Open SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador 2018 – Plattsburgh: Heather LaPoint
Heather LaPoint, MSN, Ed., RN, CNE, CCRN-E, Assistant Professor of Nursing at SUNY Plattsburgh, began nursing education in the critical care arena, serving as unit mentor and preceptor in multiple adult intensive care units and in the electronic intensive care unit setting. A passion for educating patients, families, and colleagues transitioned to a movement to advanced practice nursing as a collegiate educator. Heather began her career in academia working in an ADN, hybrid nursing program. Heather joined the SUNY Plattsburgh Nursing Program faculty in 2016 where she teaches across the traditional and RN-BS in nursing curricula using face-to-face, hybrid, and online modalities.
In addition to her faculty role, Heather is pursuing her PhD in Nursing with a concentration in education at Walden University. Through her coursework, Heather has earned a Post-Master’s Certificate in Online Higher Education. Her research interests lie in the lived experience of the nursing student and faculty member while also examining educational outcomes to effect change in nursing education. Additionally, Heather is interested in exploring the use of various technology tools to improve outcomes in nursing education.
Engaged learning is embraced by Heather, who subscribes to a social constructivist theory in nursing education. Learners are challenged to be interactive leaders in their education, thus instilling a foundation of life-long learning habits. Heather assists learners to seek knowledge in a collaborative community, while providing a supportive environment for success. Heather’s “why” in nursing education is to inspire scholars to have a conscious presence as change agents in their community and profession.
Online education is one method to connect learners from multiple perspectives in order to facilitate higher learning processes and effect widespread social change. Access to online education allows for collaborative learning that reduces geographic and socioeconomic barriers to provide more opportunities for holistic learning development; beyond those afforded in traditional educational methods. I utilize Open Educational Resources in online courses, thus reducing cost to the learner, while also allowing access to the most current literature, content experts, and applications not widely accessible in face-to-face classrooms. As the need for higher education access continues to grow, I also recognize the need for innovative technologies and learning platforms, such as those afforded through online learning.