At Ross Medical Education Center, we constantly strive to provide the best opportunities to our students. To ensure that these opportunities are available, we hire instructors that have experience in their fields that they can bring into the classroom and share with their students. In fact, many of our instructors have worked in a variety of facilities and sometimes even a variety of positions in the healthcare field. Due to this, they are versatile and offer a wealth of diverse knowledge and expertise to the upcoming healthcare professionals in their classes. Some instructors are those that inspire students profoundly and have incredible experience and skill that they are able to bring into the classroom and to their students. One of those instructors is Shelley Kelley.
Read our interview with Shelley Kelley, RN, the instructor and program coordinator for the brand new Nursing Assistant program at the Ross campus in North Grand Rapids, Michigan. You’ll see why her classroom and this new program may be a perfect fit for you!
How long have you been at Ross as an instructor? How long did you teach before Ross?
I have taught in the Medical Insurance Billing and Office Administration class as well as both the administrative and clinical sides of the Medical Assistant class. I have been at Ross since August, but I have been teaching for about 15 years, even running my own school for nine years.
How did you get your start in teaching and why is it important to you?
It was really a fluke. Someone needed a part time instructor teaching the Nursing Assistant program. So I decided to do that while still working as a Nursing Assistant (NA) before becoming an Registered Nurse (RN). In general, I really strive to make sure that we have great facilities out there with great care and teaching is a way I can help out.
What’s your favorite thing about being an instructor?
I would say watching the students grow from the spot where they aren’t sure about getting into the profession and then watching them grow into a real asset for healthcare. I love watching their eyes light up when they find their niche. They come in scared and without knowing anything, and they leave confident and comfortable. That’s when you know you taught well.
What piece of advice do you try to convey to all of your students to help them succeed?
Basically, you have to be in it. You have to know that this is their priority; you have to treat it like a job. You have to put the work and dedication in to make sure that you learn what you need so that you can go out there and be successful.
What are you passionate about personally?
My passion is caring for people; I have always been that way. I love teaching; I love giving people knowledge. Also, I’m an avid gardener, and I love NASCAR. But really, I love healthcare. I realized 30 years ago that I wanted to be a nurse, so that’s what I had to be. I go all in; If I can’t do it 100%, I won’t do it.
Who inspires you to be great?
Actually, I had a teacher when I wasn’t doing well as a student that said, “it’s not the letter that means everything, it’s the heart that makes the person. You have a great heart.” That’s when I really was able to turn it around. When you have someone that is 100% for you, it makes a big difference. I want my students to know I am 100% here for them and will strive to make it work for them just like she did.
Share a positive memory about your experience as an instructor that stands out to you. Why is that memory special to you?
I had a class that I took into a nursing home. A month later, I got a card thanking the students and myself. I didn’t recognize the name, so I called the nursing home and found out that it wasn’t from a patient. It was from a patient’s family member that happened to be there that day. She shared that she was amazed with the way my students carried themselves and wanted to thank me for teaching my students good principles. It reminded all of us that everyone is watching and that how professional and caring you are always means something to someone.
When did you first become a nursing assistant? What inspired you to pursue this career?
I was a nursing assistant back in the 80s and became a registered nurse in 1991. I just loved all aspects of healthcare. I have worked in hospitals, nursing homes, homecare. I’ve done it all, and there’s nothing I haven’t enjoyed. People just have so much to offer. I am also passionate about the elderly. I want those caring for them to respect them. I want them to have the respect and care that they deserve. I hope that maybe I can instill that into my students.
What advice would you give to a student who is looking to become a nursing assistant, but hasn’t quite made up their mind yet?
What I tell people is, if you don’t know what you want to do, but you think you want to work in healthcare, becoming a nursing assistant is a great option. It gives you a lot of knowledge that you can use in nursing homes, hospitals, urgent care, doctors offices, and more. It gives you the opportunity to get your foot in the door and decide if you want to pursue another healthcare career while making a living. This is a perfect starting point and allows you to continue to work in the field while moving forward, and it’s quick way to get in there and start your career.
We asked some staff members and students about their experience with Shelley Kelley. Here’s what they had to say:
“I LOVE working with Shelley Kelley! Shelley has a wealth of knowledge, common sense, and a “get it done” attitude. She is always upbeat and smiling, and she truly cares about her students! She is a great instructor who ensures that her students are prepared for the real world.”
Andrea Gonzalez, Career Services Student Support Representative
“Shelley brings knowledge and experience as an instructor and heart of gold to our new campus. We are very fortunate to have her as member of our team. She is a leader, caregiver, and someone you can brainstorm with in any situation and solve the problem. I’m so excited to see her new classroom booming with happy students.”
Amira Curic, Associate Campus Director
“I really enjoy Shelley as an instructor. She is very knowledgeable and helpful with everything she teaches. She is funny and kind, and I really enjoy the fact that she is personable and compassionate about the things that she teaches and just overall.”
Pamela, student in the Medical Insurance Billing and Office Administration program
“I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate having Ms. Shelley as a teacher. She has made it a pleasure to come to class. She has made learning fun and exciting. She has helped put things into perspective which is very helpful. Her humor is something I enjoy!”
Bridgit, student in the Medical Insurance Billing and Office Administration program