Cowgirl takes reins of EWC’s nursing program
Training and teaching is nothing new for Eastern Wyoming College’s Director of Nursing. Dr. Monica Teichert has been training people and/or horses since sixth grade.
“I’m a cowgirl,” Teichert said. “Working with horses has a huge place in my heart.”
She started riding lessons in sixth grade and from there her love for horses “started to snowball.” She got a job cleaning stalls for a race horse trainer. Teichert then began showing horses.
At the age of 15, she began working for a cutting and cow horse trainer. She was learning “day in and day out” how to train horses.
“I trained horses until I went to nursing school in 2008,” Teichert said.
Though she loved training horses Teichert also wanted to pursue a career in nursing.
“My family is very medically oriented,” she said. “My mom is a nurse, my uncle was an internal medicine physician, my grandpa was a family medicine physician, my aunt is a chiropractor, and my grandma was a nurse. And I wanted a career that was stable.”
So she headed to Boise State to study nursing. After graduating in 2010, she started her nursing career in Boise, ID and eventually moved to Denver, Colorado in 2012, as an ICU nurse.
Her love for horses never left and she began traveling from Denver north to Torrington, Wyoming. She kept her horses in eastern Wyoming and began competing in team ropings, cutting, and cow horse competitions.
While competing, she met her husband, Jay Teichert, and she moved to Torrington in 2013.
She began working at Regional West Medical Center as a clinical nurse educator. From there she started working at Banner Health in the surgical department.
In 2015 Teichert decided to expand her education by enrolling in the Nurse Practitioner program at the University of Wyoming. She graduated with her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree (DNP) in 2018 and started working at Banner Medical Clinic in Family Medicine.
“The nursing program at the University of Wyoming was one of the best experiences I have had, however, it was also one of the hardest,” she said. “I wouldn’t trade it for the world but it certainly was a very rigorous program that required undying devotion. I feel it was quality education though and I was a strong doctoral level nurse practitioner upon graduation.”
In her last year of school, Teichert was chosen by faculty to represent the University of Wyoming as a Jonas Nurse Leader Scholar in Washington D.C.
“This was an absolute honor,” she said. “Additionally, I was also chosen as the recipient of the Alpha Pi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau Award recipient for exemplary clinical excellence in a rural context through research and clinical practice.”
While working and studying Teichert continued competing with her horses. She competed and still competes, in team roping, cutting, and cow horse competitions.
“Between the two of us (she and her husband) we have nine horses,” she said.
She and her husband compete in team roping.
“I’m the header,” she said.
Together (with additional partners), the two have started a team roping business, Tom Horn Productions, LLC.
In January of 2022 Teichert and her horse, Bella, competed in the World’s Greatest Horsewoman competition in Queen Creek, Arizona.
The World’s Greatest Horsewoman competition focuses on one horse and one rider testing their skills and versatility with the same bit in four phases of competition–herd work, rein work, steer stopping and cow work.
“I placed in the middle of the pack,” she said. “But that didn’t matter. It was a lifelong dream to compete.”
In 2021 Teichert began teaching in the nursing program at Eastern Wyoming College (EWC). She was named the Director of the Nursing programs for both EWC’s Douglas and Torrington campuses in the summer of 2022.
“I have always seemed to have one foot in education,” Teichert said. “There is something about having an impact on the next generation of nurses. It is exciting and fun to see young students grow and continue on in the medical profession.”
Teichert worked with her students preparing them for a career in nursing.
“I really enjoyed Dr. Teichert as an instructor,” EWC second year nursing student Chelsea Fabela said. “She has given us the knowledge and tools to have a solid nursing foundation. Having a nurse practitioner as our instructor offered us more insight to the ‘whys’ in nursing, at times we got to hear from two perspectives, the nurses and the providers.”
Taking the reins of EWC’s nursing program will be cutting back on her teaching, but said the program “is so important to me. I want this program to be successful,” Teichert said. “I really want this nursing program to be one of the best among community colleges.”
“When I heard the news that Dr. Teichert was going to be the Director of the nursing program I was excited for her, us (the nursing students), and the program. I know she is the perfect fit for the position,” Fabela said. “She is super organized, always prepared, and will continue to keep the nursing program successful. Dr. Teichert is going to make sure EWC produces safe, high-quality nurses.”
The program started on EWC’s Douglas campus in the fall of 2016. The first cohort admitted 14 students. There is now a day and night cohort on the Douglas campus and a night cohort on the Torrington campus. There are plans to add a day cohort in Torrington.
“Dr. Teichert is the perfect person to be the director of EWC’s nursing program,” second year ADN student at EWC Melissa Church said. Though she hated to see her leave the classroom, “I feel she will raise the bar and do what it takes to make it a successful program. She is a strong advocate for the things she believes in and nursing is at the top of that list, and that is what is going to make her just as good at the director position just like she was as our instructor.”
Both campuses have a nurse simulated lab which gives the students real life scenario. The high-tech patient manikins simulate all kinds of different medical scenarios, including giving birth.
“With these labs the students can make mistakes and learn from them, so when they get in a real life situation they don’t make the mistakes,” Teichert said.
In the classroom Teichert can “be tough in regards to the material she wants us to know,” Church said, “but she does it out of love and because she wants us to be amazing nurses when we graduate.”
“Because we have a smaller program the students in our program at EWC get a more personalized education with more one-on-one time with their instructors,” Teichert said. “We have a close relationship with the students and in turn that gives them a better educational experience.”
As she takes the reins of EWC’s nursing program the goal is to have the best possible nursing program, on both the Douglas and Torrington campuses, producing high quality nurses.