Board Member Spotlight: Carol Porter

Carol Porter, DNP, RN, FAAN 
MD Anderson Cancer Center

What advice would you give your younger self?
Life is precious so savor each day and experience. Keep your family close and celebrate the little things as well as the major milestones. Choose a career that you love and excel in your profession. At the end of each day take a moment to be thankful for the opportunity to help others. Make friends and be kind. Live, love and laugh.

Where is your favorite vacation spot?
I love the ocean- the rhythm of the waves, the peacefulness of nature and the many memories of good times. My favorite island destination is St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands.

What made you want to pursue a career in nursing?
I was interested in science, physiology and helping others and pursued a career as a professional registered nurse. The ability to specialize in different areas of nursing and my focus of helping patients and families through their healthcare journey has kept me intrigued throughout my career.

What book should every nurse read?
When Breath Becomes Air - written by Dr. Paul Kalanithi.

What has been your most interesting/surprising outcome while conducting nursing research?
As a nurse executive I facilitate and support nursing research. Bringing nurse scientists together to collaborate and learn from each other is rewarding for the group and supports mentoring of nurses interested in research.

What is a fun fact many people may not know about you?
I love exercise, landscaping and walks on the beach.

What is your Twitter handle?

About Carol
With more than 25 years of senior nursing leadership experience, Carol Porter, D.N.P., RN, FAAN, brings a wealth of knowledge regarding clinical operations, emergency management, quality and interdisciplinary collaboration to her role as the leader of MD Anderson’s diverse nursing community and the institution as a whole.

Since joining MD Anderson in 2016, Dr. Porter has served as an executive sponsor of numerous strategic improvement initiatives. An avid champion for nursing research and education, she has a passion for driving innovative approaches to patient care and is leading efforts to further develop the institution’s nursing research program. She served as an incident commander during Hurricane Harvey in 2017, leading the institution through an unprecedented storm and recovery period.

In 2020, Dr. Porter and the nursing team successfully completed MD Anderson’s journey toward achieving its fifth consecutive Magnet Recognition Program® designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

She believes the role of any leader is to educate and mentor. As a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, she's committed to shaping the future of nursing across the nation and globally by promoting a culture that empowers nurses to take charge of their nursing practice and to strive to achieve higher professional goals.

Prior to joining MD Anderson, Dr. Porter served for 12 years as chief nursing officer at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. During her tenure, the ANCC honored Mount Sinai twice with Magnet designation. She also led the establishment of the hospital’s Center for Nursing Research and Education, which encourages nurses to become engaged in nursing research and turn their findings into practice.

Dr. Porter earned a doctorate of nursing practice from Case Western Reserve University, a master's degree in public administration-health administration from Rutgers University, and a bachelor's degree in nursing from William Paterson University. She is a Wharton Nurse Executive Fellow, Fellow of the American Academy of Nurses, and is a 2010 graduate of the International Council of Nurses Global Nursing Leadership Institute in Geneva, Switzerland.


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