Susan Bussell remembers being a freshman business major at PUC, insisting to her mother that she would never, ever become a nurse. Now she teaches many of the nursing classes at PUC, having started in 2003 as a clinical adjunct professor and then becoming a full time assistant professor in 2005. Before Susan came to teach at PUC, she taught on the campuses of Ukiah and Travis AFB.
Currently, the PUC nursing students take Susan’s classes in second-quarter pharmacology and sixth-quarter synthesis of nursing. She has also used the high-fidelity simulation mannequin to challenge her students. “I have, at some point, taught about half of the classes in the ADN program,” she said.
“Like many nurses, I am fulfilled with knowing I’ve made a person more comfortable, or made a difference in their life,” said Susan, “I think the caring aspect of nursing appealed to me.” She anticipates the knowledge that her students will leave the nursing program with the ability to effectively care for other people. In her opinion, nursing itself is not that much different from teaching, and she is grateful for the opportunity to give excellent, professional care. “I hope to show my students the example of Christ as the Great Nurse,” she says. She also appreciates the rewarding opportunity to use her creative side while teaching.
Susan graduated in June from the Loma Linda University School of Nursing with a Doctorate in Nursing Practice. She credits PUC with giving her the financial help necessary to undertake the program. “The DNP degree addresses the need to have doctorally-prepared nurses promote the use of quality research in the clinical setting,” explains Susan. The degree was 12 quarters (3 full time years) and met once a quarter at LLU. Susan’s dissertation focused on implementing teaching of nurses in the prevention of ventilator-associated pneumonia in critically ill patients.
Of the many benefits to working at PUC, Susan affirms that the students are the greatest reward. “They work so incredibly hard and are dedicated in becoming excellent nurses,” she stated. “I enjoy hearing their experiences in the hospital, and encouraging them and challenging them to learn more.” She lists a number of other excellent things she enjoys about her job: the Euro-sub sandwiches in the Dining Commons, tuition assistance for her four children, the great view from her office, the beauty of the PUC campus, and the company of her nursing department colleagues.
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