BSN Graduate Credits Clinical Instructor Doug Cunningham for Her Success in Critical Care

Sep 21, 2015

Last week, Haley Finley, who graduated from the University of Arizona College of Nursing in May with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, emailed Clinical Instructor Doug Cunningham a heartfelt thank you describing how his rigorous, third-semester course, NURS 470 Acute & Chronic Illness Management II, set her up for success as a new RN graduate hired in the cardiothoracic intensive care unit. With Haley’s permission, it is shared below.


From: Haley Finley
Sent: Wednesday, September 16, 2015 5:18 PM
To: Cunningham, Douglas S
Subject: A Huge Thank You

Hey Doug!

I hope this email finds you well and not too deep into the chaos of third semester. I am writing to share with you what's been going on with me since graduation as well as thank you for the preparation for critical care.

A week after graduation, I was offered a job in the cardiothoracic ICU at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. This job offer was followed by frantic studying for the NCLEX and then countless weeks of waiting on the infamous California Board of Registered Nursing (which moves slower than traffic on the 405 freeway). I am now in week three of UCLA's new grad RN residency... and this is where my great appreciation comes in.

I am one of 12 BSN new grads hired into the CTICU at UCLA. It has been great interacting with and getting to know the other new grads and hear about their nursing school experiences. This has revealed to me the differences between programs, and how superior Arizona's College of Nursing truly is. In week one we had "simulations", which half of my cohort had never done before. Some programs don't have a pharmacology class (mind-blowing) or the students were barely exposed to critical care (if they were even exposed at all).

I am not writing to bash other programs, but thank you for the rigorous "third semester" you put us through!!! I am excelling in the hemodynamics, EKG and other various critical care competencies my unit has asked us to complete. I am aware this is due to the previous exposure from U of A's program and your diligence in teaching essential concepts for critical care. Your 3rd semester team rocks!

If you want to share this email with your current students or other faculty teaching alongside you, please don't hesitate. From a new grad RN who thought third semester was insane a year ago- it isn't. It is exactly what is necessary for any new grad interested in critical care. The sepsis bundle, the A-line, the Swan, the vasoactive drips.... it's all worth it.

Proudly wearing my University of Arizona College of Nursing Alumni badge reel in Bruin territory, Los Angeles, California. Thanks so much Doug!!!

Best wishes & Beardown,

Haley Finley