The nursing profession as a whole is fundamentally about patient care so when teaching nursing students, interacting with patients is of the utmost importance. In the spring, when Napa County received shelter-in-place orders, the typical clinical experiences for PUC nursing students needed to be reimagined.
Professor of nursing Tamara Tirado found an alternative to the norm: virtual clinical experiences that focus on real-life nursing issues and experiences. “It has been both exciting and challenging for students to learn how to navigate their critical thinking skills in the online environment,” Tirado explains. “Being able to integrate virtual experiences in our courses has helped us to overcome the obstacles brought on during this challenging time and still meet the learning needs of our students.”
Learn more about the department of nursing at puc.edu/academics. Our team of admissions counselors can answer any questions you have about the programs, or other majors the college offers. Call (800) 862-7080, option 2, or email firstname.lastname@example.org get connected with a counselor now and start learning about all the options available to you!
Jenna Park is a PUC nursing alum and enjoyed her college experience so much she’s back! Jenna is an assistant professor in the department of nursing. She started her position in July but is no stranger to the community. Jenna’s happy to be back in the Napa Valley, not just for the great restaurants, but being a part of the Pioneers family again.
What brought you to PUC? Why did you decide to work here?
I decided to come back to PUC because I saw how close and supportive the faculty was even when I was a nursing student. I enjoyed my time at PUC and loved the community, so I knew I had to come back. Nursing school was the most challenging two years of my life, but it was also the most fun and exciting.
What is the best thing about being a part of the Pioneers family?
The best thing about being a part of the Pioneers family is I have the best nursing faculty team. Everyone has been so supportive and welcoming, and I feel like I adjusted fairly quickly to this new position. I also love how close I am to all my favorite places to eat!
Where is your favorite place to eat in the Valley and why?
Whenever I am away from the Valley, I always crave and miss Giugnis Deli. I don’t know what it is about them. There is so much nostalgia and that goodness just makes me want to come back for more all the time.
What is something you can do/want to do that might be surprising for people to learn?
I’m not sure if it would be surprising, but I am obsessed with Disneyland, and I usually go at least once or twice a year. So it’s been tough to be away from Disneyland for so long due to COVID-19, but I am happy that they are staying closed for the safety of our community.
What is one song you’re listening to on repeat lately?
I’ve been so busy I haven’t listened to a lot of songs recently, especially since I find it difficult to work or study with music playing in the background.
Who is someone you admire and why?
I admire my mother because she came to the United States and provided for the family, even though she barely spoke any English. She was a nurse in Korea before I was born, and she came back to the career almost fifteen years later in a whole new country with different rules, cultures, and languages. She is now a veteran nurse, and she has gained respect from all her coworkers, and many nurses come to her for advice. She is the definition of perseverance and hard work, and I aspire to be like her.
Favorite movie to watch?
It depends on my mood. If I want something adventurous or fun, I’d watch something on Disney Plus. Maybe it’s Moana or maybe it’s The Avengers. But if I want something classic, I love to watch Pride and Prejudice.
Finish this sentence: On Sunday mornings you can find me…
Sleeping in or grabbing brunch at Gillwoods or Grace’s Table in Napa!
Name: Melissa Setterlund From: Nampa, Idaho Major: Nursing Graduation: AS in June 2014, BSN in June 2015
Why did I choose Nursing?
I’ve always wanted to help people, especially those who are unable to help themselves. I also find human anatomy to be fascinating. Add to that the excitement of how different medications work on the body and BAM! You have the trifecta for a desire to be a nurse. There are always a million reasons to do each job, and if those don’t appeal to you, that doesn’t mean that nursing isn’t for you. It’s okay for you to have your own reasons.
A Normal Week
Usually I have class 2-3 days a week. The other days are filled with clinical hours, one or two shifts at the hospital a week. During my free days, I try to put in as many work hours as I can and then, of course, I spent time studying and doing homework. It’s definitely a busy schedule, but if you’re able to manage your time well and motivate yourself to complete assignments and study, you’ll be just fine.
Favorite Class at PUC
I have two favorites: Pharmacology and Maternal-Newborn. Pharmacology appeals to my interest in the body and how medications work. It helps that the professor, Susan Bussell, keeps things interesting by using different candies to compare to the different medications. Maternal-Newborn, taught by Gladys Muir, interested me because of how the body changes to accommodate another human life. Again with the whole anatomy kick, the idea of creating life and your body adapting to it is fascinating.
Most Exciting Experience
Probably the most exciting experience I’ve had relating to nursing was during my clinical rotation to the Labor & Delivery Unit. I was able to see a baby being born. It was special to see how happy the mom and the dad were when they were able to hold their baby for the first time. It was probably even cooler for me since Maternal-Newborn was one of my favorite classes. It showed me the things I learn at PUC are applicable to real life and happen in the real world.
You’ve probably heard a million times that you should study hard, use good time management, and take advantage of tutoring, so I won’t go that route. Instead, I encourage you to take advantage of every opportunity for doing or learning something new in the hospital. Tell your nurse that you want to do something new and ask if there is a procedure or treatment being done that day that you could be a part of and don’t be afraid to get in there and participate. You are there to learn and become a nurse so take every opportunity you can.