Dr. Sheila Adams, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Mississippi University for Women, will speak at graduation Friday, Aug. 11 at 2 p.m. in Rent Auditorium, Whitfield Hall. Approximately 400 candidates have applied for August graduation.
Over her 47-year career, Adams served in a variety of healthcare roles before entering higher education and making lasting contributions to the preparation of future nurses. After receiving undergraduate and graduate nursing degrees from Emory University, she came to The W in the earliest days of the nursing program and has been an integral part of growing it into one of the largest and most highly regarded programs in the region.
Adams has an impressive list of awards and honors recognizing her leadership and professional stature including Mississippi Nursing School Administrator of the Year and Mississippi Nursing Dean of the Year. She is listed in American Men and Women of Science, Who’s Who in American Nursing and the International Who’s Who of Professionals. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, the International Nursing Honor Society. At The W, she has received the university’s Medal of Excellence — the highest non-degree recognition the institution gives. Most recently she was inducted into the 2017 Nightingale Hall of Fame.
Among her extensive service activities, Adams has been a member of the Mississippi Regional Action Coalition Committee Initiative on the Future of Nursing, the Mississippi Task Force on Nursing Retention and Graduation, the Mississippi Office of Nursing Workforce Advisory Board and the Mississippi Council of Deans and Directors of Schools of Nursing, currently serving as chair. She serves as a peer reviewer for the Journal of Professional Nursing and is a member of the Southern Regional Education Board: Council on Collegiate Education for Nursing, currently serving as chair of the Finance Committee. She also serves as a national nursing accreditation visitor for the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and as a state accreditation visitor for Mississippi Nursing Programs.
Adams also has been called on to assume additional roles during her tenure at The W and has twice served as interim provost and vice president for academic affairs.
Under Adams’ tenure, the college has expanded its hybrid online-classroom RN to BSN program, which allows working nurses to earn an additional degree, and, in 2013, added the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. The W now offers nursing options from a two-year associate’s to the doctorate. Graduates regularly score among the highest in the state on national licensure exams.
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