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College of Nursing

  • lisa james

DNP program empowers nurse leaders in various roles

Lisa James, (DNP ‘17) DNP, RN, MHA, NEA-BC 


What is your current role/profession?

Executive Director of Nursing at MUSC Kershaw Health in Camden, SC.

How did your time at the college prepare you for your career today?

Attending the College of Nursing prepared me in many ways. I knew that Nursing Leadership at the Executive level is where I was inspiring to become. The DNP program had a rich and well-rounded curriculum geared toward empowering leaders in various roles to make healthcare more patient centered, cost effective, accessible and quality driven. This was exactly what I needed. It helped to validate my strong desire to improve nursing practice and build my confidence as a leader. I also was able to meet and develop friendships with some amazing leaders from across the state and beyond. I am still able to reach out to them for support and professional feedback. This was truly an impactful professional development opportunity for me. Due to the blessing that is has been in my career, I love reaching out to others and helping in any way possible.

Which person, course, or experience most influenced you while at the College of Nursing?

I would say that my Doctoral Project Committee Members had the most influence. These were three impactful nurse leaders who took the time to listen and hear my passion. They were my accountability partners through the journey and still remain invaluable resources.

Best memory of your time at the college?

Hats down it was advocating along with my class members at the SC State House with Dr. Stephanie Burgess, PhD, APRN, BC, FAANP, FAAN for change in scope of practice for APRNs. This led to an increase in access to healthcare in the state. The class spent the day at the State House in our white lab coats speaking with state representatives about the importance of the change to our profession and the community. It was a very exciting and engaging experience. They did not have a clue about information shared from the nursing professional side of things but we enlightened them on that day.

What led or impacted you to continuously give your time to the college as an alumna?

The desire to want to be a part of transforming health care through mentoring and being a role model for the next generation of nurses. I want to be a part of ensuring nursing has a voice and create an environment where nurses are supported to be the best that they can be. It is challenging to nurse leaders today in trying different strategies to address and adapt to changes in the workforce, best practices and research, advances in technology etc. Without a doubt, my relationship and trust with the college of nursing is a continual resource that I can depend on. I love this university and the college of nursing. Together, we are making a difference in so many ways in the lives of others.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.