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2018 Health Care Champions Nurse: Amanda Cole

Cox College

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Amanda Cole is a lifelong learner, and she brings that passion to work by teaching medical students at Cox College.

Cole, a registered nurse who’s currently pursuing a doctorate in educational technology from Walden University online, in August was promoted to Cox College’s lead nursing research faculty member. In the role, she’s in charge of improving outcomes in a variety of health care settings by establishing the college’s research standards in its master’s in nursing program.

“I like to think that I help my colleagues in the CoxHealth system and my students at Cox College feel encouraged and empowered to never give up their pursuit of education and higher training,” Cole says. “With the nursing shortage affecting all levels and areas of health care – from home health to nurse education to nurse practitioners – it is more important than ever that nurses feel empowered to leverage their academic skills into dynamic careers.”

Using her expertise, Cole has taught all levels of nursing students, including a preprogram in anatomy and physiology, associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree-level studies, and courses for family nurse practitioners. 

Her teaching methods involve real-world applications and creative lessons to drive a point home.

Cole recalls taking associate-level students last year to two sides of a hallway at a trauma unit. A patient on each side had been in a motorcycle accident, though only one had worn his helmet.

“The simple act of walking students from one side of the hallway to the other was enough to provoke strong conversations about community education and safety advocacy,” Cole says. 

In another instance, Cole created a puzzle game for her clinical students, requiring them to put together a patient’s chart one piece at a time.

“Watching the lightbulbs go off as each group reached their conclusion was so satisfying,” she says.

Cole is quick to shine the spotlight on others.

She encouraged CoxHealth leadership to bring the Daisy Award for Extraordinary Nurses to Cox College, and in May, its first recipients were recognized.

“It’s extremely gratifying to see students and faculty recognized for their excellence and to be a driving part of that has been such an honor,” Cole says of the award that recognizes compassionate care.

Her community work also focuses on health care.

Cole’s the leader of Team WYAO, a local group that raises money for the national nonprofit Cystic Fibrosis Foundation where the group holds walkathon fundraisers for the cause.

“CF is classified as an orphan disease, since it affects so few people. Any chance I have to increase awareness and help the foundation, I am thrilled to do so,” Cole says.

She also is a volunteer for the No One Dies Alone program at Cox South, through which she visits with near-death patients when no family members are available.

“I cherish the times I have the opportunity to participate in this program,” she says.

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