At Goldfarb School of Nursing, our people make our school exceptional. For the first time, we partnered with The DAISY Foundation to show our gratitude to our instructors with the DAISY Award® for Extraordinary Nursing Faculty.
Please join us in congratulating our 2022 DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nursing Faculty winner Dusty Scheper, MSN, RN!
The Barnes family introduced the DAISY Award in 1999 to honor the nurses who had cared for their son J. Patrick Barnes, who passed away from an autoimmune disease. The DAISY Foundation introduced the DAISY Award® for Extraordinary Nursing Faculty in 2010 to thank those who go above and beyond training the next generation of nurses.
Goldfarb students nominated Dusty for her dedication, enthusiasm, and commitment to making learning accessible and engaging.
Learn more about the DAISY Award at Goldfarb.
A Student's Advocate
Dusty has known nursing was her calling since she was 16 — but there was a time she didn't think nursing was an option. "I knew that I wanted to work in labor and delivery," she says. “But I had no idea how to become a nurse." Attempts to enter into the nursing field met with blockades and detours, including going to school for massage therapy and not passing the boards. Her confidence dipped. "If I couldn't pass the boards for massage therapy, how could I pass the boards for nursing?" She asked her coworkers.
But Dusty's path never swerved far from helping people. She scrubbed in for cesarean sections and worked for an OBGYN, but she didn't pursue nursing school. Eventually, her friends and family intervened. They offered her a donation one Christmas: it was hers, as long as she promised to put it toward nursing school.
And she did, studying at Lutheran School of Nursing and babysitting on the side to afford it. Twenty-two months later, Dusty had achieved the dream she'd harbored since she was 16. She was a nurse — and had passed the boards on her first try.
"I'm so thankful for all those who believed in me," she says. "The nurses, CRNAs, doctors, and my friends and family all knew I could do it, even when I didn't think I could."
Now, she stands in front of a new group of students at Goldfarb every term and tells them that story.
"Nursing did not come easy," she says. "I was a first-generation college student and had a lot to learn. But if you believe in yourself and work hard, there is nothing that you can't accomplish."
Dusty realized that she wanted to go into teaching while finishing her BSN. It was a chance to share what she loved with new nurses to help them cultivate knowledge, compassion and confidence.
"I wanted the students to have an instructor that understood school wasn't easy and someone who understood what it was like to be in their shoes," she says. "I wanted to be an instructor who advocated for my students the way I advocated for my patients."
Teaching with a Creative Twist
At Goldfarb, Dusty teaches Health Assessment. She is committed to helping students understand what it means to be a nurse and patient advocate while showing what nursing can offer them.
"Nursing is the most amazing profession," she says. "It's so rewarding, and as you grow with it, you learn so much about who you are."
The biggest takeaway for her students is that you are here because you have worked hard and are passionate about caring for others. "Be you and always ask questions. It's better to ask instead of doing something wrong," Dusty says.
Of course, an instructor like Dusty makes it easy to ask questions — she knows there can and should be room for fun in the classroom. Case in point? Two years ago, she started an escape room to test students' knowledge.
"I decided to turn all of our labs into a case study with multiple escape rooms," she says. The escape rooms blend what students learned in all of their courses that term with a National League of Nursing
scenario. Currently, all undergraduate health assessment students compete against each other the week before finals. And yes, Dusty creates shirts for all the faculty and staff who help bring it to life.
"In this day and time, we need to be creative," she says, which is her overarching piece of advice for any nursing faculty: give teaching your all. Find memorable ways to educate and connect with the next generation of nurses. "I'm inspired by different innovative teaching ideas to encourage their new minds."
The award reflects Dusty's work ethic, innovation in the classroom, and commitment to her students. She's grateful for those who nominated her and helped her along the way.
"I work with some of the most amazing people who all deserve this award," she says. "The people I work with teach me daily. My students teach me daily. I am so excited and humbled about this opportunity."
Dusty will receive the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nursing Faculty at our Homecoming Celebration on September 23, 2022.
Want to study with Dusty? Learn more about applying to nursing school at Goldfarb.