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Tolluoglu, Hafner Receive Nursing Preceptor of the Year Awards from UW

October 9, 2017
photos of Mike Hafner and Belit Tolluoglu

Belit Tolluoglu and Mike Hafner are the recent recipients of the University of Wyoming Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing’s 2017 Preceptor of the Year Awards.

Preceptors, who are a key to the School of Nursing’s success, are nurses who mentor UW students in a variety of clinical settings. In an effort to recognize these nurses -- especially those who go above and beyond -- the School of Nursing presents an award annually to a Basic BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) and Bachelors Reach for Accelerated Nursing Degree (BRAND) preceptor. Students write the nominations for these awards.

Tolluoglu, who works as a nurse in the emergency room at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center, received the Basic BSN Preceptor Award.

“If nursing school built the foundation for my nursing career, Belit built the house. He shaped me from an inexperienced, naive student into a more knowledgeable, capable one,” says Alaina Gillogly, a Basic BSN student at UW. “He helped me become competent with nursing skills, assessments and time management. If there was an opportunity to learn, Belit did his best to provide it.

“Most importantly, his love of nursing sparked in me passion for this career I had never before felt and, for that, I am forever indebted. Because of his diligent, patient instruction, I feel ready to start my career as a new nurse. Belit genuinely cared about my success as a student nurse and fully invested his time and energy into training me. I am so thankful I had him as my practicum preceptor.”

Hafner, a registered nurse in the intensive care unit at Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County in Rock Springs, received the BRAND Preceptor Award.

“Mike Hafner is one of the best educators I’ve had. His love and enthusiasm for nursing is contagious,” says BRAND student Abbie Hale. “He challenged me to think critically, develop clinical skills and, most importantly, examine the big picture when it comes to patient care.

“As a student nurse, clinical experiences are overwhelming, yet Mike has managed to push me out of my comfort zone while guiding me when I am unsure of myself. He goes over and beyond to find different methods and situations to foster learning,” she adds. “He encourages questions and the use of all information I’ve learned to make solid, evidence-based clinical decisions and to deliver safe, effective patient care. A former BRAND student himself, Mike has shown me what excellent nursing care looks like in practice. I will look back and have him to thank for my nursing career.”

Casey Joyner, another BRAND student, also had high praise for Hafner.

“Mike was a phenomenal preceptor with a true passion to teach. He pushed me to become the best nurse I can be,” Joyner says. “He held me to a high standard and expected me to push myself, yet was very aware of my limits and hesitation, and was always there as support. When I had a question, he would challenge me to come to the answer by asking me pertinent questions.

“When I found a patient interesting, we would dive into their diagnosis and pick it apart until I truly understood the pathophysiology and care plan for the patient,” Joyner says. “He would consistently quiz me on side effects and mechanism of action of medications, and what would need to be reassessed. I am grateful for such a clinical teacher as Mike, who is passionate about teaching students, ensuring they are ready and confident to provide care.”


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