Alum Wins Clinical Excellence Award
Nursing, especially pediatric nursing, requires a special type of person – one who loves children and is passionate about caring for them on a daily basis. Rachel Hindman, RN, BSN, was recognized for her passionate care when she received the Clinical Excellence Award for Nurse as Teacher at the annual Children’s Mercy Hospital award ceremony May 5, 2014. Children’s Mercy, with locations in Missouri and Kansas, is consistently ranked among the leading children's hospitals in the nation.
Hindman earned a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree from MNU in 2006, and has always had an interest in pediatrics. She thinks the opportunity to intern at Children’s Mercy during her degree program helped her achieve this latest success.
“After completing my senior internship at Children’s Mercy, I knew without a doubt that I wanted to get a job there after graduation,” Hindman said.
She started working in the Intensive Care Nursery (ICN) at Children’s Mercy after graduation taking care of patients full-time. Gaining four years of experience Hindman then transitioned into the role of ICN education coordinator in 2010.
Children’s Mercy’s ICN is a 71-bed, level IV neonatal intensive care unit that provides the most advanced medical care for sick newborns and infants. As education coordinator, Hindman participates in numerous unit-specific and hospital-wide committees and initiatives. She also helps coordinate educational activities and yearly competencies for current nurses as well as facilitating orientation for new nurses starting in the ICN unit.
“We have close to 300 nurses on staff, so this can be quite challenging at times,” Hindman says.
Hindman educates staff on new or changed processes, new pieces of equipment, current policies and procedures. She is responsible for chairing the unit’s education committee comprised of 19 staff nurses. In collaboration with this group, Hindman develops the unit’s monthly newsletter, “Baby Bits,” which provides the nurses with up-to-date unit specific educational material.
“I still get to work at the bedside taking care of patients two to three times a month,” she added. “It’s nice to have the opportunity to spend time with the babies and their families—that is still a huge passion of mine!”
Hindman believes MNU prepared her for this career by teaching her the foundations of nursing care and developing her critical thinking skills. She also said professors were willing to take the time to explain confusing concepts, develop assignments that were meaningful, and listen and support her through challenging times.
“The concepts of basic nursing care were so engrained in me by the time I graduated from MNU that it was a seamless transition from nursing school into the nursing profession,” she explained.
A mission trip to Guatemala during her senior year with her nursing class was another significant experience at MNU.
“Being able to interact with the children and help them at our daily clinics had a lasting impact on me and solidified my desire to work in pediatrics,” Hindman said.
Hindman concluded by saying that nursing school was really tough but completely worth it in the end.
“My years at MNU as a nursing student, and now eight years in the nursing profession, have without a doubt, made me a better person,” said Hindman. “To be God’s hands and feet and use my time and talents for the glory of His kingdom is worth every single minute I spent in Mabee library! I am so thankful for the years I had at MNU and the knowledge, skills, friendships, and experiences I gained. I still ‘joyfully and confidently look forward to becoming all God has in mind for me to be,’ [Romans 5:2].”