Educating the next generation of Marquette Nurses

Ranked 29th among nursing colleges nationally for its bachelor’s program, Marquette’s College of Nursing is a dynamic community of innovative teacher–scholars who are embracing Marquette’s mission to Be The Difference in the health of the community and in the lives of over 900 student nurses preparing to enter the health care field. Among its world-class faculty, the college has many exceptional part-time faculty who teach in our classrooms and clinical settings.

Meet just a few of the part-time faculty members in the College of Nursing dedicating their time and offering their expertise to the next generation of Marquette Nurses.

Callie Gilmore, public health nurse, clinical nursing instructor

In addition to working as a Milwaukee public health nurse, Callie Gilmore is also a clinical nursing instructor at Marquette. In her community health course, she leads students through clinicals at Saint Coletta Intergenerational Care Center, a day center for adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.

For Gilmore, the most rewarding part of working with future nurses is being a model for how nurses should act and how they should respect each other in the workplace.

“There is this joke about nurses eating their young, and when I was doing my own clinicals that was very much the case,” she says. “So, I really wanted to be an example of treating others with respect.”

One of her favorite parts of her job is watching students go from anxious to confident throughout the clinical process.

“Since I teach at a site that works with adults who have developmental disabilities, students meet a lot of nonverbal clients and show up on the first day visibly anxious about learning how to communicate with the clients,” she says. “But it’s rewarding to watch the client embrace the student and, in turn, the student quickly ease into comfort with that type of population.”

Working with clients that come from different backgrounds, according to Gilmore, can be one of the most important lessons for new nurses.

“Getting to work at Saint Coletta’s and seeing clients with very differing needs than that of the average Marquette student is an eye-opening experience for students,” she says. “There’s a lot of societal issues specific to Milwaukee that result in people not being able to access health care in a manner that meets their needs. A huge aspect of my job is drawing out these experiences for students and letting them see the differences between their own lived experience and their patient’s.”

In addition to teaching, she loves to share her passion for community health, and she encourages any nursing student considering public health to reach out for a conversation via email.

Jackie Peterson, clinical access coordinator, clinical nursing instructor

Originally, Jackie Peterson wanted to become a doctor, but after working in a hospital as a certified nursing assistant, she felt called to nursing. Now, through her work in the hospital setting and in her clinicals, Peterson enjoys making an impact on patient care and recovery through her own work and the future work of her students.

Often, she remembers her own clinical instructor from her final two semesters of nursing school who pushed her through the times when she wanted to give up.

“She encouraged me along the way and was such a bright light for me.” she says. “I always wanted to be like her, so that really encouraged me to become a clinical instructor and provide that for students.

For Peterson, the most meaningful part of her job at Marquette is being able to make impactful learning experiences for her students and incorporate student interests into the clinical setting. Recently, she arranged for one of her students with a passion in chaplain services to shadow a chaplain in a hospital.

“The student thought the experience was meaningful because she is spiritual and really wanted to see what a chaplain does in the hospital setting,” she says. “I think it allows students learn a lot better when they can be active learners in something they care about, and it is wonderful that I get to be a part of students exploring their interests.”

For students who may be struggling to find their passion in nursing, Peterson suggests thinking back to what made the student choose nursing in the first place.

“What was your reason that you wanted to become a nurse?” she asks. “Whatever it was, try to grow and foster it.”

Shay Kukuck, nurse practitioner, clinical nursing instructor

Shay Kukuck wants to be a light in the lives of her patients and students, both through her work as a nurse practitioner and as a clinical nursing instructor at Marquette.

Born in Jamaica, she originally dreamed of becoming a doctor, but after her mom was diagnosed with cancer, she was inspired to become a nurse like those who took care of her mother and herself during the challenging time.

“While my mom was going through the treatment process, she was in and out of the hospital a lot, and it was the nurses who were there to comfort her and be that light on the worst days of her life,” she says. “It was amazing to watch them dedicate themselves to taking care of a sick person, and still finding the time to comfort us as her kids too. It made me want to be a nurse, a person that can be a light on the worst day of a family’s life.”

The most impactful part about working as a clinical nursing instructor for Kukuck is helping her students find their own way into nursing.

“Getting to see new nurses in their infancy is what I find most meaningful about working at Marquette,” she says. “It’s wonderful to join students in the transition from reading in the textbook to entering the clinical setting because it is amazing to see them grow and live out their passion. I feel so honored that I get to have that type of impact in these students’ lives.”

Kukuck is inspired by her ability to make an impact on health care outcomes and the new generation of nurses. For those students who feel as though their dreams are out of reach, she hopes they keep working towards their goals.

“I’m from another country where my dream seemed impossible, but everyone has the ability to achieve whatever they want to achieve,” she says.