DR. MICHELLE NICHOLS
Dr. Michelle Nichols never thought she would have chosen the field of research when she was in college. Currently, as a nurse scientist, she said she wouldn’t have it any other way. “Research ended up becoming a passion of mine,” she said. She worked as a research nurse after she completed her master’s degree but wanted to pursue her doctorate so she could conduct her own research.She said one of the best parts of being a nurse scientist is that she doesn’t lose the one-on-one patient interaction. “I still get to maintain that close connection with patients and families, but I get to use my knowledge and skills to address clinical needs important to their health,” she said.At MUSC, Dr. Nichols’ interests include reducing health disparities through health promotion and disease prevention in under-resourced populations, the use of community-based participatory research methods, prevention and treatment of chronic diseases and clinical research ethics.Dr. Nichols specializes in working with underserved children, adolescents and their parents to improve health literacy and health behavior change.
DR. JAMES PELLETIER
Dr. James Pelletier, a nursing professor at The Citadel’s Swain Department of Nursing, said that he was working in the Navy as a diver when he decided to pursue a career in nursing.”I found the science behind hyperbaric therapy fascinating, and it really piqued my interest in health care as a career field,” he said.He said he was drawn to working in nursing education because of the impact nursing professors can have on the lives of their students. “The cornerstone of a nurses’ ability to provide competent professional care lies in their entry level education. A high-quality entry level education provides them with skills to grow in their profession and expand their contributions to their patients and the field of nursing. I plan on staying in nursing education largely due to the enthusiasm, intellectual curiosity and dedication of our students. They create an environment that is just great to be a part of,” said. Dr. Pelletier.The nursing program at The Citadel began in January 2017. Students who complete the program will earn their bachelor of science in nursing.
Working in the health care field was definitely in Sophie Fowler’s blood since her father, grandfather and great grandfather were all doctors. “They sparked my interest in medicine,” Fowler said. Her specialty is palliative care, which she started working in at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center. She said she never thought she would have loved palliative care as much as she does now. “It is the art of helping people with some of the most difficult decisions of their lives,” she said. “I enjoy being there to help guide people as to what is best for them.”Fowler works for LTC Health Solutions, which offers patients a team of high-quality medical professionals to provide consistent care to people in full-care or assisted living facilities.When it comes to working in geriatrics with palliative care, Fowler said that she believes in treating the patient as if he or she were her mother or father. “Put yourself in your patient’s shoes and always treat them as if they were one of your own,” she advised.
DNP, APRN, FNP-C
As an assistant professor in the nursing program at MUSC and a family nurse practitioner, Terri Fowler sees the value of teamwork in the nursing field and stresses the importance of working as a team to her students. “In my role as a faculty member, I work hard to identify the best models for teamwork in the clinical setting,” she said. “I teach my students what it takes to be a member of a high-functioning health care team.”She realized how much she loved the profession when she was considering nursing as a career during her undergrad years at the College of Charleston. “I was instantly attracted to the profession because I wanted to do something that was meaningful, gratifying and that made a difference in the lives of others,” Fowler said.She stays active in the clinical setting by working at a local clinic offering primary care. “I enjoy seeing patients and experiencing firsthand the role of interprofessional teamwork in a clinical setting as well as experiencing the role of nurse educator,” she said.