Carol J. Ratcliffe
Associate Professor and Director, Administration, Health Systems Management and Leadership
Ida Moffett School of Nursing
Office: CHS Building 1 1529
Phone: 205-726-4830
Although Carol J. Ratcliffe joined the faculty full time in July 2013, her journey to Samford has been years in the making. After working in various nursing leadership roles, including vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer for 16 years, Ratcliffe also served as a member of Ida Moffett School of Nursing Advisory Board, was a frequent guest lecturer for undergraduate nursing students during their leadership course and was highlighted and profiled as a nursing executive by the school before she began adjunct teaching in the doctor of nursing practice [D.N.P.] program in 2010. A graduate of the nursing school’s first D.N.P. cohort in 2009, Ratcliffe was thrilled when she learned the school had developed a D.N.P. program in nursing administration. She feels blessed to have the support to lead and contribute to the nursing profession that is making a pivotal difference in the health outcome of Alabamians. “I chose Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing because of its rich history, faith-based environment, faculty and reputation as a stellar nursing program,” she said. “When a student says ‘I really appreciate your help’ or ‘thanks for teaching this course because I really learned a lot,’ it’s priceless.”

Degrees and Certifications

  • D.N.P., administration, Samford University
  • M.S.N., administration, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • B.S.N., University of Alabama
  • Certified Online Instructor


  • Implemented the first clinical nurse leader role in a non-government hospital in Birmingham
  • Nursing and health-care administration
  • Nursing recruitment and retention
  • Nursing practice and advocacy
  • Shared governance
  • Servant leadership
  • The Impact of Hourly Rounding on Inpatient Patient Satisfaction with Nursing
  • Transformational leadership
  • Strategic planning and sustaining change
  • Transforming Care at the Bedside through Innovative Nursing Care Models
  • Co-authored the sedation standards for nursing practice for the Louisiana Board of Nursing
  • Developed the first bloodless medicine and surgery program in Louisiana

Awards and Honors

  • Teacher of the Year Award, National Black Nurses Association, 2015
  • American Organization of Nurse Executives Chapter Achievement Award, 2014
  • American College of Health Care Executives Service Award, American College of Healthcare Executives, 2013
  • Nursing Advocate, Nurse Practitioner Alliance of Alabama, 2013
  • Ida V. Moffett Living Legacy Award, Samford University, 2012
  • Alabama Nursing Hall of Fame, 2011
  • Outstanding Nursing Administrator, Alabama State Nurses Association, 2011
  • Ida V. Moffett Courage to Care Award, Samford University, 2009
  • MOMENTUM Women’s Leadership Program, 2008
  • American College of Healthcare Executives (April 2004). Early Careerist Profile. Early Careerist Newsletter
  • Chamber of Commerce, Southwest Louisiana, Leadership Southwest Louisiana, 1996


  • Roussel, L., Thomas, T., & Ratcliffe, C. J. (2016). Leadership theory and application for nurse leaders. In L. Roussel, J. Harris, and T. Thomas (Eds.), Management and leadership for nurse administrators (7th ed., pp. 25 - 47). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.


  • Ratcliffe, C. J. & Ladner, K. A. (2016, April).  The Alabama health action coalition: Developing nursing workforce data in Alabama. Podium presenter for The National FORUM of State Nursing Workforce Centers, Orlando, FL.

  • Ratcliffe, C. J. (July, 2016). The Alabama health action coalition: Working towards improving Alabama’s health, The Alabama State Nurses Association’s Leadership Academy, Pike Road, AL. 

  • Ratcliffe, C. J. (June, 2016). The Alabama health action coalition: Working towards improving Alabama’s health, The Wellness Coalition’s Chronic Disease Institute, Montgomery, AL.
  • Ratcliffe, C.J. & Ladner, K. (February, 2016). Alabama health action coalition: Nursing workforce data initiative in Alabama. Mobile Bay Black Nurses Association Nurses Mardi Gras Carnival and Conference, Mobile, AL.
  • Ratcliffe, C.J., Ladner, K., & Buckner, E. (2015, April). Alabama nursing workforce data: Essential information for the future of Alabama nursing. Alabama State Nurses Association (ASNA) Elizabeth A. Morris Annual Clinical Sessions-FACES’15, Montgomery, AL.


  • Nursing workforce


  • Alabama Health Care Improvement Task Force, member
  • Alabama Health Action Coalition, founding member and nursing co-leader
  • American College of Healthcare Executives, Consultants Forum Committee
  • Southern Regional Education Board Government Relations Committee
  • Samford University Black Alumni Association Board
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Silver Soror