College of Health and Human Sciences
School of Nursing
Dr. Pearson obtained her PhD in Nursing from the University of South Carolina - Columbia and her Masters of Science in Nursing from Vanderbilt University. She holds two post-master's certificates and is nationally certified as both an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and a Family Nurse Practitioner.
Dr. Pearson has many years of experience in graduate nursing education, developing and teaching both on-ground and online courses. She has over 16 years of clinical practice experience in acute care and outpatient clinical settings and maintains clinical currency through primary care practice. She has published extensively on cardiovascular disease, psychological components of disease and a variety of clinical issues encountered in primary care practice. She has presented regionally, nationally and internationally as advanced nurse practitioner conferences. She is an active member of the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and Sigma Theta Tau International. Dr. Pearson serves as Director of the Family Nurse Practitioner Program.
Dr. Pearson teaches didactic and clinical courses to graduate nurse practitioner students. She serves as committee chair for multiple graduate and doctoral projects and has served on thesis and dissertation committees. Her principal areas of teaching interest focuses on graduate nursing topics such as disease processes, diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic common adult illnesses and professional role transition. She enjoys teaching in both face-to-face and online courses using an interactive approach. As a faculty member seeking to help students prepare for their new role she emphasizes the need to have a solid foundation of knowledge that enables them to analyze a tremendous amount of new information as it becomes available. This is an essential skill in the ever-changing world of healthcare; therefore she promotes the concept of being a lifelong learner to students in all of her courses.
Dr. Pearson has engaged in a program of research focused on women with cardiovascular diseases and completed studies related to vascular disease diagnosis and treatment in primary care settings. Over the past few years, she has renewed her interest in the mind/body connection that formed the basis of her dissertation research and has begun to focus her scholarship on stress. Specific research interest are: exploring the multiple ways that we can reduce stress in order to prevent the development or worsening of cardiovascular disease and studying the effects of mindfulness practices on stress levels of students, staff and faculty.