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Student Spotlight: Renee Kuhnert

This month we are recognizing Nurse Refresher Student Renee Kunert!

THEARI’s Professional Education Team had this to say about Renee:

Renee's positive attitude and impressive efforts during Cohort 6 of our Virtually Simulated Clinicals (VSC) enabled her to complete 100% VSC in just 5 weeks! Renee's passion for nursing really came to life during team Debriefing sessions where she exceled in communication, teamwork, and confidence. Renee’s return to the nursing workforce will be an asset to any health care entity.

She was kind enough to answer a few questions about herself and the course.

How do you feel about where you’re at, as you are nearing the end of the program?

I have been out of the field of nursing for 10 years and was uncertain what to expect in terms of practicing my clinical skills (120 hrs) via simulation. I was challenged to think critically not only in my role as the nurse, but also to appreciate the role of the interdisciplinary team including the HCP. I furthered my understanding and ability to predict what the plan of action may be for the patient based on the data provided and clinical scenario of the patients during simulation. The course was challenging, especially in the beginning. I have gained in-depth knowledge of my clinical role as a nurse with the goal of safely caring for my patients most immediate needs, and providing interventions, using evidenced based practices for the most positive outcome.

What is most exciting about re-enter the nursing field?

I’m excited to connect with people. My previous experience was in the NICU for nearly a decade and I became close to many of the families. I felt grateful to be a source of comfort to my patients and their families at one of the most challenging times in their lives. I’m excited about all possibilities moving forward.

What motivated or inspired you to return to nursing?

I was inspired in 2020 when people sick with Covid-19 virus started to fill the intensive care units. Though adult ICU isn’t my background, I still felt a calling. I felt a sense of duty in the most positive way. I knew I would return someday, but I also didn’t think I would be out for a decade while raising 3 children in the process. They have been my biggest supporters through this process and that alone inspires me.

Why did you choose to complete the THEARI Refresher course?

This program was suggested to me by the Colorado Board of Nursing as one of the accepted RN Refresher programs that meet the criteria for licensure in the state of Colorado. I did research other accepted programs, but came back to THEARI with confidence this was the right course for me. I chose the full time option (120 hours) and am happy with my decision as this course emphasizes complex thinking in these real patient case scenarios.

What has been your favorite part of the course and what has been the most difficult?

My favorite part was weekly interactions with my fellow Cohort 6 members. I valued personal feedback as well as hearing another student's thought process in how they treated the patient's most immediate need, and why they thought it was important. I learned from everyone in my group and I also enjoyed connecting with them. I found the course to be most challenging in the beginning as there are many assignments which can include in depth reading for our lessons which can feel like information overload at times. I had the support of my fellow students, my preceptor, and the THEARI professional team members to make this process possible. These case scenarios via simulation were so helpful and I wish a course like this had existed while I was in nursing school. I would love to see it as an option for future nursing students.

What is next for you?

I am open to all possibilities! I practiced in the NICU for 9 years, so my heart will always be with neonates. I look forward to finding the best fit for me and to finding a path that balances all aspects of my life, especially my family

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