Patricia Staples

Patricia Ann Staples, RN, BSN, CCRN, CNRN has been a Registered Nurse for over 6 years and throughout her nursing career has faced numerous opportunities and challenges. Her experiences have given her potential to grow and develop both personally and professionally. Patricia started her career in health care as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) in 1995. She began to pursue her nursing education while working for a local volunteer ambulance agency and working part-time in a coffee shop.

Patricia graduated with her Bachelor's of Science in Nursing from Regis University School for Health Professions in Denver, Colorado in 1999. During her undergraduate nursing program, Patricia was active in various campus, local, and national organizations. She participated in the Colorado Student Nurses Association (CSNA), National Student Nursing Association NSNA), and was a Representative for Regis University's Nursing Faculty Organization. Patricia has been a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and The Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International.

Patricia has taken a number of opportunities to further educate herself beyond her undergraduate nursing degree. She has practiced in various different nursing fields such as telemetry, intensive care, and emergency medicine. She maintains certifications as a Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN) and Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse (CNRN). Presently, she is balancing full-time school requirements and is practicing as a RN in a 42-bed, Intensive Care Unit and 40-bed Emergency Department at Swedish Medical Center, Level-1 Trauma Hospital in Englewood, Colorado.

Patricia participates on many different committees and teams within the hospital where she is employed. She is a member of the continuing education committee in the ICU, COR Zero ICU team leader, rapid-responder team leader, a clinical resource, and is involved in the orientation and education of new employees. In addition Patricia maintains current certifications in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Advanced Pediatric Life Support (PALS), Emergency Nurse Pediatric Provider Course (ENPC), and Trauma Nurse Care Course Provider (TNCC).

Patricia has been an affiliate faculty member for Regis University and worked in the role of clinical faculty for Swedish Medical Center Hospital. As a clinical faculty member, she mentors and provides educational guidance and support to undergraduate nursing students during their medical and surgical clinical rotations. In show of Patricia's outstanding achievements and dedication to mentoring new nurses into the nursing profession she was nominated by fellow co-workers and her assistant director in the ICU for the 2006 Eli Lilly Nursing Excellence Preceptor Award put forth by the American Association of Critical Care.

Patricia will graduate in May of 2007 with a Master’s of Science in Nursing as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) from Regis University Rueckert-Hartman School for Health Care Professions School of Nursing. The curriculum focuses on health promotion, disease prevention and management of minor acute, and chronic illness. The FNP emphasis prepares nurses to deliver primary health care to families across the life span. Patricia envisions her new role, Family Nurse Practitioner, as both an educator and facilitator of care.

While pursuing her graduate degree Patricia was elected as a student member for the development team of Project Mercy Ethiopia Inter-Cultural Experiential Service Learning Program. This program offers a balanced academic and experiential learning program that explored concepts of social justice, ethics and human rights, and population-based healthcare for under-serviced groups in Ethiopia, Africa. The program provided classroom experience and a 2-week service trip to Yetebon, Ethiopia in July 2006.

The program encourages students to increase their understanding and become critically conscious of the divide between the economically well off and impoverished countries of the world. Patricia's experiences in Ethiopia have allowed her the opportunity to better recognize ways in which culturally based beliefs, values, attitudes and practices can influence a patient’s understanding of health and illness, as well as expectations for treatment.

With Patricia's nursing knowledge and expertise, her participation in this program helped to analyze present clinical services and propose innovative models of health care delivery that would be applicable to meet the needs of residents within a local Ethiopian community. The ability to participate in this ethnic and social experience has provided her with the cultural awareness and educational tools to better serve new patient populations in her future nursing career. In returning from Ethiopia Patricia is looking forward to sharing her experiences with fellow students and the local community.

Patricia has been an active medical volunteer for the 9Health Fair for 10 years. The 9Health fair is the largest, non-profit health fair program in the state of Colorado that provides free and low-cost medical screenings to the community. She has also been a volunteer for Project C.U.R.E. a non-profit organization that collects over-stocked, outdated, or unused medical supplies and distributes them throughout the world to underdeveloped countries. Furthermore, she is a current member of AmeriCorps, a network of local, state, and national service programs that connects over 70,000 Americans each year in intensive service to meet the country’s needs in education, public safety, health, and the environment.

Patricia believes that active participation is an essential component to the professional image of the nursing profession. Patricia maintains current memberships within the Colorado Nurses Association (CNA), American Nurses Association (ANA), American Association of Critical Care Nurses-National (AACN), American Association of Neuroscience Nurses-National (AANN), and The Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM). Patricia was awarded the Kaiser Permanente Nightingale Award for creating nursing excellence through the promotion of educational and scientific activities and community-based projects. She believes it is the responsibility of every nurse to provide exceptional health care, in an ever-challenging and changing environment, while respecting the individual quality and rights of every patient. Patricia continues to see her career path, in advanced nursing education as a challenging and exciting learning experience.

The increasing acuity of today's patients, combined with decreased staffing, requires all nurses to be as educationally prepared as possible. In a time of fiscal constraints and increasing health care access problems, nurses are on the forefront to discover more efficient and cost effective methods in providing health care for today's growing and aging population. Nurses are in prime positions to help pinpoint inefficient work environments that can contribute to patient errors.

Sickness, disease, and death are inevitable conditions that plague all human life. The focus of nursing is not on the illness at hand but the entire patient, their mind, body, and spirit. As a nurse, Patricia’s goals are to provide exceptional health care, in an ever-challenging and changing environment, while respecting the individual quality and rights of every patient.