Craig nurse earns award for training others |

Craig nurse earns award for training others

Lee Harstad

For teaching nursing skills, Cheryl Chesnut of Craig has been honored by the University of Colorado (CU) School of Nursing. She was honored for outstanding clinical training of CU nursing students.

Chesnut is a family practice nurse and nurse midwife at Craig Medical Center. She has been nursing since 1987 and became an advanced practitioner in 1996. This is her first year in Craig working at Craig Medical Center after spending time in Holyoke, Colo.

She received her nursing Award for Outstanding Preceptor on the Western Slope at the annual Colorado Area Health Education Center (AHEC) System Preceptor Conference held recently in Vail.

According to Chesnut, a preceptor is someone who trains a student in the middle to latter stages of a nursing program.

The preceptor “helps them to hone their skills” and this part of training involves the student shadowing a certified nurse such as Chesnut.

Chesnut was cited “as a role model as an advanced practice nurse who combined midwifery with family practice.”

For Chesnut, receiving the award caught her off guard.

“I am very surprised,” Chesnut said. “It makes me feel good that students feel they were trained adequately.”

Winning the award may have been a surprise to Chesnut, but her students are an important part of her career.

“It is a camaraderie,” Chesnut said. “The students teach me a lot, too.”

Chesnut believes working in a rural medical environment is a good place for anyone in the medical field from recent graduates to nursing veterans.

“I encourage students to practice in a rural community,” Chesnut said. “In these communities you get to know people rather than numbers and it is a well-rounded practice.”