Monday, January 6, 2014

Techie Teacher of the Year Award 2013: Colleen Royle, MSN RN from MSU

We realize we're a few days late to announce the winner of the 2013 Techie Teacher of the Year Award, but with all this technology use keeping us busy, it took a bit of time for us to touch base with this year's winner, Colleen Royle, MSN RN from Minnesota State University, Mankato


Colleen was nominated by her appreciative students for last year's award and voted for by both students and colleagues. One of the student nominations read, "[Colleen Royle] runs a full sim lab for nursing students. These sims do everything from talking to giving birth and Colleen gets it all up and running. She is my technology go to."

The fact that Royle is not only using technology in her classroom, but also allowing students to consider her their "go-to" for technology assistance is one of the reasons we believe she is deserving of this year's award. Technology is all around us, and teachers like this are the reason the next generation of nurses will be better prepared than ever before (especially in the age of EHRs/EMRs). Which is why we rewarded Royle with Techie Teacher of the Year 2013 and a free year of EHR Tutor for her classroom. 

Not only does Royle find time to assist her students, but she gladly volunteered to answer a few interview questions for this blog. 

First of all, here is a little bit of information from Royle regarding her background: 

"I have been a registered nurse for 20 years. My experience has been primarily in family practice nursing. I began my nursing career as a supervisor at a family practice clinic. From there, I continued to supervise nurses for 13 years. I had always loved to teach and hoped to get into the profession at some point. I applied for an adjunct position to see if I liked the change from practice to teaching. I have worked at Minnesota State University, Mankato for 7 years. The first two years were as an adjunct faculty teaching a lab skills course for first semester nursing students. From year three to present I have been the Learning Resource & Simulation Center Coordinator. I am responsible for the day to day operation of the learning resource lab and simulation center. I continue to teach students in the baccalaureate and masters’ programs in the lab venue. We have many interprofessional groups using the lab and simulation as well: speech pathology, dietetics, medical residents, and graduate psychology groups. My greatest joy is bringing the high fidelity mannequins to life in order to assist the nursing students in their professional education journey. The excitement seen in the eyes of the students is amazing!"

When asked "Why do you think technology is important to the education of future nurses?" she replied with the following: 

"I believe that technology is an essential component of nursing education. Today’s students are digital natives who are fluent in many forms of technology. They expect education to keep up with their innovative technology needs. The use of technology in nursing education provides an authentic learning environment for both students and faculty. Through the use of high fidelity simulations, I can provide high risk, low occurrence healthcare situation for ALL students. When a student attends a clinical experience at a healthcare facility, we never know exactly what they will experience. Through the use of high fidelity simulations, we are assured that all students will experience the same encounters."

We agree that students today expect education to keep up with their innovative technology needs. That's why we can't wait to see how Royle's students make use of EHR Tutor once it's implemented in her classroom! 

Congratulations to Colleen Royle, MSN RN and all other nominees this year. We, along with your students, appreciate the work you're doing every day!