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MNU Nursing Professor Inspires Grad Students

As a young girl, Victoria Haynes, DNP, APRN, FNP-C, was different from other children; she loved going to the doctor’s office.

“I was fascinated by all of the equipment there and I admired the skills and expertise of the doctors and nurses who cared for me,” she said.

Hayne’s childhood fascination and appreciation for the medical field followed her into her adult life. Before coming to MNU, Haynes spent several years working as a family nurse practitioner, as well as teaching occupational and school health in a local MSN program for six years.

“After obtaining my BSN and working as a bedside nurse, I knew I wanted to advance in the field and use more of my critical thinking and skills to help patients,” Haynes says. “I also wanted to be able to share my knowledge with other future nurses, so I went on for my MSN and shortly after my Doctor of Nursing Practice.

Although she recalls having admiration for all medical professionals growing up, Haynes said nurses held a special place in her heart. She noticed how nurses had more opportunities to create relationships with their patients than doctors.

“The nurses were able to take the time to educate patients, and even hold their hands when needed and I wanted to do the same,” Haynes said. For Haynes, nursing is about much more than offering physical care to patients.

“Nursing is holistic,” she said. “It involves not only the physical, but the mental and spiritual. Often times, physical complaints can be the result of mental stress or a weakened spirit. It is important to remember this as nurses, so I teach my students to look at the patient as a whole person.”

Looking at the “whole person” often includes providing spiritual comfort to patients through prayer, Haynes says.

“Often times, I stop to pray with patients because they may break down in the middle of me getting their history because they are going through a tough time,” Haynes said. “If we don’t heal the person inside, we may never heal the physical manifestation of their problem.”

In order to be a facilitator of healing, Haynes said nursing students need to take the same type of holistic approach. According to Haynes, the three qualities that create the most effective and impactful nurses are compassion, endurance, and faith.

“The rigor of nursing school is tough,” she says. “It takes a lot of mental fortitude to endure the exams, the new knowledge and skills you will learn, and the long hours of study that are needed to pass.”

While honing compassion and endurance may come through academic and clinical experience, developing faith in a field typically thought of as secular can be a challenge. That is why Haynes says she loves to teach at MNU.

“I find it easy to integrate my passion for the Lord and nursing at an institution that is very open about faith,” she said, stating that MNU boasts a faith-driven mission “that permeates throughout the school.”

Haynes takes care to include faith in her virtual classroom platforms. Each week, she includes a weekly devotion into the online course content, as well as offering an online forum for prayer and praise.

For students like Lisbeth Kendrick, a current MSN student, Haynes’ emphasis on the role of faith in medicine resonates not only in the classroom, but in Kendrick’s own practice as well.

“She really tries hard to use specific examples from her own experiences,” Kendrick said. “She wants to show that treating a patient involves more than just the physical. You have to treat their spiritual and emotional side as well.”

As for Haynes' devotional methods, Rynekah Barbour, also an MSN student, said she finds them unique and challenging.

“What she chooses to focus on from the verse isn’t always what jumps out at you,” Barbour said. “But it usually makes you think. You have to able to come at it from a different perspective, which is a big part of working in medicine.”

For both students, Haynes’ faith-inspired approach to medicine has become a strong factor in reinforcing their own commitment to living out Christian values in the medical field.

“I think faith is the number one foundation for medicine,” Kendrick said. “I don’t know how you can practice without it.”

Haynes is now an associate professor in the School of Nursing and Health Science.

 

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