Posted on May 10, 2018

Preceptor Spotlight: Desiree Bonnet, DNP, MSN, ARNP, FNP-C

Preceptor Spotlight: Desiree Bonnet, DNP, MSN, ARNP, FNP-C

As a nurse practitioner working in the University of South Florida’s Center for Advanced Lung Disease at Tampa General Hospital, Desiree Bonnet, DNP, MSN, ARNP, FNP-C, precepts one or two student nurses each semester.

She knows it can be nerve-wracking for student nurses to jump into a highly specialized field where health care professionals see lung patients with complex pulmonary issues in a fast-paced environment.

So she makes it a point to start off slow and build on students’ knowledge, making sure they don’t get overwhelmed.

Her former nursing students are taking notice. Student Sugandha Aggarwal, who spent a semester under Dr. Bonnet’s tutelage, praised her preceptor’s mentoring skills and willingness to help.  

“Lung transplant is a new and different world in health. She did everything to make me fit in in this world. She was there every time I needed her. In spite of an ‘n’ number of questions, she always wore a smile and simplified things for me. She was flexible, understandable, highly knowledgeable and a great person in all,” Ms. Aggarwal said.

Dr. Bonnet, who recently graduated with a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree from USF’s College of Nursing, said her approach to being a preceptor mirrors many of the same teaching techniques she learned from watching her past preceptors, who are now colleagues.

She said before students even begin their preceptorships, she tries to get a feel for what their baseline knowledge is and what their goals are for the clinical experience.

“I want them to be confident in going into a patient’s room, taking a history and formulating a plan,” she said.

Nursing students in the lung transplant unit get a unique professional mentoring experience, because they see a wide range of lung patients — those in the pre- and post-transplant stage, and others who may not be transplant candidates, but come to the pulmonary clinic to manage their end-stage lung disease.

Students are also exposed to working with health care professionals from different disciplines. Typically, a lung transplant patient sees several specialists aside from the surgeon during treatment, including dieticians, social workers, infectious disease specialists, pharmacists, and a respiratory therapist.

They even gain knowledge in radiology, because patients get chest x-rays at each visit, and students learn to understand the diagnostics and how a patient is diagnosed.

“They get this camaraderie of ‘This is what I am thinking.’ It’s a team approach. It’s very beneficial to our patients, and it’s unique,” she said.

By the end of the semester, Dr. Bonnet said her students gain a broad exposure to the complex and intricate world of lung transplants and managing chronic pulmonary diseases.

“They’re going to be experts by the time they leave. We are building their confidence and building general knowledge at the same time,” Dr. Bonnet said.

Story by Elizabeth L. Brown, USF College of Nursing