Dr. Susan Bassett Writes New Book That Illuminates the Healing Power of Storytelling in Nursing Education and Patient Care

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Dr. Susan Bassett currently works as an instructor of nursing at Eastern New Mexico University. Bassett has been a nurse for 50 years during which she has seen different cases and has plenty of stories to share. These stories inspired her new book, Spotlighting Narrative Pedagogy in Nursing Education. In her book, she discusses the importance of storytelling in nursing school. Bassett believes that storytelling can be beneficial for teaching and on-the-job experience.  For example, if a professor could tell a story that was so engaging the students would start to personalize the story to themselves. This in turn would allow students to have a personalized example of an on-the-job experience that might happen to them.

Bassett knows that nursing can be a physically and emotionally taxing job. It is important to remind people of why they became nurses in the first place. “If you can inspire people, you can retain nurses,” she said. Bassett believes that it’s not only about the stories that the nurses have, she believes that it is important to listen and hear what the patient is saying. Every patient has a story that needs to be listened to. Understanding what the patient is going through can help improve the care that they receive. Dr. Bassett had help from Dr. Mary Ayala and Dr. Tracie Campbell while writing her book. Susan feels like her book was a joint effort from everyone that helped her at ENMU.

Bassett and her husband live on a ranch in southern New Mexico. She also served in the U.S. Air Force Nurse Corps for 23 years. Bassett was sent to Afghanistan on a 12-month deployment where she was assigned to an area where the majority of warfighting took place. It was there that she really felt the importance of storytelling. After retiring from the Air Force and moving to the ranch with her husband, she started teaching at ENMU and has been here for the last nine years. Bassett loves being able to give back to nursing by supporting nurses today through difficult times in their careers. She explains that the achievements that she has earned during her career are very rewarding and have taught her many important life lessons.

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