Carolyn Williams PhD, RN, FAAN

Carolyn Williams is a professor and dean emerita of the College of Nursing. Prior to appointment to the faculty here, she held several positions including associate professor of epidemiology in the School of Public Health and associate professor of nursing in the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; and professor and director of the graduate program and research at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University. Dr. Williams is actively involved in educational, research, and practice activities and in consultation. Her practice and research interests are in public health nursing, community-focused health programs, and the use of epidemiological strategies in health services management and evaluation. She has many publications in nursing, primary care, and public health, and has served on numerous editorial boards and as a reviewer for several publications. She has held many leadership roles including president of the American Academy of Nursing; chairperson, Commission on Nursing Research, ANA; member, Program Development Board, American Public Health Association (APHA); and board member of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and Appalachian Regional Healthcare, Inc. She has held appointments on National Research Study sections and has served on review panels for the National Institute for Nursing Research. In the late 1970s she served as a member of the advisory committee for Jo Horsley’s CURN project, and in the late 1980s she chaired the advisory committee for the grant, “Disseminating Nursing Research,” with Sandra Funk as the principal investigator. Her national policy-making roles include appointment by President Carter as a nurse member of the President’s Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine, Biomedical and Behavioral Research; and membership on the Preventive Services Task Force, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She has provided international consultation to South America through the Pan American Health Organization (WHO), to the WHO in Geneva, and as a member of the WHO’s Nursing Advisory Panel. Dr. Williams is a fellow of the American Public Health Association (APHA) and the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) and served as president of the academy from 1983 to 1985. She received the Distinguished Alumna Award from Texas Woman’s University in 1983 and the Mary Tolle Wright Founder’s Award for Excellence in Leadership from Sigma Theta Tau International in 2001. In March 2002 she completed a two-year term as president of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. In 2011 the University of Portland recognized her many years of leadership in the nursing profession with an honorary doctorate.

Contact Information

Phone: (859) 323-5576




PhD, University of North Carolina, 1969
MS, University of North Carolina, 1965
MS, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1962
BSN, Texas Woman's University, 1961


Evaluation of community-based health services; nursing contributions to primary care; public health nursing practice; health policy and health professions workforce policy


Dr. Carolyn Williams's CV


Williams, C. A. Public health practice: The foundation for health populations and communities Public health nursing: Population-centered health care in the community. (2014), Elsevier 8 3-19.

Williams, C. A. Populations and aggregates Encyclopedia of nursing research. (2012), Springer Publishing Co. (3),

Williams, C. A. Population-focused practice: The foundation of specialization in public health nursing Community and public health nursing. (2008), C. V. Mosby (7), 2-21.

Williams, C. A. Populations and aggregates Encyclopedia of nursing research. (2007), Springer Publishing Co. (2),

Williams, C. A. Goode, C. J. Krsek, C. Bednash, G. D. Lynn, M. R. Post-baccalaureate nurse residency program one-year outcomes. (2007), Journal of Nursing Administration 37 (7/8), 357-365.


Williams, C. A. 2011, May. Commencement speech. Graduate Commencement, University of Portland, Portland, OR .

Williams, C. A. 2010, September. Thoughts on the DNP capstone. Faculty of the School of Nursing, State University of New York Upstate Medical Center, Syracuse, NY .

Williams, C. A. 2010, August. The DNP Scholarly Project: Exemplars and advice for the development of guidelines. Faculty of the College of Nursing , Michigan State University, Lansing, KY .

Williams, C. A. 2010, August. The Doctor of Nursing Practice: History, current status and future directions. Faculty of the College of Nursing, Michigan State University, Lansing, MI .

Williams, C. A. 2010, April. Politics in America, Health Care Reform, and the Professional Nurse. Induction Ceremony of Delta Psi Chapter , Sigma Theta Tau International, Lexington, KY .