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Faculty Spotlight: Beth Zieman, Professor of Nursing

When Beth Zieman was a nursing student at Delta College, she already knew she wanted to do more with her degree. She wanted to come back to the program to teach.

“When I came to Delta, I knew I was never going to leave,” Zieman said.

So, after graduating with two associate’s degrees in medical assistance and nursing in 1983, Zieman went to New York Regents College to earn her bachelor’s of science in nursing.

By 1993, she returned to Delta, teaching in the health unit coordinator program and placing students in clinical settings. It was the faculty, which helped mold Zieman for a career in teaching.

“I had fabulous instructors,” Zieman said. “We have instructors with their doctoral degree in nursing who could work anywhere. They’re here because they believe in Delta’s program.”

Zieman believes a big part of the success of Delta’s program is that each of the full-time faculty members teaches in the classroom and in a clinical setting.

“The hands-on work strengthens instructors’ skills,” Zieman said. “Students see that and say, ‘They know what they’re doing.’ ”

The second contributing factor to Delta’s success is the amount of clinical hours put in by students.

“The extra hours help the students become confident,” Zieman said. “The more you do it, the better you feel about it.”

During a student’s senior semester, they will be assigned to the RN preceptor program where they will work 18, 12-hour days.

Beth Zieman“By day 10, the student becomes the RN,” Zieman said. “The last eight days, the RN steps back and the student runs the show.”

Delta’s strong reputation in the community, according to Zieman, is because the program has listened to what the community wants from its students.

“We’ve been responsive and we listen to the advisory board (a group of representatives from nearby health providers),” she said. “We want to meet their expectations. Area clinical institutions want our graduates.”

Zieman has worked in a variety of professional roles during her career, including five years with the Saginaw Public Health Department and 15 years as a visiting nurse. She even went back to school to acquire her master’s of science degree in nursing education. In her current role, she instructs senior RN students, teaching them critical care concepts. But she continues to work as an occasional RN at Covenant HealthCare in the Cardiac Critical Care Unit.

“I feel like I have the best of both worlds,” Zieman said. “I teach, but then I practice.

“I work side-by-side on 3 East (at Covenant) with my former students,” she said. “I don’t know how much more satisfied I can get than that. They can take care of my family any time.”

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