Student Profiles 2017

Student Profiles 2017

Greetings from New Mexico. My name is Siri GuruNam Kaur Khalsa and I am a PhD student at the University of New Mexico. I have always browsed the Nexus catalog for possible course to take. Being a lifelong learner, I love the possibility of taking courses. I encourage you all to consider taking one of the NEXUS courses offered at our many NEXUS universities. It is a wonderful way to take a course on a topic that is not offered at your home university. I had the opportunity to enroll in a course, Interpretative Phenomenology offered at the University of Buffalo by Dr. Suzanna Dickerson. This learning experience helped me hone my skill set with interpretative phenomenology, important for my research study; allowed me access to help with an ongoing research project which is helping me develop thematic analysis abilities; and allowed me the opportunity to find my external dissertation committee member, Dr. Dickerson. The UNM Nexus courses as well as the one through University of Buffalo brought a wealth of knowledge to the classes. Learning with students living in other areas of the country and from other walks of life added richness to the academic setting. Enrollment was easy with help from each university’s program managers. The IT support was excellent; an important nuance as a student in a very rural setting. Please consider taking courses through Nexus.

“NEXus has been a wonderful addition to my academic career. I began looking at NEXus courses when I realized that my home institution did not have certain offerings in the semesters that I would like to take them. When first signing up for a NEXus course, I was worried that it would be a difficult process. This was not the case. My home institution and the hosting institutions were great, including helping me navigate through getting financial aid set up through consortium agreements. Thus far I have taken three courses through NEXus. Kansas University, Oregon Health and Science University, and Washington State University welcomed me and allowed me to have direct contact with each of the teaching professors. The professors all went out of their way to check on my comfort level and make sure I did not need anything. I even took a two-day trip to Portland to get some hands-on education in clinical simulation with Oregon Health and Science. The education I have received has allowed me to receive an expanded view of various subjects that I might not have gotten otherwise. I have met and worked with great colleagues at the different universities that I am sure I will remain in contact with for the rest of my career.”


Keri is a Senior Flight Nurse with Air Methods Corporation based in New Mexico. After earning her BSN from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Keri worked as a staff nurse in both the emergency department and intensive care units. She then went on to work in Helicopter Emergency Services, where she has served as a Regional Clinical Manager and Clinical Educator. During that time Keri earned her CCRN, CMC, CEN, CFRN, CPEN, CPHQ, and CTRN. She earned her MSN from the University of Texas at Arlington and her MBA from the University of Texas at Tyler. Keri is currently a doctoral candidate in the PhD program at the University of New Mexico where her research focus is safety in Helicopter Emergency Services (HEMS) operations.


Jennifer L. Heck, MS, RNC-NIC, CNE2014-2016 Family Research Centered Predoctoral Scholar and 2016- 2018 Jonas Nurse Scholar at The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing
“I enjoyed using the NEXus website and finding courses that I could take, unique to my specific program of research and academic interests. I ended up taking three courses through NEXus at the University of New Mexico. Registration and enrollment were generally effortless, and UNM has outstanding faculty and staff to assist at any moment. The experience was great, and I learned so much that I can use and apply with my program of research. I highly recommend NEXus to any and all doctoral students who are searching for offerings to align with their program of research, but can’t find anything suitable at their home institution.”

Jennifer L. Heck is the program coordinator for the Ada campus of East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma, where she teaches nursing research, critical care nursing, and maternal-newborn nursing. After earning her BSN from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing, Jennifer worked as a staff nurse in mother-baby and the neonatal ICU. During this time, Jennifer earned her RNC-NIC certification. In addition, she earned her MS from the University of Oklahoma and followed with her critical care clinical nurse specialist (CCNS-neonatal) advanced practice certification. After transitioning from staff nursing to nursing education, Jennifer earned her CNE certification. She is a doctoral candidate in the PhD in nursing program at the University of Oklahoma where her research focus is postpartum depression in American Indian women.

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Email: nexus@ohsu.edu