Catching up with the Kaplan Experts: Tonya Taylor, MSN, RN, MBA, Kaplan Nurse Consultant
by Tonya Taylor, MSN, RN, MBA, Nurse Consultant | November 8, 2021
Last year, we introduced you to our Kaplan experts so that you could learn more about our team and what drives them to stay passionately committed to nursing education. This year, we’re taking an even deeper dive into their insights and opinions about healthcare education and what educators can do to truly help their students not only succeed on their board exams, but also to thrive in their chosen profession in nursing. We’re excited to welcome back Tonya Taylor, MSN, RN, MBA, Kaplan Nurse Consultant.
2020-2021 was a particularly trying time for those of us who work in healthcare and education. If there was a silver lining to the COVID-19 pandemic, what did that look like for you?
Resilience and tenacity of nurse educators to continue to educate even in new and innovative environments was the big silver lining for me. In the normal view of nursing, when the impossible is needed, nurses step up and demonstrate creativity and leadership. I was privileged to work with a young nurse educator and to hear how she broke through barriers to teach in the most trying of times was inspiring. To hear the new approaches in the classroom and clinical settings was music to my ears. It is amazing to be a part of such a wonderful profession.
What kept you sane and inspired during the COVID-19 pandemic?
I kept sane throughout and beyond the pandemic by maintaining my routine and walking. I kept a date with my treadmill every morning! It allowed me to begin each day energized. (It also helped me lose a few stubborn pounds!)
What about your role at Kaplan brings you the most professional satisfaction?
It is delightful to me to take the education I have both as a nurse and an educator and share my knowledge with other educators. The collaboration with other nurse educators drives my passion about being a nurse. Educating the next generation of nurses is no easy feat, and I am energized to collaborate with other educators to provide solutions.
Is there a quote or saying that you live by?
“Save one life, you're a hero. Save hundreds of lives, you’re a nurse”
NURSING EDUCATION TODAY
What are your top tips for helping to build student confidence?
Keeping it simple and consistent has always been my go-to to build student confidence. Having consistent, straightforward resources to help students gain their own confidence typically works quite well. Kaplan Resources are a great source to guide a student to success. I encourage students to create their own study plan for their nursing school tests with the Create My Own Focus Review test. By creating questions based on the topics from the nursing class and naming the quiz, they have a study resource for their nursing school tests along with remediation to ensure the long term learning.
In what ways can early remediation lead to ultimate student success on the NCLEX?
Early remediation provides better understanding of the content earlier within the nursing school experience. Begin during the first semester of nursing school. Comprehension of the content will continue to improve and ultimately lead to success on NCLEX.
Why is continuing education critical for not only healthcare professionals, but also those who are teaching the next generation of nurses?
Nursing and healthcare are constantly in a state of change. Continuing education is critical to maintain current within the practice of nursing and for educating the next generation of nurses. The objectives for nursing education when I was a pre-licensure nursing student have changed with the progression of the profession and healthcare needs at all levels of care. (Showing my age just a bit, but I was a student/new graduate 30 years ago―and times and practices have certainly progressed).
Maintaining relevance and current trends also help guide new advancements in the profession. What a better place than with a new nursing student to motivate and inspire the next great generation of nurses. They are eager to learn, so inspire them!
ADVICE & TIPS
Studying for the NCLEX is commonly referred to as “a marathon not a sprint.” What advice can you give to educators about how to encourage their student’s long term studying habits?
Start early! All the features of studying and preparing for NCLEX begins on the first day of nursing school. The habits you want for them at the end, start with them in the beginning. Remediation of all test questions will help them engage the long term learning process and the marathon process. The longer a student prepares, the better prepared they will be for NCLEX and nursing practice.
The COVID-19 pandemic changed the world of education. What advice would you give to nursing educators about teaching online?
A new platform does not change what you teach, just how you present the same information. Nurse educators are wonderful in traditional classroom settings and many of those same features may be adopted into a virtual setting. Virtual environments are an opportunity to advance creativity and collaboration with students, engaging them to critically think. Expanding nursing education to teach outside of the box is an opportunity to try something new! Be adventurous.
Tonya's passion is helping others achieve their best success. She is an expert on NCLEX prep and helping students achieve their best success on NCLEX is what truly motivates her. She is also an expert in online learning from her personal experience as a virtual student as well as her time as an online educator. Tonya is very proud to have achieved a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Business Administration, and Master of Science in Nursing from University of Phoenix.