Dr. Jessica Clark
Associate Dean and Director of Nursing
DNP, Chatham University
MSN, Indiana State University
BSN, Indiana State University
Dr. Clark joined Bradley University from Terre Haute, Indiana, where she was the chairperson of Baccalaureate Nursing Completion at Indiana State University. In this role, Dr. Clark led online programs in both LPN and RN-to-BSN tracks for over 1,200 students. Her teaching experience encompasses both undergraduate and graduate studies via traditional campus and distance learning with several large universities and small private colleges (Norwich University, Ball State University, Saint Joseph’s College of Maine).
She also has prior nursing administration experience in the professional clinical setting. Prior to taking a full-time faculty position over seven years ago, she was the regional program director for Telehealth programming with the Department of Veteran Affairs where she oversaw daily Telehealth modalities of care for over eight medical centers and 65 outpatient clinics in three states. She has worked in several practice areas such as emergency, critical care and medical-surgical nursing. Dr. Clark values scholarly dissemination and her evidence-based practice and research interests include telehealth technologies, distance education development in both undergraduate and graduate, as well as academic leadership emersion.
When did you first know you wanted to enter the nursing field?
When I was 3 or 4 years old, I remember my first exposure to “patient care” involved helping my grandfather, who was a Type II diabetic, with his insulin injections. He would allow me to inject his stomach after he would draw the medication into the syringe. I was fascinated with helping and making him feel better. Later on, his disease worsened and he had extensive circulation issues that led to his feet being amputated. I believe most children would have been scared, but my family fondly recalls that I was just the opposite. I wanted to help with bandage changes and was overly helpful in everyday care. I believe these memories and connection with my grandfather laid a foundation of caring and seeking ways to help individuals. In middle school and high school, I took every elective course I could on CPR and first aid. I was given an opportunity to shadow a nurse in an outpatient surgical internship my senior year of high school. After this, I knew nursing was what I wanted to pursue in college.
What are you currently most passionate about in terms of your work or research? What are some research initiatives you plan to embark on in the near future?
- Distance education and its use to support healthcare professions
- Developing new nursing educators and the transition from bedside to novice educator.
- Nursing informatics, universal healthcare and universal electronic medical records.
What excites you most about teaching in an online setting?
The ability to connect with diverse students across so many states and areas. Online programs open so many doors to both urban and rural students seeking educational opportunities. For me, exposure to so many different styles of care and personality make for an exciting teaching environment. It’s never boring.
What are some ways the Bradley curriculum aligns with your teaching and nursing philosophies?
Bradley has been providing quality education to nursing students for over 60 years. Founded with our traditional on-campus BSN program, online graduate programming began in 2015. I see the same innovation and commitment in these new programs as I do in our traditional brick and mortar programs. Our curriculum is rooted in best practices and is ever evolving to meet the demands of the advanced practice workforce. Student success is our number one priority.