Former dean of Harding University nursing college retires

Dr. Cathleen Shultz, former dean of the Carr College of Nursing at Harding University, has announced her decision to retire effective Sept. 1.

Shultz has been a member of the Harding faculty since 1976. In 1977 she was named chairperson of the department of nursing, and then in 1980 she became the founding dean of Carr College of Nursing.

She led the program through numerous state and national accreditations, the last in 2012. The program achieved national recognition, receiving several grants and awards. Under her leadership, the program grew from 50 students to over 350 per year, nursing graduate programs were developed, new facilities were planned, and the program relocated into the new Swaid Center for Health Sciences in 2013.

Commenting on her career Shultz said, “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve others as a nurse, especially at Harding University and in Arkansas communities.”

Shultz was the first Arkansan elected to the national board of governors of the National League for Nursing (NLN) and the only Arkansan to serve as president of the organization.

Under Shultz’s leadership, Carr College of Nursing was the first nursing program in Arkansas to incorporate the use of computers into learning, introduce primary care in the curriculum, provide health services for Head Start and HIPPY programs and for migrant workers, initiate health screening clinics in public schools, provide health information and services for the elderly, and incorporate health missions into the curriculum. The program has a legacy of health missions with students and faculty routinely participating in international health efforts in Haiti, Tanzania and other sites.

Shultz was appointed by Governors Bill Clinton and Mike Beebe to serve on the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. She is currently serving her fourth term on the governing body. She was elected to serve as president of the board from 1991-92. She is currently chair of the board’s education committee.

Her many honors include twice being named Distinguished Teacher at Harding, selected as Outstanding Alumna from the University of South Carolina College of Nursing, honored with the 2010 Distinguished Service Award from the Arkansas Nurses’ Association, recognized with her induction in 1992 as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, chosen in 2009 as a Fellow of the Arkansas Gerontological Society, and named in 2012 as a Fellow of the Academy of Nurse Educators. Emory University recognized her with its Distinguished Alumna Legacy Award in 2014.

Shultz’s professional memberships include the American Nurses’ Association; the Arkansas Nurses’ Association; the NLN; and Sigma Theta Tau, the international honor society for nurses. She is a past president of the Arkansas Nurses’ Association, a past secretary of Sigma Theta Tau, and a past treasurer and president of NLN.

Currently she is an appointed member of the National Nursing Advisory Council to the Joint Commission of Hospital Accreditation, a member and treasurer of the Board of Commissioners of NLN-Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation located in Washington, D.C.

She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina (B.S.N.), Emory University (M.N.) and Vanderbilt University (Ph.D.).

She is married to Sam L. Shultz M.D., an academic faculty member of UAMS, practicing at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. The couple resides in Searcy.

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