Rocha helps students succeed

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At USU Eastern Ann Rocha, PhD, works hard to help students in the nursing program succeed. She is currently on the nursing faculty and loves it. “I consider myself very fortunate to be located on the USU Eastern Price campus. I am teaching maternal/child theory and supervising a clinical group of registered nursing students at Castleview Hospital.”

Rocha has a lot of tasks that come with her position. She is often busy, but enjoys every minute and takes time to really teach her students. “I spend a lot of prep time getting ready to teach my class on maternal/child theory, but interaction with my wonderful students makes it all worthwhile.”

“Our clinical rotation at Castleview is 12 hours, which makes for a long day but again, my terrific students give me a lot of reasons to be glad I’m with USUE Price. In addition to teaching and clinical, I work with our program coordinator and fellow faculty colleagues to provide laboratory and simulation experiences that better prepare our nursing students for actual patient care in a health care facility.”

Before coming to USUE, Rocha spent time at another university where things just weren’t working out. She decided it was time for a change. “I knew my nursing program director, Sandie Nadelson, PhD, by name and reputation. She was kind enough to talk with me to discuss my disenchantment with faculty life and I was fortunate enough to find a position on her faculty and teach in the nursing program on the Price campus.”

Something that is awesome about Rocha is her willingness to be community-involved. “While I am new to USUE, I am interested in serving our community and recently participated in Bread “n” Soup night on campus. [It] was so much fun and a great opportunity to network with fellow USUE faculty in addition to meeting members of our Price community.”

Rocha’s favorite part of her career is, “working with our students. I have been a Registered Nurse for over 40 years and working with these younger folks, watching them learn and become clinically/theoretically proficient, has been most rewarding.”

Rocha’s advice for current students, is, “I would tell students to enjoy their college years because this will probably be the last time they can be relatively carefree and dependent on their families.”

“I would also tell students to get as much out of the college years as possible by going beyond assignments and attending classes. Students should get involved by traveling abroad with school groups, joining college clubs, providing service to their communities and becoming much ‘bigger’ people than simply folks with college degrees… never stop learning.”

“I would tell my nursing students to never provide care, treatment or medications without understanding why and remember to always be kind and respectful to themselves as well as others.”

Going back to her college days, Rocha told about her most rebellious act. “I grew up in a military family so respect for discipline and authority was ingrained throughout my childhood and I spent 20 years as a Navy Nurse Corps Officer carrying on a long-family tradition of service. I suppose in my first-college program I was late for curfew one night – yes, we had curfew back then – and was “grounded” for a month, which didn’t really bother me, but the school sent a letter to my father and his response to me ensured that I never got in trouble again.”

Rocha talked about the singing voice she would love to have. “I can’t sing, but that doesn’t keep me from doing so. I would love to be able to carry a tune that doesn’t offend the ears of others. I like a variety of music and growing up in the ‘60s means rock and roll but I enjoy listening to classical, opera and folk singers. I don’t have a particular favorite, just really wish I could sing.”

Rocha’s goals for the future are to stay at Eastern. “I intend to stay with USU until I retire. I am eager to be a part of the vision of Dr. Travis Peterson, department head, and Dr. Sandie Nadelson, director for nursing programs, as they plan and implement new USU nursing education opportunities.

“USU is in the process of creating exciting new programs in nursing and it is my goal to both assist in bringing this vision to reality and being a part of our new baccalaureate and future graduate nursing programs. With Peterson and Nadelson at the helm, I have no doubt USU is the future of nursing in Utah.”

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