Clinical Nurse Educator, Michelle McKoy, Foothill Regional Medical Center
Educating the staff while mentoring nursing students
Michelle McKoy, RN, MSN, CNE
Clinical Nurse Educator
Foothill Regional Medical Center, Tustin
Please tell us about the trajectory of your nursing career.
I’ve always known that I wanted to become a nurse, but the initial arc of my career was impacted by certain setbacks. I migrated to this country from Belize in the second year of my nursing studies. I had to restart my entire education because the community college I enrolled in would not accept any of my previous nursing school credits.
At the beginning of my nursing career, I chose not to advance my education further so that I could spend quality time with my two children and focus on developing my clinical skills.
However, I’ve always felt very strongly that I had to define who I am within the context of my nursing career, so I went back to school to earn my BSN. After finishing that degree, I took a three-year break from my studies, working on a medical/surgical telemetry unit. I was also a preceptor for nursing students on their eight-week senior rotation.
Around that time, my director of nursing informed me that there was an opening in the ICU and urged me to take a course in critical care. I was apprehensive, but was ultimately successful and very much enjoyed working as a critical care nurse.
What led you to become a CNE?
As I mentioned earlier, I was a preceptor for senior nursing students. I enjoyed that process so much that I decided I wanted to nurture future nurses and strengthen the quality of care they provide to patients, patients’ families and our community.