Each spring, Newman University students can nominate a full-time professor for the Faculty Teaching Excellence award. This year, the award was given to Megan Cook, DNAP, MSNA, assistant director, clinical director and assistant professor of the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) program.
Cook received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Wichita State University in 2001. From that experience, Cook realized her desire to teach.
“I knew as an undergraduate nursing student that someday I would like to teach,” she commented. “I had amazing undergrad nursing faculty and I just respect what they did for me so much. I precepted nursing students in the ICU and then new nurses to our unit as well. I really enjoyed clinical instruction. Those experiences led me to pursue a career in graduate nurse anesthesia education.”
Cook continued her education and in 2007 graduated from Newman University with a Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia (MSNA). Cook then graduated with a Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) in 2018 from Texas Wesleyan University.
Many students have spoken highly of Cook’s teaching and dedication to her students. Cook said her experience at Newman University is centered around the personal connections.
“I have enjoyed the relationships I have built. Faculty, staff, students, clinical coordinators, everyone. I even met my husband through this position,” she added.
According to Cook, her teaching method incorporates both book knowledge as well as the real-life application of anesthesia practice.
“My values as an educator include honesty, hard work, being approachable yet having high expectations for performance and keeping my students first,” she explained. “My drive comes from my love of the nurse anesthesia profession. I am grateful every day to be a CRNA and I always hope and pray that my students will leave this program loving anesthesia as much as I do and that Newman graduates the very best CRNAs.”
Her passion for the profession and teaching does not go unnoticed by her students. In fact, 41 students nominated Cook for the Faculty Teaching Excellence award.
“I was overwhelmed (by the news). I cried when Dr. Carrocci read all of the things my students said about me in their nominations. For me, there is no greater compliment than my students’ nomination for this high honor,” Cook said.
She added, “I just want to express my sincere gratitude to my 41 students who nominated me for this award. They make me want to be a better educator every day.”