Members on the Move

Dr. Karen E. Alexander: Trailblazer in Nursing Education and Advocate for Veterans and Vulnerable Populations

Karen E. Alexander, PhD, RN, CNOR CNE, is an associate professor and founding director of all nursing programs at the University of Houston-Clear Lake (UHCL), College of Human Sciences and Humanities, Texas. She was the first faculty nurse educator ever to receive tenure at UHCL.

As a registered nurse (RN) with over 35 years of experience, she has worked in many areas of nursing: medical-surgical, perioperative, nursing management, and nursing administration. Additionally, she served 22 years in the United States Air Force. Dr. Alexander is recognized as an expert in curriculum design and has developed healthcare curriculum teaching modules for the military, higher education nursing programs, and nursing education resources for nationally and internationally recognized companies. She has a strong sense of community and serves as a mentor for colleagues and students both in her university and in the public sector. Further, she created a RN-Nurse Refresher Program at UHCL and secured external scholarship funding for nurses desiring to return to practice.

Her research focuses on vulnerable populations, including veterans, and nursing education delivery. Some other recognitions include the Association of Black Nursing Faculty (ABNF) Excellence in Community Service and Engagement award and the Outstanding Innovation in Teaching award. Similarly, she received the Excellence in Leadership Award from the University of Houston Black Leadership Network and Distinguished Faculty designation.

Dr. Alexander holds a PhD in Nursing Education from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) -Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS), where she was an inaugural honor graduate of the BSN to PhD program. She later received the Distinguished Alumni Award. Previously, Dr. Alexander earned a BSN from Excelsior University, New York, and an ADN from Queensborough Community College, New York. Dr. Alexander is an inducted Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society member. She currently serves as President of the GSBS Alumni Association Executive Committee.

Other professional memberships and services include the Reserve Officers Association, ABNF (serving as the nominations committee chairperson), UTMB Development Board Member, and serving as a site visitor for the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Finally, she is a member of the Women of the Word at her church. She is a recent Fellow of the inaugural ABNF Leadership and Public Policy Mentoring Fellowship.