Michelle Beckford


Michelle Beckford

Saint Peter's University, School of Nursing
Jersey City, NJ
United States

“I hear and I forget.

I see and I remember.

I do and I understand” (Confucius)

My first few days at Saint Peter’s College I said I had a vision for the School of Nursing.  It included many facets of the school. One major portion involved a fully functioning clinical simulation lab where our nursing students could practice, learn, see, touch, do and yes, make mistakes, all in a safe and supportive environment.  The lab would be a place where students could go to begin a journey that would lead to graduating as safe, competent, and caring registered professional nurses.

This vision became concrete by incorporating clinical simulation lab sessions fully into the Clinical Basis for Professional Nursing.  Students participate in a two hour lab each week, providing them with the time and opportunity to partake in “hands on experience” thereby bringing to life the skills and procedures explained to them in the classroom.  Each week, students are given individual one on one attention while being coached and praised through performing various procedures; at the same time having proper form and technique reinforced.   These sessions gave students greater confidence in addition to practicing skills as evidenced by their comments.  I will like to share a few with you:

“The lab was really satisfactory.  I learned a lot.   It also helped me during my clinical in the nursing home”

“Lab allowed us to visualize and understand the concepts.  It also allowed us to work together.”

“Both professors were very knowledgeable and allow a warm & positive atmosphere to learn in.”

“The greatest strength of the faculty is that they are very encouraging and always available when one needs to practice or has questions.”

“The faculty provided a great environment and allowed students to make mistakes and learn from them which really benefited us to understand and not feel timid.”

In addition to the weekly labs, the professor encouraged her students to practice on their own time to further develop their skills. Her students logged over sixty practice hours in the lab.  During the semester, the students test grades increased as their lab time increased.  Students became more comfortable and more adept at performing many important procedures.  There was a metamorphosis, as the students saw themselves starting to become nurses.

My vision continues to become reality for other nursing courses as well because of this individual faculty member who has acted as a mentor to her colleagues. The graduates we honor today can thank her for their mock disaster and anthrax screening simulations, as well as the sophomores and juniors who will follow in their footsteps.

It is due to her dedication and commitment to excellence that I am very happy to award our first Daisy Award for Faculty Excellence to Dr.Michelle Beckford.