Melodie Jolly Headshot


Melodie Jolly

Assistant Professor of Nursing


  • MSN at Mount Mercy University
  • BSN at Winona State University


Melodie Jolly joined Mount Mercy in 2014 as an adjunct clinical instructor. Starting her career as a nurse, Jolly found her passion in education and became a full-time educator at MMU in fall 2016.

Before instructing at MMU, Jolly worked as a staff nurse in 2010 on a step-down unit. She later accepted a position in the ICU float pool at St. Luke’s Hospital as a staff nurse and a charge nurse. After two more years, she earned her CCRN certification and had simultaneously taught CORE for all the nursing staff.

In May 2020, Jolly won the Faculty of Year award for her contributions toward the Pandemic Task Force and her work in the classroom during the transition to online learning that spring. The next year, in May 2021, she received the Distinguished Faculty Award. Moreover, she has participated in several educational panels concerning the pandemic and the vaccines.

In her field of study, Jolly has a keen interest in student learning and creating new methods to teach. She always has a new class-activity designed to fill gaps seen in the didactic setting. For her dissertation, Jolly hopes to test out her latest in-class simulation activities and its effectiveness in teaching critical thinking and clinical judgements in nursing students.

Jolly hopes to do more research in Artificial Intelligence (AI) in higher education. There is a rapid growth of AI in healthcare that could expand into the education sector; Jolly dreams to be given a grant to start one of the first simulations that use AI and virtual reality (VR) devices. She believes it can be beneficial to have a virtual classroom where her students can watch what physically happens inside a patient when she lectures about specific diseases. VR and AI can help give an additional addition to her lectures to aid in understanding and memorizing content. Technology this advanced is already implemented in medical schools for MD students; therefore, she hopes to one day bring it to nursing students as well.

When she’s not teaching, Jolly is self-proclaimed proud nerd who loves discussing topics such as medicine, economics, and philosophy. In her free time, she reads non-fiction books, enjoys a nice cup of coffee, and listens to podcasts such as Sam Harris’s “Making Sense,” “Intelligence2,” and “Hidden Brain.” When on vacation, her favorite destination to visit is any kind of hike through a mountain range—the colder and higher, the better. In the meantime, Jolly is learning Norwegian and hopes to visit Norway on a regular basis.