Professor Zaida-Denise Forester has worked in a variety of settings within the nursing profession as a staff nurse, mental health counselor-registered nurse, public health nurse, clinical nurse specialist (CNS), and administrator. She brings more than 25 years of nursing and health services experience to Grand Canyon University
She has been a member of the Tennessee Nurses Association (TNA), District 5, while teaching at GCU, and has served on various community committees including the Appalachian School of Law (ASL), at its inception. She is the recipient of several awards and most recently honored by the Tennessee Nurses Association (TNA) District 5, in October 2012, in recognition for her contributions to the field of nursing.
Currently, Professor Forester is a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) as a psychiatric-mental health-CNS. She also functions as the administrator for the Forester Clinic, PC. She holds degrees from the University of the Incarnate Word and a bachelor of science in nursing from the University of Texas, El Paso. She also holds a master of science from the University of La Verne, a master of science in nursing from Samuel Merritt College, and a doctorate in health services from Walden University.
In her free time, Professor Forester enjoys spending time with her family, the arts, and traveling.
How has facilitating online courses at GCU helped you find your purpose?
Facilitating online courses at GCU has helped me discover my role as an educator in the nursing field. First, my desire to help others and my faith in human potential led me to teach at GCU. Second, I feel blessed to have had an excellent mentor assigned to me when I started this journey at GCU. Finally, the positive feedback from GCU's outstanding students is rewarding.
What is one effective teaching strategy you use in your online classes?
One effective teaching strategy I use in the online classroom is promoting and practicing proactive course management, such as preparing questions that correlate with and further explain details of a course assignment.
What is a GCU online success story you can share?
A GCU student success story that comes to mind is an individual who had a career, a wealth of knowledge and experience, but did not actively participate in the online environment from the outset. I monitored the classroom closely and reached out to this individual immediately - only to find that the student felt ambivalent about the online process and continuing with the online program.
I kept in contact several times over the course of four weeks and each week the student's participation grew exponentially. The student later advised me that my "reaching out" helped their decision to pursue and finish their degree at GCU.
We talk a lot about preventive measures in health care services, but preventive measures can also be implemented in the classroom by collaboration, reassurance, listening, and giving students timely feedback about their progress.