Published on October 11, 2013 by Mary Wimberley  

Samford University dean and vice provost Nena F. Sanders has been inducted into the Alabama Nursing Hall of Fame.

Dr. Sanders, dean of Samford's Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing since 2001, was among five nursing leaders honored at a ceremony at Bryant Conference Center in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Thursday, Oct. 10. 

The Hall of Fame was established by the University of Alabama's Capstone College of Nursing to honor nurses and others who "through their work and accomplishments have brought honor and fame to the profession of nursing and the State of Alabama."

Sanders was cited for her expertise in clinical nursing, nursing education, administration and consultation that has impacted the profession both in Alabama and across the nation, and her legacy of commitment, vision and enduring spirit that is reflected in those she has influenced.

As dean, she has led Samford's nursing school in unprecedented growth, adding graduate programs, expanding facilities to include state-of-the-art clinical classrooms and achieving national recognition for its academic excellence. Earlier this year, she assumed an additional role as vice provost to oversee planning for and implementation of Samford's new College of Health Sciences.

"Nena Sanders is one of the most effective, strategic and successful leaders that I have ever worked with during my 25-year involvement in higher education leadership and administration," said Samford provost and executive vice president J. Bradley Creed. "I congratulate her on this well-deserved honor and also express my gratitude for her commitment and service to Samford University."

A leader in health care policy development at the national level, Sanders has served on editorial boards of the Journal of Nursing Administration Research and the Journal of Critical care Nursing, and has given expertise to other national boards and committees. Her many awards and honors include selection into the inaugural class of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing's Wharton Executive Leadership Program. 

She holds bachelor's, master's and Ph.D. degrees in nursing from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Before joining the Samford faculty in 1999, she was president of Strategic Dynamics, Inc., a health-care consulting practice, and was on the UAB faculty.

"It is truly an honor to be recognized for achievements in your field, but it is particularly humbling to be acknowledged by your peers," Sanders said of the Hall of Fame honor.

"As I think back through my career, I have been blessed to have had wonderful mentors who have supported me at critical junctures in my career and life," she said. "I count it a privilege to have served the patients charged to my care, and for the opportunities to work with knowledgeable and skillful nurses in practice, administration and education."


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.