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Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing

College of Health Sciences

UW Nursing BRAND Faculty Member Appointed to National RN Practice Analysis Expert Panel

Catherine Beck training a student


Catherine Beck, RN, MN

-- one of only ten nurses nationally to be seated on national panel. See story below.

"I am proud to represent our great state of Wyoming and the wonderful profession of nursing!"

...says Catherine Beck, RN, MN and University of Wyoming faculty member for the University of Wyoming BRAND accelerated nursing program. She was nominated in the fall by the Wyoming State Board of Nursing to serve on the RN Practice Analysis Expert Panel for the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. This expert panel takes part in the process of developing the NCLEX-RN exam, which every nursing student across the nation must pass to be able to become a registered nurse.

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) conducts an RN practice analysis of entry-level nursing practice every three years to ensure that the NCLEX-RN exam reflects current practice. A panel of only ten nurses - including Beck - met in Chicago last November to do the analysis. Following that analysis in December, another panel of nurses defined the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perform the identified activities. This process is all part of the steps in developing the NCLEX-RN exam.

What Beck sees as her contribution to the national panel

Prior to attending the expert panel analysis meeting, Beck reflected on the lessons she has learned that she could bring to the table nationally. "Having a foot in both the academic and practice worlds," she says, "helps me expose the students to a glimpse of the real world of nursing, and gives me understanding working with new nurses transitioning into their professional role." She believes her dual role gives her insights that may be helpful to the practice analysis panel.

So Beck's academic world is with the UW BRAND nursing program as a clinical instructor for the medical-surgical rotation. "It is an honor for me to be a part of a stellar team of professionals, the Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing, who are committed to laying the foundation for student nurses," says Beck.

That academic world melds easily with her "real" world of clinical practice, where she works as a clinical supervisor on the Primary Care Unit at St. John's Medical Center in Jackson, Wyoming. "I have a great passion for nursing and for our responsibility as a profession to constantly be growing the next generation of nurses." Hoping to inspire other nurses to make a similar commitment, Beck developed an on-line preceptor workshop during her master's studies. She encourages nurses to become preceptors, which are experienced nurses who work alongside student nurses, overseeing the students' application of knowledge and skills in the practice setting.

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