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Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing

College of Health Sciences

GET TO KNOW YOUR FACULTY Series:

Meet Rachel Thomas, MSN, RN, CEN, SANE-A
Assistant Lecturer

GET TO KNOW YOUR FACULTY Series: Rachel Thomas

What courses do you teach?

The focus of my teaching is nursing fundamentals, assessment, adult health, and pediatrics. I also have a clinical group each fall semester that focuses on acute and chronic nursing care of adults.

Which program students will have you as a professor?

I teach students in the accelerated bachelor's program, so I mainly work with the BRAND students.

What brought you to Wyoming, UWYO?

I came to UW to have an opportunity to work with nursing students located throughout the state. The students I teach have a degree in another field with reformed goals to become nurses. This population of students appeals to my professional interests, and their learning goals are very similar to my professional teaching goals. So it seemed only natural to partner and work with them.

How long have you been with UW SoN?

I have been full-time in the BRAND program for almost 5 years.

Where were you doing previous to this position at UW?

My background is in emergency and critical care nursing. Before I began teaching in the BRAND Program full-time, I was a nurse in the ER full-time and teaching online part-time.

What is your passion area?  

Emergency nursing is my true passion. I feel like I have been an ER nurse my entire life. I grew up as the only girl on a street with fearless boys. When anyone got hurt, which was often, they always looked to me to bandage them up. When I was a nursing student, I tried to develop interests in other areas, but kept coming back to emergent care. ER nursing comes so natural to me, and I tend to work best when faced with a critical situation. I would be lost if I couldn’t continue to care for patients in the ER.

Many faculty have “side interests” that help define who they are. Can you share?  

Most of my side interests are directly related to my passion in emergency nursing. I am an instructor for Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), and the Trauma Nursing Core Course (TNCC). I have also participated in local EMT courses in Platte County as a guest lecturer and worked with local Life Guards regarding swim safety.

Do you see a relationship now or in the future with your side interest(s) linking up with nursing?

My side interests definitely have a relationship with nursing since most of them involve emergent situations or how to best manage them. Everything I do seems to involve nursing or teaching in some way. My husband is always teasing me that my life consists of “one big trauma." 

What do you like best about teaching?

What I enjoy most about teaching is the sharing and learning that I do with students. As a student, I always appreciated the insights given to me by faculty and experienced nurses and the confidence that I developed over time incorporating their insights with my own. I was fortunate enough to have great mentors early in my nursing career. They have contributed greatly to who I am as a nurse and teacher. My main goal is for students to not only learn from my experiences and mistakes, but for me to learn just as much from them. We are a team of learners in an ever-changing profession. The partnership we create in sharing our knowledge and experience is so exciting and makes all of us stronger nurses.

More about Thomas


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