At the start of the spring 2018 semester, the University of Rhode Island appointed alumna and former undergraduate faculty member, Mary Leveille, as the College of Nursing’s new associate dean.

From 2000 to 2014 Leveille taught the accompanying lecture series component for the psychiatric clinical, required for third year students in URI’s College of Nursing. “As an advanced nursing clinical,” Leveille said, “I had the opportunity to work with students who already have a strong foundation in their clinical skills and who effectively practice patient care.”

Following her departure from this role, Leveille rejoined the staff at Butler Hospital as an outpatient therapist for three years. Here she dedicated herself as the coordinator of the Eating Disorder Program in addition to serving as senior vice president and chief nursing officer for the hospital.

Leveille, holding a Ph.D in nursing from URI and currently working towards earning a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from George Washington University, has had several publications in academic and research journals. Much of her research surrounds mental health and the relationship between patients and their nurses.  

While continuing her research and education, Leveille’s decision to return to teaching derives from an overall appreciation for furthering education and actively engaging with students.

“Looking back on my college experience, I am incredibly excited for this new role in supporting dynamic nursing students,” Leveille said.

Although Leveille has been re-employed by URI since August 2017, she says she has barely gotten the opportunity to get to know students. Which is why starting in the fall 2018 semester she will be teaching NUR 100 to incoming nursing majors.

“I look forward to meeting these students as they are just beginning their matriculation into the College of Nursing,” Leveille said.

Happy to teach at any level, Leveille believes it is important to support students at all stages of their academic careers but especially at the start to welcome and nurture them. “Opportunities organically become available,” Leveille said. “We want students to be fully prepared by the time they reach their senior year clinicals, and that preparation has to be continuous from the very start.”

“Instilling confidence is an important component of the job,” said Leveille, who hopes to incorporate innovative ways to enhance the clinical experience through her appointment as associate dean.”

“The simulation labs at the Providence campus are just getting off the ground,” Leveille said. “Our hope is that the department continues to grow and students thrive.”

Specializing in psychiatric nursing, Leveille empathizes with the stress inducing demands of nursing and wants the College of Nursing to move forward in a way that fully supports students in their academic endeavors and career preparedness. “Patient’s lives will be in their hands,” explained Leveille, “and we want our students to be prepared for that as well as having the resources and support available to manage that stress.”