Where are they now? (Part 2)

This series is designed to take a look at some our former graduates of the Nurse Educator program. This week, I did a virtual interview with one of our former graduates, Zana Zawahri, MSN, RN. We talked about her work as an educator and what she liked about the program in general.

CW: Why did you want to be a Nurse Educator? 

ZZ: “I have always wanted to teach. I really enjoyed teaching my patients, having students shadow me at work, and I was a core preceptor in my place of employment. I thought - this is something I could see myself doing for a long time and I should probably take a class or two.” 

CW: What drives you in your work? 

ZZ: “My drive to work comes from a few places - I want to give students the tools they need to think before they act, understand the "why", because one day they will be taking care of me! That seems silly, but one of my professors in undergrad told me that and it is very true. I love it when the light bulb goes on and they have that "I get it" moment.” 

CW: What did you enjoy about the Nurse Educator program at Walsh?

ZZ: “I enjoyed the convenience of having it close to home. The faculty and staff were wonderful to work with and always available when I needed them. I also enjoyed the variety of clinical experiences that I was able to complete, including those that were not education driven - it let me experience things outside the world of education which is so important as our students are going to be working in different areas.” *note: when Zana was in the Nurse Educator program, some components of the courses required on campus presence. The NE program is now 100% online, so you don’t have to live near Walsh to earn your Nurse Educator degree. 

CW: How are you using your education today? 

ZZ: “I am currently a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Byers School of Nursing at Walsh University and I am an educator for a local emergency department.” 

CW: What advice would you give to prospective Nurse Educator students? 

ZZ: “Do it! You can use it in so many different ways, from staff development, to traditional classroom settings, to patient education. An MSN in Nursing Education provides you with endless opportunities to advance your career.”

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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