Teresa Ortner

Teresa Ortner, RNC, MSNEd graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2007 from Grand Canyon University. She continued her education at University of Phoenix and earned a Master of Science in Nursing Education (MSNEd) in 2009. She has been nationally certified in Inpatient Obstetrics through the National Certification Corporation (NCC) since 2005. Furthermore; in 2009, she was inducted into Sigma Theta Tau.

After achieving her MSNEd, Teresa taught OB clinicals for a local community college in Phoenix, AZ. She later transitioned to adjunct faculty at Grand Canyon University in 2010 and has been teaching a variety of classes for the BSN to RN program. In addition to teaching, she continues to work full time in Labor and Delivery in Scottsdale, AZ. She has 19 years experience in this field.
Teresa was born in Dearborn, Michigan and started her nursing career in a busy obstetric unit in Detroit, Michigan. She relocated to the Phoenix area in 1998. She is married to her husband, James and has three children, ages 18, 16 and 14. Her family's fun pastime is going to amusement parks and riding the big roller coasters. She also enjoys photography and will be the main photographer at a friend's wedding in December.

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

I find facilitating courses at GCU very fulfilling. I meet so many RNs from around the country and share experiences with them in our discussion boards.

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

I am very present in the classroom and log on multiple times daily. I respond quickly to my students questions and give a great deal of feedback on their assignments to help them learn to write more professionally. I expect my students to turn in professional work and give advice on how to improve their writing style. I focus on strong APA writing skills as well as proper structure for papers. I know students appreciate this as I get a great number of emails thanking me for the feedback and advice. In addition, I include a file for APA help under the classroom tab. I give them a sample copy of a paper I wrote in my Master's program as an example for proper APA as well as a list of APA tips to help them throughout the program.

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

I was teaching Professional Dynamics and I had a student who was enrolled because she was being forced by her employer to obtain her BSN. She was very negative and wrote a paper stating that a degree had nothing to do with bettering yourself in nursing; experience was the only thing which made a nurse more proficient. She decided not to use any sources for this paper and was very demeaning to anyone with a BSN or higher. I ended up writing her a very long, extensive email explaining that a higher degree causes growth in a person. It is not a measure of intelligence; a higher degree helps the person to think differently and allows them the ability to solve problems in a more effective way. I promised her that she would feel differently about returning to school and would feel the change in herself by the time she reached the end of the program. By the end of the class, she emailed me to tell me "she got it" and that she could not believe the difference she felt in herself. It is moments like this that make me proud to be faculty.