Onward: An interview with Kimberly Tiedman

MINOT, N.D. – Kimberly Tiedman has been a distinguished figure in the nursing field for nearly three decades.

Tiedman has devoted her career to both practicing and teaching nursing, earning numerous accolades and recognition along the way. Her journey began at Bismarck State College, where she completed her pre-nursing courses and earned an Associate of Applied Science degree. She then pursued a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Medcenter One College of Nursing and later her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Phoenix. Her transition to teaching began in 2016 at Minot State University, driven by a passion for education that she inherited from her parents, both educators.

As a dedicated faculty member at MSU, Tiedman has been twice honored as the Nurse Educator of the Year (2022-2023, 2023-2024). She has received the Eagle Award from the Chamber of Commerce, the SGA Professor of the Year award, and the Outstanding New Academic Advisor Award.

Minot State’s University Communications interviewed Tiedman to learn more about her experiences in the nursing field and how she shares these experiences with her students.

Tell us about yourself and your journey.
KT: I have been a nurse for 29 years. I went to Bismarck State College, played volleyball for two years, completed my pre-nursing courses, and earned an AAS degree. Then, I went to Medcenter One College of Nursing (what is now called NDSU-Nursing at Sanford) to complete my BSN degree.

My first job was with Mayo Medical Center in Rochester, Minnesota, where I worked in a general surgery/trauma unit for five years and then one year in the GI Lab Recovery Unit. My husband, kids, and I moved back home in 2021, where I started working in the ICU for one year and then moved to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit for five years. I was interested in chronic pain and what can be done to help clients manage chronic pain, so I ended up working in the Trinity Pain Clinic for many years. I remained a casual employee at the Pain Clinic until 2023.

I started my teaching adventure in the Department of Nursing at MSU in August 2016. My parents were both teachers and as a nurse, you provide education to people no matter where you work, so it was something that one day, I decided to go back to school to get my MSN. My passion for the nursing profession allows me to work with students in the classroom and the clinical setting. I have the best of both worlds! I enjoy sharing my real-life experience with my students, and I make sure to not only share the successes but also the failures so they can learn from me. My students also get sweet treats once in a while since I love to bake and try out new recipes! I love teaching and being around our community of students inside and outside of the Department of Nursing.

What do you get involved with at Minot State?
KT: I have been a co-faculty advisor for the MSU Chapter of the Nursing Student Association (NSA) for six years, and it has been a lot of fun to see the students blossom in their leadership skills by being an NSA member. Being an advisor led me to be elected as a Faculty Advisor for the Nursing Student Association of North Dakota (NSAND) for the past two and half years. I enjoy working with not only our MSU students but also nursing students from around the state by serving as a state advisor. These advisor roles allow me to get to know the students better and to provide advice when needed. There are so many great things the students do and the ideas they come up with to serve their communities. Advising is my second favorite part of my job. In first place is my daily classroom/clinical interactions with my students.

My husband and I have helped with Rec Fest for the past six years, so it is always fun to see the students so excited to get together for fun before school starts. I love supporting our nursing student-athletes and the other student-athletes, so I can be found in the stands at most athletic events.

I have been on many university committees (Committee on the Evaluation of Teaching, where I served as a co-chair of Faculty Elections, Curriculum, and Tenure). I am also very active on committees within the Department of Nursing.

Volunteering includes COVID testing at the MSU Dome, recruiting events at MSU and local high schools, MSU College for Kids, Hostfest, and more.

You’ve been in the nursing field for over twenty years. What initially made you choose this career path? 
KT: I took a Health Careers course at Minot High School when I was a junior. I knew I wanted to do healthcare but wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do until I was able to go to several different areas. I made up my mind to be a nurse after working with a family friend who was an RN in the Pediatric Unit and caring for a small child who was in the hospital alone. Watching her care for this child and seeing the bond they formed sealed the deal. I wanted to have that personal connection with my patients.

What is the inspiration that made you make the change from working in the field to teaching future nurses? 
KT: When I worked at Mayo, I was often a preceptor for new staff, and most of the time, that was new graduate nurses. I had several years under my belt, but I still remembered what it was like to be a brand-new nurse. I wanted them to love nursing as much as I did. I always loved working with nursing students when they were in the areas where I worked, too. Not everyone wants to take the little extra time to work with a student or new staff member, but we all started at the same place in nursing school. You learn a lot in nursing school, but there is still so much to learn when you are on the job. The love of my job and the desire to use my years of knowledge in teaching the next generation of nurses is what really drove me to make the change.

What is your favorite course to teach?  
KT: I love my Adult Health I and II courses. This is the medical surgical course and the first time that my students go to the hospital. It is so fun to watch the students put the pieces together in the clinical setting, and they are so excited about things like being able to make a dressing change, start IVs, give medications, and do a full assessment of their patient. My favorite story is about a student who came out of a patient room and was grinning from ear to ear. She quietly told me that she had heard crackles while listening to the lung sounds. She was so excited to know what she was hearing from a live person. These little moments are what really make my job so enjoyable!

Do you have a variety of ways for your students to learn?  
KT: I know not all students learn the same way, so I really try to find different ways to provide the information. I teach in the classroom, clinical, laboratory, and simulation settings. It is a mix of lectures and hands-on activities. I would describe my classroom as an active learning environment. The class is a three-hour class twice a week in the classroom, so I like to make sure to keep my students’ attention. On any given day, you will find my students playing BINGO, Jeopardy, Gimkits, and more to review the material learned. I am always trying new things to see if the students like them, and this past semester, I had “Speed Dating” questions for all the types of insulins and medications used for diabetes. Each group had a specific drug to research and answer the questions, and then they presented them in class. I love laughter during the games, and I usually have some small “prizes” for the winners of games. (I included an example of the speed dating form).

Do you have a favorite memory so far from teaching?  
KT: My favorite memory is every semester when I see how much the students have learned. We have a skills day at the end of the semester where the students have a simulation in which they need to do a physical assessment, administer medications, or perform a skill. We throw a few little curveballs at them in the simulation, and they need to respond like they would in a real patient situation. It is like a proud mom moment when it all comes together at that moment. I know they are ready to move forward in the program, and it is very rewarding.

What advice would you give students who choose a career in nursing? 
KT: My advice would be to remember how nurses make an impact every day, no matter where you work. There will be some hard days, but it is all worth it. My favorite quote is by Maya Angelou and is: 'As a nurse, we have the opportunity to heal the heart, mind, soul and body of our patients, their families and ourselves. They may forget your name, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” Every day as a nurse is a new adventure, and I hope they love their profession as much as I do!

What do you like to do outside of work: family, hobbies, or other areas of interest?
KT: My husband, Doug, and I have three daughters and an English Springer Spaniel, Oakley. Family is number one for me, and so much family time is wonderful. It may be just having supper together or visiting via FaceTime, but those are the best memories for me.

I am a person who loves to be active, so I can be found running/walking my dog most days. I have always loved sports and traveling, so our family usually tries to catch a sporting event when we are on vacation. My favorite places to go are warm, have beaches and palm trees!! I am the only family member who loves the heat!

What else are we missing when telling your story?
KT: I can’t always articulate how much I love my profession. We are there to see the smile of the patient being discharged after being ill, the first cry of a newborn, and to hold a patient’s hand as they take their last breath. We share their joy and sorrow, and I feel that it is a privilege to be able to make an impact on people.

About Minot State University
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 07/02/24   

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