Dr. Roberta Lavin
Professor and PhD Program Director
"Being successful in nursing requires you to love it. When there are too many patients and too little time, we stick with it out of love."
- PhD, Nursing – Uniformed Services University for the Health Sciences, 2008
- MA, Disaster and Emergency Management – American Military University, 2004
- MSN, Family Nurse Practitioner – University of Tennessee, 1991
- BA, Psychology – University of Tennessee, 1986
I began my career as a U.S. public health service officer at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in an acute care psychiatric admission unit for people experiencing homelessness. During the course of my career, I’ve cared for federal prisoners and immigration detainees, including leading a team to address a mass migration in Guatemala; served as the director of the Health and Human Services Secretary's Command Center after 9/11 and the anthrax attacks; and had the opportunity to create the disaster case management program to meet the needs of the poor and underserved after a disaster.
I entered academia in 2010 at a small Catholic university.
I have co-authored numerous publications and received several awards, including:
- U.S. Public Health Service Distinguished Service Medal
- U.S. Public Health Service Meritorious Service
- U.S. Public Health Service Outstanding Service
- Administration for Children and Families Exemplary Leadership
- Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Academic Excellence
- Health and Human Services Secretary's Award for Distinguished Service
- Sylvia E. Hart Distinguished Alumni Award
IN WHICH ONLINE DEGREE PROGRAM(S) DO YOU TEACH?
WHICH CLASSES DO YOU TEACH ONLINE?
N404A: Research and Evidence-Based Practice
WHAT DO YOU WANT STUDENTS TO TAKE AWAY FROM YOUR CLASSES?
Herbert A. Simon said, "Learning results from what the student does and thinks and only from what the student does and thinks. The teacher can advance learning only by influencing what the student does to learn." That is my goal.
WHY DID YOU START TEACHING?
I knew I wanted to teach from the day I received my first graduate degree. I wanted to share the same passion for nursing that had been shared with me. I see teaching as a calling to prepare the next generation to make the care we provide even better and the world a more compassionate place.
WHAT'S THE BEST ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED?
One day I was offered pay to speak, but to accept it I had to get approval. My supervisor said, "Ask yourself if you need the extra money to survive and if the answer is ‘no,’ then don't take any pay. No one will ever be able to question your integrity."
WHAT DREW YOU TO THE NURSING FIELD?
I knew with absolute certainty at 12 years old that I wanted to be a nurse. I have never considered any other possibilities.
WHAT QUALITIES MAKE SOMEONE PARTICULARLY SUCCESSFUL IN NURSING?
Being successful in nursing requires you to love it. When there are too many patients and too little time, we stick with it out of love.
TELL US SOMETHING YOUR STUDENTS MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU:
I have lived in nine states and moved 14 times in my adult life. I completed all my degrees while working full time. Most importantly, teaching is my retirement job, which I do because I absolutely love it.