Associate Professor of Practice Kelly Marchant received the Award for Excellence in Nursing Education from the American Nurses Association.
"I try to remember what it was like when I was in nursing school, trying to learn these concepts," says Kelly Marchant, who has been teaching at Simmons for eight years. "I remember the stress of being in nursing school, and the difference between classroom experience and seeing patients. I try to help my students make connections between course content and practice."
That empathetic focus has served her students well, and led Marchant to receive the Award for Excellence in Nursing Education from the American Nurses Association Massachusetts. "Being a nursing educator renewed my passion for nursing," says Marchant. "I see that excitement through my student's eyes."
Marchant teaches a wide variety of clinical topics, including acute medical-surgical nursing and complex care, as well as leadership and management in clinical settings. As with all nursing faculty at Simmons, Marchant maintains her clinical practice in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit at St. Elizabeth's Hospital, which keeps her skills current. "In my role as a bedside nurse, I often find myself wishing I had a student with me," she says. "I bring a lot of those stories back to the classroom."
Assistant Professor Laura Rossi has had many opportunities to observe Marchant teaching and interacting with students. "She communicates her passion for nursing leadership in health care and optimism for nursing practice in the future," says Rossi. "Students have often commented on her organization of complex topics and the usefulness of her meticulous and well-organized teaching materials."
As a member of the health assessment lab faculty and clinical instructor at Simmons since January of 2015, Marchant has also facilitated clinical skill development during weekly lab sessions. Rossi notes: "Students have also commented on how her gentle guidance in class and in the clinical area have helped instill confidence when they are providing direct patient care."
Marchant collaborates with Simulation Lab faculty to align simulations with course content. She works with clinical faculty to make sure they are aware of course content and use patient scenarios in class. "Each student has a different patient scenario, and they need to report on that patient at the start of their shift," says Marchant. "The student provides their priority care plan, interventions, and assessment evaluations of the patient, which they discuss in small groups."
During the pandemic, Marchant took her teaching skills global, through an international collaboration between Simmons University and Ayat College of Nursing and Health Sciences, located in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Marchant collaborated with several colleagues from Mass General Hospital to develop and deliver sessions educating students on the care of COVID-19 patients and intensive care nursing. From August 2020 to February 2021, Marchant and her colleagues offered 42 remote sessions to nurses at Dhaka Medical College Hospital. In June 2022, Marchant traveled to Dhaka to offer in-person faculty development and teaching, and served as a faculty member for a 3-day intensive End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) Core Train-the-Trainer Program for nurses across Bangladesh.
"Being a nurse has been an honor and something that I've loved for almost 30 years now. I encourage anyone interested to pursue it." Marchant advises students to keep open communication with their faculty, clinical instructors, and nurse managers to make sure they are getting the support they need. "It's not an easy educational path, and it will be challenging in ways they can't imagine, but it will definitely be worth it."