Susan Jacob, PhD, RN

Author: UTHSC

Last Updated:

Category: Nursing | Past Winners

2023 Most Outstanding Alumna Award Winner

Dr. Susan Jacob has shown leadership in the academic sphere and in the larger community during her long career as a nurse.

Dr. Jacob earned a BSN from West Virginia University, a Master of Science degree in Community Health Nursing from San Jose State University, and a PhD in Nursing Science from UT in Memphis in 1993.

Her research focus is grief and bereavement, and her clinical focus is home health and hospice. She was instrumental in the development of the first hospice program in Memphis in 1979, and in 1983 received the John W. Runyan Community Nursing Award and the Key to the City of Memphis for her work developing hospice in Memphis.

UTHSC originally recruited Dr. Jacob in 2003 because the college was developing a baccalaureate program and had not offered a professional entry program in many years. She was dean of the Union University School of Nursing at the time.

She served the UTHSC College of Nursing in multiple leadership roles, first in 2003–2012 and then again from 2015 to early 2023. She initially retired as professor emeritus in 2012 after serving as interim dean but came out of retirement in 2015 to assume the role of interim associate dean of academic affairs. Since then, Dr. Jacob has filled several interim roles including BSN program director and department chair. In 2018 she was assistant dean of quality and strategic affairs and then served in the role of executive associate dean of academic affairs from 2019 to September 2022. She continued in her role as professor through early spring 2023.

During her time at UTHSC, Dr. Jacob led the development of the BSN and clinical nurse leader programs. She later worked with college leadership and faculty to convert the BSN program from a content-based to a concept-based program. She considers “leading efforts for the development and accreditation of cutting-edge programs” her most important contribution to the college.

She is co-author and co-editor of a leading nursing textbook with Dr. Barbara Cherry, Contemporary Nursing: Issues, Trends, and Management, now in its 9th edition. She has extensive experience in curriculum and serves as a team lead evaluator for the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and a curriculum/accreditation consultant for colleges of nursing.

Dr. Jacob also served as a consultant for Faith Community Nursing educators from 2012–2021 and led efforts for curriculum revision of the Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Curriculum in 2014 and 2019. In retirement, Dr. Jacob said she will continue to consult with colleges of nursing regarding accreditation and continue her work on the nursing textbook. She will also continue to facilitate grief support groups and serve on the boards of the Comfort Care Coalition, The Forsaken Children, and One by One Ministries.


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