Junior Faculty Spotlight: Carol Ziegler
I teach in Vanderbilt’s School of Nursing in the MSN and DNP programs. In my role as faculty, I have the great pleasure of teaching in a wide range of courses that focus on the development of diverse skillsets and the mixed delivery format supported by VUSN affords extensive creativity in content development and delivery. I coordinate Advanced Health Assessment and Clinical Reasoning,Fundamentals of Global Health; Addressing Health Disparities, and Planetary Health, Policy and Social Justice. As a nurse educator, my goal is to facilitate the development of excellent clinical reasoning and critical thinking skills in our students, equipping future advanced practice nurses with the ability to rapidly adapt to a multitude of environments and clinical situations to meet community and patient needs. We strive to nurture leadership qualities and advocacy skills in our students so that they may emerge as leaders in promoting health equity on the global stage. To that end, it is important to motivate them to identify and develop their own passions and interests, and equip them with the tools to be excellent clinicians as well as effective patient and community advocates on the front lines of the fight for health equity and improved access to quality care.
I tend to teach from a bi-directional approach, utilizing both an integrative problem-focused, project-based approach as well as a more theoretical deconstructivist framework. This bi-directional approach enables students with different learning styles to develop solid scaffolding for developing complex clinical decision making skills in context, enabling them to assess diverse and complex clinical situations from a broad angle and develop evidence-based, holistic, creative, and patient/community-centered solutions. I try to facilitate learning by developing assignments that require students to integrate course content and apply it in a meaningful way in various contexts. Decontextualized information is essentially dehumanized information, so I often utilize case-based scenarios in my courses to facilitate learning. It is wonderfully inspiring to see our students move from novices to experts to nurse leaders, increasing access to affordable and quality healthcare for patients and communities.