Caroline Monroe has spent most of the past year with COVID-19 patients in an intensive care unit (ICU) in Charlotte — while pursuing her Bachelor of Science in nursing online from App State.
By Jan Todd
BOONE, N.C. —Caroline Monroe, a registered nurse with Atrium Health in Charlotte, has spent most of the past year with COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit (ICU).
“I enjoy the time I spend with the patients, making them feel like they are cared for and heard,” she said.
Prior to the pandemic, Monroe — who is pursuing her Bachelor of Science (BSN) in nursing from Appalachian State University — served as a nursing assistant in orthopedics, a general surgery nurse and a hospice case manager.
One of her favorite parts of her job, regardless of the position, is patient education, Monroe said. “Prior to entering the field, I didn’t realize that would be such an important part of a nurse’s job,” she said. “We teach patients about their diagnosis, their medications and management of their condition after they leave the hospital.”
Monroe decided to pursue her BSN through App State’s online RN to BSN program so she would have more opportunities in her career. In the program, she said she is developing leadership skills and learning content that enhances her day-to-day job.
As a project in one of her classes, Monroe researched and identified health problems in her community and developed a list of resources to share with her patients.
“I am learning so much about public health and how it affects individual patients,” she said. “We can’t just focus on an individuals’ health in the hospital; we need to understand the conditions that brought them here — and make sure they have the right resources aligned when they’re discharged so they don’t end up in the hospital again.”