Karen Walker


  

Karen Walker, MSN, MBA, PhDc, RN

The University of Texas at Tyler
Tyler, TX
United States
I remember Mrs. Walker came up to me, grabbed my shoulders, looked me in the eye, and said something along the lines of... "you got this. You are going to be fine. I promise. Believe in yourself."

"Mrs. Walker has a reputation at UT Tyler for pushing you and making you critically think. I was pleased to find out that this was true when I had the pleasure of learning from her in Level 3. She truly wants her students to be successful and make excellent nurses. I feel very competent in my knowledge that I gained from her regarding intense bedside care. UT Tyler is blessed to have such a hard-working and compassionate educator like Mrs. Walker." 

"I had Mrs. Walker as my clinical instructor in level 3, and I cannot even begin to describe how amazing of a person she is and how much of a blessing she has been to me. In level 2, when I was preparing to sign up for level 3 classes, I had heard a few people tell me that Mrs. Walker was very strict and hard. They had me super worried, but I wanted a teacher that would challenge me and help me grow, even if that allowed me to go outside of my comfort zone. The first day of orientation when we all met Mrs. Walker for the first time, it was extremely intimidating. I'm not gonna’ lie. She meant business and basically told us it was time to be adults and start acting like professional student nurses, because we were getting down to two more semesters left before we were to start applying for jobs and graduating. She set the bar really high for all of us, and I was always so worried that I would never amount to those high expectations, because I felt so behind everyone else. I remember my very first simulation lab we had for level 3, which was the cardiac one. I honestly cannot remember the last time I had felt that nervous. I was nauseous. I was sweating. I was shaking so bad and could not even begin to think straight whatsoever. I looked like a straight fool. I also was just terrified, because at the time, ICU was NOT my thing. It was the scariest thought to me, and I wanted to avoid anything critical as much as possible. I remember Mrs. Walker came up to me, grabbed my shoulders, looked me in the eye, and said something along the lines of... "you got this. You are going to be fine. I promise. Believe in yourself." I walked in with my group, got report, and we began our scenario. My group had the patient that went into cardiac arrest first. In that moment, I totally remember forgetting that I was even nervous and did everything that I was supposed to do. I was so proud of myself and everything that I had remembered. I was proud of my critical thinking and the way our whole group worked as a team. I was proud of my confidence in that moment. It was the best experience, and I had so much fun during the entire process. Mrs. Walker did our debriefing and she would always give us this time to ask questions and really learn from this experience. I remember always feeling so scared to ask questions, but she never once made me feel dumb. Even if we got the wrong answer, or looked entirely too stupid in any given moment, she would always be so proud of us and she MADE SURE we felt proud of ourselves. She was like a mom to all of us. She had our back then, and she still does to this day even as we're about to graduate. She cared so much about her students. She put her all into teaching us and helping us grow into the nurses we will one day be, and because of her, I seriously have found an entire new love for ICU, and that is for sure, without a doubt, where I would LOVE to work one day. She made me believe in myself more than anyone has, and she has allowed ME to believe in myself more than I ever have. She truly is the best and deserves this award more than anyone I know."