Faculty Spotlight: Kristy Cosme

“My nursing students give me great joy and I want to be a role model by inspiring them to never give up or take what nurses do for granted.”

Kristy Cosme joined the College’s Nursing and Allied Health Professions division in 2018 and has made her mark as a valued adjunct clinical faculty member, much admired by students and faculty alike.

She earned her B.S. in Nursing from the University of Maryland in 2013 and started in Labor and Delivery at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, cross-training as a perinatal nurse, learning skills to work not only in Labor and Delivery, but Mother-Baby, Antepartum and the Newborn Nursery. In 2015, she accepted a Labor and Delivery position at St. Joseph’s Medical Center to become more skilled in Obstetrics. She’s certified in Inpatient Obstetric Nursing and has a certification in electronic fetal monitoring. Says Kristy, “Obstetrics is my passion—it’s both challenging and rewarding. I love helping women in one of the most vulnerable times in their lives.”

Always going above and beyond for her students, Kristy accompanies them during their clinical rotations in labor and delivery units at local hospitals, providing critical feedback to ensure they deliver safe, high quality patient care. Kristy exhibits the utmost in patience and is both nurturing and inclusive with all her students. She also has a unique skill in helping students develop vital critical thinking skills in the hospital setting.

Kristy has been working to refine Harford’s Maternal-Newborn Nursing course by suggesting that clinical topics be presented in a different order with the goal of improving student learning and experiences. Her recommended order enables students to continuously build on what they’ve previously learned in a streamlined fashion. It allows them to see their growth along the way when they feel they’ve finally mastered a certain skill or have gained a more thorough understanding of a certain topic.

In addition, Kristy has been dealing with the impact of COVID-19 on teaching in the clinical environment. The pandemic has required clinical faculty to transition to simulation-based learning, resulting in patient assignments to be completed remotely without Kristy’s guidance through every step. While students still have the opportunity to care for patients utilizing the skills they've learned, critically think through situations, and set nursing priorities along the way, they’re missing the physical contact and unexpected situations and interactions that arise, as well as the ability to perform hands-on skills. However, the students regularly receive feedback from Kristy as well as encouragement to continue to push through despite the challenges.

Kristy has been an asset to the Nursing and Allied Health Professions division from the beginning of her time here at Harford, and all the students who work with her have nothing but great things to say. Students are constantly requesting to have Kristy as a clinical instructor, as she is able to push students to think about the full clinical picture and apply knowledge from all nursing courses. Even with the recent transition to virtual clinical due to the pandemic, Kristy continued to provide outstanding feedback and contributes to her students’ success each week. She consistently adapts and implements new teaching strategies to benefit her students.

In addition to her role at the College, Kristy also continues to work full time at Johns Hopkins Bayview as the permanent labor and delivery charge nurse, staff scheduler, new hire mentor, patient safety officer for COVID, chair of the scheduling committee and co-chair of the bereavement committee. Kristy said, “Through my years at Bayview, I have precepted many new graduate nurses which allows me to never lose sight of how difficult it is to be a new graduate in a nursing specialty.” Since COVID, she’s also trained to be a Patient Safety Officer and mentored staff on proper precautions to ensure both the staff and patients remain as safe as possible by limiting the potential for exposures to the virus.

Kristy’s aspirations for the future have her grounded in obstetrics, continuing her work in the hospital setting and as a clinical instructor. She’s also currently enrolled in a master’s program for Nursing Leadership and Management with an anticipated graduation date of fall 2021, hoping to continue to be a leader and transforming patient care by using her skills and knowledge to impact change.

In her limited free time, she enjoys her family: her husband, their 8-month-old puppy, and extended family and friends. She also enjoys cooking and travelling, especially to destinations with beautiful beaches and crystal-clear blue water.

Says Kristy, “As a labor and delivery nurse who constantly seeks out ways to better care for my patients, I am able to share my knowledge and experiences with my students. It’s truly amazing, seeing my students apply all that they’ve learned in their courses and put it into practice. Nursing is not easy, but it is so rewarding. I challenge my students to work hard, never give up—especially when it’s hard—to trust their judgment, to love what they do, and, most importantly, to never lose sight of why they chose nursing in the first place.”

Harford Community College is honored to have Kristy as a valued employee who consistently and continuously serves as an outstanding nursing clinical faculty resource to her students and patients.