Betty Nelson, Ph.D., RN

Academic Dean of the School of Nursing

A strong and effective advocate for quality patient care and nursing education and engagement, Dr. Betty Nelson has a firsthand understanding of the demands and responsibilities faced by healthcare students and practitioners. Her extensive experience in healthcare, policy, research, and education has shown her how integral education is in maintaining a skillful, dedicated workforce.

Dr. Nelson is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellow with an educational background which 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.

Throughout her career, Dr. Nelson has focused on the importance of education and quality improvement throughout the healthcare industry in positions at some of the country’s most prestigious health care providers, including:

  • 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 is an active member of a number of advisory panels and national committees, most 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.

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

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