Meet Belmont Senior Molly Kelly: Embodying Compassion and Patient-Centered Care in Nursing

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Inman College of Nursing

Meet Belmont Senior Molly Kelly: Embodying Compassion and Patient-Centered Care in Nursing

March 13, 2024 | by Clara LoCricchio

At Belmont, exceptional nurses are defined not just by their practical prowess and intellectual acumen but also by their compassion and empathy. This philosophy is the cornerstone of The Inman College of Nursing, where technical training and professional experience go hand in hand with Christ-centered care — emphasizing a profound sense of understanding for each individual patient. 

Senior nursing student Molly Kelly is a perfect example of this ideal. During a clinical rotation at TriStar Centennial's orthopedic unit, she had the opportunity to pray over a patient, demonstrating her capacity for exceptional care — as well as her personal journey of faith. molly-kelly-1.jpeg

Like many students, Kelly spent the first few years of college grappling with her faith. “I started at Belmont in 2020,” Kelly said. “There was so much political turmoil, and I was seeing a lot of hate done in the name of God. I wasn’t sure if that was something I wanted to be a part of. It all caused me to stumble pretty hard.”  

But in the summer of 2023, Kelly met her now-boyfriend, who has a strong Muslim faith. “Seeing him be so devout in his faith really made me want to be stronger in mine,” Kelly shared. “He reminded me that my relationship with God is so personal, and I wanted to work on building that relationship back up.” 

Kelly started tuning into the live streams of her home church in Dallas. The first sermon she attended was an eye-opener for her, focusing on the church's yearly achievements. It highlighted various community service and outreach activities, including hosting food drives, volunteering with the elderly and visiting women's clinics. “They were so involved in the community,” Kelly said. “It made me realize that this is what being a Christian is all about — loving people from all walks of life and really showing up for them. So, I asked God for more opportunities to do just that.” 

The next day, during her orthopedic unit rotation, Kelly met a patient in acute pain and anxiety post-surgery. After exhausting conventional comfort measures, Kelly turned to the patient, and said, “Okay, I’m out of ideas. What do you think will help you?” His response: “A prayer.” 

“Normally, when someone says something like this, I’d just shrug it off as a joke or pray silently for them after leaving the room,” Kelly said. “But this time was different. It was very nerve-wracking. I don’t love praying out loud, but I knew it was something I needed to do in that moment.” Kelly then joined hands with the patient and his wife and prayed for comfort and healing not just for him, but also for the healthcare team.  

Following the prayer, the patient had a breakthrough with his physical therapist. 

 molly-kelly-2.jpeg“Historically, this patient had been very reluctant to work with the physical therapy team since his pain was so intense,” Kelly said. “Earlier that day he had even said, ‘I’m absolutely not getting up. No way.’ But after we prayed and I left the room, his physical therapist came in to work with him and he got right out of bed. I think the prayer gave him the comfort he needed to try.”  

The patient's wife also expressed her gratitude to Kelly afterward. “She told me that they had asked other providers to pray with them, but I was the first one who was actually willing to do it,” said Kelly. “She told me she would remember it forever, and so will I. This was a big thing for me, too. I immediately was like, ‘Okay, God, I see you.’” 

Belmont's emphasis on Christ-centered care and dedication to developing empathetic, responsive professionals echoes through Kelly's experience. Her story goes beyond simply being good at her job — it demonstrates the importance of meeting the comprehensive needs of patients with empathy and attentiveness. 

“Belmont helped me understand that patient-centered care and Christ-centered care are really the same thing,” said Kelly. “I’ve gotten the skills and knowledge to provide the best care for my patients, but I also understand that the patient might not agree with what I suggest. Because of my education here, I know how important it is to really listen and work with the patient and their family to find a solution that makes them comfortable, too. That’s what it’s all about.”  

Looking beyond her graduation this May, Molly has accepted a new grad nurse residency position in the very unit where she interned. While her long-term aspiration lies in women's health, it's clear that wherever her career takes her, the foundation laid by Belmont, coupled with her heart for helping people, will continue to inspire and impact the lives she touches.