Today we’re featuring one of the many members of Salem University’s faculty who work every day toward our mission of designing innovative academic programs for a globalized world:
Today we’re talking to one of our esteemed nursing faculty: Dr. Michelle Oddi, Ph.D, MSN, RN, CNE, CCRN CFRN, C-NPT, C-ONQS, NPD-BC. She holds an MSN in leadership and administration from California University of PA and earned her Ph.D. in Nursing Education from NorthCentral University. She has been working with the Air Surface Transport Nurses Association on developing a pediatric transport certification and holds a position on their education committee. She also holds a position on the NCC Neonatal Pediatric Transport Certification committee where she is an item writer and content expert. Dr. Oddi has been involved in developing and instituting multiple pediatric EMS and nursing education programs. Michelle has been active in the nursing profession for over 14 years and has held positions in the Pediatric ICU, Neonatal ICU, Flight Nurse, Pediatric and Neonatal Transport Nurse, Educator. Her research focus is on high-frequency ventilation during neonatal transport, effective patient care handoff, TXA for trauma patients, and utilization of a purpose built cooling device during neonatal transport for HIE.
Thanks for sitting down with us today, Dr. Oddi. What inspired you to pursue nursing as a career?
My brother had cancer growing up, so I spent most of my life in a children’s hospital, interacting with nurses and hospital personal. I loved the way that the nurses interacted with me, my brother, and family. That close connection provided me with the sense of family. Their kindness and interactions ignited my love for nursing. My brother, in fact, called me “his favorite nurse.” This is why I am a nurse today, to continue the cycle of compassion and quality patient care my brother received.
What has been the most beneficial aspect of being a nurse?
The most beneficial aspect of being a nurse is the ability to be present at the worst time in a patient and their family’s lives and provide compassion and quality care.
What are some of the benefits of the nursing programs at Salem? As a member of the faculty, how do you help ensure the curricula is up-to-date?
The program is quick and in-depth, allowing the students to focus on one class content at a time. The curricula also has computerized testing throughout to help students prepare for the NCLEX nursing boards. This allows them to get used to testing with questions that are fashioned after the NCLEX. Personally, for each class I teach, I go through the content and add relevant resources to the course to stay up-to-date. We also make sure the textbooks are the most recent for the students.
What are some of the biggest challenges and changes facing the nursing field right now? How do you help students prepare themselves for these parts of their careers?
Obviously, the first thing on everyone’s mind is the pandemic. This has placed a significant strain on a profession that was already taxed. We have a huge nursing shortage at the clinical level and a staggering shortage at the nursing faculty level. Patient ratios are then impacted by the shortages, presenting a more difficult landscape to practice in.
My goal is to help provide a robust toolkit for nursing students to utilize as they embark on their professional career. I focus on critical thinking and how to utilize the book knowledge with case scenarios and such. I provide resources they can utilize throughout their career when needed. The key to success in a profession like nursing is understanding when to ask the questions, where to find the information, and how to ask for help.
What is your favorite part about being a nursing instructor? What goals do you have when you step into the classroom?
My favorite part is seeing that light-bulb moment happen when you can see that a student truly understands the content. No matter the type of classroom, my goal is always to help bring clear understanding of the content and impart the importance of what we do as nurses.
What advice would you give to students looking to enter into the nursing field or to advance their nursing career?
Ask questions and never stop learning. The medical field is an ever-changing landscape with constant growth. You must be committed to a lifelong learning approach if you want to not only be successful, but also provide the best possible patient care.