“I would advise my younger self to remain true to who you are, give eye contact while giving strong handshakes, and become and expert in your field so you can intelligently advocate for yourself.”
Who is Tiffany E, Gibson?
I am a Clinical Nurse Educator – I facilitate new hire orientation for RNs and nurse assistants; provide professional development opportunities, CPR and CPI Instructor, evaluate clinical staff on mandatory skills.
I have specialized training in Clinical Education; Crisis Prevention and Intervention. I hold the following degrees: Bachelor’s of Science – Public Health (Temple University, PA) Bachelor’s of Science – Nursing (Drexel University, PA) Master’s of Nursing in Education (Walden University, MO)
Featured in the 2017 End of Year review at Abington Jefferson Health’s annual write up. Featured in 2018 National Black Nurses Association – South Eastern PA Chapter “Members on the Move”. Recipient of a scholarship to participant in Jefferson University’s Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Diversity Leadership Program; Certified Pediatric Nurse
How did you choose to pursue this field?
I’ve always had a strong desire to be the person to help people when they were at their weakest and vulnerable, and help them feel safe, comfortable and supported while they were sick. I’ve always had a fascination with the human body and anatomy.
Who was your inspiration or role model that guided you to this field?
My mom is an LPN and exposed me to the field of nursing since I was a young child. I remember frequently visiting her workplace at a clinic, and playing with the medical supplies and equipment, seeing the doctors walking around in their lab coats, and seeing all the members of the clinical team work together treat sick people. I was also alone with my mom when she went into labor with my brother. I was 10 years old. Her Labor and Delivery nurse is the only person I remember from that entire experience. She assisted my mom during the delivery, cleaned my brother up after he was born, and constantly checked in with me and my mom to make sure we were okay. She was sweet, smart and loving. I remember wanting to be like her and help Moms delivery their babies.
Did you always have the desire to work in this field? If not, what was your intended field? Why did you change careers?
Yes! After witnessing my brother being born, I’ve always had a desire to be a Nurse. If I wasn’t a nurse today, I’d be a teacher. Just like a nurse, teachers give information to empower people, are caring, compassionate, smart and insightful.
What do you love most about your job?
The thing I love most about my job is being a resource to other people. I love being the person the staff seeks out when they have a problem or an issue, or if they have a gap in knowledge, and need to be educated on a topic.
What has been this most rewarding aspect of your job or career?
The most rewarding aspect of my job is getting a “Thank You” from a patient, family member, or healthcare team member. Every day I go to work I make it a plan to go above and beyond my job to make a difference for someone else. Hearing a simple thank you in gratitude for something I did is the best reward.
What things would you change about your current job?
The thing I would change about my job is the red tape of getting access to funds. If I had control of the finances, I would create financial incentives for staff to attend professional development opportunities, buy the most innovated teaching strategies and technology for staff to participate in education without having to sit in a classroom. I would also update the simulation lab with high fidelity mannequins. This would allow staff to practice in a realistic and safe environment without hurting patients.
What are the most difficult things about working in your field?
The most difficult or disappointing aspect of my job as a nurse educator is when I cannot come up with an education solution to a problem. As an educator, it’s my sole job to decrease the knowledge gap with the staff. If I cannot come up with an innovative, simple and meaningful way to educate staff, it makes me feel inadequate as an educator. When I was a bedside nurse taking care of patients, difficult times would include when I couldn’t help a patient relieve their pain, or if their health was declining and I couldn’t do anything to make them feel better in the moment to take their mind off of things. The death of a patient is definitely the hardest part of being a nurse.
What are your future goals related to your career?
My future career goals are to obtained a Doctorate degree in nursing, open up a Nurse Aide training school in Philadelphia, write a guidebook for nurses new to the field and be a nurse speaker at conferences and workshops.
What tips would you offer to anyone thinking about entering into your profession/field of study?
Tips I offer for anyone thinking of being a Nurse is to first make sure they are aware of the commitment it takes to become a Nurse. The commitment to the schooling, the patients, and the profession. My second tip is to understand what being a nurse means. It’s not all about the money or flexible scheduling. It’s about taking care of people, understanding medications and lab results, collaborating with other members of the healthcare team and families, and critically thinking of the plan of care for the patients. Lastly, Nursing is arduous, rewarding, stressful and beautiful. My third tip is to be dedicated to the profession!
How have you combated the stigma of being a “woman of color” in STEM?
I’ve combated the stigma of being a woman of color in STEM by being confident in my skills, being transparent with my decision making, taking ownership of my mistakes, and creating relationships with everyone regardless of their title and role. I’m aware that there may be people are expecting me to fail, or are unsure of my abilities due to me being a young woman of color. For that, I ensure that I’m always on my “A” game. Representation matters, and it’s important for me, in my leadership role, to be a role model for those who look up to me. This means being professional, approachable and honest at all times.
What advice would you give your younger self about your career journey as a “woman of color” working in a predominantly white, male-dominated field?
I would advise my younger self to remain true to who you are,give eye contact while giving strong handshakes, and become and expert in your field so you can intelligently advocate for yourself.
Can you provide some words of wisdom to young ladies thinking about entering a STEM field as a career choice?
1) Be diligent with studying
2) Find a group of like-minded young ladies who will be your accountability and support system
3) Have fun with STEM and show everyone how incredible it is
4) Believe in your abilities
My Family Influence
I have a 4-year old daughter named Kennedy – who has an awesome imagination. I am the oldest of 3 kids of Jamaican immigrant parents. I was born and raised in Bronx, New York, went to boarding school in Massachusetts and have lived on my own since the age of 13.
How do you juggle motherhood and your career?
I juggle motherhood and my career by going to bed early, waking up before my child does to get things done, having an organized schedule to know when to do what when, and having an AMAZING support team and village who love on my child when I’m unavailable due to work. I also do spontaneous, fun activities with my little one to create memories, and expose her to my career so she understands what I do and why I get busy at times.