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Teaching Fellowship Program


The primary purpose of the Duke University School of Nursing (DUSON) Teaching Fellowship program is to assist faculty in developing the scholarship of teaching. The program also is designed to recognize the importance of teaching, advance the pedagogical expertise of faculty and provide opportunities for faculty to continually develop that expertise in ways that will have a significant impact on the science and the practice of nursing education.

Fellowships are awarded for a two-year period (August to August), and Fellows receive financial support and workload reduction to ensure successful completion of their projects.

Goals of the Teaching Fellowship

For the individual faculty member selected as a Teaching Fellow, the program is designed to achieve the following goals:

  • Foster the ongoing development of the scholarship skills of Fellows to enhance their ability to contribute to the development of the science of nursing education
  • Support Fellows in their efforts to develop as educational leaders and change agents within DUSON, Duke University and the nursing profession
  • Foster the ongoing development of the pedagogical expertise of Fellows to further enhance their skills as educator/scholars
  • Facilitate Fellows’ development of a career trajectory that enables their successful induction into the Academy of Nursing Education

For the School of Nursing, the program is designed to achieve the following goals:

  • Create a community of like-minded educator/scholars dedicated to enriching the field of nursing education and advancing educational excellence
  • Promote the scholarship of teaching as integral to the faculty role
  • Elevate teaching as a respected activity that requires scholarly inquiry and pedagogical expertise
  • Contribute to improving the quality of teaching, learning, evaluation and curriculum design in nursing
  • Expand the dialogue about teaching and learning among DUSON faculty and at the national level
  • Build a framework that will define excellence in teaching at DUSON
  • Create a cadre of faculty who will serve as pedagogical guides for new full-time faculty, support the IEE in creating and meeting its goals and lead in the preparation of DUSON’s applications for recognition as an NLN Center of Excellence in Nursing Education or some similar recognition of educational excellence


Any full-time faculty member – regardless of rank, promotion track or tenure status – who (a) will have completed a minimum of two (2) years' full-time teaching by the start of the Fellowship, (b) has an interest in building her/his pedagogical expertise and (c) envisions a career trajectory that includes significant scholarly work in nursing education may apply for a Fellowship. Among other items, the Fellowship application asks the individual to share her/his:

  • Teaching philosophy
  • Personal goals related to development of pedagogical expertise and educational scholarship
  • A letter of support from an education leader (inside or outside Duke/DUSON) who has agreed to mentor the Fellow
  • Details of the project, including final deliverable(s)

Applicants also are asked to suggest teaching load reductions during the two-year Fellowship that would support completion of the proposed project and to sign an agreement documenting her/his willingness to devote the necessary time to Fellowship activities and completion of all deliverables.

Complete application packets must be submitted to the Director of DUSON's Institute for Educational Excellence (IEE) no later than February 1. The IEE Advisory Board reviews all applications and selects up to three Fellows each academic year; additional Fellows are selected if funds are available. All applicants are notified of the outcome of the review process no later than March 1.

Current and Former Recipients

Teaching Fellows for 2016-2018

Michelle Hartman. Dr. Hartman's Fellowship will focus on promoting opportunities for interprofessional learning through the development of an elective on disaster management for health care professional students. She will develop this course based on a comprehensive review of (a) current literature and recommendations for disaster management in nursing curricula and (b) literature regarding interprofessional learning and disaster training. The course will be designed initially for undergraduate and graduate health professions students and later expanded to include other health care learners at Duke.

Kathryn Evans Kreider. Dr. Kreider's Teaching Fellowship is designed to evaluate the impact of emotional intelligence (EI) on nurse practitioner education and practice and to assess whether formal training in EI throughout such a program affects student knowledge regarding EI and their academic and clinical performance. The literature suggests that EI can be learned and is not an innate process, a perspective that has been studied extensively with undergraduate nursing students and medical students; there is little to no evidence, however, regarding its impact on NP education and practice.

Through her Teaching Fellowship, Dr. Kreider will: assess NP students in the Adult-Gero, Family Nurse Practitioner and Women's Health programs for baseline EI upon admission to DUSON; incorporate aspects of EI training throughout the NP program; measure EI scores while students are enrolled in their final clinical/synthesis course to determine the impact of the training; and compare the scores of these students to those of students who completed the synthesis course without having had EI training. Results of studies of pre-licensure students suggest that EI is positively correlated with well-being, problem-focused coping, health care quality, critical thinking and overall academic performance and negatively correlated with perceived stress. By incorporating elements of EI with well-established components of the affective domain of learning, it is hypothesized that NP students will grow more deeply as professionals and excel academically and clinically.

Teaching Fellows for 2015-2017

Kathleen Ashton. Dr. Ashton’s Teaching Fellowship is designed to explore the science of caring with nursing students in a for-credit elective. She is developing a research study using caring theory as the conceptual framework and plans to serve as a resource for other faculty members who would like to address caring in their courses.

Jennie De Gagne. Dr. De Gagne’s Teaching Fellowship is designed to achieve a better understanding of the nature of incivility and challenges of online learning and teaching in nursing education. She is conducting a systematic review on cybercivility and incivility in health professions education programs, investigating the psychometrics properties of the IOLE (Incivility in Online Learning Environment) instrument for different levels of nursing programs and carrying out a participant-observational study using Netnography (online ethnography).

Nancy Short. The goal of Dr. Short’s Teaching Fellowship is to develop a set of action recommendations to share with DUSON, the NC Board of Nursing and the NC Foundation for Nursing Excellence leadership regarding the adoption of competency-based education (CBE) tools and methods. CBE is an educational approach focused on outcomes of learning and based on a predetermined set of knowledge, skills and abilities the learner is expected to accomplish. Rather than focusing on clock hours, traditional semester-long learning experiences or merely acceptable (i.e., passing) performance, the CBE model provides learners with more flexibility in when, where and how they learn; allows learners to take as much or as little time as they need to demonstrate accomplishment of outcomes at a high level; and does not “punish” learners who need more time to grasp complex concepts or who learn in unique ways. Such a model currently exists in higher education but only to a limited extent. Deeper understanding of the ways individuals learn and the increased availability of self-directed, technology-supported learning environments challenges educators – including those in nursing – to consider CBE as a viable option. Dr. Short is studying the concept of CBE as it relates to nursing and expects to propose recommendations that are likely to lead to radical transformation in our approaches to education.

Teaching Fellows for 2013-2014

Janet Prvu Bettger. Dr. Bettger believes health care and learning are “team sports,” and the use of coaching in the education of health professions students is a strategy that can be effective in supporting the transfer of classroom learning to its application in practice. In order to “test” these assumptions, Dr. Bettger focused her Teaching Fellowship on conducting a systematic review of the health professions literature to examine the effectiveness of coaching strategies as an approach to education, teaching and training of students, trainees and clinicians.

Frank Titch. As a Teaching Fellow, Dr. Titch conducted an in-depth study of team-based learning (TBL) using current literature and research reports regarding the strategy while drawing upon the expertise of experienced TBL Duke University faculty mentors. He completely transformed one of the nurse anesthesia courses he teaches from a teacher-centered, lecture-dominated environment into a student-centered, team-based one. His findings revealed that students were more engaged in class discussions, raised more thoughtful questions about the material under study and demonstrated a remarkable ability to learn from one another.

Teaching Fellows for 2012-2013

Helen Gordon. Currently, little is known about how faculty members decide what content should be included in or removed from courses in nursing education curricula. Dr. Gordon’s qualitative research project sought to examine the processes used by faculty to determine relevant content to include in nursing courses.

Sharon Hawks. Dr. Hawks focused her Teaching Fellowship on the effective use of ePortfolios in nursing education. She conducted an extensive review of the literature on this topic and, based on those findings, formulated guidelines for the effective construction and implementation of a school-wide ePortfolio initiative at DUSON. She also used the information gained from the literature review to lead DUSON faculty in considering and deciding to support the implementation of such an approach to help students reflect on their progress throughout and upon completion of their academic program. The ePortfolio format outlined by Dr. Hawks reflects the seven program outcomes for each academic program (ABSN, MSN, DNP and PhD), asks students to upload artifacts relevant to each outcome, asks students to comment on the relevance of those selected artifacts and the progress they have made in meeting each program outcome and provides an opportunity for faculty to give feedback to students on the relevance of their artifacts and the depth and insightfulness of their reflections.

Kathy Trotter. The purpose of Dr. Trotter’s Teaching Fellowship was to query all DUSON faculty about how they engage students in all programs (ABSN, MSN, DNP and PhD) in learning and how they measured that engagement. Her particular interest related to student engagement in online courses. She developed an instrument and process for conducting the survey. A 67% response rate revealed that, in the online format, engagement methods primarily involved communication - both type and frequency. Findings also revealed that faculty measured student engagement most frequently by the quantity and quality of discussion board posts. Dr. Trotter disseminated the results of this study in a podium presentation at the 5th International Nurse Education Conference (NETNEP) conference in Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands.

Teaching Fellow for 2012

Terry D. Ward. Dr. Ward’s Teaching Fellowship project measured the impact of a simulation experience, “Hearing Voices Which Are Distressing,” on attitudes, values and beliefs of accelerated baccalaureate students caring for clients with mental illness who experienced hearing voices. The project pointed to the importance of affective domain learning in preparing students to care for individuals who hear voices, and the full study was published in Nursing Education Perspectives. Since completing her Fellowship, Dr. Ward has assumed the position of Associate Professor and Interim Dean in the School of Nursing at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

Want More Information?

DUSON faculty who want to know more about the Teaching Fellowship program are encouraged to contact the IEE director at or (919) 684-9433. Current and past Fellows also are available to talk with faculty about the program and their personal experiences in it.