Faculty practice provides faculty members with the opportunity to be engaged in their area of expertise. As leaders of exemplary, innovative, and culturally proficient faculty engagement, faculty members fulfill the mission of the UA Capstone College of Nursing’s Faculty Practice Committee. The Faculty Practice Committee strives to increase the visibility of the school of nursing by spotlighting the practice of faculty members as they practice in community agencies. Practice sites are diverse and represent the expertise and background preparation of faculty engaged in faculty practice. Faculty “spotlights” are updated multiple times annually to showcase the exceptional work of faculty practice members. Be sure to return to this webpage in the future to learn about the practice of other faculty members!

Staci Simmons

Tell us about your role at CCN

“I teach in the traditional BSN and RN Mobility programs at the Capstone College of Nursing.  I also serve as faculty advisor to Doctor of Nursing Practice students.  I joined the college in 2019 as a clinical assistant professor, a role that provides me a unique opportunity to exercise my passions: teaching and caring for sick children.  Whether I’m teaching from the podium or at the bedside, I love being able to share my expertise in a meaningful way to impact the future of nursing.”

Tell us about your faculty practice

“Alabama is the home of one of the best pediatric facilities in the nation, Children’s of Alabama, where I have been a team member since 2000.  My clinical experience includes pediatric emergency and air medical transport, neonatal and pediatric intensive care, and pediatric cardiology.  For the past 13 years, I have served as a pediatric nurse practitioner for the Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center.”

What patient population do you serve?

“As a pediatric nurse practitioner, I am trained to care for children from birth through late adolescence.  I care for patients with a variety of heart problems, including birth defects and some acquired conditions.  Some patients are admitted to the pediatric cardiovascular intensive care (CVICU) and cardiac care units (CCU). Others come in for minor procedures in the outpatient cardiac catheterization lab.”

Tell us about a typical day in your faculty practice

“I work with a multi-disciplinary team of healthcare professionals to provide the best care possible to our fragile patients.  Our team meets at regular intervals throughout the day to discuss patients, review data, and develop treatment plans  I typically care for 6-9 patients per day whether I work in the CVICU or the CCU.  My daily activities include clinical assessments, development of treatment plans, collaboration with consulting teams, staff education at the bedside, and discharge planning.”

How do you incorporate evidence-based research into your faculty practice?

“In healthcare, we constantly strive to provide the best care possible while improving patient outcomes.  For our little heart patients, this is essential to how we practice.  The field of congenital heart disease management is rapidly evolving, making it even more important to stay current on evidence from the literature.  Fortunately, the culture in the Heart Center fully supports this mission.  We place a heavy emphasis on research and quality improvement.  Many of the quality improvement projects in the Heart Center are even developed and driven by nurses!”

“As a seasoned nurse and clinician, I understand the negative consequences that caring for sick children and their families can have on an individual.  I’m interested in studying and developing methods to improve caregiver resilience and reduce burnout.  I’m also interested in nurse-drive education projects.  I’m currently working with the nursing staff of the CCU to develop a “safe sleep” curriculum for infants with congenital heart disease.”

“I am grateful that my faculty teaching role affords me the ability to maintain a clinical practice.  I am fascinated by cardiac physiology and hope to continue to work with this population for many years to come!”

What changes have you seen in your area of expertise in the last several years?

“When I began my career as a nurse practitioner in the CVICU, there weren’t many pediatric NPs in critical care areas.  Not only has the number of NPs in our practice group grown over the years, but the overall number of NPs working in ICUs has grown exponentially across the country.  I have seen improvement in patient outcomes as well as increased nurse satisfaction as more NPs take an active role in the ICU.”

How does your practice contribute to the mission of the Faculty Practice Committee and CCN?

“My clinical practice allows me to share my specialized training in order to provide expert care to Alabama’s sick children.  Because of the college’s support of my practice, I am able to provide unique teaching and mentoring opportunities to CCN students.”

Archived Faculty Practice Spotlights

We’ve archived our past Faculty Practice Spotlights for your review. Please press the button below to read them.