Where are they now? (Part 1)

This series is designed to take a look at some our former graduates of the Nurse Educator program. I thought it would be interesting to catch up with some of them and take a look at how they use their education daily. I know personally when I set out on my journey, I wasn’t exactly sure how things would play out, but I am excited about my story and where I am at today. Let’s catch up with one of my former classmates, Charity Furcsik.

“I have always had a passion for educating. Maybe it was partly growing up in an educator’s home, but my plans throughout high school was to be a teacher. As I progressed, I also developed an inclination towards natural sciences and decided that I would become a nurse. I remember my third year into my bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program asking myself, “Why am I here? I should have been a teacher!” Nevertheless, I persevered, and nursing has been a great career choice for my family and myself. When my youngest child started kindergarten, I felt like I could shift some focus back onto myself and decided that I did not want to spend the rest of my life at the bedside. I was thrilled to realize that I could “teach” as an adjunct instructor in a nursing program. I immediately applied at Walsh University as an adjunct and began teaching in the lab and clinical setting. I felt as if I had found my “niche” in the world! 

Then, Walsh University started a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program with a track in Nursing Education. It was a natural decision to pursue this, and I graduated with my MSN in 2014. The program at Walsh met my needs. I attended on a part-time basis since I was working and still had a young family at home, so it took me three years to complete. I found the faculty to be very involved, the course work was an appropriate weight for hybrid models, and the basic framework needed to be successful as a Nurse Educator was put in place. I feel that I was in a perfect position to transition into the role of Nurse Educator when I graduated. 

I immediately obtained a position at Aultman College of Nursing and Health Sciences after graduation and have grown and developed into the educator that I am today. I am involved in all aspects of all nursing programs at Aultman from curriculum development, policy development, to designing and implementing courses. I have taught face to face, in the clinical setting, in labs, and using hybrid and online platforms. I am actively involved in the use of online testing software and test development. 

My teaching philosophy is a dynamic entity that has solidified and changed as I gained more experience in the field. What motivates me to constantly grow and change to fit the needs of my students? I believe it is the desired end product: An exceptional nurse. An exceptional nurse is knowledgeable, compassionate, holistic, ethical, a patient advocate, and integrates other disciplines in order to achieve excellence in quality patient care. Because I believe the qualities that are characteristic of an exceptional nurse also are characteristic of an exceptional Nurse Educator, my teaching philosophy reflects my nursing practice. 

I believe a student's level of commitment can be influenced by my enthusiasm and passion for teaching. By investing my time and energy in students, I can make an influence on their learning.  Just as I must develop a rapport with my patients in order to provide excellent patient-centered care, developing a faculty-student relationship that fosters a sense of mutual trust and respect will also enhance the learning process.  Gaining a student’s trust will allow the student to have the freedom to clarify concepts and seek assistance, as well as accept guidance and direction.

 In the classroom, I feel that how I teach is equally as important as what I teach. Including evidence-based practice in the classroom is important in the education of the future. Understanding that all students possess diverse backgrounds, I believe it is vital to encourage the integration of culture and life experiences into learning. Environments that support the uniqueness of students and foster open, respectful communication are effective in supporting diversity.  Adult learners bring multiple life experiences into the classroom.  By using these examples of situational events, I am able to include multiple aspects to the course content. 

God had it all laid out for me. He gave me the desire and the ambition, then set me on a path that opened amazing opportunities. Walsh University fostered those desires and provided me with the skills and critical thinking needed to be successful in my chosen field. I can’t imagine myself in any other field but Nursing Education. My passion and commitment have given me the opportunity to inspire and empower the nurses of tomorrow.” – written by Charity Furcsik MSN, RN, CNE

About the Author


My name is Colleen Wiley and I am a nurse educator. Growing up I always wanted to be a teacher, but I also had an interest in learning about science. I have always loved helping people which is why I chose to pursue a career in nursing. I spent my time in undergraduate nursing school working as a nurse intern on a medical surgical unit. After graduation in 2005, I worked at the bedside caring for post-operative patients and I loved it! Eventually, I started offering to train new employees and I would also take on nursing students for their clinical preceptorship. It was then that I truly realized my real passion was seeded in becoming a nurse educator! I started working as an adjunct clinical instructor in 2010 and immediately knew this was the path for me. A fire was lit inside of me! That burning feeling of helping others was reignited as I shifted my focus from helping sick and/or recovering patients in the acute setting to helping students learn how to become a nurse. I pursued a graduate degree in nursing education which I earned in December of 2014. I have been working as a nurse educator ever since I took that first leap back in 2010.

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