Carr College of Nursing

History of Our Program 

2006        Nursing faculty and students again, for the 13th year, offered a Campus Disaster Drill, which is a collaborative event between Searcy and the Harding community.  We also celebrated the 30th anniversary of the nursing program throughout the year.

The Harding Nursing Student Association, 4th largest chapter in the nation, was presented with 3 national awards.  Student mission trips were to Haiti, Tanzania, and Central America.  Faculty and students remain active in Searcy’s Christian Health Ministry of White County.

Ms. Debra Spunt, a faculty member from the University of Maryland, was a consultant on laboratory simulation; Ms. Spunt, site coordinator for the NLN Laerdal Simulation Project, died of breast cancer about 9 months later. 

Regarding the Olen Hendrix Building, the external staircases were removed and replaced with steel stairs.  Limestone external decorations near the roof were replaced with a lighter, synthetic material.  The building was externally cleaned.

Cathleen M. Shultz, PhD, RN, FAAN became the first Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) at Harding, joining about 250 CNE’s nationwide.  She was elected Treasurer of the National League for Nursing.  

Numerous faculty published in refereed journals and books.

Dr. Da’Lynn Clayton was appointed Interim Associate Dean. 
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2007         Harding University announced that a new nursing building is part of the university’s five  year strategic plan.

The Olen Hendrix Building became wireless for computer technology.  Flat computer screens were placed in the Simmons Laboratory and bedside computers were placed in the skills lab. The skills laboratory was inventoried, updated, and organized for continuing use of evidence-based teaching strategies. 

The 2007 year marked the 30th year of preparing Harding nursing graduates.

Epsilon Omicron Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary. 

Faculty accomplishments included:

  • Dr. Cathleen Shultz was elected President-Elect for the National League for Nursing (NLN).

  • Cheryl Lee received a Ph.D. in Nursing from the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences campus in Little Rock.

  • Dr. Da’Lynn Clayton was appointed Associate Dean.

  • Dr. Sheila Sullivan became an NLN Certified Nurse Educator (CNE); she and Dr. Shultz are 2 of 500 nurse educators certified in the U.S.

  • Janice Bingham, Health Missions Coordinator, was instrumental in preparing 27 students to be the first in working with Harding’s newest international program in Zambia to begin fall semester 2007.  A required preparation course was implemented and coordinated by Miss Bingham. She received the 2007 Distinguished Teacher Award.
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2008  Faculty accomplishments included:

  • Juli Lane received a MSN from University of Southern Alabama.

  • Karen Kelley received the District 8 Nurse of the Year Award from the Arkansas Nurses Association.

  • Dr. Da’Lynn Clayton received an Outstanding Teacher Award from the University.

  • Jeanie Burt became an NLN Certified Nurse Educator (CNE).

  • Johnnetta Kelly was appointed to the NLN Taskforce on Cultural Diversity.

  • Jackie Harris was appointed as an NLN Ambassador.
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2009 The College of Nursing received continuing full approval from the Arkansas State Board of Nursing in May 2009.

Student Accomplishments

  • The Harding Nursing Student Association won the Arkansas State Award for their newsletter, The Pulse, November 2008.

Faculty Accomplishments

  • Dr. Cheryl Lee was appointed to the American Academy of Nursing Geropsychiatric Competency Development Taskforce in April 2, 2009.

  • Dr. Cathleen Shultz was awarded the Fellow in the Arkansas Gerontological Society in April 2009.

  • Johnnetta Kelly won the Graduate Research Poster Award from Tri-Chapter Sigma Theta Tau International Research Conference in April 2009.

  • Dr. Cheryl Lee, Johnnetta Kelly, and Juli Lane became NLN Certified Nurse Educators (CNE’s).

  • Karen Kelly received an Outstanding Teacher Award from the University.

  • Dr. Cheryl Lee presented her dissertation research, “Health Promotion Behaviors of Older Spousal Caregivers: A Comparison of Rural and Urban Women” at the Tri-Chapter Sigma Theta Tau International Research Day, April 2, 2009.

  • Dr. Cathleen Shultz presented the Keynote Address: Challenges of Implementing Evidence-Based Teaching for the Nursing Education Institute, April 2009.

  • Dr. Cathleen Shultz received the Outstanding Award for Innovation in Baccalaureate Geriatric Nursing Education Award from the Hartford Foundation and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing: Washington D.C.; 2008

  • Johnnetta Kelly presented at the Southern Nursing Research Society, February 2009.

Faculty Publications


  • Dr. Cheryl Lee. (2009). A comparison of health promotion behaviors in rural and urban community-dwelling spousal caregivers. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 35.

  • Dr. Cathleen Shultz. (April/May 2009). Preparing to work in an informatics-based world. Imprint, 36-39.

Book Chapters

  • Dr. Cathleen Shultz and Karen Kelley. (2009). “Nursing education and public health nursing.” Public health nursing: Practicing population-based care. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

  • Dr. Cathleen Shultz. (2009). “Total program faculty.” Giving through teaching: How nurse educators are changing the world. New York, NY: Spring Publishing.


  • Dr. Cathleen Shultz (Ed). (2009). Building a science of nursing education: Foundation for evidence-based teaching-learning. New York, NY:  National League for Nursing.
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2010 The College of Nursing was renamed the Dr. James F. Carr, Jr. College of Nursing (Carr College of Nursing) by the Harding University Board of Trustees in May 2010. 

Student Accomplishments

  • The Harding Nursing Student Association (HNSA) newsletter, The Pulse, won the Arkansas Nursing Students’ Association (ANSA) award for Most Outstanding Newsletter as well as the Most Outstanding Newsletter at the NSNA National Convention in Orlando, FL.

  • Kevin Lillis, HNSA member and ANSA board member, proposed a resolution which was passed at the NSNA National Convention.

Faculty Accomplishments

  • Dr. Cathleen Shultz was installed as President for the National League for Nursing (NLN) in September 2009. Dr. Cathleen Shultz, along with other NLN leaders, published the NLN Outcomes and Competencies Model.

  • Dr. Da’Lynn Clayton was appointed to the NLN Presidential High-Stakes Testing Task Force.

  • Johnnetta Kelly was appointed to the NLN Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) Test Commission; She also received an Outstanding Teacher Award from the University.

  • Janice Bingham received an Outstanding Christian Service Award during the annual Harding University Lectureship.

  • Lisa Engel became an NLN Certified Nurse Educator (CNE).

  • Jeanie Burt was appointed to the NLN CNE Test Development Committee.
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2011 The family of Dr. James F. Carr, Jr. was honored at the Carr College of Nursing Transition Ceremony in August 2010.  The ceremony took place in the Cone Chapel where Mrs. Stephanie Carr, Dr. Jim Carr and wife Susan, and Tom Carr and wife Lisa, participated in the HCCN Candlelighting Ceremony welcoming the new nursing students.

The Carr College of Nursing was officially dedicated by the Harding University Board of Trustees, in a ceremony held in conjunction with Homecoming activities in November 2010.

During the summer, the HCCN pin was redesigned to bare the new name, Harding University Carr College of Nursing.

A Nursing Student Study Center was created in OH 302.  The room offers students a comfortable, quiet area to study or work on group projects, with wireless internet service,  laptop counters, and table workspace available.

Student Accomplishments

  •  Mike Carrodeguas, HNSA delegate to the NSNA National Convention, developed and proposed a resolution which passed at the convention.

  • Kevin Lillis, HNSA member, continued to serve as ANSA Legislative Chair of the Board of Directors and also filled the role of Nominations and Elections Committee Chair.

  •  Amber Bellcock, HNSA member, served as a District II Director through ANSA.

  • Teddy Luke, HNSA member, served as Director of Nominations and Elections.

 The HNSA newsletter, The Pulse, again won the ANSA award for Most Outstanding Newsletter.

  • Kelly Frye, a senior, won the 2011 National Gerontological Student Nursing Leadership Award from the National Gerontological Nursing Association.

  • Brittany Houtchens, a senior, received a scholarship award from the Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care for her project on Reducing the Use of Physical Restraints Among the Elderly in Long-Term Care Facilities.

Faculty Accomplishments

  •  Jackie Harris became an NLN Certified Nurse Educator (CNE).

  • Jerry Myhan received an Outstanding Teacher Award from the University.

  • HCCN’s Epsilon Omicron Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International, sponsored the annual Tri Chapter Research Day in March on Harding’s Campus.

The program, which focused on genetics in nursing, featured presentations such as: Decoding the Human Genome: Applications for Genetic Obesity Research; Pharmacogenomics on the Horizon; and Last Things First: Above All Do No Harm.
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2012 July 2, 2012, was a landmark day for the HCCN.  The groundbreaking for the new Nursing and Communication Sciences and Disorders building was held that morning.  In addition to Dr. Cathleen Shultz, Dr. Beckie Weaver, Dr. David Burks, Dr. Jim Carr, Dr. Clifton Ganus, Jr., and other HU administration, those attending included nursing faculty and staff, community leaders, nursing students, and clinical agency leaders.

Dr. Clifton L. Ganus, Jr. and his wife, Louise, were named Honorary Nurses of the HCCN. The HCCN pins were presented at the Rose-Pinning Ceremony for the May 2012 HCCN graduates.

In February, 2012, the HCCN underwent an NLNAC accreditation visit, culminating in the visitors recommending reaccreditation for the next eight years.

Faculty Accomplishments:

  • Dr. Melodee Harris is President and a founding member of the Arkansas Chapter of the National Gerontological Nursing Association.  She is also Director-at-Large for the National Gerontological Nursing Association.

  • Johnnetta Kelly completed her doctoral studies and received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas Arlington, December 2012. Her dissertation title was “Health screenings beyond a history of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: A secondary analysis of behavioral risk factor surveillance data.” She presented a 1.0 (hr) CE presentation to ARNA: “Screening after a history of Gestational Diabetes.”

  • Janice Bingham received the Dr. Henry and Grace Farrar Award for Service in Medical Missions at the 30th Annual Medical Missions Seminar in Ft. Worth, TX. In February, Janice also received the Woman of Hope Award from Healing Hands International for service in missions.  During the 2012 WINGS conference, Janice was recognized for her life of service to God.

  • Jeanie Burt was honored in October 2011 as the Chapter Advisor of the Year at the ANSA convention in Rogers, AR.

  • Dr. Cathleen Shultz will be among 32 distinguished nurse educators to join the National League for Nursing’s Academy of Nursing Education. She will be inducted as a fellow (ANEF) at the NLN 2012 Education Summit in September 2012.  Dr. Cathleen Shultz successfully renewed her recognition as a Certified Nurse Educator (CNE).

  • Jerry Myhan completed requirements for recertification as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP).

A book edited by Dr. Cathleen Shultz and two other nationally recognized nurse educators, was nominated for the Capstone International Nursing Book Award by Sigma Theta Tau International. The book, “Giving through teaching: How nurse educators are changing the world,” features HCCN faculty Janice Bingham and Karen Kelley and includes photos of HCCN faculty and students.

Student Accomplishments:

  • The HCCN, along with only two other nursing schools nationwide, received NSNA Stellar School Chapter Recognition on April 14, 2012, at the NSNA convention in Pittsburg, PA. The HNSA students devoted many hours to gathering documentation and other evidence of the school’s and HNSA’s professional activities, areas of service, and other accomplishments required by the criteria for this distinguished award.

  • Charlotte Hatch, HNSA member, was elected as the ANSA Legislative Chair at the ANSA convention in October 2012.

  • Kasey House and Charlotte Hatch, HNSA delegates to the NSNA convention in Pittsburgh, PA, in April 2012, developed and proposed two resolutions which were passed at the convention.

  • The HNSA chapter won the following awards at the ANSA convention: Legislative Excellence (for outstanding fundraising and budget management) and Outstanding Newsletter (for their outstanding work with The Pulse).

  • Jennifer Walker, a senior, submitted a manuscript entitled “Let Them Cry” to the Journal of Christian Nursing. She received notice that her work will be published. 
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Additional Historical Information

  • By May 2012 over 1,500 alumni of the Carr College of Nursing were practicing in the United States and all over the world.  Numerous graduates have, or are pursuing, masters and doctoral degrees in nursing.

  • The development of the Carr College of Nursing, from the inception of the idea to educate nurses to the fully developed program, has been a continuing effort by Harding University.  A strong pre-nursing curriculum was offered at Harding College in the late 1940's.  In the fall of 1972, administrative officers of the College became interested in developing a baccalaureate degree in nursing to meet the needs of students who chose to attend a Christian college.

  • A feasibility study for a nursing program was undertaken in July, 1972 by Dr. James F. Carr, Jr., the Assistant to the Dean of Harding College, and members of the science faculty.  A critical nursing shortage and a scarcity of educational programs to prepare baccalaureate graduates were evidenced.  The administration, consistent with its philosophy of service, proceeded with the necessary steps to establish a new program to help meet those needs.  Support and endorsement were given by the Harding College Science and Pre-Medical Advisory Council, as well as other interested friends at Harding.  Letters of support came not only from sister junior colleges, but also from health care facilities and healthcare providers in the immediate area.

  • The Harding College Board of Trustees approved the program development in November, 1972, followed by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing in May, 1973.  A. Michele Warren, M.S.N., served as the first chairman of the nursing program.  For the school year 1975-76 two other faculty were employed.  They were Elissa Lane (Miller), M.N.Sc., and Louise Truex (Bradford), M.S.N.  In the fall of 1975 the first class of 56 students was admitted into the upper level of nursing major.  The nursing program was organized as a Department of Nursing Education in the Division of Natural Science.

  • In 1976 nine more faculty were added, including two who still continue with the Carr College of Nursing:  Cathleen Shultz, PhD, RN, FAAN and Janice Bingham, MSN, RN, ANP.  The second class was admitted in the fall of 1976, making a total enrollment of about 100 students.  The first class of 48 students, including two registered nurses, was graduated in May, 1977.  The name of the program was changed to the Department of Nursing in the fall of 1977 and Cathleen M. Smith became the Chairman, with 15 full-time faculty members.

  • Harding College became Harding University in August, 1979 and with this change, the program became the School of Nursing and its chief administrative officer became the Dean.   Mrs. Cathleen Smith Shultz, the Chairman of the Division of Nursing, was appointed the first Dean.

  • Faculty development continued to be a characteristic of the School.  In 1980, Harding was the first Arkansas nursing program to have all masters prepared faculty.  Cathleen M. Smith received a Ph.D. in 1983, becoming the first faculty member to receive a doctoral degree.  By the fall of 1984, two faculty had doctoral degrees, and seven of nine faculty members had masters degrees. Louise Truex Bradford received her Ed.D. in 1986. By the fall of 1999, three faculty had doctoral degrees, three had doctoral degrees in progress, and all others had masters degrees. Several were nationally certified in their specialties.  

  • In April of 1980 the School of Nursing received notification from the National League for Nursing (NLN) that the School had received the maximum accreditation length of eight years.  Accreditation by the NLN Board of Review was a giant step for the School of Nursing.  Continuing accreditation was achieved in 1988.  The NLN program evaluators returned to campus in the spring of 1996, and recommended continuing accreditation which was again approved by the NLN in October of 1996.  NLN is now the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) which awarded continuing accreditation with no recommendations in 2004.

  • Student involvement in the Carr College of Nursing has been present since its inception.  The Harding Student Nurse Association was organized in 1976 and is an active chapter at the state level; the name was changed in 1997 to Harding Nursing Student Association because the title of “nurse” became a protected title.  Several Harding nursing students have served as state officers.  Students are selected each year to sit on several faculty committees and submit input from the student perspective.  Epsilon Omicron, a Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society chapter, was incorporated in 1980.  The organization promotes nursing scholarship and has annually held nursing workshops.

  • During these developing years, the faculty and students in nursing have, through committee work, developed principles and procedures to guide students while enrolled in nursing.  The results of the faculty and student deliberation have been compiled into a Handbook for the Carr College of Nursing for the benefit of present and incoming students.  The HCCN Undergraduate Student Handbook does not replace the Harding University Student Handbook, but has been developed to enhance and give specific information to nursing majors. 
 To review the previous 33 years click here.

Dean of Carr College of Nursing

Carr College of Nursing

Assistant to the Dean