Meeting Students Where They Are

meeting students where they are

It’s been nearly 40 years, but Chamberlain University provost Carla Sanderson, PhD, RN, still remembers her very first patient.

“Her name was Ida,” she said. “I was in my nursing foundations course. As sick as she was, she understood that I was a student and made herself available as a learning experience for me. I’d provide care for her, and then she’d say, ‘Sit down and let’s talk.’ She encouraged me with certain caregiving and told me, ‘You’ve chosen a profession where you’ll find a lot of meaning.’

“That was in the fall, and at Christmas, I got a crocheted pillow from her in the mail. For a young student trying to build her confidence as a caregiver, this experience sealed in my mind that I could do this, that I could be an effective nurse.”

On the Other Side of Education

Nearly 40 years later, Dr. Sanderson is committed to fostering a similar Culture of Care at Chamberlain – a culture in which care and service ultimately result in the development of extraordinary healthcare professionals.

As provost, she is charged with overseeing Chamberlain’s academic programs – setting and implementing priorities, and working closely with leadership, faculty and staff to provide the highest possible quality of educational programs.

She joined Chamberlain in May of 2014, having served the previous 32 years at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, first as dean of nursing then as university provost. In this latter role, she helped launch new programs in social work, engineering, pharmacy and nurse anesthesia.

Laser Focused on Student Success

At Chamberlain, Dr. Sanderson has set her sights on collaborating with Chamberlain faculty to offer them meaningful development opportunities and on achieving superior outcomes for all students. She is particularly committed to first-generation college students and also aims to develop special support and programming for English language learners.

Chamberlain aims to enhance learning across the curriculum through extensive support, and this partnership helps us do that in a tangible way. It means that, beginning with the nursing fundamentals course through the capstone course, students will have access to comprehensive support tools and customized plans for mastering course content throughout our Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program.

“From the moment students begin a course with us, we want them to have the tools and resources to support their success. We are proud to say our recently-formed partnership with ATI (Assessment Technologies Institute) Nursing Education, the nation's preeminent e-learning provider, offers support to empower Chamberlain students to succeed in school, pass the NCLEX® and provide extraordinary care as a professional nurse.”

Dr. Sanderson recognizes that some students need an individualized approach to care and support in order to be successful.

“We’d like to create what we call ‘care interventions’ for these students,” she said. “The intention is to meet students where they are and provide them with tools and support to help them succeed. Well prepared, engaged faculty in combination with well supported, motivated students is the formula for graduating extraordinary healthcare professionals.”

Chamberlain University provost

Carla Sanderson, PhD, RN, holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Florida, a Master of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Tennessee and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Union University.

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A Proud History
For over 125 years, Chamberlain University has been preparing extraordinary nursing graduates.