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Faculty Spotlight: New Nursing Chair

University Hall | Photo by Monica Brutto | The Wright State Guardian

Taking over from interim nursing chair Dr. Ann Bowling, new nursing chair Dr. Melissa Wilson will apply extensive knowledge and goal-setting to Wright State University’s most popular program.

Goals and responsibilities

Wilson takes over from Dr. Ann Bowling, who was the interim chair and who is now the nursing department assistant chair. 

Wilson commented on the transition into the chair position.

“So, my knowledge of medical knowledge and also being a nurse and a scientist was like a perfect combination, because I was very well suited to consult on research,” Wilson said.

The responsibilities of the chair of the department of nursing includes running the nursing department as well as the undergraduate and graduate nursing program, which will soon include the doctorate of nursing program beginning in fall 2023.

An aim of Wilson’s is to improve the nursing program through questioning what the department can do better, if there is a better way of doing things than previously done.

However, Wilson’s main goal is breaking down barriers for students and faculty alike.

“One of the things that I try to remind myself every day when I come in, that the most important thing I can do is care for our people. Whether that be faculty, students, administration, parents of students, whatever it’s caring for, you know, the people that I’m here to serve,” Wilson said.

However, the position of nursing chair comes with its own unique set of challenges in upholding professional and academic standards. This includes navigating organizational structures such as faculty, union, policy and other obstacles. 


Working for the United States Air Force, Wilson operated as a nurse researcher and health scientist for the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base for eight years.

During this time, previously in education and continuing to today, Wilson has studied moral distress, where a nurse or medical professional may know an ethically correct action but feels powerless to take such action.

From the University of Missouri, Wilson earned a doctorate of philosophy, and from the University of Cincinnati, Wilson earned a master of science in nursing and a bachelor of science in nursing. Wilson also served the University of Cincinnati as an associate director and assistant professor and possesses previous experience as a registered nurse.

Wilson’s research appears in “Nursing Outlook” and “Air Medical Journal,” as well as a variety of other publications.

In October 2022, the American Academy of Nursing awarded Wilson the Fellow Award and Induction.

Wilson transitioned to the position of nursing chair at WSU because it offered not only a chance to continue research but also has the aspects of teaching, service and leadership.

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