Bradley Accipiter, BS
Simulation Lab Technician
B.S., California University of Pennsylvania
Mitzi Averette, MSN, RN, CNE, CHSE
Assistant Professor of Nursing; SET-RN HRSA Project Coordinator
B.S.N., Medical College of Georgia; M.S.N., Grand Canyon University
Mitzi Averette received her B.S. in Nursing in 1977 and worked in hospitals and other healthcare settings for over 25 years before transitioning her career to include academic teaching. Starting as a part time clinical instructor, she then accepted a full time position focused on teaching in the simulation lab setting in 2010. Ms. Averette was chosen in 2011 as one of only twenty faculty from across the United States to participate in the National League for Nursing Leadership Development Program and she became a Certified Simulation Healthcare Educator in 2012.
Ms. Averette completed her Masters in Nursing Leadership in 2015 and passed the Certified Nurse Educator exam that same year. In 2017, she took over the role of Simulation Director at Methodist University which involves not only simulated clinical experiences for nursing courses but includes interprofessional experiences with all other departments within the School of Health Sciences. She has published articles in peer reviewed journals such as Nurse Educator and the Journal of Nursing Regulation.
In addition to her passion for teaching with simulation, Ms. Averette is also dedicated to helping our community address and reduce the negative impact of substance use disorder (SUD). She is involved in several county and state-wide initiatives which are working to identify and implement evidence-based solutions. In 2017, her article about supporting students with SUD was published by the National Student Nurses Association. Ms. Averette was then invited to speak at the North Carolina Board of Education Summit in 2019 on the topic of “Recovery Rising.”
Cheryl Bearringer, DNP, RN, CNE
Associate Professor of Nursing
B.S.N., Spring Arbor University; M.S.N., D.N.P., George Washington University; CNE
Dr. Bearringer began her nursing career 28 years ago, first as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), then an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN-RN), to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and graduated from George Washington University with an MSN-Nurse Practitioner (MSN-NP).
Dr. Bearringer later returned to George Washington University in 2014 to complete her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), including a major in nursing education. She presented her doctoral research on Gender Differences of Modifiable Lifestyle Behaviors and Clinical Factors in Asian Americans with Chronic Kidney Disease, at a cultural diversity conference in San Antonio, Texas and at an annual international conference for advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) in Edinburgh, Scotland. Dr. Bearringer has since then become nationally certified by the National League of Nursing (NLN) as a Certified Nurse Educator.
As a nursing educator, Dr. Bearringer has taught Adult Health I & II, Leadership & Health Policy, Pharmacology, Research, Pathophysiology, Capstone, and a pre-nursing course. Her clinical experience includes working as an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nurse, a local and regional case manager for an international healthcare organization, a hospital cardiovascular case manager, rounding for cardiothoracic surgeons, and later specializing in nephrology working both as an RN and a Nurse Practitioner in Ohio, Michigan and Washington, DC. Her special interests in nursing education include acute and chronic diseases, holistic nursing care approach, active learning strategies, cognitive science research in healthcare education, testing and evaluation research, and inter-professional simulation clinical experiences, including local and state presentations on immersive active learning strategies using simulation experiences.
Dr. Bearringer personal interests include sketching and watercolor painting; the theater, museums, and music; but most of all, spending time with her four grandchildren.
Jennifer Caviness, BS
Office Manager / Admissions, Nursing Program
B.S., Methodist University
Lori Cooke, DNP, RN-BC, CNE
Assistant Professor of Nursing
B.S.N., M.Ed., Kent State University; D.N.P., Carlow University
Dr. Cooke has practiced as a registered nurse since 1990. Although this is Dr. Cooke’s second year at Methodist University, she taught in the undergraduate nursing program at Malone University in Canton, Ohio for seven years prior to relocating to North Carolina. Her primary area of teaching is adult health, with a focus on both acute and chronic disease management. Dr. Cooke is a graduate of Kent State University, where she earned both her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing and Master’s in Education with a focus in Health Education. Her nursing experience includes caring for patients on orthopedic, medical-surgical, pre-admission testing and outpatient surgery, and intensive care units. She is board certified in medical-surgical nursing, and has taught basic life support for over 30 years. She also recently received her certification as a nurse educator. In 2018, Dr. Cooke was honored as an Edmond J. Safra Visiting Nurse Scholar at Parkinson’s Foundation, and has recently completed a project that incorporated the knowledge obtained through this work into a virtual reality experience for nursing students. She is also a member of the Pi Chi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau. In 2019, she completed her Doctor of Nursing Practice through Carlow University in Pittsburgh, where her scholarly project focused on evaluating the effectiveness of adding descriptive behaviors to screening tools for intimate partner violence. In addition to her professional roles, Dr. Cooke continues to serve as a camp nurse for the Jackson Royal Family Kids Camp in Canton, Ohio. The focus of this camp is to provide mentorship to children in the foster care system who suffer from physical, emotional and cognitive issues secondary to abuse and/or neglect, and this work became an inspiration in choosing the topic for her scholarly project.
Cheryl Dodson, DNP, MBA, RN, CCM, CNE
Assistant Professor of Nursing
B.S.N., East Carolina University; M.B.A., M.S.N., D.N.P., Union University
Dr. Dodson has been a Registered Nurse for nearly a decade and a half. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from North Carolina State University, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from East Carolina University, and a Master of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Business Management, and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice from Union University.
Dr. Dodson’s nursing experience is vast and includes intensive care, perioperative, psychiatric mental health, case management, and population health. She holds a certification in case management. Dr. Dodson’s doctoral project focused on the development and implementation of a Business Plan for an Enhanced Integrated Care Management Program. Dr. Dodson was recently published in the field of death, dying, and grief.
Dr. Dodson has been teaching in the Nursing Program here at Methodist University since Fall of 2018. During this time as a nurse educator, she has taught courses in psychiatric mental health nursing, fundamentals, adult health, community nursing, nursing informatics, and pre-nursing.
Dr. Dodson is a native of Fayetteville and lives here with her family and her dog. She has strong connections to the community and is involved with church, our military, and veterans. Passionate about health care and the expanding and critical role of the nurse, Dr. Dodson is dedicated to fostering the development of new nurse graduates that are more than competent to meet the challenges and demands of caring compassionately for others.
Nancy Grimes, BS
Administrative/Clinical Assistant, Nursing
B.S., Middle Tennessee State University
Tom Johnston, DNP, RN, CNM, IBCLC
Associate Professor of Nursing
B.S., Austin Peay State University; M.S.N., University of Rhode Island
Dr Jarold "Tom" Johnston DNP, CNM, IBCLC is an Associate Professor of Nursing teaching Maternal-Child nursing, Human Lactation, nursing theory and research. He is well known for his energetic and entertaining lecture style. He is a midwife, lactation consultant, retired US Army Nurse, and the father of 8 children (that's right, 8). Dr Johnston served the US Army in several positions during his 27 years, finishing as the Chief of Midwifery at Womack Army Medical Center on Fort Bragg. He is active on the lecture circuit and regularly speaks at conferences across the US and internationally. His publications focus primarily on fatherhood, breastfeeding, and newborn care. He is currently the lead investigator working with an international team to develop the Lactation Assessment Care Tool (LACT) which aims to be helpful at identifying families at risk of breastfeeding complications. He serves as the Medical Director and primary provider for his private practice in Human Lactation and specializes in at-risk and premature newborns. Professionally he is active in the Lactation Education Accreditation and Approval Committee (LEAARC) which oversees Lactation education in the US and abroad. Locally he serves on the board of Partnership for Children, a regional organization providing care for infants and children, he is the Sunday School Director at Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Haymount, and has been a scout leader in Scouts BSA for 20 years. Dr Johnston earned his Bachelor's Degree in Nursing at Austin Peay State University in Tennessee, his Masters in Nursing at the University of Rhode Island, and his Doctorate in Nursing Practice at the Francis Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio.
Shannon Matthews, DNP, RN, CHSE
Chair & Director of Nursing; Associate Professor of Nursing
B.S.N., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; M.S.N., East Carolina University; D.N.P., Gardner-Webb University
Dr. Matthews has been a nurse for more than 25 years and in nursing education since 2002. She has lived in North Carolina most of her life and has nursing degrees from UNC-CH (BSN), ECU (MSN), and Gardner-Webb University (DNP). She has worked in a variety of settings including, cardiac step-down, orthopedics, neurology, and home-health. Each specialty provided a breadth and depth of experience that contributes to her teaching.
She joined the faculty at Methodist University in 2013 and is an advocate for hands-on learning activities and the use of simulation in nursing education. While completing her doctoral work, her capstone project evaluated learning outcomes and critical thinking for nursing students participating in peer-led simulation. She became a Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator in 2016.
While at Methodist University, she has been instrumental in increasing opportunities for interprofessional education and promotes experiences that allow students from different professions to learn with and from each other. In the future, Dr. Matthews aims to improve clinical learning experiences by working with faculty and staff in practice and education settings to develop and implement Dedicated Education Units for clinical learning.
Dr. Matthews has family ties to the Cape Fear region and has lived in neighboring Sampson County for nearly 20 years. She has been married to Eddie for more than 25 years and they have three children (Christopher, Caroline, and Daniel) and a golden retriever named Dolly.
David McCoy, MSN, RN
Clinical Coordinator; Instructor of Nursing
B.S.N., Methodist University; M.S.N., Chamberlain University