Teaessa holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Indiana University and a master’s degree in Nursing, with a focus on education, from the University of Washington Bothell. She is also a Critical Care Registered Nurse.
Teaessa is an instructor in the Nursing program, with emphasis primarily on pediatric nursing. She is a course coordinator for the program’s Pediatric and Maternal Health curriculum, and chairs the Nursing Curriculum Committee and the Nursing Pinning Committee. Additionally, Teaessa recruits and mentors part-time faculty in the program and leads seminars for the First Year Experience program on campus.
Teaessa has developed several new Pediatric and Maternal Health courses, including several that incorporate online and classroom delivery, providing access to nursing education for more students. She has forged partnerships at area hospitals to ensure students receive robust and varied clinical experiences. “I’ve definitely grown in my teaching ability, and have incorporated more active modes of learning, such as role playing and case studies, into my courses,” she says. And she volunteers with several organizations, including Project Medishare, which provides sustainable healthcare in Haiti, as well as the International Children’s Heart Foundation.
Dean Kevin McCarthy remarked that Teaessa is committed to student success, and advancing access to students who have traditionally not found their way into the nursing profession. She has consistently and passionately worked to develop and refine her teaching strategies in theory and clinical settings. She is truly a master of clinical instruction, according to McCarthy. Others say that “Teaessa is a natural when it comes to teaching…she really works hard to make herself more effective…she always has her students best interests at heart and is a great advocate for them…She is organized, thoughtful and a good communicator.”
Teaessa, a long-time nurse practitioner, transitioned to teaching after receiving a grant to pursue nursing education. Once she started teaching, she felt energized working with students. “I see my role is to encourage students in the first step of their nursing career, and I like working at BC because I’m helping to provide my students with an affordable nursing education. I really enjoy making connections with students, who come to us with such varied life experiences. Seeing them graduate and working as nurses is the most rewarding aspect of my job.” Even with full-time teaching duties, she still finds time to work in the pediatric intensive care unit at Seattle Children’s Hospital, which enables her to infuse her classes with the latest knowledge and best practices. After receiving tenure, Teaessa says, “I’m definitely looking forward to continuing my growth as an educator.”