Kelly graduated in 1984 from 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. She began her career at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in her position in Nursing Education and Professional Development in May 2008.
Kelly is involved in Hands on Clinical Safety; competency development; and quality initiatives, including restraints and blood administration. She is the co-lead for the VPNPP Advancement Program, providing coaching and mentoring for both staff nurses and leadership. She is one of three instructors for the Cardiac Arrhythmia Interpretation class. 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.
In her spare time, Kelly enjoys her lawn and garden "therapy". antiques, reading, volunteering, and traveling.