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Women in Science: Jill Terrien elevates nursing education and practice

By Megan Bard and Sandra Gray

UMass Medical School Communications

February 19, 2019

The Women in Science video series on UMassMedNow highlights the many areas of research conducted by women at UMass Medical School.

From taking care of patients at the bedside to teaching others how to do the same, Jill Terrien, PhD, brings her love of patient care and teaching into her leadership at UMass Medical School.

“I was very much in love with education and actually being the person that could teach my students to become nurse practitioners,” said Dr. Terrien, associate professor of nursing and medicine at UMMS and director of nurse practitioner programs for the Graduate School of Nursing. “There are so many things you can do when you are a nurse, and so many avenues to do it in.”

Terrien began her career as a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree in nursing. She became an adult primary care nurse practitioner with a master’s degree from the Graduate School of Nursing, followed by a doctorate from the then-joint UMass Amherst and UMMS PhD in Nursing Program (the Worcester campus established its own PhD program in 2005). She cultivated her love of teaching throughout, first as a patient educator and clinical preceptor for nursing students, next as a part-time lecturer, and, with her doctoral degree, in a full-time faculty appointment.

As a faculty member at UMass Medical School’s integrated academic health sciences center comprising multiple health care and biomedical sciences disciplines, Terrien has been able to collaborate with members of every health care discipline to develop innovative and timely curriculum.

“I went from being a clinical instructor to becoming director of the nurse practitioner programs and getting involved with the interprofessional mission we have here,” she said. “I work with many School of Medicine faculty, most recently on our opioid-conscious curriculum to help fight the opioid crisis, beginning with our students as prescribers.”

UMass Medical School developed the Opioid Safe-prescribing Training Immersion program that includes 10 core competencies for the prevention and management of prescription drug misuse in 2016 in response to the opioid crisis. It is now required curriculum for Massachusetts medical students and graduate nursing students.

Terrien and colleagues. including OSTI co-developer Melissa Fischer, MD, MEd, professor of medicine and associate dean for undergraduate medical education, curriculum innovation and iCELS, have been disseminating their work nationwide, publishing papers in peer-reviewed journals and presenting at conferences. Their efforts have been reported on by Hearst Television and the Associated Press.

Terrien and Dr. Fischer will again appear on the national stage when they present the OSTI program at the annual meeting of the Association of American Medical Colleges, which awarded them its Curricular Innovation Award for the OSTI.

As director of nurse practitioner programs, Terrien was instrumental in developing the school’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program, in which students with nursing and non-nursing bachelor’s degrees can enroll. The degree prepares advanced practice nurses for leadership roles in clinical practice and education, distinct from the Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing, which focuses on creating new knowledge through research. The GSN will graduate its first full cohort of DNP students at Commencement in June.

Terrien’s scholarly interests range from end-of-life and palliative care to college health. She continues practice as a primary care provider at the GSN-faculty run student health service at Worcester State University, where she appreciates educating young adults about healthy habits and self-care at a vulnerable time in their emotional and physical development.

Terrien credits her mentors at the GSN for encouraging her to expand her career, including former dean Dodie Harper, PhD; Janet Hale, PhD, professor and associate dean for interprofessional and community partnerships; and Jean Boucher, PhD, associate professor and director of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program.

“Taking care of people and their families is such a rewarding experience and you can come at it from different angles,” she said. “It’s never too late to become a nurse. We have a program for you!”

Hear more from Terrien in this Women in Science video and learn more about the Graduate School of Nursing here.

Related stories on UMassMedNow:
Providence’s WJAR-TV/NBC 10 features UMass Medical School’s opioid safe-prescribing curriculum
UMMS developing training program on medication-assisted opioid addiction treatment
UMass Medical School recognized with national award for opioid safe-prescribing curriculum
‘Matter of Fact: State of Addiction’ primetime special: UMass Medical Schools leads the way in opioid education

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