Faculty Friday: Meet SheriDawn Neilson, Nursing

Posted: January 26, 2018 | Author: Kaden Mcbride | Read Time: 3 minutes

SheriDawn NeilsonSheriDawn Neilson’s career in nursing has come full circle as she now teaches at the university that started her on the path to become a respected nurse and educator.

She started as a nurse in Cedar City’s Emergency Department after graduating from Southern Utah University’s nursing program in 2007. Neilson was the night charge nurse for several years. She also worked as a house supervisor in the Intensive Care Unit, the IV clinic and placed peripherally inserted central catheters. In 2013, she saw her career take new heights as she landed a dream job as a flight nurse with Classic Air Medical. She helped fly critically ill patients all over southern Utah and northern Arizona.

While she worked full-time as a flight nurse, Neilson earned her Master’s of Science in Nursing with an emphasis in Education from Walden University in 2015. While she loved flying, she wanted to find a job that would help her stay closer to home. She started teaching at SUU in the Fall of 2015 and now works as a flight nurse part-time.

As an Assistant Professor, Neilson has taught many courses at SUU and has led students on immersion trips to the Dominican Republic. Neilson currently teaches:

  • NURS 3220 Pharmacology
  • NURS 4350 Population Care
  • NURS 4355 Community Nursing Lab

Neilson says that education for nurses is important throughout their careers.

“I don't think you can ever go wrong by gaining more knowledge,” said Neilson. “I tell my students all the time that the tests never stop after school. They will all be required to do ongoing education and maintain certifications. The healthcare field changes so fast that education will always be a part of any nurse's life.”

Neilson understands the struggle students go through to earn their degrees and thrive in their chosen fields. She tries to use real life stories and her experiences to help connect the dots between theory and application. For Neilson, success as an educator is measured in the success of her students.

“I enjoy meeting with students, analyzing their strengths and weaknesses, coming up with a plan and seeing that plan in action, said Neilson. “I love it when a student experiences success and sees the improvements they’ve made.”

“My first year teaching I had a student that just didn't seem excited about any of the fields of nursing she had been exposed to thus far,” said Neilson. “She was a great student and did really well, but just hadn't found her passion yet. In my second year of teaching this same student got to ride in a medical helicopter as part of a disaster drill. When she got out of the helicopter, she was on fire. She had found something in nursing that she loved.”

Neilson has eight years of experience in clinical nursing including critical care & trauma air transport, intensive care, emergency department and administration. Neilson has certifications in basic life support, advanced life support, pediatric advanced life support, neonatal resuscitation, advanced trauma course for nurses as well as certifications as a certified emergency nurse (CEN) and certified flight RN (CFRN).

Learn more about the nursing program at SUU.

Tags: Faculty College of Science and Engineering

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