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Dr. Carole Eldridge RN, DNP, NEA-BC: A.K.A. WonderWoman

Dr. Carole Eldrdige

Dr. Carole Eldridge is an impressive nurse leader who has inspired many a woman, nurse, and leader throughout the years (do not mistake the language… Dr. Eldridge is still quite young and has many years of nursing leadership yet in front of her). I am honored to say that I know her and have been inspired by her fight, vision, and spirit. There have been many days she has coached me off of the proverbial ledge, encouraged me, and assisted me in navigating career choices, practice, and school. Fortunately, I am not the only recipient of her strong support and mentoring. Carole’s passion for nursing leadership makes her a vital north American nurse leader.

Is there a nurse in the house? Carole began her nursing career with diploma education from Cox College in Springfield, Missouri back in 1974 (her story of why she became a nurse is actually amusing, particularly if you know her now and her passion for nursing… keep reading below). From there she went on to obtain a BSN from Evangel University in 1975, MSN from University of Texas at Arlington in 2002, and DNP from Rush University in 2006. She is also board certified as an Advanced Nurse Executive by ANCC, 2003. Her career has spanned from dialysis nursing and setting up and running a health clinic in Africa, where she and her husband lived for a year, to owning and running two successful nursing companies.

Her areas of focus in nursing research include online education, faculty development in online education, and nursing leadership. She is looking to a future researching spiritual formation and leadership development in nurses in an online educational environment. Carole is a woman of action who is quite adept at technology. Past endeavors include a blog, twittering, developing and maintaining an SBU College of nursing webpage, developing an online course for mentoring and training new and adjunct faculty, and exploring various technologies for educating nurses.

Leadership is a passion. Leadership of any sort has been an ongoing interest to Carole. She merely began reading non-nursing leadership books and observing those around her. She has remarked that she came into leadership positions not by actively seeking them out, noting that leadership roles often “fell into my lap”,  but by saying to her-self “that could be done better than it is currently being done”. Her current leadership role is in academia as dean of Southwest Baptist University’s (SBU) College of Nursing. However, she reports that her real career was long before her academic years, owning two nursing businesses with focus in long-term care and health education. Carole commented with a smile, “my favorite title was always CEO–I held that one for 5 years in home health/hospice.  It meant I could do whatever I wanted.”

How did such a woman get into nursing? “I wrecked my car when a senior in high school. (My) parents were upset, and had no money to buy me a car or pay for my education. I was offered scholarship to nursing school that would cost my parents nothing. I wanted to be a teacher, but took the nursing school scholarship because of money, and because I wouldn’t have to have a car (lived on campus). Hated it at first.  Loved it eventually.”

Current Projects. Her current project is Nightingale’s Mission, a nonprofit organization to support global nursing education and partnerships between US nursing schools and nursing education in developing countries. She is “just getting started”.

Carole is an impressive nurse leader with knowledge and experience as an administrator, educator, nurse entrepreneur, bedside nurse, missionary, and visionary. For those she leads, she is an empowering director with an egalitarian view of leadership. She currently is a member of several nursing organizations and supports many student nurse endeavors. Currently she is the primary supporter and developer of nursing missions to Ecuador through the SBU College of Nursing. She is also a seasoned speaker and writer; several of her publications are listed below.

Carole is a nurse who has moved nursing, as a profession, and the nurses around her forward no matter where she is and I feel certain that she will continue to do so in the future. THANK YOU CAROLE for being a nurse, your career choice has forever changed my life and many others.

Recent Presentations and Publications:

Seminar speaker: Creating an Online Training Center for Nursing Faculty, Sigma Theta Tau International Congress on Evidence-Based Practice, Vienna, Austria, 2007

Published works:

Eldridge, C. R. (2010). Nursing science and theory: Scientific underpinnings for practice. In The Doctor of Nursing Practice Essentials: A New Model for Advanced Practice Nursing, Jones & Bartlett.

Eldridge, C. R. (2007). Evidence-based falls prevention: A study guide for nurses (1st & 2nd ed.). Marblehead, MA: HCPro.

Eldridge, C. R. (2007, October). Meeting your patients’ spiritual needs. American Nurse Today, 2(10), 51-52.

Eldridge, C. R. (2006). Training modules for workers in assisted living and home health, Volumes I-III. Dallas, TX: CareTrack Resources.

Eldridge, C. R. (2004). Long-term care risk management: Resident falls—A guide to prevention, assessment, and response. Marblehead, MA: HCPro.

Eldridge, C. R., & Judkins, S. (2003). Rural nurse administrators: Essentials for practice. Online Journal of Rural Nursing & Health Care, 3(2).

Eldridge, C. R. (2000). Clinical practice guidelines for psychiatric disorders. In D. Moreau (Ed.), Pocket guide to home care standards (pp. 539-566). Springhouse, PA: Springhouse.

Judkins, S., & Eldridge, C. R. (2001). Let’s put “caring” back into healthcare: Teaching staff to care. Journal of Nursing Administration, 31(11), 509-511.
*You can find Dr. Eldridge on Twitter @Nerdnurse

13 Comments leave one →
  1. November 30, 2009 2:48 am

    Thank you for your wonderful profile of an amazing woman! I admire Carole’s leadership and professionalism. She is an inspiration to me as a leader and mentor.

    • November 30, 2009 1:58 pm

      Agree Sharina. Carole is one very impressive woman. It was an honor to write about her. Stay tuned for more impressive nurse leaders.

  2. Darbi Stolk permalink
    November 30, 2009 4:37 pm

    I first met Carole during a very stressful time subsequent to her need to fire two nurse administrators at a branch of her then company, Pacesetters/Assisted Living Concepts. She met with the nurses who were affected by the changes, and I was one of them. She exuded positive and confident energy and quelled any anxieties felt by the group. I have to admit I was immediately impressed.
    I since came to know her better as my immediate supervisor and as she promoted me up through the ranks. I know she came to bat for me on more than one occasion. I only wish I could have had more time with her before she resigned her position with ALC.
    She is one of only two nurses who have had a hand in shaping my nursing and leadership skills. I’m really thankful I’ve been able to reconnect with her through the Internet and her strong presence here.

    • November 30, 2009 4:44 pm

      Darbi – Very well put. Thank you for adding to the post. Carole’s affect on nurses is felt all over the world. I am so thrilled you feel the same way!

  3. Paul permalink
    November 30, 2009 5:29 pm

    She is most impressive. I’ve never seen the cape, but have photographic evidence that she can deftly wield a light-sabre!

    • December 1, 2009 6:21 pm

      LOL! I am sure she has more secret weapons than we all know. I know for a fact that if she could get a star-trek tri-corder she would.

  4. Marjorie Compton permalink
    December 4, 2009 9:48 pm

    We agree with everything said. She is a beautiful person, inside and out.

  5. January 23, 2010 6:51 pm

    Hi Terri,

    I really like this new series cool idea! I am definitely a big fan of interviews! I really want to find a better way to do online video interviews. How are you doing these, phone, skype?

    • January 25, 2010 8:40 pm

      I actually did all of this via e-mail and personal encounters. I sent out a list of questions for the leader posts (I am doing little known leaders who are making a HUGE difference in the nursing profession in areas I have been involved in). I am working towards skype and phone calls to get some more great nurse leaders that I have found on twitter like Rosie (RoRod101) and Barbara (SafetyNurse) and perhaps even Phil Baumann…. You interested in letting me write about you?

      • February 8, 2010 4:56 pm

        I definitely have not found the perfect solution for online interviews, but I’m hoping on getting closer and closer. Also, I would be more than flattered if I could contribute to the recent graduates or graduate student section.

        I hope things are going well!

      • February 8, 2010 5:01 pm

        Have you tried Tokbox Rob? Also, I would like to write about you as a nurse leader on the blog if possible?

      • February 8, 2010 5:19 pm

        I actually haven’t but I will definitely look into it! Thanks, also I’m always happy to help. Let me know what I can do.

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