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Eastern Michigan University Faculty

Faculty

Dr. Julie Slack

Dr. Julie Slack

Professor

"To be successful, a nurse needs a solid background in assessment skills with an understanding of human response to illness and principles of biobehavioral nursing, an ability to identify health patterns quickly, empathy towards all and a strong passion to make a difference."

Degrees Held:

  • Ph.D. – University of Michigan

In which online degree program do you teach?

RN to BSN

Which classes do you teach online?

NURS 221: Health Assessment for RNs and NURS 265: RN Essentials of Professional Nursing Practice: The Professional Role

What do students learn in your classes? What is the expected outcome?

In Health Assessment, the students are already nurses and have an understanding of how to perform health assessments. However, I teach the principle of "Kaizen"—continual improvement. I reinforce known skills and may introduce new ones with the goal of self-improvement. The challenge to the student is when they go to work in the clinical setting to strive for continual improvement and be 1% better than they were yesterday. The expected outcome is to complete a comprehensive health history and physical examination.

In Nursing 265, the student is introduced to the history of nursing and how it continues to influence their present evidence-based practice. Additionally, the student is encouraged to exam their own values, theories and philosophies and to gain an awareness of how these impact the care they provide patients on a daily basis. The expected outcome is to use the knowledge gained in class to understand the importance of delivering evidenced-based practice and to use their values to be able to succinctly articulate their personal philosophy of nursing.

Why did you start teaching?

As a nurse, it is important to have a positive impact on the lives of others. How I could have the greatest impact on others is to instill a passion for nursing and enhance the knowledge of future nurses so they can be agents of positive influence. If I touch just one other nurse, and she influences the life of one other person, the positive impact spreads rapidly, the "ripple effect." I have made a more significant impact than only touching those directly in my care.

What qualities make someone particularly successful in the nursing profession?

To be successful, a nurse needs a solid background in assessment skills with an understanding of human response to illness and the principles of biobehavioral nursing, the ability to identify health patterns quickly, empathy towards all and a strong passion to make a difference.

What do you think is the biggest challenge that nurses face today?

Nurses are educated in the 21st century but for the most part work with theories of the 20th century or earlier. As nurses strive to become professionals, 60% work in hospital systems that still value the self-sacrifice that nurses were known for during the 19th and 20th century. In the majority of institutions, this is evidenced by comments such as "I didn't get a break today." Twelve hours is a long shift to constantly give of yourself with no time to refuel. Change takes a long time.

What is the one book you think everyone should read?

"Notes on Nursing: What It Is, and What It Is Not" by Florence Nightingale.

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