Gardner-Webb University Announces New Hunt School of Nursing (HSON) Dean

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Dr. Nicole Waters to Lead HSON Nurse Education Programs

photo of Dr. Nicole WatersBOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – Officials at Gardner-Webb University are thrilled to announce that Dr. Nicole Waters has been appointed as the new dean of the Hunt School of Nursing. Waters replaces Dr. Sharon Starr, who retired as dean earlier this year.

“The Hunt School of Nursing has a legacy of providing a faith-based nursing education within a close-knit, supportive learning environment,” Waters shared. “The faculty and I are committed to our HSON mission and philosophy, which is to prepare students to care about and for individuals through the lifespan, to enhance the status of the global community, and to make significant contributions for God and humanity. As a community of caring individuals, we are dedicated to the success of students and to advancing the professionalism and the profession of nursing.”

Waters, who lives in Casar, N.C., has served as a member of the nursing faculty at Gardner-Webb since 2011, where the Hunt School of Nursing offers associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. She now begins the task of maintaining the quality of the current program while focusing on the continuous changing healthcare landscape.

“With hundreds of students now enrolled, the Hunt School of Nursing is one of the most innovative nursing programs available,” Waters reflected. “We engage nursing students in challenging discussions in both face-to-face and online settings. Our programs provide learning in small classroom settings supported by invaluable hands-on experiences in state-of-the-art simulation labs and in your community to enhance learning outcomes. I am honored and blessed to serve as dean for the Hunt School of Nursing!”

Waters aims to continue collaborations between the Hunt School of Nursing and other institutional and community outreach programs to promote holistic care for patients. A service-learning project is planned with the Partnership for Community Prosperity this fall, and officials are planning a mobile health bus ministry event next spring in conjunction with the North Carolina Baptists on Mission organization.

Waters’ extensive education and degrees include an associate’s degree from Gaston College (Gastonia, N.C.), Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degrees from Gardner-Webb, and a Master of Science in Nursing degree from Western Carolina University (Cullowhee, N.C.).

For over 50 years, the Gardner-Webb University Hunt School of Nursing has educated quality, highly-skilled nursing professionals. The school offers nursing degrees from the associate to doctorate levels and has awarded more than 3,500 total degrees. Accreditation is maintained through the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing Inc. (ACEN). For more information, visit

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university that prepares students to become critical thinkers, effective leaders and compassionate servants in the global community. Emphasizing a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics, Gardner-Webb ignites learning and service opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. Ignite your future at