Charla Peoples spent more than three decades caring for patients as a Registered Nurse when she felt the call to educate future generations of nurses.
Peoples joined the Reinhardt staff in August 2018 as the Simulation Specialist for the Cauble School of Nursing & Health Sciences for a year before becoming a faculty member in August 2020. She became a Registered Nurse in 1987. Her clinical career focused mainly in Labor and Delivery, spending a few years as unit management.
"I gained a deeper understanding of how people learn while working as a Hospice Nurse and was compelled to teach. This meant returning to school and earning a BSN, then MSN in nursing education," said Peoples.
Peoples wants to see her students thrive and believes that the nursing program at Reinhardt can give students the knowledge they need for when they graduate and enter into the medical world.
"I want students to leave with a deeper insight of themselves. I want them to have the confidence to own what they know but the hunger to learn what they don't. I want them to have the knowledge, skills and attitudes to be nurses that I want taking care of my family."
Among Peoples' many mentors, she includes Misty Wright as the most influential. Wright was the first stimulation faculty for Reinhardt's Cauble School.
"I'm very fortunate to work with a great team of excellent educators and have gleaned pearls from each of them. Not only was I new to the pedagogy of simulation, I was new to teaching," Peoples said. "After more than 30 years of nursing at the bedside, I transitioned to the world of academia. It's like moving to another country. I had a lot to learn. Thankfully, Misty teaches the way I learn."
Reinhardt provided Peoples with a new perspective of the science and art behind the clinical experience. She believes that when simulation is conducted correctly, it is an excellent way to teach student nurses skills and concepts necessary to provide safe patient care.
"I've heard it said before about working in simulation that, you get to play with the manikins. Once I started learning the pedagogy of simulation, it didn't take me long to realize that there's so much more than just playing and pretending. It allows them to practice safely without causing harm to their patients. In simulation, we can just push a button, and the manikin is as good as new."
Peoples had a hand in developing the "Trauma Drama" Trauma High-Fidelity Simulation presented in the Black Box Theater on Spring Day 2019. With a cast of nursing students and faculty, theatrics offered the school and community knowledge of the organ donation process from the donor's perspective instead of the organ recipient's traditional view.
Peoples’ extensive nursing experience allows her to give her students more extensive knowledge of the nursing field. She has high hopes for her students and wants them to be more confident in themselves and their ability to take care of others.