Leap Forward: Where are They Now

Leap Forward: Where are They Now

On Leap Year Day, check in with Brittany Kelly, Clifton Thornton, and Ashley Gresh, former students circa 2014 and get a glimpse of where they are now.

Brittany Kelly

Staying Power” spotlighted Brittany Kelly, MSN, RN in the Johns Hopkins Nursing Magazine back in 2014, when she was a student in the MSN (Entry Into Nursing) program.  

Fast forward, she has her MPH, is on the mayor-appointed Baltimore City HIV Planning Council, and is a RN care manager at the Baltimore Medical System Population Health Department, taking on chronic illness in the city. 

She’s also a new mom to twin boys. “It’s so easy to forget you’re living in answered prayers. Never forget the things you prayed for that you have now,” she says.

Clifton Thornton

Clifton Thornton received his BSN in 2014 and went immediately into the pediatric NP program. Since then, Clifton has worked in pediatric oncology, first in Arizona for a year before returning to Hopkins to join the pediatric leukemia and lymphoma team in the Children’s Center.

Clifton worked there for a few years and decided to pursue his PhD at Hopkins in 2018 and graduated in 2022.

Leap forward, and Clifton now works at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as a Nurse Scientist in the Center for Pediatric Nursing Research & Evidence-Based Practice as well as a nurse practitioner in the division of pediatric oncology.

Ashley Gresh

Ashley moved to Baltimore in 2013 to become a nurse. She graduated in 2014 and started her nursing career as a public health nurse in East Baltimore at a transitional housing facility for women with a history of substance use and being unhoused.

Ashley entered the PhD program at the School of Nursing as a Global Women’s Health Fellow. Through the PhD program she began to bring together her knowledge from international development, public health nursing, and midwifery. Ashley had a baby during this time and shifted her research focus to postpartum care with her dissertation focused on developing a Centering-based group postpartum and well-child care model.

Leap forward, and Ashley is now an Assistant Professor at the School of Nursing continuing to build on her research in postpartum care and educating the next generation of nurses.

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