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Tuskegee’s Hendricks among Alabama Nursing Hall of Fame 2019 inductees

April 12, 2019

Rosemary Russell, Capstone College of Nursing, University of Alabama
Michael Tullier, APR, Office of Communications, Public Relations and Marketing, Tuskegee University


Dr. Constance Smith Hendricks

Dr. Constance Smith Hendricks, RN, FAAN, dean of Tuskegee University’s School of Nursing and Allied Health, is one of six nursing professionals who will be inducted this fall into the 10th Alabama Nursing Hall of Fame. She and her fellow class of 2019 inductees will be honored during a ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 24 at the Embassy Suites in downtown Tuscaloosa.

Established in 2001 by the University of Alabama Capstone College of Nursing’s Board of Visitors, the Alabama Nursing Hall of Fame honors nurses and others who, through their work and accomplishments, have brought honor and fame to the nursing profession and the state of Alabama. Inductees are nominated annually for consideration by the hall of fame’s selection committee.

Prior to her appointment as dean at Tuskegee in January 2018, Hendricks served as the founding chair (dean) of the Division of Health Sciences at Concordia College in Selma, Alabama, where she grew up. The majority of her 40-plus-year higher education and teaching career was spent at Auburn University, where her 17-year tenure included teaching in her community health specialty and coordinating graduate and outreach programs in the School of Nursing. Achieving the rank of full professor, she also was named one of two inaugural university-wide recipients of the Charles W. Barkley Endowed Professorship in 2010 before retiring from Auburn in 2015 as a professor emerita.

Her other career experience includes teaching and administrative appointments at a variety of institutions in the region. These include the University of Alabama at Birmingham; University of South Carolina; Southern University and A&M College, where she launched Louisiana’s first doctoral nursing program; Hampton University, where she served as dean; and Kentucky State University, where she was a visiting presidential scholar and led the development of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program, which was the university’s first doctoral program in any field; and a previous teaching appointment at Tuskegee. Prior to her academic duties, she garnered a variety of clinical and administrative experience in clinics and hospitals in South Carolina and Alabama, which included serving as the assistant hospital administrator and director of nursing at John A. Andrew Memorial Hospital on the university’s campus.

Her professional and social memberships include the American Nurses Association, Chi Eta Phi Nursing Sorority Inc. (life member), LINKS Inc., National Association of Parliamentarians, National Black Nurses Association (life member), National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa Inc. (life member), Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society for Nurses, Toastmasters International (distinguished toast master), and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. (diamond life member). She also is a certified life coach and a certified Faith Community (parish) Nurse. In 2009, Hendricks was inducted as a fellow of the prestigious American Academy of Nursing, and in 2016 she was inducted into the Tuskegee University Nursing Hall of Fame.

Hendricks holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing and master’s degree in community health — both from the University of Alabama at Birmingham — and a Ph.D. in clinical nursing research from Boston College, where she was the first African-American to complete its nursing program. She is a licensed registered nurse in Alabama.

She is the mother of Dr. Denisha Hendricks, a senior associate with the athletics search firm Beverly & Associates, and the interim athletic director for Keen College in New Hampshire. She also is the oldest child of the late H.D. Smith Jr and the late Geneva Glover Smith.

Individually and collectively, Hendricks and her fellow inductees are credited with greatly influencing the nursing profession and healthcare industry in Alabama and across the nation. In addition to Hendricks, this year’s class of honorees includes Lt. Col. Linda J. Adams of the USAF Reserve Nurse Corps; Thomas Barkley, Ph.D. of Barkley & Associates, Inc.; Martha Dawson, DNP, RN, FACHE of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing; Sylvia Homan, MSN, RN of the University of West Alabama; and Deborah Wesley, MSN, RN of Children’s of Alabama.

For more information about the Alabama Nursing Hall of Fame, visit the University of Alabama Capstone College of Nursing’s website, or contact Rosemary Russell at 205.348.7429 or

© 2019, Tuskegee University