That’s the chief priority for Kim Curry-Lourenco, coordinator of instruction and technology at the Beazley School of Nursing. She began the recently created position in July, transitioning from her role as nurse educator and graduate program director at her alma mater, Old Dominion University.
Already, Curry-Lourenco says she’s impressed. “The commitment of faculty to student success is something that stands out to me at TCC,” she said. “It’s real. It’s genuine, and I can see the commitment put into action.”
Curry-Lourenco’s role is fostering that process. The buzzwords around her job description sound lofty: curriculum development and assessment, evaluation of program outcomes, support for clinical and classroom instructional strategies, and integration of simulation and technology across the curriculum.
“My interpretation of the role is to support and empower faculty,” she said. “Inherently, the role of this position is to give faculty the tools that they need in order to make students successful.”
Initially, she’s in a learning and listening phase, asking faculty what they need from her in an effort to build a partnering relationship. In addition, Curry-Lourenco has already put several tracking processes in place to learn, for example, how faculty is using educational technology and simulation at the school, which houses four simulation-enhanced skills labs and four simulation rooms with two control rooms.
Curry-Lourenco sees potential for the nursing school that includes incorporating mobile devices into learning, video streaming, and infusing a greater understanding of social and cultural understanding into the curriculum.
“Simulation offers a great opportunity for that,” she said. “A health care team works together to provide care for diverse populations of patients. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if nursing students at TCC first experienced collaborative, patient-centered care as members of the health care team, here in the simulation center.”
Curry-Lourenco’s background is ideal for the role she is in. She was a critical care nurse at Virginia Beach General for nearly 20 years. After beginning as adjunct faculty at Old Dominion, her interest in teaching grew. She returned to school, earning a master’s in nursing, as well as a master’s in education from Old Dominion followed by a doctoral degree in nursing from Duquesne University. Teaching became her main focus 13 years ago.
Curry-Lourenco is confident about strengthening a program she believes will evolve into a national model for preparing future nurses to enter a complex healthcare environment.
“I’m so excited to be part of that at TCC,” she said.
Curry-Lourenco resides in Virginia Beach with her husband, two teenagers, and four rescue dogs.