January 29, 2019
For the Love of Teaching
Ashley Ponce, RN, BSN, Co-C, started as a home care nurse, moved on to become a transitional care nurse, and settled in as the staff’s Professional Nurse Educator in 2017. The one constant has been her fondness for teaching.
“As a home care nurse, I always wanted to help our patients live a better life and as a nurse educator teach our staff members how to enhance the care they provide to their patients,” she said.
Long before arriving at Concord Regional VNA, Ashley worked as a staff nurse at Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital in Intermediate Cardiac Care and at Catholic Medical Center managing patients, overseeing their care, and teaching them about lifestyle changes and disease management.
In 2011, when she joined our staff as a home care nurse. Ashley cared for patients who had wound care, medication, and IV therapy needs. About three years later, she became a transitional care nurse, a newer program devoted to providing patients with multiple medications and complex care needs timely intervention following hospital discharge.
“I love working at Concord Regional VNA because we make such a difference in the lives of the people we care for and we make a tremendous difference in the community with all the programs we offer and the people we support across the lifespan,” Ashley said.
As nurse educator, a role she started in 2017, Ashley orients and trains new home care, hospice, and pediatrics and maternal child health staff and is responsible for all new skills training needed. She also oversees required competencies and collaborates closely with our information technology department on clinical education and training using advanced technology.
“Since I was in the community, I can bring what the staff needs to the role,” Ashley said. “I can see the challenges and barriers they have.”
She works collaboratively with a team that includes a professional rehabilitation educator, paraprofessional orientation and training coordinator, a pharmacist, and director of education in shaping the curriculum provided to staff members.
“I love working at Concord Regional VNA because every day is different for me,” Ashley said. “What motivates me on a daily basis is that I’m able to educate nurses on how to best care for patients and to be able to promote health throughout the community.”
During her career at Concord Regional VNA, the agency has been supportive of Ashley’s efforts to further her education by awarding her the Eugene and Anne Slusser Scholarship in 2018. The scholarship is available to employees to advance their knowledge, quality of care, and advancement through education. She has also benefited from the agency’s tuition assistance program.
She has returned to college to obtain her Master’s of Science in Nursing Education at Franklin Pierce University.
“As a nurse educator at Concord Regional VNA, increasing my knowledge of how to develop and implement effective education programs will directly improve the education available to our staff,” Ashley said.
“In supporting the agency’s values of competence and culture of excellence, it is pertinent to develop courses that are based on the principles of adult learning and are structured in an evidence-based format,” she added. “Adults have specific needs when learning including the need for information to be relevant to their lives and to have knowledge built on previous experiences. Curriculum needs to be structured to engage all learning styles to be effective to a large group of staff with different backgrounds.”