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’s 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 (DNP) program in 2010. She is a graduate of the nursing school’s first DNP cohort in 2009.
Ratcliffe is Board Certified in Healthcare Management and is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. 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. She is an invited speaker and leadership mentor. “When a student says ‘I really appreciate your help’ or ‘thanks for teaching this course because I really learned a lot,’ it’s priceless.” Prior to her appointment as chair, Ratcliffe was professor and director of Health Systems, Management, and Leadership in Samford's Ida Moffett School of Nursing. She also holds a second appointment in Ida Moffett School of Nursing
Degrees and Certifications
- DNP, administration, Samford University
- MSN, administration, University of Alabama at Birmingham
- BSN, University of Alabama
- Certified Online Instructor
- Board Certified in Healthcare Management, Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives
- Nursing administration
- Healthcare administration
- Nursing recruitment and retention
- Nursing practice and advocacy
- Shared governance
- Business development
- Transformational leadership
- Strategic planning and sustaining change
- Co-authored the sedation standards for nursing practice for the Louisiana Board of Nursing
- Developed the first bloodless medicine and surgery program in Louisiana
- Implemented the first clinical nurse leader role in a non-government hospital in Birmingham
Awards and Honors
- 60for60 Honoree, University of Alabama Black Alumni Association, 2023
Visionary Leader Award, UAB School of Nursing, 2021
George Macon Memorial Award for Teaching, Samford University, 2019-2020
- Distinguished Alumni Award, Capstone College of Nursing at the University of Alabama, 2017
- 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, 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
- Wynn, S.T., Ratcliffe, C.J., Hardin, L. (2023). Ready, set, woo: Refining nursing students’ communication skills. Teaching and Learning in Nursing, 18(3), 1-3.
- Ratcliffe, C. J., Cheshire, M. H., Buckner, E. B., Dawson, M. A., Berry, S. R., McDaniel, G. S., & Ladner, K. A. (2017). Building bridges: The journey of the Alabama health action coalition [Special Issue]. Nursing Education Perspectives, 38(5), 259 – 263. doi: 10.1097/01.NEP.0000000000000199
- 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.
- Fakih, M. G., Heavens, M., Ratcliffe, C. J., & Hendrich, A. (2013). First step to reducing infection risk as a system: Evaluation of infection prevention processes for 71 hospitals. American Journal of Infection Control, 41(11), 950-954.
Ratcliffe, C. J. (2014). Creating a business case for the clinical nurse leader role. In J. Harris, L. Roussel, & P. Thomas (Eds.), Initiating and sustaining the clinical nurse leader role: A practical guide (2nd ed., pp. 57-74). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
- Roussel, L. & Ratcliffe, C. J. (2013). Conceptualizing professional nursing practice. In L. Roussel (Ed.), Management and leadership for nurse administrators (6th ed., pp. 23- 58). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
- Roussel, L. & Ratcliffe, C. J. (2013). Transformational leadership and evidence-based management. In L. Roussel (Ed.), Management and leadership for nurse administrators (6th ed., pp. 729- 756). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
- Roussel, L. & Ratcliffe, C. J. (2013). Trends shaping nursing leadership implications for education and practice. In L. Roussel (Ed.), Management and leadership for nurse administrators (6th ed., pp. 3-22). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
- Ratcliffe, C. J. (2010). Getting to the core of opportunity: Using operational levels of control to improve and sustain compliance. In J. Harris, L. Roussel, S. Walters, & C. Dearman (Eds.), Project planning and management: A guide for CNLs, DNPs, and nurse executives (pp. 270- 278). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
- Ratcliffe, C. J. (2004, November/December). Development and implementation of a bloodless medicine and surgery program. Journal of Healthcare Management, 49(6), 405 - 409. Selected as a best case study by ACHE in 2003.
- Ratcliffe, C. J. & Wynn, S. (2019, April). Wooing a vision into reality. Presentation at the 45th National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) Annual Conference. Atlanta, GA.
- Ratcliffe, C. J. & Wynn, S. (2017, October). Improving practice by wooing others through innovative communication strategies. Poster presentation at the American Psychiatric Nursing Association 31st Annual Conference. Phoenix, AZ.
- 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. & 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.
- Ratcliffe, C. J. & Priest, N. (2012, February). Designing optimal models for the future: Something old, something new, something borrowed? In S. Schmidt (Chair), Tomorrow's Health Care System Today at Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH.
- Ratcliffe, C. J. (2011, January). Selling the CNL: Making the business case. In J. Stanley (Chair), CNL partnerships: Opportunities for coordination, collaboration, and care redesign. Plenary speaker for the CNL Summit conducted at the meeting of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Miami, FL.
- Ratcliffe, C. J. & Wilkinson, S. (2011, January). Giving back: The full circle of the CNL. In J. Stanley (Chair), CNL partnerships: Opportunities for coordination, collaboration, and care redesign. Podium presenter for the CNL Summit conducted at the meeting of the American Associations of Colleges of Nursing, Miami, FL.
- Nursing Workforce
- Patient Safety and Quality
- Alabama Health Care Improvement Task Force, appointed by Governor, past member
- Alabama Health Action Coalition (National Campaign for Action), founding member and nursing co-leader
- Alabama Organization of Nurse Leaders, past state chapter president
- Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Silver Soror
- American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) Alabama, past Board member
- ACHE Examination Committee, past Chair
- ACHE Bylaws Committee, past Chair
- AUPHA Corris Boyd Selection Committee, member
- Samford University Black Alumni Association, Board Member
- Statewide Health Coordinating Council (SHCC), appointed by Governor, member