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Dr. Tara Vaughn

Assistant Clinical Professor of Nursing

"Take it one step at a time. Prioritize your time and just keep going. Before you know it, you will have your BSN."

Degrees Held:

  • Ph.D. in Nursing – University of Texas at Tyler, 2019
  • MSN in Nursing Education – University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, 2008
  • ASN – Oklahoma City Community College, 2000
  • MPH – University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, 1993
  • BBA in Marketing – 1991

Career Highlights:

As a practicing RN for 19 years, I have worked in public health, orthopedic and general surgery, in primary care at the VA, long-term care and post-deployment health. With my three years of teaching experience, I have taught nurses in associate degree, BSN and RN-BSN programs. I have earned my board certification in Advanced Public Health Nursing (APHN) and serve as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Links to share?

Which classes do you teach in the online RN to BSN program?

NURS 4110: Capstone Project, NURS 4322: Ethics in Healthcare, NURS 4410: Leadership Roles, NURS 4313: Population Focused Community Health

What types of projects can students expect in your online courses?

Students can expect an evidence-based practice project, a quality improvement plan project, practice learning experiences, engaging online lectures and a hands-on population health project.

What should students take away from your classes? What do they learn?

Students learn scholarship for evidence-based practice and how to affect and communicate change in a healthcare organization through the development of an evidence-based practice project. Students will be able to promote health and prevent disease at the population level through the completion of a population-based health program plan based on their community. Students will be able to improve the quality and safety of patient care through the development of a quality improvement project.

How do students complete clinical obligations in the online program?

Students engage in practice learning experiences that can be completed based on their own work and personal schedules. In Population Focused Community Health and Capstone Project courses, students will plan and conduct a population health assessment, population health program plan and health education activities within a community of their choosing, with the guidance of faculty. In the Leadership Roles course, students will complete practice learning activities, usually through their work but not during work hours. If they are unable to complete activities at their work setting, the nursing program and faculty will assist in locating a facility and mentor to complete practice learning activities. Students will work with a nurse mentor who will provide guidance as students complete a quality improvement project presentation and paper. Students will also engage in interprofessional communication by conducting interviews of personnel from various departments within the healthcare organization.

What advice would you give to those considering an online RN to BSN program?

Allot time every day to complete assignments. Take it one step at a time. Prioritize your time and just keep going. Before you know it, you will have your BSN.

What is the value of a BSN? What are some of the skills nurses gain in this program?

Nurses will gain the ability to see things from the perspectives of clients, families, organizations and communities. This will create in them the ability to lead by empowering others and understanding the complexity of care at all levels in order to continually improve client outcomes, prevent disease and protect at-risk populations.

Why did you start teaching?

I began teaching in hopes to improve nursing practice by sharing my experiences; especially in the areas of public health nursing, the military and the care of veterans.

What is the one book you think everyone should read?

“The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures” by Anne Fadiman

Tell us something interesting about yourself that your students might not know about you.

I have a total of four daughters and had twins when I was 40!

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