Dean's Welcome

photo of  Teresa Kelechi

For the last 20 years, I’ve had the privilege of working with the most passionate and collaborative people at the MUSC College of Nursing, and it is my great honor to assume the role of interim dean.

During my journey at MUSC as a clinical practitioner, graduate student, and brand-new faculty member to department and endowed chairs, senior mentor, and associate dean of research and PhD studies, I’ve witnessed firsthand the growth of leaders, students committed to advocacy, a fearless approach to research and innovation, and a powerful dedication to compassionate care that values each person whose life we touch.

Here are just a few areas where our students, faculty, and staff are doing great things:

  • We are leaders in the nation for online learning. MUSC College of Nursing was one of the first in the country to develop an online curriculum for our graduate programs, with educational frameworks that worked in the classroom and then translated to engaging online learning. Our nationally ranked undergraduate and graduate programs prioritize each student’s learning experience and are led by a dedicated faculty who are experts in their field and part of South Carolina’s only integrated academic health system.
  • We are also a nationwide leader in palliative care, one of the fastest growing and critically needed areas of nursing. In addition to an endowed chair for that program, we embedded palliative care training into the curriculum for all students, with opportunities to apply training during clinical rotations. On the research front, we are studying how best to support people living with serious illnesses and their caregivers and provide advance care planning as well as integrate palliative care that impacts other areas of nursing and health.
  • Our students are involved in telehealth throughout their training, including video conferencing and peripheral technologies that can be plugged into smartphones for patient assessment. With recognized faculty leaders who have formed their own models of care, we continue to influence what telehealth looks like on the regional and national level and create pathways to reach more populations, especially those in rural and under-resourced areas. Our faculty practitioners have already made an impact on school-based delivery of care for children with chronic conditions like asthma, and we are also researching the long-term impacts of telehealth for people who are at home or aging.
  • As a nurse researcher, I've been able to go beyond being a clinician and advance what we do for people and what they can do for themselves from an evidence-based perspective, and I see this same drive reflected by both our seasoned and new faculty researchers as well as our graduate students undertaking research. From developing new technologies and apps for symptom self-management to investigating actionable ways to counter health disparities, our researchers are changing practice and having a worldwide impact on people’s life quality.
  • MUSC entered the arena of simulation early with augmented virtual reality and high-fidelity simulators, and we continue to push the boundaries of using these tools to train the next generation of students in MUSC’s new Healthcare Simulation Center, which boasts 12,000 square feet of cutting-edge spaces and technology to support immersive learning, including high fidelity scenarios. We’re also applying simulation in novel ways, such as by offering disaster training in a way that streamlines instruction without requiring large amounts of resources from state agencies.

This barely scratches the surface of the incredible work our faculty, staff, and students are doing, and while I am proud of what we have accomplished so far, I’m also excited for what comes next!

Teresa Kelechi, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN
Interim Dean and Professor
David and Margaret Clare Endowed Chair
MUSC College of Nursing