Carolyn Hart discerned nursing as a profession later than many. “I went back to school when my youngest child entered middle school. I was anticipating a career in medicine,” she says. “After weighing the pros and cons of balancing tuition, work demands, and family, I opted to become a nurse.” Her pragmatism was rewarded with an extremely rich and satisfying career in which she is able to contribute so much to nursing education, thereby influencing patients’ lives. It was “the perfect choice for me … I would never have been able to accomplish as much as a physician,” she says.
While Carolyn counts joining Sigma Theta Tau International as one of the best things she has done in her professional life, Carolyn confesses her initial reason for joining was rather self-serving.
“The truth is,” she says, “I joined STTI in order to apply for a grant for my dissertation.” Understandable for a busy wife and mother whose husband enrolled in a nursing program at the same time as she did! A grant would certainly be a boon.
Carolyn was inducted into the Lambda Phi Chapter at the University of Missouri in Kansas City. She currently belongs to the Phi Gamma Virtual Chapter and serves as the North America Region 9 Coordinator.
“I can honestly say that I owe my career to STTI. I was working as a full-time faculty person when I entered STTI’s Nurse Faculty Leadership Academy (NFLA). This is a 20-month intensive program that intentionally seeks to develop leadership skills, and was the driving force in my securing a position to develop a brand new nursing program at an established college,” says Carolyn.
After NFLA, Carolyn went on to complete the Emerging Education Administrator Institute (EEAI) offered through STTI, another wonderful experience that provided her with a supportive environment in which to put her new leadership skills to use. Both the NFLA and EEAI enabled Carolyn to become part of a change in the governance system at Wilson College in Pennsylvania, where she now serves as both assistant professor of nursing and the chair of the Division of Nursing and Health Sciences.
No longer seeking a grant for herself, Carolyn now lends support to those following in her footsteps. She is a proud donor of the STTI Foundation for Nursing, allocating her monthly contribution to help continue STTI’s institutes such as NFLA and EEAI.
“STTI means many things to me – leadership, mentorship, career progression, scholarship, pride,” says Carolyn. “STTI is the embodiment of excellence in nursing and provides the means for each and every one of us to become more and do more within our profession.”