EKU instructor, Angela Wood believes in taking an active part in her student’s educational experience and promoting student connectedness. She goes above and beyond to ensure her online students have opportunities to interact and engage with her. Wood’s enthusiasm for her field and dedication to student advocacy makes her a particular point of pride on EKU’s campuses, both in-person and virtual. We take great pride in offering the chance to get to know her a little better.
What brought you to EKU?
I came to EKU in 2014 as a part-time facilitator in a family nurse practitioner (FNP) clinical course. The following semester, I was offered a position as full-time clinical faculty in the School of Nursing and have been the Clinical Coordinator of the FNP program since.
Tell us a little about your work in your field.
I am a dual certified nurse practitioner in family and pediatrics. My current practice is university student health. I worked as a full-time nurse practitioner for 13 years at an internal medicine/pediatric practice before joining EKU as faculty. Prior to receiving my Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree, I worked at the University of Kentucky for 8 years in the Cardio-Thoracic Intensive Care and Post-Anesthesia Care Unit.
What moment at EKU stands out as most memorable?
I have the privilege of watching students gain knowledge and clinical experience and assimilate into their new FNP role. As a nurse educator, it is rewarding to be a part of each student’s journey of becoming an advanced practice registered nurse.
What is your approach to online teaching?
My approach to online teaching emphasizes student connectedness to faculty and fellow classmates, as well as a sense of community within the School of Nursing and university. To achieve this, I am in frequent contact with students via course announcements, email communication and regularly scheduled “student hours” via live video conference.
Students are encouraged to reach out to me. I am always available to meet with them individually via phone or video. Students also meet synchronously via video conference with their student peers for group work toward the beginning of the semester, which promotes connectedness to fellow classmates. Additionally, students are encouraged to connect with fellow classmates and form study partners/groups. Students have an audio-visual platform available within the learning management system. This allows them to connect with fellow students at any time, regardless of their geographic location. We invite students to join the EKU Rural Health Family Nurse Practitioner Program Facebook™ page to cultivate sense of community.
What tactics or approaches do you use to aid in your student’s success?
As course leader for the family nurse practitioner clinical courses, I work closely with the didactic course leaders to ensure student assignments and due dates are aligned with the corresponding didactic courses. Assignments, quizzes, and exams are staggered to promote student success in lecture and clinical courses. A well-designed course is crucial to help students meet the learning outcomes. Clear instructions, expectations, and grading rubrics are essential for student success. Additionally, detailed and individualized feedback on student assignments promote student growth.
What do you believe are the biggest advantages to online learning?
The biggest advantage to online learning is the opportunity to pursue a degree that might not otherwise be possible. For students who juggle work, family and returning to school, the flexibility of an online program provides them the opportunity to learn while still working and growing professionally. Students in any geographic location still have the opportunity for higher education that is equal in quality to a bricks and mortar education.
What have you been up to lately? (Research, projects, awards, etc.)
Awards that mean the most to me are the ones that come from students. I have been nominated for the E-Campus Advocate for Student Success Award and the Critical Thinking Teaching Award. I was also part of the FNP faculty team recognized with the Blackboard World 2019 Catalyst Award for Teaching and Learning. This international award is especially significant because it recognizes innovative and excellent use of the Blackboard learning management system, which is how we deliver our 100% online program.
What advice would you give to someone who’s considering finishing their degree, or starting for the first time as an adult?
It is never too late. Go for it. EKU is known as the “school of opportunity” and the faculty are here to help facilitate student success. As EKU’s gateway to campus says:
“Enter these gates with humility. Acquire knowledge to gain wisdom. Depart these gates with confidence. Live life with passion and purpose.”
Advancing Your Nursing Career
Earn your degree online from a university that has been an online education leader for more than 15 years. Our online format provides students the ability to complete assignments according to their schedule. EKU offers online nursing degree and certificate options from RN-BSN to MSN and post-MSN certificates to DNP.
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