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Dr. Teresa Lynne Caples, Instructor

"My goal is to create a learning environment that promotes an open mind, and welcomes diverse thinking so we can better understand everyone's perspectives in the complexities of life."

Degrees Held:

  • Doctorate in Bioethics and Organizational Ethics – Loyola University Chicago, 2014
  • Master of Bioethics and Health Policy – Loyola University Chicago, 2010
  • Master of Professional Science and Biostatistics – Middle Tennessee State University, 2007
  • BS in Geographic Information Systems/Remote Sensing – Middle Tennessee State University, 2001

Career Highlights:

  • Helped establish a nursing school in northern Guatemala with a focus on "rural nursing." Accredited by the Guatemelan government
  • My work at Vanderbilt Medical Center gave me the opportunity to participate in and contribute to many research projects across campus.

In which online programs do you teach?

MSN – Nursing Education and MSN – Nurse Executive

Which classes do you teach online?

Health Systems Leadership and Policy Strategies

What do you want students learn in your classes? What is the expected outcome?

This course will focus on the organizational structure of health care systems, health care financing and economic implications and the role of the provider in policy making. I hope the students understand the complexities involved in health care and how they can make a difference in the system.

Why did you start teaching?

As part of my lifelong passion for learning, I also think that knowledge is most valuable when shared with others. My goal is to create a learning environment that promotes an open mind, and welcomes diverse thinking so we can better understand everyone's perspectives in the complexities of life.

What's the best advice that you have ever received?

"You can get everyone else's input, but only you know what's important to you." Given by a co-worker in the hall of the hospital at a critical time in my career. We all have our own priorities that steer us towards our life goals, which can often change throughout life. Others may give advice, but only you see the whole picture of your own life, and only you can prioritize accordingly.

What's the best advice you could give to online students?

Understand your own strengths and weaknesses. Learn how to adapt these into your life goals – grow your strengths while adapting to your weaknesses. Learning is a life-long process.

What is the one book you think everyone should read?

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain.

What qualities make someone particularly successful in nursing?

A compassion to connect with people and help them through their health struggles, whether it's at the individual level, or through systemic changes in policy. The desire to make a difference and change for the better.

What do you think is the biggest challenge that people in healthcare face today?

There are many professional roles in health care today, and along with that there is some confusion on guidelines and responsibilities. It is difficult for insurance companies and law makers to keep up with oversight. People are confused as well. Somehow we need to simplify the health care system and get back to basics.

Tell us something interesting about yourself that your students may not know about you.

I had a business in Nashville with customers that included many famous country singers such as Reba, Garth Brooks, Randy Travis, Vince Gill, Faith Hill, Barbara Mandrell.... etc. OK, they may be famous from another generation!

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