Feb. 14, 2019

Nursing instructor brings compassion to the classroom

50 Faces of Nursing: Kara Sealock, BN’00, MEd’12

Kara Sealock is an undergraduate instructor with UCalgary Nursing who is deeply invested in helping her students thrive.

In her nomination, colleague Karen Cook wrote: “Kara is a much-loved instructor in the faculty, championing student prep for the NCLEX. In 2016 she won a coveted Teaching Excellence Award from the Students' Union which is a student-nominated award.”

Sealock says, “I think most people would see me as only a theory and clinical instructor within the undergraduate nursing program, which is my current and primary role. I believe I am more than an educator who delivers content to students.

“I see myself as a role model to help students become the best versions of themselves whether that be through knowledge and marks, awareness of who they are and who they want to be, or a part of how they develop their nursing identity—and to teach with integrity and respect. I love my job and who I get to work with every day!”

What’s an unforgettable experience from your time at UCalgary Nursing?

“There are so many to choose. The day I took my mom to the PLC (Peter Lougheed Centre) to be admitted and start chemotherapy was already a difficult day; however, the nurse who admitted her, Jill, was one of my previous students from theory class and a graduate from our program. Her ability to see me as a daughter that day gave me insight into what type of graduates and practitioners the program develops into nurses. When I left the PLC that day, I left my mom with a friend and colleague.

“Seven other previous students provided exemplar care to my mom during the several admissions required to treat her leukemia. My role as an educator came back full circle as the students whom I taught now had become my mom's caregiver (and mine too). I am proud to be a graduate from the Faculty of Nursing program but even prouder that I get to be a small piece in the development of our students.”

What most excites you about the future of nursing or changes coming in the profession?

“I think the graduates of our program have depth and insight into what is needed to provide holistic, humanistic, compassionate, and competent care.”

Is there a nursing issue you are passionate about or would like to change?

“Over the years, I think I have developed a special interest in the student who struggles because I see myself in them. If it had not been for my instructor, Diana Krecsy, who gave of her own personal time to help me understand difficult concepts, I might not be a nurse. I want to help them see the potential that I can see in them, just like Diana had done for me.”

Your advice for aspiring nurses?

“My favorite quote is from Maya Angelou: ‘People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’ I think the heart/art of nursing happens in the liminal moments of relationship between the nurse and patient/client/family. I hope aspiring nurses remember these are the moments that they will remember throughout their career, and therefore put effort into these relationships as much as they do when learning knowledge and skills.”

All through 2019, we'll be highlighting 50 Faces of Nursing and profiling outstanding nursing members in celebration of our 50th anniversary. If you know someone noteworthy (faculty, staff, alum, students, partners, etc.) who you would like us to feature, tell us more with this short online form. For more, visit nursing.ucalgary.ca/50