Director of Nursing (BSN): Dr. Zenesha R. Barkley

Director of Nursing (BSN): Dr. Zenesha R. Barkley

Director of Nursing (BSN), Orlando Campus

Dr. Barkley brings equal measures of experience from the academic and clinical world. She has been a nurse, nurse supervisor, case manager, and director of nursing. A frequent contributor to scholarly and professional journals, as well as numerous conferences and symposiums, she also serves as a clinical and manuscript reviewer for the American Journal of Nursing.

What’s more, Dr. Barkley is an active volunteer, both in the community and within the health profession, having been appointed by the Florida Surgeon General to the Joint Committee for the Cancer Center of Excellence. She is also the recipient of the Great 100 Award for Nurse Role Model given by the Florida Nurses Association.

Why do you enjoy teaching?

“The work of an educator is a profession unlike any other. It requires integrity, consistency, organization, and commitment. An educator has the unique role of observing, directing, encouraging, counseling, and coaching students through the beginning of their career. I enjoy teaching because when students learn, I learn. Teaching keeps me on my toes and keeps me young at heart. Teaching allows me to keep my commitment to continuing my journey as a lifelong learner.”

Please share an experience you had as a teacher that was especially memorable.

“Several times throughout the day, on any given unit of a hospital, the infamous question is asked, “Has the nurse been in the room?” For one reason or another, the patient may not be able to recall if their nurse had visited them. Each time I am talking to students at clinical sites, I emphasize that if they are prudent, no family member, no patient, and no staff member should ever have to ask ‘Has the nurse been in the room?’

“That’s why I always ask my students to assess the room from ceiling to floor. They identify potential hazards, safety issues, and make sure the patient is comfortable, both physically and aesthetically, and has everything they need before the students leave the room. I reiterate to students that if they leave the room in such a way, no one will ask, ‘Has the nurse been in the room.’”

“Just a few months ago, two ECPI University graduates contacted me to tell me that when they leave the room of their patients, they always conduct a second assessment of the patient and the room. They told me, before they leave the room, they can hear my voice reminding them: ‘Do not forget to leave the room in such a way that no one has to ask, ‘Has the nurse been in the room?’”