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Introducing Gina Jackson, one of the NLC’s MVPs

Gina standing with her husband at the prime meridian
Gina with her husband at the prime meridian

Meet the College of Nursing’s Simulation Operations Manager, Gina Jackson. Even if you don’t already know Gina, you likely know her sister Associate Teaching Professor Dr. Stacie Hunsaker. While Stacie pursued a career in nursing, Gina pursued finance. After graduating from Utah State University with her bachelor's degree, she spent eight years working in finance and the next ten raising her four children. Then, after working for Alpine School District for 14 years, Gina returned to school for her MPA. “I didn’t think I’d love going back to school as much as I did,” she said. “I loved it. It changed my life in so many ways.”

Gina is a woman of many talents and interests. For one, she enjoys shopping and is an expert at it. “I’m an excellent bargain finder, the best there is,” she attested. Gina also enjoys spending time with her grandbaby and a grand puppy named Porsche. Regarding television shows, Gina is interested in a diverse range of genres. “I love to watch murder shows and listen to many murder podcasts.” She explained, “It’s intriguing to me. It’s fascinating.” But when she’s not watching murder shows, Gina often enjoys The Great British Baking Show episodes. Her interest in this delightful program might have something to do with Gina being an Anglophile. “I love everything about Britain,” she said. “It’s the only place I’ve traveled to, and I love it.”

Gina will be traveling across the pond later this year. In the summer, Gina’s youngest daughter will get married in London. Of course, Gina looks forward to the wedding, but she’s also excited to be in London with the whole family. “We’re taking all our kids, and my son and daughter-in-law haven’t been to London. I’m so excited to have this one thing, London, that our family has in common, so when I talk about a particular museum or spot, they get it.” While in London, Gina plans to enjoy the theater, something she’s loved since her first trip to London with her husband, where they watch a different play or musical every night. She also plans to spend time in museums, even the ones she’s visited before. “Even seeing things twice is not enough,” she explained.

Gina has been at BYU since August 2022 as the Simulation Operations Manager for the Mary Jane Rawlinson Geertsen Nursing Learning Center (NLC). Her job is mainly managerial, in charge of the “hospital” for the facility. But she also gets her hands dirty by preparing simulations. In her office, Gina has a “recipe book for moulage.” The book, Medical Moulage, contains recipes for things like fake blood, vomit, and all unpleasant things a nurse might encounter (think GI bleed). The book explains how to make these things as realistic as possible, down to the smell. Gina explained, “It’s important to give students the most authentic experience they can have in a simulation. Simulation gives students a safe place to make mistakes and build confidence.” She added, “As a nurse, you can never plan for what will happen and how you’ll react. But if you plant the seeds, you’ll have the footing you need.”

Gina has developed a keen insight into what the Healer’s art means. She said, “I’ve had the opportunity to watch Stacie for 35 years as a nurse and to see what the Healer’s art is to her. She is truly like a savior to people in crisis, and that’s what nurses can be.” She continued, “If your child is in surgery or an accident, a nurse can comfort you, be your friend, and reassure you. That, to me, is the Healer’s art. It’s stepping in to be a savior to someone in their time of need. I’m in awe of nurses every day. A nurse is the definition of an angel.”

We’re so grateful for Gina Jackson and her work making the NLC a more fun, authentic, and enriching environment.