West Coast University Miami nursing instructor Maria Perez, MSN, RN, RNC-OB, LHRM was recently named an item writer for National Council of State Boards of Nursing and National Council Licensure Examinations (NCSBN NCLEX) Item Development. As an item writer for a period of two years, Perez will contribute questions for the next NCLEX examination as a part of the volunteer position.
“I always tell my students to get as much experience in different areas as possible,” Perez shared. “I believe nurses should maintain their skills and expand their knowledge in the lates in the latest in health care advances for ourselves and for our patients.”
Perez has been a registered nurse for more than 25 years and was selected to be an NCLEX item writer based on her experience in many areas including obstetrics, pediatrics, neonatal intensive care, nursing education and night shift supervisor.
“Being a nurse on the floor was an incredibly rewarding time in my life,” Perez shared. “I always wanted to help people in their time of need and every time a baby is born or leaves the NICU, it’s one of the most rewarding moments.”
Perez also shares that she encourages her students to join associations and organizations to continue expanding their knowledge base. She belongs to many associations including the Association for Women’s Health and Obstetrical and Neonatal Nursing, the American Holistic Nurses Association, National Association of Hispanic Nurses, National League for Nursing, and the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society.
“Knowledge can never be taken away from you,” Perez said. “Working in many different hospital departments has given me a complete picture of how things run, which is really beneficial to nurses.”
Perez expands her knowledge through American Heart Association certifications as a Pediatric Advance Life Support instructor, Advance Cardiovascular Life Support Instructor, Basic Life Support Instructor and Neonatal Resuscitation Provider Instructor for the American Association of Pediatrics. She is also continuing her education in a Doctorate of Philosophy in Nursing program, which she says helps her relate to and educate her students.
“Seeing students come back and tell me they passed their NCLEX and they are so happy and grateful is incredibly rewarding,” Perez said. “Being able to care for someone in their time of need is what inspires me everyday. And with students, being able to make the light bulb go off and see that they love what they’re doing, shows me it’s working.”