Carolyn Morcom Rutledge
Associate Professor of Nursing
Old Dominion University
Carolyn Morcom Rutledge is an Associate Professor of Nursing at Old Dominion University (ODU) where she has been on faculty since 2002. Dr. Rutledge is also a Family Nurse Practitioner and the founding Director of ODU’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program with track for advanced practice nurses and nurse executives.
Dr. Rutledge has served as an investigator on 22 successful grant applications totaling over $9.5 million with a focus on increasing healthcare to rural and underserved populations. Having grown up on a farm in rural Amherst County, she recognizes the need to reach out to patients with limited access to healthcare. Her approach has been on educating graduate nurses such as Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Midwives to meet the needs of such populations.
As faculty and a provider since 1988 in Family Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School, Dr. Rutledge is aware of the impact of interprofessional care on improving outcomes of patients. In 2012, Dr. Rutledge received a grant for over $1 million to provide interprofessional education to nurse practitioner, dental hygiene, physical therapy, and clinical counseling students where she assisted students in learning to collaborate through state of the art technology. In a similar effort to assist healthcare providers, she developed an educational program using simulation where students utilize "telehealth" as they provide interprofessional care to standardized patients (patient actors).
Dr. Rutledge’s innovative educational programs have encouraged many advanced practice nurses to become clinic owners as they strive to meet the needs of remote underserved populations. Students have developed practices in areas where 75% of the population is unemployed/uninsured; where homeless individuals are provided with care; and where indigent pregnant women are in search of obstetrical care.
In 2011, Dr. Rutledge received the ODU Doctoral Mentoring Award. She has been happily married to her husband Jim for 32 years and is the proud mother of two sons, Michael and Carson.
"By providing educational programs to students that are indigenous to the rural areas, I am able to develop providers who understand the needs as well as the cultural norms of the populations they serve…My ultimate goal is for a more humane, just, and effective healthcare system."