Alumni Q + A: Krysta Beha, Nursing, B.S. ’18, Nursing Education, M.S. ’22

Major: Nursing (B.S.), Nursing Education (M.S.)
Hometown: Marcy, NY
Graduation Month/Year: B.S. 2018, M.S. 2022

Krysta Beha is currently a Nursing Instructor at the St. Elizabeth College of Nursing.

Why did you choose SUNY Poly?
I chose SUNY Poly for the strong nursing program and for the opportunity to compete on the women’s lacrosse team as an undergraduate. Returning for my master’s degree was an easy decision due to the familiarity with professors, flexibility of online classes, and assurance of a strong nursing education program.

Why did you decide to get your degree in nursing education?
One day while I was working, my manager asked me if I would precept a nursing student for their capstone. Being fairly new to the hospital unit that I was working in at the time, I was extremely hesitant to take on this role and extra responsibility. She reassured me, however, that I had enough knowledge and skills to provide a great experience for this student. I took on the role and the days that I had with the student were the best days that I worked. I immediately enjoyed sharing my knowledge and my love of helping others with someone that I knew was going to do the same.

What is your favorite SUNY Poly memory?
My favorite SUNY Poly memory as a graduate student was my time spent during my culminating internship experience. It really helped me apply what I had learned throughout all of my courses to a nursing curriculum and gain some beginning confidence as a new nurse educator.

How did you end up working in your current position?
I chose to complete my culminating internship with a faculty mentor that I had at St. Elizabeth College of Nursing (SECON). While working in my previous position, I had also had the opportunity to teach nursing clinical hours as an adjunct at SECON. When a full-time position opened I was encouraged by my faculty mentor to apply and was excited for the opportunity to return to the college where I had started my own nursing education.

What are some of the greatest challenges and opportunities of working in your field?
The most challenging part of this field is remaining current not only on nursing best practices and skills, but also on new best practices of nursing education. Nursing has been and always will be a career of life-long learning. Nursing education is no different, except you strive to be great at both pieces so that your students can be successful too.

What opportunities did you have at SUNY Poly that helped you get where you are today?
My undergraduate degree at SUNY Poly was definitely the foundation that I needed to be successful in this field. The opportunity to return for my nursing education degree certainly led to those next steps in my career so far, and I know will contribute to success in the future as well.

What lessons did you learn at SUNY Poly that have served you well in your current position?
I think that the nursing education program did a great job at teaching me the foundation of how to design and organize a nursing curriculum, then how to appropriately evaluate program outcomes and student learning. Nursing education courses like curriculum design and instructional development allow students to create nursing coursework and build a curriculum as a small group project.

What advice would you give to students considering a degree in nursing education?
Get started now! Whether you plan to complete the coursework part time while working, like I did, or full time, this program offers flexibility and the professors are so helpful. I always encourage my students to consider nursing education as a long-term goal of theirs once they have gained bedside experience. Our communities need more nurses to provide better care, and I feel that the biggest impact that we can have on that trend is creating environments and resources where great nurses can be developed.