Ross Distinguished Professorship to Support Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing

Carol Ross’ life work has focused on alleviating the suffering associated with psychiatric illness and mental health challenges. As an advanced practice nurse, she saw patients in private practice for many years. In her current community work, she remains committed to assuring that care is provided to the homeless population in Chapel Hill and that both their physical and emotional health needs are addressed. With a deep desire to assure that the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program at the University of North Carolina continues to prosper, Carol, APRN, PMHCNS-BC, UNC ’64, and her husband Coleman, UNC ’65, created the Carol Morde Ross Distinguished Professorship in Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing.

Dean Kristen Swanson stated, “Through the generosity of Carol and Coleman Ross, the School of Nursing is well positioned to recruit or retain a faculty member whose teaching, practice, and scholarship focuses on psychiatric nursing care. Their gift is a vote of confidence in the School and testimony to their desire to assure that our
graduate curriculum in psychiatric mental health nursing will remain excellent.”

Carol Ross, is an advocate for the nursing profession, and a strong supporter of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing. In 2003, Carol and her husband Coleman established the Eunice Morde Doty undergraduate nursing scholarship to honor Carol’s mother, who was also a nurse. Carol just recently completed a term as an active member of the School of Nursing Foundation Board of Directors from 2005-2012.

The goals of the professorship fit well with Carol’s background and the strengths of the School. In 2011, based on the high quality of its advanced nursing practice programs and graduates, the SON was ranked fourth in the nation by US News and World Report. The SON currently has the only Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner programs in the State of North Carolina. The SON is rich in faculty members devoted to practice in underserved areas, who lead the profession in advancing the roles of nurse practitioners, who are committed to eliminating health disparities, and whose research seeks to enhance both access to care and delivery of the highest quality care.

This is a picture of Carol and Coleman Ross with two former recipients of the Eunice Morde Doty Scholarship

Carol and Coleman Ross with two former recipients of the Eunice Morde Doty Scholarship.

The professorship will enhance psychiatric nursing care, advanced psychiatric nursing practice and the future development of the psychiatric nursing workforce. It will play a pivotal role in preparing the next generation of psychiatric-mental health advanced practice nurses, and will be the first of its kind in North Carolina focusing on psychiatric-mental health nursing advanced practice and education.

The Carol Morde Ross Distinguished Professorship in Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing will be awarded to a faculty member who is a psychiatric-mental health nursing leader and practices in North Carolina. The selected candidate will be committed to: a) improving access to mental health care; b) ensuring the education of psychiatric-mental health advance practice nursing; and c) furthering health policy that supports psychiatric-mental health nursing practice, and thus the care of those individuals and families with psychiatric illnesses.