45 Minutes with Faye Felicilda-Reynaldo, RN, Ed.D

By Jerome Babate /Joseph Andrew Pepito
Five years ago, on her quest for a new opportunity, a job ad for a tenure track faculty position in the nursing department at Missouri State caught her eye. Faye Felicilda-Reynaldo decided it was time to follow her own advice, “dream big and create opportunities”.
When I met her in  an international nursing conference in Cebu, Faye was just 22 years old and already had a doctorate. She impressed me as a very smart and articulate person.  
Back in in the Philippines, Faye has a long list of nursing experiences that includes working in a hospital, plastic surgery clinic and through the local community by developing a nutrition program for children and as a faith-community based nurse. She is also involved in capacity building initiatives via webinars with nurse educators and students in the Philippines.
This may be the perfect time to catch Faye’s time in this winter season back in the United State.

Photo courtesy of Missouri State University

Tell us about your current job?

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nursing at Missouri State University. I like to joke that I specialize in teaching courses that no one likes to teach. It’s probably not true, but I do teach very unpopular classes, such as undergraduate and graduate nursing research and the licensure exam preparation course. Aside from that, I teach the Concepts in Nursing class every summer. In essence, it is still a Fundamentals of Nursing class but not the fun one with the skills practice and clinical. Instead it focuses on the different theories and concepts behind the art and science of nursing. I also help out in the lab sections of the undergraduate Health Assessment course. For the DNP program, I teach the advanced health and healthcare disparities course. I also teach the educational technology course for nurse educators for the MSN-Nurse Educator program. Let’s not forget masters thesis and DNP project advising. I’m proud to say that I’m one of the few faculty in the MSU Department of Nursing who teaches across programs.

What would you say to encourage more students to go into the nursing field?

You’ll probably be surprised that I am not one of those nurse leaders/educators who push students to go into the nursing field. I like to talk to them and see where their passions lie. You see, every day I see students who really aren’t as passionate in the nursing field struggle. They may not struggle academically, but I see in their faces that they don’t like what they’re doing. Whenever I talk to pre-nursing students, I always ask them, ‘What makes you want to go into nursing?” Most students who have the passion have stories to tell. Those who stay silent or shrug their shoulders are those who’ve either been forced by their parents, friends, or their economic situation to pursue nursing as a career. So, if a student is thinking of going into nursing, reflect on the following things:
Can you stand the sight of blood, puke, feces, etc? (If yes, you’ve passed the first step.)
Are you just in it for economic reasons? (Nursing might be a stable job, but it is also stressful. You might be biting off more than you chew.)
Is this your passion? Think about makes you want that BSN diploma and RN license under your belt. What’s your story?
Are you ready to work hard? (You may have the passion for nursing. However, if you don’t work hard, you might not make it in nursing school.)

What would you say is the most rewarding part of nursing?

It’s the fact that you get to help people every day. Whatever field of nursing you’ll go into, you’ll always be helping people. When I was a medical-surgical nurse, I was completing the curative aspect. I was assisting patients with medical treatments, helping them recover from a major surgery, etc. When I was in the operating room, I was ensuring that the patient will have excellent service from our surgical centers. I want them to recover from their surgery with no complications (and no errors!). Now that I’m a nurse educator, I am fostering the future of the nursing profession, our student nurses. As a nurse researcher, I am helping build the sciences that make up our profession. Every aspect is just rewarding because the end outcome is that I’ve helped people, directly or indirectly.
You recently graduated  as Masters in Educational Technology.

What was your interest to pursue this degree?

I’m a techie person. I learned to use the computer and the internet at a very young age. My research program is on Issues in Teaching and Learning in Nursing Education. Every time I attended a nursing education conference, there would always be a session on educational technology. I also like to tinker with educational technology. I’m usually one of the first people to try out new things, such as using clickers or flipping the classroom. I could have learned on my own, but I also have the mentality of: “If I could get a credential for it and it’s free, why not just get the degree?” So I did. I have free tuition as part of my benefits. I enrolled part-time until I completed the 6 semesters required. Sometimes I took classes in the evening after my classes or I took a class online. I can’t even remember when I first started. I think it was Spring 2013. Now, I want to apply what I learned in my educational technology classes to my own classroom. Later on, I’ll want to conduct trainings to other nurse educators here in the USA and internationally. My degree sure helps out a lot with developing my NUR 784 Technology for Healthcare Educators class.