Bret Hess, Lecturer
"When I began my journey as a student, I chose Nevada State College for a reason. Caring, compassion, academics, and the nursing life are important attributes when walking away with your new degree, and that is why I now teach at my alma mater."
- MSN – Grand Canyon University, 2015
- BSN – Nevada State College, 2013
- ADN – College of Southern Nevada, 1989
- Nursing experience: pediatric oncology, pediatric critical care, pediatric emergency care, pediatric flight nursing, nursing supervisor and paramedicine.
- Co-author of the research study "Caring in Simulations" — December 2015
- Presenter at Elsevier Nursing Education Conference — January 2016
What do you want students to take away from your classes? What do you want them to learn?
Nursing is not just what we read in a book, an article, or a question that we answer; nursing is what we bring to others with an altruism in ourselves that ultimately benefits the individual human experience. Not just our desire to "make the difference," in each of us it is the justification to "be the difference."
What is the value of a BSN?
The value of a BSN is what you make of it. Is it just a piece of paper on the wall, or a new way of life? New responsibilities and new rewards? When we take the steps to better ourselves, are we the only benefactor of this effort, or perhaps this also translates to those around us. When we make the commitment to become the level of a BSN, we say to others "that you are worth my time and effort and with this degree, I care for you."
Why did you start teaching?
Working in the pediatric ICU, we would have clinical rotations of students on the occasional-to-frequent basis. I would be assigned 1-2 students. Showing my excitement, I would provide each of them supervised experience, taking care of different patients and teach them what it takes to be a pediatric nurse - to walk the walk, and talk the talk. By the end of their day I would have most of the students, as an entourage, if you will, learning the role of the nurse. At the end of the day I would hear over and over "you need to teach" from the students and instructors alike. After a while, with plenty of reaffirmation, I took the plunge and have enjoyed the journey ever since.
What advice would you give to nurses considering the online RN to BSN track?
As the BSN is soon becoming the standard, we are encouraged to reach higher and expand our horizons. As we look into this new direction, we must realize not all programs are created equal and examining where we want to go is as important as who we will become. When I began my journey as a student, I chose Nevada State College for a reason. Caring, compassion, academics, and the nursing life are important attributes when walking away with your new degree, and that is why I now teach at my alma mater.
Why are you interested in nursing? What drew you to this field?
I had originally worked toward a degree in electronic engineering, but as fate would have it, destiny if you will, my thoughts and energy went into healthcare and narrowed to the profession of nursing as my younger brother was diagnosed with a pediatric cancer, and I wanted to be there to help my family. I soon found myself immersed in a whole new direction and it felt as comfortable as your favorite pair of jeans. Even though I lost my little brother soon after graduating from nursing school, I developed the passion to go beyond myself and provide the best care possible to every child in need...as if they were my own.
What qualities make someone particularly successful in nursing?
It has been instilled into each of us to take the best care possible with each of our patients. Knowing in ourselves that the best nurses give mind, body, and soul and showing empathy, emotion, and the human caring that we are all capable of. From the days of Florence Nightingale to the modern caring model of Jean Watson, we let our caring roots shine.
What do you think is the biggest challenge that nurses face today?
These days, it may not be enough to give good care, but we are tasked with providing it faster with shorter lengths of stay. Evidence-based practice may be a key to performing our new role in the 21st century.
What is the one book you think everyone should read?
Think Like A Nurse by Keith A. Rischer.
Tell us something your students may not know about you:
I am a proud graduate of Nevada State College RN-BSN Program.