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Laura CalcagniAssistant Professor

“The BSN curriculum takes nursing beyond the basics and advances student knowledge and confidence in leadership, evidence-based practice, and health promotion.”

Degrees Held:

  • MSN in Nursing Education – Youngstown State University, 2013
  • BSN – Youngstown State University, 1999

Career Highlights:

  • 2020 Distinguished Professor Award for Excellence in Teaching
  • Published a chapter section in the following book:
    Schuster, P. M. (2020). Concept Mapping: A Critical Thinking Approach to Care Planning. United States: F.A. Davis Company.
  • 2018 Ohio League for Nursing, Education Summit podium presenter: "Use of Technology in an Online Nursing Informatics Course"
  • 2014 YSU Distance Education “Top Four Courses of the Year” Award

In which online degree program do you teach?

  • What do you want students to take away from your classes?

    Students will examine the nurse's role in utilizing informatics and technology in healthcare, collaborate with other team members, access and evaluate electronic resources for the implementation of evidence-based practice, and identify legal and ethical considerations with the use of informatics. Students will also learn and apply the computer skills needed for successful completion of the online RN to BSN program. These skills include collaborating in online discussion forums and group projects, accessing peer-reviewed resources in the online library databases, writing a paper in APA format, recording a narrated PowerPoint presentation, and recording/uploading a video presentation.

  • Why did you start teaching?

    I have always had a passion for teaching and frequently volunteered to orient the new hires and work with the student nurses on my hospital unit. After working as a floor nurse for 10 years, I returned to school to pursue my MSN in nursing education. My career as a nurse educator is the most rewarding job I have ever had. I teach online, in the classroom, and in the hospital with clinical students. I get to share my passion for the nursing profession with a new generation and help prepare them to provide safe and effective care.

  • Why are you interested in nursing? What drew you to this field?

    I was initially torn between a career in nursing and education but pursued my nursing degree because I wanted to make a difference in the lives of others. After working as a floor nurse for 10 years, I did some self-reflection and realized that education was my favorite part of being a nurse. I always volunteered to orient the new hires and looked forward to working with the student nurses on my unit. I decided to pursue my MSN in nursing education, which has given me the best of both worlds! In addition to teaching online and classroom-based courses, I continue to teach hospital-based clinical courses so that I still get to care for those in need. My career has truly given me the best of both worlds!

  • What do you think is the biggest challenge that nurses face today?

    As technology and healthcare continue to advance, acutely ill patients are living longer. This means that patients are sicker than ever before, which places new challenges on nursing staff. Nurses are challenged to learn new skills and add on additional responsibilities without other tasks ever being reassigned or taken away. Without additional staffing or support, the increased responsibilities can lead to frustration and burnout. Nursing burnout often leads to high turnover rates, and the loss of caring and compassionate providers at the bedside.

  • What advice would you give to those considering the YSU online RN to BSN program?

    Join us at YSU to pursue your online RN to BSN! Our program includes a personalized experience with instructors who are committed to your success. My advice is to stay organized and designate a set time for your studies each week to avoid getting behind. I also suggest communicating with your instructors early and often if you have any questions.

  • What is the one book you think everyone should read?

    I can't pick just one!

  • Tell us something interesting about yourself that your students might not know.

    I am currently back in school to pursue my DNP, so I completely understand the struggle of juggling your work, school, and home life. Both of my daughters are also pursuing their BSN degrees, so I get to see their perspective as nursing students, as well.

  • What is the value of a BSN for working nurses?

    Earning a BSN is an important step in reaching your career goals. The BSN curriculum takes nursing beyond the basics and advances student knowledge and confidence in leadership, evidence-based practice, and health promotion.

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