In her own words: Faculty Profile, Assistant Professor Kate Healy

In her own words: Faculty Profile, Assistant Professor Kate Healy

Greetings to our alumni and partners of Norwich University’s School of Nursing! I have had the pleasure of being on faculty at Norwich since fall 2011. My expertise is in adult health nursing (sometimes referred to as medical/surgical) and adult critical care. I went to the University of Pennsylvania for my BSN, which was completed in 2003, and my MSN as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, completed in 2007.

Prior to coming to Norwich I was working as a Nurse Practitioner on an inpatient medical oncology service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. While I loved this opportunity, my true love in nursing has always remained cardiology. My nursing career began on a cardiac step down unit at Weill Cornell Medical Center, also in New York City.

At Norwich, I teach our adult health nursing courses. I have taught Adult Health 1 since fall 2011 when I arrived at Norwich. It is a wonderful course and has given me a chance to help students transition into caring for the sick hospitalized adult. It is incredibly rewarding to see students develop a foundational knowledge and the effort they put in to their education. This past fall I also taught Adult Health 2 for the first time. This course was amazing to be able to teach as it includes content on cardiology and oncology, both of which I love. In the spring I teach the senior practicum course. This course is ever changing from year to year. The content is adjusted each year based on identified areas of improvement for the class. This is to help prepare the students by filling in the gaps prior to graduation.

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Professor Kate Healy (in blue) teaching students using a mannequin in the simulation lab.

In addition to classroom teaching, I run high fidelity simulations for the adult health nursing and senior practicum courses. In simulation I am able to challenge the students to develop critical thinking skills. It is wonderful to be able to see the students apply what has been taught in class to the patient in the lab. It is particularly rewarding when students and alumni tell me stories about how a simulation scenario related to what they saw in the hospital and that they knew what to do because of it. This feedback makes me realize how helpful this type of learning can truly be.

In 2013 I started a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions. My work during the program has focused on effective simulation practices. Specifically I have been looking at the impact of high fidelity simulation on critical thinking and knowledge acquisition. My doctoral capstone will focus on educational methods to increase knowledge acquisition related to simulation. After completion of my DNP, I hope to continue this research and also look at other aspects of high fidelity simulation.

I greatly enjoy my work teaching and with simulation. It allows me to share my passion for nursing with our students. Seeing them apply what they learn to the patients in simulation is very rewarding. My DNP studies have truly helped to inform my teaching in a positive way. I am looking forward to continuing to educate and working to develop new and improved methods of simulation.