Jennifer Wood

Jennifer Wood, MS, RN began her nursing career with an Associate's Degree in Nursing. After working as a Critical Care RN for several years, she returned to school and obtained her BSN from Grand Canyon University in 2007. Jennifer continued her education at Grand Canyon University and received her Master's in Nursing - Nursing Education in 2009. She realized she had a love for teaching and continued on with her education completing her coursework and comprehensive exams for a PhD in Education with a specialization in Nursing Education in September of this year at Capella University in Minneapolis, MN. She is excited to begin her dissertation in October 2012 working toward completion of her Doctorate degree.

During the course of continuing on with her formal education since 2009, Jennifer has been
teaching for Grand Canyon University as an adjunct clinical instructor at the Tucson campus as well as teaching several classes online in the RN to BSN program. She also has had the pleasure of mentoring several graduate students in their teaching practicum as they prepare to graduate with their MS in Nursing Education from Grand Canyon University. Jennifer and her husband live in Tucson, AZ with their two pets, a 6 year old African Grey Parrot and a 5 year old Shi Tzu.

How has facilitating online courses at GCU helped you find your purpose?

Facilitating online courses for GCU has allowed me to not only grow personally, but also professionally as a nurse educator. Learning through the shared experiences of nurses from many different regions of the country as well as diverse cultural backgrounds has allowed me to grow as an educator, enabling me to become more diverse in my teaching practices in addition to learning new perspectives that I can apply to my teaching and my continued formal education at the doctoral level.

What is one effective teaching strategy you use in your online classes?

Teaching in the online environment requires faculty to create a sense of community within the environment. Due to the diversity in the classroom, even though the curriculum may be the same, the courses are very different with each new group of students. Through having open communication in the discussion forums, e-mail, question for instructor forum, announcements, and the cyber café, there is ample opportunity to create a sense of community, and engaging students in the online community impacts their learning throughout the course. In addition, I am available to the students 6 days a week by e-mail and phone to assist them with questions they may have.

What is one GCU online student success story you can share?

I had a student in one of my RN to BSN courses who had expressed at the beginning of the course that she was hoping to continue on with her education to become a nurse practitioner. This student was very proactive in her learning and often sought out assistance from me to ensure her success in the course. We had several discussions about what will be required of her as she moves forward in her education and the importance of time management, doing the best she can in her assignments, and learning how to write properly using APA formatting. The student and I reviewed her assignments after they had been graded each week and discussed ways to improve. She took my guidance to heart and learned from our discussions. She told me she only had two classes left in her program and asked if we could stay in touch. Three months after she had completed my class, I received an e-mail from her that she had applied to Nurse Practitioner School and she asked if I would complete a reference form from the school she was applying to. I was happy to assist her with this and she was accepted to begin Nurse Practitioner School the following quarter.