Carmen M. Ward-Sullivan

Program Director, Entry Level Master of Science in Nursing, Pre-licensure Assistant Professor PhD, RN

Programs and Courses Taught

Program Director, Entry Level Master's in Nursing, Pre-Licensure

N 566--Advanced Care of the Adult/Older Adult; N546--Nursing Care of the Adult/Older Adult; N543--Nursing Skills II

About Me

Carmen Ward-Sullivan, PhD, RN has more than 33 years of Intensive Care and Cardio-Pulmonary Care Nursing at Summit Medical Center in Oakland, CA and is a graduate of the University of California, at San Francisco, School of Nursing/Department of Physiological Nursing, San Francisco, CA. As a nurse scientist with multiple years of experience in working with cardiac patients, her research interest is in the area of Symptom Science. For her dissertation research, she studied Symptom Clusters in Patients with Breast Cancer Who Underwent Chemotherapy. 

Dr. Ward-Sullivan serves as the Program Director of Entry Level Master’s in Nursing Program and Assistant Professor at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, CA. At Samuel Merritt University, she has taught baccalaureate students and pre-licensure graduate level students. Specifically, in the area of Critical Care Nursing to ELMSN students seeking to become advanced practiced nurses, both in the clinical setting and in theoretical nursing pedagogy. In addition, she serves as an advisor to doctorate of nurse practitioner students completing their dissertation project at Samuel Merritt University.

Dr. Ward-Sullivan has four peer reviewed papers on Symptom Clusters in Patients with Breast Cancer Undergoing Chemotherapy. In addition, she has an interest in the area of symptom(s), symptom management, and symptom clusters in women with heart disease.

Dr. Ward-Sullivan has served as a moderator for the international sessions for Sigma Theta Tau, International Honor Society of Nursing. She has presented her research to various audiences at both local and national level. In addition, her poster on symptom clusters in patients with breast cancer was selected for presentation at the NIH/NINR 30th Anniversary celebrating 30 years of nursing research at the National Institute of Nursing Research, held in September of 2015 and at the Western Institute of Nursing Annual Conference in April of 2016. She continues to present scholarly work at Samuel Merritt University Spring Scholar Symposium.

Dr. Ward-Sullivan serves as a member of the California Board of Registered Nursing Advisory Committee and Health Professions Education Foundation as a grant reviewer for the Registered Nursing education scholarships; she serves as a mentor to African American nursing students at Samuel Merritt University/Health Resource and Service Administration’s (HRSA) joint grant funded, Nursing Workforce Diversity Project; Panel speaker for Northern California Diversity in Graduate Education; and dedicates her time to serve as a volunteer at the annual Allen Temple Baptist Church’s (ATBCs) Holistic Health Fair every year. In addition, she has served as a health care presenter during ATBCs healthy heart speaker series and in various other volunteer arenas.

On a public level, Dr. Ward-Sullivan has served as a Board Trustee for San Leandro Unified School District, 2008-2012.


Dr. Ward-Sullivan, began her nursing career as a graduate of Chabot College in 1985 as an Associate Degree Nurse. In 1990, she returned to school to seek her Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing and enrolled in the RN-BSN program at Sonoma State University. After taking a break from nursing school to raise her family, she return to Sonoma State University in 2008 to complete her RN-BSN education and graduated in 2010 as a Ronald McNair Scholar and a Sigma Theta Tau Nurse. In 2010, she was accepted at the University of California, San Francisco, PhD in Nursing Program, where she studied Symptom Science and graduated in 2017.

Teaching Interests

Care of Adults, Care of Critically Ill Adults

Scholarly Interests

Symptom Science
Symptom Management
Women's Cardiovascular Health/Symptom Experience


1.    Ward-Sullivan, C., Leutwyler, H., Dunn, L., and Miaskowski, C. 2017. A Review of the literature symptom clusters in studies that included oncology patients receiving primary or adjuvant chemotherapy. J Clin Nurs. 2018 Feb;27(3-4):516-545. Epub 2017 Oct 10. 

2.    Ward-Sullivan, C., Leutwyler, H., Dunn, L., Cooper, B., Paul, S., Conley, Y., Levine, J., Miaskowski, C., 2017. Differences in symptom clusters identified using symptom occurrence rates versus severity ratings in patients with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy. Eur. J. Oncol. Nurs. 28, 122-132 Jun.

3.    Ward-Sullivan, C., Leutwyler, H., Dunn, L., Cooper, B., Paul, S., Levine, J., Hammer, M., Conley, Y., Miaskowski, C., 2017. Stability of symptom clusters in patients with breast cancer receiving chemotherapy. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2018 Jan;55(1):39-55. Epub 2017 Aug 31. 

4.    Langford, D., West, C., Elboim, C., Cooper, B., A., Abrams, G., Paul, S.M., Schmidt, B.L., Levine, J.D., Merriman, J.D., Dhruva, A., Neuhaus, J., Leutwyler, H., Baggott, C., Ward- Sullivan, C., Aouizerat, B.E., and Miaskowski, C. 2014. Variations in potassium channel genes are associated with breast pain in women prior to breast cancer surgery. Journal of Neurogenetics, 28 (1-2), 122-35. 
5.    Ward-Sullivan, C.  My aching heart: A look at women and heart disease. Sonoma State University, Ronald McNair Scholars Research Journal, 2009-2010

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

American Heart Association 
American Heart Association Member of Nursing Council on Cardiovascular Nursing
American Association of Critical Care Nurses
Bay Area Black Nurse’s Association
Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science/American Academy of Nursing
National Black Nurse’s Association
Preventive Cardiovascular Nurse’s Association
Sigma Theta Tau, International Honor Society of Nursing (Inducted) 
Western Institute of Nursing (WIN)
Member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Member of Black Elected Officials and Faith Based Leaders of Alameda County
Past-Member of Black Women Organized for Political Action
Past-Member of California Nurse's Association
Past-Member of Alameda County School Boards Representative for San Leandro Unified School District
Past-Member of California School Boards Association

Community Service

My service interest include arenas in which I can provide community service.
Board Member, Allen Temple Health and Social Services Ministry
Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.
Bay Area Black Nurses Association

Honors & Awards

2012-2016: National Institute of Health Symptom Science/Symptom  Management Training Fellow/Grant Recipient
2010; 2014-2016: PhD in Nursing Graduate Dean’s Health Science Fellowship—University of California, San Francisco
2011   Educational Service Award, Southern Alameda County Alliance of African American of Educators
2010   California Nurses Association Region 11 Scholarship Recipient
2010   Hubert Bell Allen Scholarship, University of California at San Francisco
2009   Sigma Theta Tau, Inductee, International Honor Society, Nursing.            
2009   Alta Bates Summit Medical Staff Nursing Scholarship Recipient            
2009   Community Empowerment Award, Pacific Educational Group, San Francisco    
2009   Senate Certificate of Recognition, Senator Ellen Corbett            
2008   School Board Trustee, Achievement Honor, Allen Temple Baptist Church
2008   McNair Scholar, Sonoma State University