Scott Snell
Scott Snell
Associate Professor, Practical Nursing 

Office: HSHS 117
Phone: 208-732-6718
Scott Snell

Education Information

  MS: Idaho State University  May 2011

BSN: Troy State University    May 2003

Background/Personal Information

ER, ICU, PACU, & Surgical Nurse     Troy Regional Medical Center - Troy, AL 2003-2005

Circulating RN, Operating Room     Magic Valley RMC - Twin Falls, ID 2005-2006

ICU Nurse     South Baldwin RMC - Foley, AL Summer 2007-Fall 2007

Teaching Philosophy

Conceptualization of learning
My personal philosophy of education stems from the belief that adults have a desire to learn and become better at what they do. I believe that students’ minds are trees of knowledge. Didactic knowledge helps form the root system, practical application (experience) stimulates branch growth, and the leaves are unique expressions of one’s self after acquiring the foundational knowledge and branches of experience. Learning is a complex, multifaceted exchange of knowledge, experience, and understanding between the teacher, society, and the environment. I have discovered that, when given the correct tools, adults will take it upon themselves to really dive into the material to learn and develop their skills.

Students learn by observing, interacting, visualizing, and various degrees and frequencies. The learning environment should reflect this and accommodate such types of learning to help students succeed in the complex field of nursing. Students can learn from success and, more often, failure. We learn many life-long lessons from our mistakes and, as such, mistakes should be turned into learning opportunities that help the student grow and mature. However, we must also learn from the mistakes of others and students should be encouraged to share these experiences with classmates. No one lives long enough to make all the mistakes alone.

Conceptualization of teaching
If the students’ minds are a growing tree with the knowledge as roots, experience as branches, and leaves as expression...the teacher is the Sun. The teacher’s methods are the water that feeds the roots, branches, and leaves. The role of the teacher should be that of a mentor, role model, guide, and motivator. Educators are responsible for relating their knowledge, experience, and expertise to the subject matter while doing so in an environment that fosters questions, interaction and discussion. I have found, through trial and error, that the old phrase “you catch more flies with honey” is accurate. I now believe that students who need help will, more readily, approach an instructor that is non-threatening and encouraging. It is also my responsibility to prepare the students for the real world of nursing by providing a learning environment that challenges students to genuinely learn the material and apply that knowledge to real-world, practical situations.

Due to the complex nature of nursing, I have come to the conclusion that, as a teacher, I should motivate the students to “fend for themselves.” We all know the old adage stating that if you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day...teach a man to fish, and he will eat for a lifetime. We must teach the students to fish and seek the answers to nursing issues themselves. We are all motivated by different things (more money, more education, more independence, etc.). Regardless of the motivation, I believe that if people are able to realize their own worth and their abilities, and how those abilities can be put to good use, they will develop the INTERNAL motivation to work hard and learn all they can. I attempt to lead students toward internal motivation by providing instruction that helps them learn lessons from their mistakes, accentuate their accomplishments with positive reinforcement, and provide challenges for them to meet and overcome...thus developing their self-esteem.

Goals for students
Students need to learn how to think, analyze, and perform on their own, in a team, and as a leader. Success in nursing is never due to the sole contributions of an individual, but an amalgamation of many different people coming together for a single improve the students’ ability to effectively function within the complex field of nursing. Students should consistently strive to better themselves and become better today than they were yesterday. Students should know how to critically think, analyze data, intervene, and evaluate the care provided to their patients.

Implementation of the philosophy
It’s not enough to stand in front of a learner and simply lecture the material in a passive form. Utilizing Keller’s ARCS Model of Motivational Design, I have discovered that I must seek to stimulate interest, establish relevance, instill confidence, and help the students derive satisfaction from the work they’re doing. If the student is not interested in the content or unable to see how the material is relevant to their work, he/she will not be motivated to learn it. Students must also develop confidence in their abilities and skills; otherwise, they will give up and doubt themselves at every turn. Finally, students must derive satisfaction from their work. If they fail to do this, they will eventually seek satisfaction in a different discipline.

I attempt to meet these demands in several different ways. I frequently tell students interesting stories from situations I have encountered during my personal experiences as a nurse in the ER/OR/ICU. This provides them with a new and interesting perspective of nursing care that tends to stick with them through their early education.  I engage the students in case studies and real-life anecdotes that establish how the knowledge and skills they’re acquiring are relevant to the real world environment. When a student performs admirably, I make it a priority to extend my praise. When a student performs less-than-satisfactorily, I attempt to use it as a teaching opportunity and a time for growth in the hopes that the student will develop, learn, and mature from the experience. Finally, I allow the students to derive satisfaction from their experiences by accentuating the positive outcomes that resulted from their appropriate interventions. Many of these aspects of implementation can be seen within the simulation laboratory here at the College of Southern Idaho SIM Lab.

Personal Growth Plan
I intend to eventually pursue my educational goal of acquiring a PhD in Education. In the meantime, I will focus on developing myself as a more approachable teacher. Since I began teaching several years ago, I have matured as a teacher, student, husband, and father. I have learned (sometimes the hard way) that the best way to lead is to lead by example. I began my teaching career as a non-sympathetic dictator that expected a certain caliber of achievement from my students. If the student did not meet the high standards to my satisfaction, they were met with swift and unyielding contempt. After reading hundreds of student evaluations of my teaching, I have stubbornly accepted the fact that I don’t have to be uncaring to get my point across. I can be direct, kind, and empathetic while teaching students. Although I have come far, I have not successfully purged all of the not-so-pleasant mannerisms from my interactions with students and will continue to work on this aspect of teaching.

Although my methods are not always the most compassionate, I feel that my intentions have remained intact. I expect my students to achieve a high level of competency in the nursing field and remain adamant that the students rely on themselves to find answers instead of using all other nurses and instructors as a crutch. Utilizing nurses and instructors is a very efficient method for obtaining information; however, this should not become the norm and should not deter the student from seeking to advance their own knowledge as an independent nurse. I expect that the end-result of my efforts and contributions toward teaching nursing students will be that I graduate students who are safe, efficient, and self-motivated... future nurses that will advance the field to something that is better tomorrow than it was today.

Keller, J. ARCS Model of Motivational Design (Keller). Retrieved from


Links of Interest

  1. Scott''s Weebly Site
  2. Facebook



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