Dr. Sandra Daniel retiring as Dean of GSW College of Nursing and Health Sciences after 36 years of dedication

Published 5:26 pm Wednesday, December 13, 2023

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By Sydney Scott



AMERICUS — Sandra Daniel, Ph.D., dean of Georgia Southwestern State University’s (GSW) College of Nursing and Health Sciences, is retiring effective Jan. 1, 2024 after serving GSW for 36 years.

“It has been a privilege to serve Georgia Southwestern in several capacities,” said Daniel. “Starting as an instructor in 1986 and progressing through the tenure ranks to professor has been an honor. The most exciting thing has been to serve as dean since 2008, allowing me to form lasting relationships with administrators, faculty, staff and students at GSW, as well as collaborate with healthcare providers in our region.”

During Daniel’s tenure, GSW’s nursing program has increased its enrollment several times, including the addition of a Spring admission period for Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) students, the development of several graduate programs and, most recently, the revival of the Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) program. The Guaranteed Acceptance Program, a competitive early enrollment process, also attracts high school seniors.

“Dr. Daniel has played an instrumental role in the development and growth of GSW’s nursing program to meet the needs of our regional healthcare workforce,” said GSW President Neal Weaver, Ph.D. “Her leadership has been crucial to our accreditation efforts and to the enhancement of our institution as a whole. She doubled the enrollment of nursing students who are now able to serve more people. I can’t imagine a greater legacy than fostering opportunities for students and serving people in need.”

Under Daniel’s leadership, GSW’s School of Nursing has earned several accolades, including nurse.org’s #1 Nursing School in Georgia title in 2019 and 2022. The BSN and MSN programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, and the ASN program is currently a candidate for accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

Daniel has also led the nursing program in several upgrades to better serve its students. In 2012, the program moved into Carter I of the new Rosalynn Carter Health and Human Sciences Complex. In the years since, Daniel has continued to advocate for and acquire state-of-the-art equipment for the program.

Daniel joined the faculty in 1986 as an instructor, and has served as dean since 2008. She is a two-time GSW alumna, having earned her Associate of Science in Nursing in 1974 and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1976. She completed her Master of Science in Nursing at Valdosta State University and her Doctorate in Nursing at Medical College of Georgia. She is also a licensed Pediatric Nurse Practitioner with a degree from the University of Alabama, Birmingham.

“Throughout this journey, my aspiration has been to make a meaningful impact by delivering high-quality programs that cater to the needs of our constituents and prepare our students for highly successful careers in nursing,” Daniel said. “Nursing faces numerous challenges, and addressing them will require dedication and commitment to meet the diverse needs of our students and healthcare providers. GSW has always been the best and consistently demonstrated excellence, and I know that I leave the program in good hands.”

Teresa Teasley, D.N.P., will serve as interim dean until a new dean has been selected.

Daniel was named one of GSW’s 2024 Outstanding Alumni and will receive the Canes Community Champion award at the Gold Force Gala in Jan. 2024.

Daniel plans to enjoy spending time with her husband Arthur (Skeeter), her two sons, Davis and Logan, and her grandchildren.

“I want to thank President Neal Weaver and GSW’s administration for their unwavering support in my efforts to serve the University and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences,” said Daniel. “Their backing has been instrumental in the work needed to move the program forward. As I step back, I eagerly anticipate witnessing the program’s continued growth and success.”