A Powerful Nurse—Fay Casell Smith (1959–2016)

Today we learned of the passing of Ms. Fay Casell Smith, RN, MSN, FNP, one of our treasured preceptors. Since 2008, Fay faithfully and effectively taught many of our graduate students in our Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program. In her one-on-one teaching Fay guided students as they connected their coursework with their care of patients. She was beloved by every student and faculty member whom she encountered.

“Fay Smith was a cut above the rest—both as a nurse and as a person,” said Elaine Harwood, DNP, RN, FNP-BC, assistant professor and coordinator of the Adult and Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Program for the SON. “She greeted everyone with her beautiful smile and a kind word. Fay could make the lowliest among us feel important, appreciated, heard and cared for, not because she learned how to do this but because her tender soul and her deep faith in God gave her an innate ability to care deeply. Each encounter was sacred to her and she touched the lives of those who knew her in unforgettable ways. Students who worked with Fay unfailingly came away with a new awareness of how caring was the very foundation of nursing. Fay was a natural-born healer, a cherished mentor and a powerful example of how we as humans can change lives— one patient, one student, one colleague and one friend at a time.”

Fay worked as a Family Nurse Practitioner and Research Instructor for the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Center for Aging and Health at the UNC School of Medicine. She cared for patients in inpatient units, in several area retirement community clinics and in the Center for Aging and Health. A powerful nurse, she was an icon for holistic care of the elderly. Fay demonstrated a profound dedication to her patients, to our students and to her research.

You can find Fay’s obituary here.