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Tara Matteson Heglund
From a young age, I have always enjoyed teaching and learning. I had looked at a few programs to obtain my master’s degree. I wanted to attend an accredited university and ensure that the school’s mission statement was in alignment with my own. Upon further exploration, I determined that Indiana State University’s Master of Science degree with a concentration in Nursing Education was the right program for me. It was through this program that I learned how to evaluate research for evidence-based practice, create curriculum to promote fun and exciting learning opportunities, and foster a rich learning environment for my students and colleagues.
When I decided to further my education in 2009, I had been a nurse for five years. During that time, I began as a staff nurse on a high risk ante-partum, post-partum, and newborn nursery unit and transitioned into the unit educator. I had only been the educator for one year when I began the nursing education program. It was an incredible experience to learn the “why’s” I had been asking over the past year and to experience my own “ah-ha” moments as I was completing weekly learning modules. The nursing education program truly helped me to connect theory with practice and become more valuable in my role.
The faculty of the nursing education program have really helped me to develop into the nurse educator that I am today. Following the completion of the program in the fall of 2012, I was able to submit an article for publication. Without the support and guidance from the faculty, I would have never had the amazing opportunity of publishing the beginning steps to an evidence-based practice issue and speak at a conference about the experience. I was so proud to become a graduate of Indiana State University when I received my MS with a concentration in Nursing Education degree in December of 2012. This accomplishment has allotted me the opportunities to grow as an educator and nurse in ways that I never imagined. I also feel honored to call the faculty that I learned so much from in my three years, colleagues. I am now able to share the knowledge, insight, and passion that I gained from attending this program with the future nurses and nurse educators of tomorrow.