Alabama Nursing Hall of Fame

Sketch of Charlie Dickson

Charlie Dickson

Charlie Dickson exemplifies the best in public service, and her leadership throughout the state of Alabama has directly and indirectly impacted many lives throughout her career. Dr. Dickson has the distinction of being the first African-American registered nurse to serve as president of the Alabama Board of Nursing and is only the second African-American appointed to the Board. Throughout her career, Dr. Dickson worked hard to maintain the autonomy of the Board of Nursing. She served during a time of great turmoil when numerous efforts were made to lower the standards and requirements for nursing. Her efforts with legislators resulted in reasonable laws for the Board to implement mandatory continuing education for nurses’ license renewal. Due to Dr. Dickson’s commitment to research, the Alabama Board of Nursing remains the only state board with a commitment to regulatory research. She was elected to the Board of Directors of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing in 1991 and served as chair of one of the National Council Examination Committees during the transition to computer adaptive testing of candidates for nurse licensure. Dr. Dickson earned a nursing diploma from Grady Memorial Hospital, a B.S.N. from Tuskegee University, an M.S.N. from Ohio State University and an Ed.D. from The University of Alabama. Dr. Dickson started the associate degree in nursing program at Lawson State Community College and continued her affiliation with Tuskegee University, where she provided theoretical and clinical instruction for upper-division students. Dr. Dickson taught adult health and served as level chair at the University of Alabama School of Nursing at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. Professor emeritus at UASON-UAB, she continues teaching at Tuskegee University. In 1994, the American Academy of Nursing inducted Dr. Dickson as a Fellow in recognition of her contributions to nursing. She also received the Louise McManus Award from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing in 2001. This is the highest individual award available from the NCSBN.