Faculty Focus: Frieda Cook
Title: Lab and Simulation RN Instructor
College: Nursing and Health Care Professions
Years at GCU: 2½
I received my BSN from University of Phoenix in 2006 and my MSN-L from Grand Canyon University in 2011.
What is your most notable accomplishment in your field, and why was it important?
I led a fantastic team of neonatal nurses, nurse practitioners and neonatologists in a project that expanded our Nursery to a Level II Enhanced certification at one of our local hospitals. This was a huge undertaking consisting of state regulations, staff education and training, equipment procurement and financial budgeting.
This endeavor made a positive impact on our community; previously, the premature and ill infants had to be transported to tertiary centers across town, which resulted in our family’s hardship having to drive an hour or more to visit their newborn infant. I love that we could make developments in our clinical care setting to allow these infants to stay within their neighborhood and community.
What are you most passionate about in your field and why?
I am still passionate about nursing, even after 34 years! I love nursing and I love our students!
I believe being a nurse is a calling, not just a profession. I am most passionate about women and infant health care. I love that, as nurses (the most trusted profession for the past 17 years, according to the Gallup Poll), we can impact the lives of new families.
Taking care of women, many who struggle with addiction and domestic violence, we can develop and foster healthy relationships and encourage women to better care of themselves and their families. Nothing beats placing that newly born baby in the arms of a new mom or dad. Now I have the privilege of sharing my passion with our students.
I am also passionate about sharing Jesus! I strive to share this passion with our students as well. I encourage them to open our lab sessions with prayer spoken out loud by one of them. This helps build their faith and their confidence. Then I share a Scripture or short testimony relevant to current times and tied to our learning for the day. I am so proud of our students!
What is a memorable moment you had in class, and what does that reveal about your teaching style?
I’ve had so many memorable moments in class. I find that I learn so much from our students! In the lab, they usually have heard a lecture and we can put the “hands on” to it in the lab. They get an “aha” look on their face when the principles click.
I try to give extra time in the debrief section so that they can process what they’ve learned and connect the dots rather than me doing the instruction at that time. I try to incorporate fun into learning because I believe this makes it more memorable. We play games like Jeopardy and play music from different countries and cultures when we “travel around the globe” giving medications in the pharmacology lab.
What do you like to do for fun in your spare time?
I love spending time with my grandkids! I have three grandsons and one granddaughter, and we play games and use our imagination to go on adventures. We build forts, have water balloon fights and make up stories with each other. They bring me great joy!
I am an avid reader, so I constantly have three books going. I love swimming and hiking. I’m active in my church, participate in community outreach projects and volunteer as often as I can with Habitat for Humanity here at GCU. I love this great opportunity to give back to our local community.
What is something interesting about you that most people don’t know?
I’m a bit of a prankster! My whole family shares a great sense of humor, and we play tricks on each other, such as putting KY jelly on the phone receiver or making dried glue that looks like spilled milk on their keyboard, placing toy spiders in the corner, etc. My grandkids have learned how to do this quite well and come up with some great jokes! They will try anything that will make people laugh!