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About Cheryl Williams

Since obtaining my doctorate in 2015, I have published many journal articles in nursing education academy journals; one was a guest editorial detailing teaching to the Generation Z students. In addition, I have presented my research nationally, regionally, and here at SSU over the years. My primary research focus is improving student learning. I am considered an expert on the integration of the growth mindset model into nursing education. My 2018 article, published in the National League for Nurses (NLN) journal Nursing Education Perspectives, entitled Mindsets in Nursing Education was selected to receive the journal’s “Innovation Center” award. The journal editorial members chose my article based upon its significance to nursing education, clarity and quality of writing, engaging writing style, sound conceptualization, forward thinking, depth and scope of innovation, uniqueness, and popularity based on website metrics. 

I eagerly accepted a full-time tenure track teaching position in the SSU MSN Nursing Education specialty tract on September 5, 2015 since I wanted to teach the next generation of nurse educators. I began my career at the New England Deaconess Hospital (NEDH) School of Nursing graduating in 1979 and was employed there until 1997. “I love nursing because you can always find something new to learn”. In 1997, I finished my course of study at Simmons College as a Nurse Practitioner with a specialty in primary care. As an Adult Nurse Practitioner, I have worked in many settings within greater Boston enjoying the nurse hospitalist role for its high acuity and need for evidence-based practice in real time.

Following completion of my MSN, I realized that I could also pursue one of my initial desires; teaching. I accepted a one-year contract to teach at Salve Regina University. During my stay in Newport, I realized that I wanted to pursue a career in teaching nursing. Over the years I have taught at UMASS Boston (UMB) and Labouré College. While at UMB, I received the Theta Alpha Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau, Pearl Rosendahl Excellence in Nursing Education Award and Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers award.

While at Labouré College, I became an advocate for concept mapping as student preparation for clinical preparation rather than traditional care plans. I also chaired the Retention committee and learned a great deal about the student experience and keeping students on track to graduate. However, over the years at Labouré College, I soon realized, that while I was an excellent practitioner and enjoyed sharing these experiences with my students, I began to see the limits of my teaching abilities and became determined to obtain my doctorate. “Times had changed and the students demanded more than simple lectures and exams. Millennial students, for instance, demanded engagement, active learning, gaming and simulation methods”. Once again, I returned to Simmons College and enrolled in the Health Professions Education Degree (HPED) PhD program. There I learned how to teach and conduct research in the 21st century and was awarded my PhD in May 2015.


Present Faculty Member, Salem State University School of Nursing

Curriculum Vitae


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Professional Service and Affiliations

Member, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
Member, MARN/ANA
Member, National League of Nursing
Member, New England Faculty Development Consortium
Member, Sigma Theta Tau-International Honor Society
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Honors and Awards

  • “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers”
  • Pearl Rosendahl Award for Excellence in Nursing Education…STTI


2012 PhD, Simmons College ‐ Nursing Education
1997 MSN, Simmons College ‐ Adult Primary Health Care
1979 RN Diploma, N.E. Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing