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Leslie Folds



CNE (Certified Nurse Educator)
PMHCNS-BC (Psychiatric Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist-Board Certified)
Ed.D., Trevecca Nazarene University
MSN, Vanderbilt University
BA (Psychology), Wheaton College


Leslie joined the Belmont faculty in the fall of 2003.  She is the course coordinator for mental health nursing and teaches in both the classroom and clinical settings.  Leslie is also the Belmont faculty member that developed and coordinates the nursing externship course, an innovative partnership with Vanderbilt University Medical Center in which students are immersed into the clinical setting. This partnership was recognized as a best practice model in the U.S. by the Nursing Executive Center in 2008 and published in Bridging the Preparation Practice Gap.

Another contribution Leslie has made is her work on a Robert Wood Johnson Grant that helped to fund and prepare expert staff nurses to become adjunct clinical faculty members.  She continues to maintain her certification as an advanced practice nurse in psychiatric nursing by maintaining one practice day each week.

No honor achieved in her career is more valued by Dr. Folds, personally or professionally, than being awarded The Presidential Faculty Achievement Award, the university’s yearly award recognizing a faculty member demonstrating dedication and commitment to Belmont’s mission to be a student-centered institution and as exemplified by one’s service to students both inside and outside the classroom.

View Dr. Fold's Vitae


A personal note from Dr. Folds. . . .

As a little girl I wanted to know the reasons people think, feel and behave as they do. My quest was unrelenting. Along with Mr. Rogers, Mrs. Olson of Little House, and Sesame Street, my father, an attorney, was a major source of my research. I would crawl up in his lap when he came home from work for my customary debriefing of his adventures with clients, judges, politicians and city employees.

I grew, and my fascination became my passion. My mother recognized that, from an early age, I had an unusual knack for understanding the real issues or problems a person, a situation, or a relationship was experiencing, and when very young, perfectly comfortable to contribute my unsolicited observations.  Her commitment to watch for and applaud my unique gifts is the reason I chose to study and obtain a degree in psychology from Wheaton College, while also working at Minirth-Meier Clinic.  Following graduation, I worked a year as a counselor at Vanderbilt Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Hospital and observed the role of an advanced practice nurse in the psychiatric setting and then went on to Vanderbilt for a MSN in Psychiatric Nursing; these experiences made clear that this passion was now my reality and would be my life’s work. Through Belmont, I was able to pursue my doctorate and become a proud and deeply grateful member of her family.

Some faculty mention personal hobbies. Learning about school from Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street, at age two, with books as my worn, torn and beloved favorite toys, I was adamantly insisting that I needed to be in school.  My mother gave-in at the ripe old age of 2½, and I was ecstatic to climb up into my first yellow school bus, alone with my lunch sack, less alone than was Momma courageously waving from the drive, and venture out into my world fully certain that it would be filled with discovery of all sorts and I’d be safe.  Working, likewise, was something that I always thought a must-have pursuit from early-on, the companion love of going to school and one that I have never abandoned, always working at something. How blessed: Belmont lets me do both….

It is an honor to be part of a nursing program and faculty with the outstanding academic reputation of Belmont and to provide the knowledge of our school's discipline from a Christian perspective.  Coming to Belmont, for me, was coming home.



School of Nursing |  Phone: 615-460-6139
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