Our people

How employees with careers in nursing are critical at MSD

Nurses' clinical expertise and patient experience provide valuable insight across our company

April 10, 2024

Share this article


article hero thumbnail

Nurses do vital work every day. The care they provide makes a profound difference in the lives of patients and their families. And that’s why employees with careers in nursing are critical at MSD.

Esther Smith-Howell, associate director, outcomes research, said her nursing background provides her with valuable experience she applies as a business scientist.

“I understand patients’ concerns and questions related to medications and care, their need for education and information, the social context that may affect their ability to access and pay for medications and care,” said Smith-Howell. “It helps me think holistically about research and patients.”

article quote image

"Integrating the patient perspective into solving scientific research problems is critical for successful patient outcomes."

— Esther Smith-Howell, Ph.D., MSHP, R.N.

Associate director, outcomes research, health care delivery research

A sincere desire to help patients

From product safety and labeling to marketing, clinical operations and medical affairs, we employ hundreds of registered nurses in non-clinical positions.

“Nurses are a valuable resource to our company in terms of their real-world patient experience, clinical expertise and talent,” said Mary Elmer, executive director, patient innovation & engagement, and a nurse herself. “They bring important perspectives to help inform our business.”

article quote image

"Nurses share a special bond. There's true camaraderie between us fueled by a sincere desire to help patients."

Mary Elmer, MSN, CRNP

Executive director, patient innovation & engagement

Steve Morin’s varied nursing experiences working directly with patients help inform his current role as director of regulatory policy. He’s served as a bone marrow transplant nurse in a hospital and a research nurse in clinical trials and held other nursing roles where he worked with a number of underserved populations from around the world.

“These experiences allowed me to see health from a global perspective, and I use that background now as I advocate for regulatory policies that will help improve patient outcomes.”

  • Steve Morin, MSHE, BSN
    Director, regulatory policy
Steve Morin

Nurses at MSD are critical to our work

The nurses’ diverse backgrounds and skillsets — surgical, oncology, primary care, pediatrics, among others — also allow for valuable insight overall and targeted support when needed in a specific area of focus.

Here are four ways employees use their nursing expertise to make clinical and non-clinical impact:

Drug delivery development

Providing input on early design models for our product teams to create user-friendly devices as well as easy-to-understand accompanying patient education materials.

Package design

Supporting human factor testing, which focuses on the interactions between people and the product, by providing perspective on the end-user experience of patients and the health care professionals who give our products to patients.

Communications materials

Providing personal and professional perspectives, including how patients and their families digest health information, cultural sensitivities, and other insights, so we deliver health literate information that is clear for people who use our products.

Clinical support

Mobilizing teams of nurses to assist our U.S. employee health department, including stepping away from their non-clinical day jobs to provide critical support and help prevent disruption in business activities.

Our colleagues share their thoughts on being nurses at MSD:

Emma Mason
Meet Emma Mason

Associate director, patient innovation and engagement

Jo Goldie
Meet Jo Goldie

Associate director, scientific engagement lead GU oncology

Meet Susanne Rodholm

Clinical operations manager, global clinical trial operations

Kathy McKeon
Meet Kathy McKeon

Senior corporate account executive

Dr. Lisa Lea
Meet Dr. Lisa Lea

Director, patient innovation and engagement

Cynthia Thompson
Meet Cynthia Thompson

Oncology sales representative, women’s health