Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi

Leigh Shaver

An Outstanding Islander

Outline photo of Leigh Shaver

Caring for our Nurses

Leigh Shaver is teaching our future nurses that before they can go out into the world to care for critical patients, they must first take care of themselves. While preparing nursing students for their careers, the assistant clinical professor in the College of Nursing and Health Science, is promoting self-care among students just like she does her clients.

“Nursing students have to take care of themselves, live a balanced life, eat well, and get plenty of sleep,” said Shaver, who has experience as a registered nurse in maternal and neonatal areas. “We want students to be successful, but once they graduate, they are entering a demanding field in which 12-hour shifts and life or death situations are common.”

Before nursing students graduate, they must be able to meet the challenges of an academically vigorous program, and study for clinical and boards. To ensure students stay on track, Shaver has implemented a stress management section in the Fundamentals of Nursing Care course that teaches guided breathing exercises, coping strategies, and other concepts.

Her work has been vital in fostering a sense of community among students across campus and supporting connections between people and organizations. To get pre-nursing students acquainted with the College before being admitted into the program, she helped start the Nursing Meet and Greet each semester which brings together nursing majors, faculty, future students and resources from across campus to meet in a friendly and informal environment.

“We want the pre-nursing student to get connected early on and be informed about our program, and feel comfortable to come and talk to us,” she said.

As the College representative to the University Honors Council, she helps link nursing-honors students to faculty for course contracting and research projects. Each semester, she facilitates a lunch seminar where interested faculty and students can meet.

Shaver also engaged the College and the Student Nurses Association in the community by facilitating their first Homecoming parade entry in 2011. In the last two parades, the group has won awards for Most Spirit and Best Float. In the photo, she holds a T-shirt that read “We Make the Shots” designed for Homecoming 2012.

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