Debra Sullivan

Senior Core Faculty
College of Nursing
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

In Dr. Sullivan's nursing career, she has had the opportunity to teach and mentor PhD, MSN, BSN and LVN students both in a traditional classroom, simulation, and online didactic and clinical formats, coordinate graduate and undergraduate programs, simulation lab and a computer lab. She has also served in nurse leadership roles in academic programs, practice in administration and clinical areas in the hospital environment and manage a group of private physicians. As a nurse scholar she has conducted research in nursing, published in textbooks and articles in international peer reviewed nursing journals, peer reviewed in nursing journals, and mentor students in research and publication. She has always been active in serving nursing by continuing membership in various nursing organizations and serving in leadership roles both locally and nationally.

At Walden University she is a senior core faculty within the graduate program in the College of Nursing (CON). Primarily teaching Evidence Based Practice and Leadership courses. She also serves on dissertation and DNP committees. She is the chair of the CON Academic Petitions Committee and serve as needed on various committees as called upon.

As evidenced by her experience, presentation, and publication history, her nursing expertise and research interests are in parinesthesia nursing, COVID19 related mental health issues, nursing education, OB/Gyn, obesity, dermatology, cardiology, critical care, orthopedics, and pediatrics.

She also serves as a peer reviewer and guest editor of international nursing journals, past president of the Walden chapter, Phi Nu, of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society, Tennessee Nurse Foundation Treasurer, ANA/TNA member, past state president's chair, and a scientific advisory board member of an online simulation learning program.

Current research includes a research study titled Understanding the Concept of Cultural Humility and the relevance to Online Nursing Education and prior to that Mental Health Outcomes of Nurses working during the COVID-19 Pandemic as well as working with a group of researchers on a systematic review on nurse burnout. Recent accomplishments include co-editing an issue of Nursing Clinics of North America where many Walden faculty will have the opportunity to publish articles on nurse burnout. Other research has been on obesity in low-income women (quantitative) and nursing education (qualitative). Work accomplishments include recipient of the Walden University Summer 2021 Faculty Excellence Award, mentoring new faculty, working with CON academic advisors to present at the National Faculty Meeting, developing guidelines for faculty to help students, introducing ChatGPT to faculty, developing online grading rubrics, worked with the team to develop courses, and as January 2022 guest editor of the Nursing Clinics of North America journal and as previous guest editor of Critical Care Nursing Clinics of North America, in both roles, mentored faculty to publish in international peer-reviewed journals.

Beyond professional organizations in nursing she volunteers as Tennessee's Local Medical Reserve Corps., administers COVID-19 vaccines, and previously volunteered time as a school nurse and to develop nutrition education programs for elementary students in Cannon County, TN. During her quiet time, she crochets afghans for individuals who are going through a personal crisis.

Courses Taught

NURS 6052 - Essentials of Evidence Based Practice

NURS 6050 - Policy and Advocacy for Population Health

NURS 6053 - Interprofessional Organization and System Leadership

NURS 6211 - Finance and Economics in Healthcare Delivery

NURS 6201 - Leadership and Management

NURS 6001 - Foundations of Graduate Study


PhD, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

MSN, University of TX at Tyler

BSN, University of TX, Medical Branch

A.D.N., Houston Baptist University

Public Service

Tennessee's Local Medical Reserve Corps, Volunteer -