In early 2022, the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) announced the Maryland Nurse Faculty Annual Recognition Awards (NFAR), recognizing faculty for their contributions to nursing education and service to Maryland nursing students.
Each of the award recipients is nominated by their Dean or Director of Nursing and receives $10,000.
Dr. Andrea Hagen, DNP, CRNP, NP-C, Assistant Professor of Nursing at Frederick Community College, was an NFAR recipient in 2022. Dr. Hagen shared some thoughts with us on her experience as a nurse educator below:
Can you briefly summarize the contribution(s) you made that led to your nomination for this award?
I applied to my college's Culturally Responsive Teaching Institute and was selected as a scholar for the 7 weeklong program during the summer of 2021. The purpose of the summer institute was to prepare faculty to teach from an equitable and culturally responsive lense as well as give us the tools and knowledge to lead our department in initiatives around Culturally Responsive Teaching. Utilizing what I learned, I transformed my Med Surg III course. I incorporated meaningful graded assignments and a health disparity project into the course.
By doing this, I was able to use the assignments to measure learning, rather than strictly through high stakes testing.
I still had (3) exams and a cumulative final. My office hours were fluid, adjusting to the student's busy schedule. I ensured that exam reviews were thorough, and I created several practice tests for each topic, helping students become better test takers.
I encouraged questions and discussion, I did not rush content and ensured that all students felt welcome in my classroom.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned in your career as an educator?
That there is a person with feelings, dreams and aspirations learning to become a nurse in the classroom.
To also think about (especially during covid) that you need to make a connection with your students, and genuinely show that you care about their success.
Lead by example.
What advice would you offer to those interested in becoming an educator?
Don't forget what it was like to be a student.
To be the educator and professional that you either looked up to or wish you had when you were in school.
What is your proudest accomplishment as an educator?
There are so many! It always makes me feel proud when students come and tell me that they applied what they learned from lecture into clinical, and just the look of pride they have! My second proudest moment was being selected to pin my first graduating class.
It was an absolute honor to be on stage with my students and just reflect on how much they accomplished and how they persevered through covid.
Thank you to Dr. Hagen for your continued contributions to nursing education in Maryland and congratulations on this well-deserved recognition!
Stay tuned as we continue our 2022 NFAR awardees spotlight series. You can find the full list of 2022 awardees here: