Your stories: “Why I became a nurse educator”


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I have wanted to teach ever since I was a little girl. Playing classroom with my neighborhood friends was a daily occurrence during long summer breaks. I graduated from a diploma nursing program in 1985. At that time I never dreamed that I would someday become a nurse educator.

In 1987, I was recognized in the Atlanta Constitution’s Nurses “Make a Difference” Program. A family whose child had been treated for meningitis had nominated me. The nomination letter described the story of how I had explained the disease to the family in terms they could understand and how helpful that had been in a time of great stress. The family even mentioned that they kept the diagram I had drawn, illustrating the spinal cord. At that moment, I knew that I had a great love for teaching and dreamed that someday I would return to school and further my education.

In 2005, I made the decision to go back to school to obtain my BSN and eventually my MSNE. Many times I had contemplated this return, but my perceived poor math skills always held me back. After attending a workshop on positive self-talk, I decided to do whatever it took to succeed. Two semesters of remedial math later, I was on my way.

Going back to school has not been easy with a family and a job. I’ve had tremendous support from family and friends, which has enabled me to fulfill my dream. Since that day when I read the nomination letter, I’ve been empowered to become a lifelong learner and teacher. I wish I could thank that family for taking the time to write that nomination letter and giving me the inspiration to become the teacher I am today.

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Angie Hawthorne

Angie Hawthorne, RN, was recently named Clinical Educator for the CAN Program on the Cardiac Stepdown Unit at Children's. She is currently completing her master's degree in education and this is her "dream job." She's grateful for this opportunity to expand her horizons.

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One Response to Your stories: “Why I became a nurse educator”

  1. Nicole, RN

    Great motivational article- and she really is a great teacher, she’s my educator. This article can be the motivation for someone who is waffling in their decision to return to school. She followed her dreams and is a role model for those out there who want to follow their dreams as well. Great story about the mutual impact that Angie had on the family and that the family in turn had on her career. Angie is also a great example of taking on a huge responsibility of going back to school with a full time job and a full time job at home- a family.