Betty Nelson, Ph.D., RN
Academic Dean of the School of Nursing

Dr. Nelson has extensive experience in healthcare, policy, research, and education. She knows the integral part that education plays in maintaining a skillful, dedicated workforce.

She is a strong and effective advocate for quality patient care, and nursing education and engagement. Dr. Nelson understands firsthand the demands and responsibilities faced by healthcare students and practitioners.

Dr. Nelson’s educational background includes a BSN from the University of Delaware, an MSN with a focus on Child Health/Administration from the University of Florida, and a Ph.D. in Nursing with a focus on Health Services Research from the University of Pennsylvania.

In addition, she is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellow.

Throughout her career, Dr. Nelson has focused on the importance of education and quality improvement throughout the healthcare industry. Her professional experience includes:

  • Vice President, Quality
    Regional One Health
  • Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs, Assistant Professor of Nursing & Core Faculty (founding)
    Yale University, School of Nursing
  • Chief Nursing Officer & Interim CEO
    Shriners Hospitals for Children
  • Senior Consultant
    Informed Practice International, Inc.
  • Director, Research Center (founding)
    American College of Physicians
  • Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Doctoral Studies (founding)
    American Sentinel University

Dr. Nelson has been an active member of a number of advisory panels and national committees, notably: the University of Tennessee Center for Health Outcomes & Policy Research; the Tennessee Center for Patient Safety; the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ), the National Coordinating Committee on Clinical Preventative Services, and the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA). She also served on the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.

Dr. Nelson is also a member of the following organizations:

  • Sigma Theta Tau, International
  • American Organization of Nurse Executives
  • Phi Kappa Phi

In addition, she has received numerous awards and honors in acknowledgement of her contributions, including Alumna of the Year from College of Nursing at University of Florida, the Dorothy M. Smith Award for Nursing Leadership in Education, and received the Business-on-Board Fellowship from the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.

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