Melissa Downs, MS, MSN, RN began her career in academia after obtaining her Master of Science in Nursing degree from the University of West Georgia Tanner Health System School of Nursing in 2015. She joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor in August 2015. Prior to academia, Melissa worked at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for 20 years in several roles: pediatric nurse, department manager and clinical staff development coordinator responsible for educating newly hired clinical staff, including new graduate nurses. Melissa has been working with first and second semester undergraduate nursing students this past year, and has truly enjoyed watching those students grow and develop throughout the year. She looks forward to developing as a nurse educator and blending her healthcare organization experience within the field of nursing education.
An excerpt from her DAISY nomination: “Professor Downs deserves this award because she is an outstanding educator. To me, an educator is not only a teacher, but a shoulder to lean on, a mentor in confusing times, and a friend in the tough times….. She is an outstanding educator because she goes above and beyond for her students… In the worst of situations, Professor Downs has a smile on her face telling us everything is going to work out…. Her dedication has motivated me, inspired me, and reassured me that nursing is what I want to do in life”.