A Nursing Student and Her Success at GVSU
March 30, 2020
Kersten O’Brien is currently enrolled in the Master of Science in Nursing program at GVSU. She attended the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) Summit in San Antonio, Texas where she had the opportunity to present her research. This conference helps CNLs to advance their education and network, in addition to promoting the newer role of the CNL, which functions as an interprofessional healthcare leader who uses quality improvement skills to improve outcomes across the complex care continuum. Her research was titled “Purposeful Rounding in the ED: A CNL Student Project” and focused on how a CNL student can learn to apply their skills to improve healthcare outcomes in any setting with the help of a CNL preceptor.
Kersten works as a registered nurse with cancer patients, so it was a big transition for her when she began her clinical experience in the emergency department (ED). However, the CNL role is expected to expand to unique practice settings, making it necessary to understand how CNL skills can be transferred to any clinical environment. Preceptors, like her own, can help foster student confidence by modeling the CNL role and helping students to select a project.
This experience helped Kersten understand the difference she can make as a Clinical Nurse Leader. Although this has been clear throughout her coursework and clinical experiences, putting together this poster helped her realize how much she has learned and what a CNL can contribute to healthcare. Being able to discuss those realizations with CNLs from across the country has ignited her passion about advancing the CNL role, which she was lucky to discuss with KCON's undergraduate Student Nurses Association upon her return. She is eager to expand on this experience and her education to make meaningful change in the healthcare system as both a student and a certified CNL.
Kersten has also been involved in other areas throughout her time as a graduate student at GVSU. She has been a Graduate Assistant, student representative on the Kirkhof College of Nursing’s (KCON) Professional Practice Committee, member and financial officer of the KCON Graduate Student Organization, and is currently the administration officer for the Graduate Student Association in addition to being a Research Assistant. Outside of graduate school, in addition to working as a registered nurse, she is active in several running groups, enjoys volunteering, and is involved in the GVSU Alumni Association.
Great job Kersten for all of your student achievements. Keep up the good work!