Open SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador 2016 – Delhi: Jamie R. Murphy
Jamie R. Murphy is a Visiting Instructor in the School of Nursing at SUNY Delhi.
I graduated with my associate degree in nursing 30 years ago and practiced in a variety of inpatient and community health settings. I returned for my baccalaureate degree in 2007 and continued on to earn a masters in nursing education and a doctorate in Rural Nursing in 2015. Both my baccalaureate and masters programs were earned online and my doctoral program was taken on-campus. I have held a variety of nurse educator positions in nursing programs, both on-campus and online. I currently work at SUNY Delhi in the School of Nursing in the RN-BSN program.
The students I teach at SUNY Delhi are all registered nurses with associate degrees working towards a baccalaureate degree in nursing. The majority of the RN-BSN students are adult learners working full-time and they also manage many personal and family responsibilities. My students lead very busy lives and their schedule seldom allows them to attend a traditional on-campus baccalaureate nursing program. The nursing profession’s ability to provide cutting-edge care requires nurses to acquire lifetime continued education, and many institutions are mandating that all their nurses have a minimum of a baccalaureate degree.
I am aware many of my students are seeking their degree either to be eligible for a nursing position at a hospital or to maintain current employment. I have found this to be stressful for my students and I am in a unique position to help my students reach their goal, reduce their stress, and help them enjoy their education. I am keenly aware my students need a program that allows flexibility due to a demanding professional and personal schedule, and online learning is a perfect fit. I am in a position to assist my students with expanding their professional career, and this is very exciting for me as an online educator.
Another very satisfying aspect of teaching in an online nursing program is knowing I am a part of transforming healthcare by helping nurses meet their educational needs. Increasing nursing knowledge is key to the health of individuals, families, and our communities. My students have shared with me how my knowledge and insight has played a role in how they provide nursing care.
Some students share with me the difficulties they are going through and my natural tendency to offer support and encouragement throughout the course is a very rewarding experience. I often use online video meetings to talk with my students and we both enjoy this personal connection. These connections are special, and even though I may meet my students in person at graduation, they remember me and share how much they appreciate the help and support I gave them. One of the most satisfying aspects of teaching online at SUNY Delhi is what my students say about the program, how it helped them get the job they wanted and for me, how I helped them to enjoy the experience along the way.