When I was in high school, I worked summer jobs at the local primary health care clinic in my rural hometown. The clinic was connected to a 30-bed hospital that served three small Tennessee counties. That little hospital had a full labor and delivery service and an emergency room. It also had an operating room with a nurse anesthetist who flew his own helicopter to our town two days a week for surgery. During those hospital summers, filled with several different job duties and experiences, I decided I would become the next flying nurse anesthetist.
After undergraduate school at Vanderbilt University, I worked as a staff nurse both at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Saint Thomas Hospital. During that time, I applied to anesthesia schools and to a master's program in nursing. After much prayer and deliberation, I decided to pursue the master's degree in adult health nursing at the University of Tennessee Center for Health Sciences. After teaching for a short while, I found that I loved working with nursing students, and then I began the five-year process of working on my Ph.D. in higher education administration at George Peabody College at Vanderbilt University.
In 2005, I had the opportunity to serve as the faculty contact person when the Belmont University School of Nursing was chosen as one of 26 U.S. nursing schools to participate in a Safe Patient Handling and Movement curriculum pilot project sponsored by the American Nurses Association, NIOSH, and the V.A. Safety Center in Tampa. In 2008, Safe Patient Handling and Movement continues to be an exciting area of interest.
Outside teaching at Belmont, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, sewing, cooking, reading, bicycling, the beach and the mountains.