Dr. Linda Matheson is a part-time faculty member at Capella University within the School of Nursing and Health Sciences.

She spent 17 years in nursing education in traditional programs before bringing her knowledge and experience to Capella’s online nursing programs.


Q. What classes do you teach?

A. I teach a number of classes for both the bachelor’s and master’s degree programs (BSN and MSN), many of which are focused on nursing leadership and management, and two classes for the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program.


Linda Matheson, PhD, nursing faculty member at Capella University.
Linda Matheson, PhD, nursing faculty member at Capella University.

Q. Why do you teach at Capella?

A. I served as a Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) site visitor for the DNP program and was impressed with the quality of the program, program leadership, and faculty. I waited until the accreditation process had successfully passed and applied for an adjunct position.


Q. What is your teaching philosophy?

A. My philosophy is constructivist; students construct their knowledge by building on prior knowledge and experience. I’ve seen where students have a misunderstanding from a past experience, and need to move on and build from that. We don’t just write knowledge on their brains—the knowledge is always filtered through the previous knowledge and experience.


Q. What do you enjoy most about your job?

A. Personal phone calls with students that result in ah-ha moments, and mentoring my current cohort of DNP students.


Q. What industry trends are you seeing that will affect professionals in the next few years?

A. Health care reform and the need for advanced practice nurses. As the Affordable Care Act is implemented, there will be so many people who previously were uninsured that gain access to insurance, and they’ll start using it—we’ll need many more providers, especially nurses.

And the nursing model is evolving—it’s much more hands-on and advanced than it used to be. Plus we’re seeing an increase in specializations available. Technology and medicine keep growing and changing so fast. We have to keep learning.


Q. What is the single biggest challenge facing your field right now?

A. Health care reform due to its unpredictable nature.


Q. How do you stay on top of what employers are looking for? How do you keep your industry skills and knowledge up to date?

A. I’m the administrator for an outpatient cardiology practice, am actively involved in mentoring future graduate nurses in traditional and online programs, and participate in clinical trials.


Q. What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?

A. Actually it was a personal realization that I need to build on the education and skills that I already had attained. I wanted to get out of nursing, but instead of throwing away everything I had, I realized I could build on it instead. I knew I liked leadership, but rather than get an MBA, I realized I could use my background to pursue leadership roles in the nursing field.


Q. What do you like to do when you’re not working?

A. I’m a crafter. I make cards, jewelry, and quilts. I also thoroughly enjoy feeding birds and squirrels on my back deck.


Q. Coffee, tea or soda?

A. Black coffee, and green tea for health benefits.