By Ron Snyder
This new nurse and her former preceptor are mentoring nursing students–together.
Melissa Kieffer hasn’t forgotten what it feels like to be a new nurse–and she hopes she never does.
“A good preceptor teaches you how to survive,” Kieffer, 27, said. “Only a nurse that has been through it all before can show you how to deal with all of the emotions that come along with the job.”Kavi Wagner ’07 is one of many nurses who learned from preceptor Kieffer. “Learning how to do patient assessments from a textbook and doing them in real life are completely different,” Wagner said. “Melissa did an excellent job of explaining how much more there is to the job.”
That was two years ago. Today, Wagner and Kieffer work together in the solid tumor unit at The Johns Hopkins Hospital–and together, they mentor student nurses and those new to the hospital. One of those students was Amber Rollins, who graduated with the accelerated class in July of this year.
“Being a new nurse can be daunting,” said Rollins. “Kavi made everything seem really easy and took the time to explain not only what we were doing, but why we were doing it. She just made me feel really at ease.”