Kelly Ernst, MSN, RN-BC

Kelly graduated long, long ago (1984) in a land far, far away (Murray State University) with her BSN.  She completed her MSN in 1992 at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  Her nursing background is predominantly in the stepdown and ICU areas, first as a staff nurse and then for five years as a Clinical Nurse Specialist.  The next seven years, career-wise, she was a full-time faculty member at Aquinas College.  Having moved away from Nashville to another state, far, far away, for a year and half, Kelly is happy to be at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the career potential her position in Nursing Education and Professional Development continues to hold for her.

Kelly is involved in Hands On Clinical Safety (formerly Safety Fair); Competency development; and quality initiatives, including restraints, CAUTI, falls, and Blood Administration.  She co-Chairs the Nurse Educator Council.  She was instrumental in developing the leadership course, S3:  Success, Strategy and Scope of Practice: A Series, and continues to facilitate this course four times a year.  Kelly facilitates the Acute Care Track of the Nurse Residency Program and works with the School of Medicine each summer to coordinate a program delivered to third year medical students before they begin their clinical practice.  She most recently began to work with the nurse advancement program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, VPNPP.

In her spare time, Kelly enjoys her lawn and garden “therapy,” antiques, reading, volunteering, and traveling -- especially to lands far, far away!!


Kelly Ernst, MSN, RN-BC
Nursing Professional Development Specialist
3401 West End Avenue,
Suite 790 (campus zip 6850)

  • Competency Development
  • Hands On: Clinical Safety
  • Nurse Residency Program - Acute Care Track
  • S3