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Staff Spotlight – Professional Education Team

This month, the staff spotlight is all about our Professional Education Team (PET)! Due to the success of the nurse refresher courses and subsequent expansion with the addition of Virtually Simulated Clinicals, the Professional Education Team expanded from two to three staff members. Below are questions and answers from each of the team members. Enjoy!

“Not only do I work side by side with two incredible nurse leaders and educators, but I also work with compassionate nurses who strive to help our community by getting back into the workforce.”

– Brittany Hill, Professional Education Coordinator

 

Kathleen McInnis, RN, MS

Professional Education Manager

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’ve been a nurse my entire adult life and have had a full and enriching career. Being a nurse is part of who I am. I live in Durango, Colorado with my husband and our mutts. We have 3 adult children who bring much joy to our lives. We love the outdoors and taking advantage of all the SW Colorado mountains has to offer!

What attracted you most to the THEARI team?

I started working at THEARI as the interim instructor for the Nurse Refresher program. I enjoyed the job and the people at THEARI so much, that I decided to apply for the permanent position. I truly enjoy working with a team of great people and in a healthy work environment.

What do you most enjoy in your free time?

I love to cook and I’m always looking for new recipes to try. I recently took up a new hobby taking photos of the beautiful places we go- I love hiking, snowshoeing, paddleboarding, and bike riding. Things that get me outside in the fresh air!

What do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of your position?

Helping nurses to reach their goals and get back to nursing practice.

What is your proudest accomplishment at THEARI so far?

Advocating for students and watching as the State Board of Nursing (SBON) as they voted to amend the permanent state rules, allowing refresher students the ability to complete up to 100% of their clinical requirements through simulation!

What are your top three goals in your position this year?

Complete course updates, including LPN courses (and possibly adding LPN students to the Virtually Simulated Clinicals program!); expand program across state lines; have fun working with my team!

 

Angie Hill, RN, MS, NE-BC

Professional Education Clinical Coordinator

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’ve been married to my husband for 35 years, and we have three adult children and three beautiful granddaughters. My husband and I both served in the military where we enjoyed traveling and living in many different states and countries. Nursing is a second career for me. I’ve valued working in an inpatient hospital setting, community and academic, for the past 25 years and have recently made a career change to join the THEARI team.

What attracted you most to the THEARI team?

I’ve always loved working with nursing students. Most of my hospital clinical and leadership experience has been working with new graduate students, yet my work with THEARI focuses on supporting previously licensed nurses who are seeking re-licensure from the SBON. The potential to add more licensed and competent nurses to a nursing workforce in need motivates me.

What do you most enjoy in your free time?

 I was a competitive swimmer in my youth, and I enjoy swimming and being in the warm sun still today. I spend as much time as I can with my granddaughters as they bring me so much joy. I’m anxiously awaiting spring to plant a garden and some flowers around our new home.

What do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of your new position?

Working with Kathleen and Brittany within the Professional Education Team has been fun (yes fun!) and rewarding. Coaching and mentoring refresher students, either as a cohort or individually, fills my bucket.

What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?

A few years ago, I was Chair of the CONL (Colorado Organization of Nurse Leaders) Conference Planning Committee and organized a baseball themed nurse leader conference with committee members at Coors Field in Denver. The conference was well-attended by CO nurses who shared positive feedback.

What is your proudest accomplishment at THEARI so far?

Leading a cohort of students through the Virtual Simulation Clinicals program and seeing students receive re-licensure.

What are your top three goals in your position this year?

Being an advocate for students needing clinical placement, building relationships with clinical coordinators and instructors throughout the state, and growing the refresher program to include out of state applicants, as applicable.

Anything else you would want our readers to know about you?

 I’m grateful to Colorado nursing and hope my work with THEARI will help nurses get back into hospitals, clinics, rehab facilities, home health, and many other worksite opportunities.

 

Brittany Hill

Professional Education Coordinator

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I was born and raised in Highlands Ranch Colorado where I met my husband, Jake. Jake and I have two lovely daughters, Brielle Mae and Charlotte Jo.

What attracted you most to the THEARI team?

I began working at THEARI as the temporary Professional Education Coordinator to support the Professional Education Manager in 2019. I absolutely loved getting to know the nurses, THEARI staff, and our community partners. THEARI is full of passion, and I believe each staff member learns and grows working here.

What do you most enjoy in your free time?

I love to engage with my family and friends. I spend most of my free time with my family laughing and eating amazing homemade food! I enjoy water activities, being outside with my children, cooking, gardening, cleaning, and working out.

What do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of your position?

Not only do I work side by side with two incredible nurse leaders and educators, but I also work with compassionate nurses who strive to help our community by getting back into the workforce. Every week I feel that I made an impact in my role. There is no better reward or feeling than that.

What is your proudest accomplishment at THEARI so far?

Over the last three years the Professional Education Team has revamped the refresher courses. We have added new courses including the Refresher Lite and Virtually Simulated Clinicals to meet the needs of nurses applying for re-licensure and nurses located in rural communities. Kathleen, Angie, and I continue to build our programs by listening to our refresher nurses, implementing program improvements, and connecting with our community partners.

What are your top three goals in your position this year?

Connecting to multiple state Nursing Boards to expand the courses, gathering additional data from nurses who completed the program, and building the LPN Refresher course to include Virtually Simulated Clinicals.

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