Angela joined the Belmont faculty as a full-time adjunct instructor in the fall of 2012. In fall of 2013, she transitioned to the role of Assistant Professor of Nursing and Pediatric Clinical Course Coordinator. She teaches the Pediatric didactic portion of the course and coordinates both laboratory and clinical settings in undergraduate Pediatric Nursing. In addition to the Pediatric Nursing course, Angela coordinates the Pediatric Practicum experience.
Angela’s practice experience is in the field of pediatrics with the majority of her experience in neonatology. She began her nursing career as a nurse tech on a medical/surgical unit in a rural hospital in Smith County, TN at the ripe age of 16. While in nursing school, Angela worked as a care partner in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. After graduation from her BSN program at Middle Tennessee State University, Angela continued to work in the NICU at Vanderbilt as a Registered Nurse. After several years of working at the bedside in the NICU, Angela pursued another passion. She worked as a RN for Nurses for Newborns. Visiting infants and mothers at home was a unique and special experience. While continuing to work as a RN, Angela completed the Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing.
After obtaining her PNP certification, Angela worked as a Primary Care PNP in a Pediatric Primary Care clinic in Lebanon, TN. While working as a primary care PNP, Angela had an opportunity to return to the NICU at VCH as a PNP to provide care and transition infants from hospital to home. An additional component of her experience included work with the Neonatal Developmental Follow up Clinic. Working with families and optimizing outcomes for children was and remains an ongoing passion. While working as a PNP in the NICU, Angela completed her Post-Master’s Certificate in Pediatric Acute Care and then obtained her Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree from Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. During her clinical work for the PNPAC program, Angela completed rotations in the Pediatric Cardiac Step-Down Unit as well as with Pediatric Palliative Care team.
The focus of her doctoral scholarly project was Breastfeeding and Breastmilk for Late Preterm Infants. The interest and passion for breastfeeding and challenges associated with prematurity developed while working with a human milk for preterm infants group for the Tennessee Initiative for Perinatal Quality Care (TIPQC). In an effort to learn more about breastfeeding and as a consequence of her doctoral work, Angela obtained her International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) certification. She now serves on the Professional Advisory Board for Vanderbilt Home Care Services and continues to practice on a part-time basis as a CPNP-PC/AC in the NICU at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.
A personal note from Angela. . . . .
Nursing has always been a natural fit for me. As I reflect on my strongest nursing influences, I must include my experiences as a nurse tech during my teenage years at Smith County Memorial Hospital. The teamwork, camaraderie, and care for patients and their families I experienced during that pivotal point in my life have been an integral component of my nursing philosophy. The other instrumental influence was my aunt. While I was in high school, she worked as ECMO coordinator. She exemplified professional nursing to me. The potential for influence as a nurse is tremendous and she made that real to me at a young age.
My passion for teaching families and development of those around me has been an ideal skill set as I teach and train prospective nurses. I am delighted whenever I see the enthusiasm of students as they work with patients and tackle the tremendous volume of pediatric content. I am thankful and humbled by the responsibility and opportunity to impact the practice of future health care providers.
My years of practice in a children’s hospital has instilled in me a sense of necessity for interprofessional practice. Fostering opportunity for interprofessional collaboration in pediatrics at the College of Health Sciences is an interest I am pursuing. In our changing health care environment, efficiency and teamwork are critical components of quality care. I am working with members from Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Social Work on an interprofessional team focused on children with special needs.
Outside of my professional work, I enjoy spending time with my husband and our two children on our farm. I enjoy traveling, cooking and being outdoors.