledge learned in classes and through reading to what they do every day as a nurse. Nurses need to be able to adapt to an ever changing environment and new issues. The information learned in all the classes should be applicable in some fashion to the field of healthcare in general, nursing specifically, but in interactions with peers, other providers, and patients, families, and communities.

Why did you start teaching?

As an expert in my field and experience in a variety of clinical settings, I had the opportunity to interact with novices in the healthcare environment. It was both challenging and rewarding to teach and mentor new nurses and resident doctors in direct patient care, helping them to apply what they had learned in class to the clinical setting. As an educator, I am able to begin that process early on in a student’s program of education.

What's the best advice that you have ever received?

Learning is not only about memorizing facts and lists, it is about problem solving and thinking deeply about people, diagnoses, problems, health and illness. If we learn those skills, we can grow to meet changing problems and needs.

What's the best advice you could give to online students?

The online environment offers new challenges and the opportunity to push both the student and faculty to learn more about themselves and the field of nursing. Try not to approach classes as a checklist to complete, but read and learn to understand the information and the significance it has in the nursing profession, in real life instances.

What qualities make someone particularly successful in nursing?

A professional nurse is eager to learn, and recognizes that learning is ongoing as we are in a field that is always changing. Nurses are flexible and adapt to change. Nurses are confident, but know that they are members of a team and should always be willing to ask questions and look to others for assistance if needed.

What do you think is the biggest challenge that nurses face today?

Healthcare in general is a rapidly changing field and it is imperative that as professionals, we keep up to date on the newest research and evidence.

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