Today, I am reaching out to pay tribute to the memory of Lisa Chappel. Lisa was not only a dedicated nurse at her core but also a loving wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, and friend. Commencing her nursing career in 1974, she consistently held various nursing positions until shortly before her passing November 21, 2023. We at Frontier Nursing University were fortunate to count her as a teacher, colleague, and friend from 2009 onward.
Lisa initially joined as course faculty, but her exceptional leadership skills swiftly propelled her into the role of Course Coordinator. In 2014, she assumed the role of Associate Dean of Family Nursing, later rebranded as the Department Chair of Family Nursing. For nearly a decade, she led the Family Nurse Practitioner Program, achieving outstanding success with national board pass rates consistently approaching or reaching 100% annually.
As we reflect on Lisa's impact on students, faculty, and staff, a recurring sentiment emerges. Many express, "Lisa was my mentor" or "Lisa imparted invaluable knowledge to me." Others fondly recall Lisa's unwavering support in challenging situations, with sentiments like, "I always appreciated Lisa's calm support in the face of challenges" or "When I first started at FNU, Lisa took me under her wing and ensured I had what I needed."
Lisa embodied the roles of teacher, mentor, collaborator, and friend for numerous individuals at Frontier Nursing University. While her absence is deeply felt, her influence will endure in the lives of those she cared for, whether as a clinician, educator, mentor, or friend, for many years to come.
– FNU President, Dr. Susan Stone, DNSc, CNM, FACNM, FAAN
Lisa was a mentor and a friend. She was a firm but kind leader who commanded respect but was very much loved and admired by her faculty. She loved her work and her Frontier family.
– Dean of Nursing Dr. Joan Slager, CNM, DNP, FACNM, FAAN
Dr. Lisa Chappell exuded kindness and maturity in all interactions. I am grateful for her guidance and role-modeling unfaltering dedication to the university and the nursing profession.
– Dr. Audrey Perry, DNP, M.Ed.(c), CNM, CRNP, A-GNP-C, CNE, FACNM
Dr. Chappell oriented me to Frontier Bound and was exceptionally kind and gracious – and funny!
– Dr. Eva Fried, DNP, CNM, WHNP
Lisa was one of a kind. She was Southern hospitality personified. I remember meeting her for the first time when I went to Hyden for my faculty interview. I was sitting alone in the admin conference room, and she sat next to me, introduced herself, and started talking to me about my life and my goals. At the end of it, she said, "I wish I would've known you first. You should come work in my department." Then she smiled her beautiful smile, laughed, then said, "I'm serious!" She saw the best in everyone. It was a pleasure to work with her closely over the past 2.5 years. I will cherish her mentorship, friendship, and kindness forever.
– Dr. Khara' A. Jefferson, DNP, APRN, FNP-C, CHC
Dr. Chappell was always so kind, compassionate, and determined with her work. She had a quiet presence about her but was always willing to help and had such graciousness about her. Even though she was the Chair of the FNP Department, I never felt intimidated by her title and always felt welcome to reach out with questions, big or small. She made me feel like I mattered, and that is how she treated all our students, too. She really wanted all students to be successful here. She will be missed so much!
– Jamie Wheeler, MA
I joined the FNU faculty in 2014 and attended my first Frontier Bound in September 2014. I met Lisa and remember how welcoming she was to me and talking with her about the importance of APRN practitioners in our society. I came from a university college of nursing where only DNPs were awarded, and I would now also be supporting faculty in our master's level programs as the Writing Support Specialist. Over the years, I've seen how devoted Lisa has been to the students in our FNP programs but, even more, her dedication to supporting our FNP faculty. Lisa was always approachable and diplomatic as our programs were constantly evolving, and change was a constant for our practice as nursing educators. Lisa was the embodiment of caring, and she was inspiring and encouraging to support new ideas and sustain practices that bound our community of caring with respect and engagement. I will miss Lisa and her indomitable and progressive spirit.
– Gail Spake, MA
Dr. Chappell was the chair of FNP when we started the advising center over nine years ago. She was instrumental in helping us navigate our new roles. I always appreciated her kindness and her collaborative spirit. Despite her experience, she was always quick to ask my opinion or talk through a situation instead of just handing down a decision. She will be sorely missed.
– Lesia Hansen, M.A.
Lisa was truly one of the most gentle souls and I am grateful to have had the privilege of calling her my friend. I worked with Lisa in many different roles over the years, but most fondly remember times with her in the faculty house (Hyden) during DNP Bounds. We bounced around many ideas, which helped us grow the DNP program, and also had deep conversations, sharing many things which included both personal and professional advice. Lisa was one of a kind, and I will miss her. Rest in peace, Lisa!
– Dr. Deborah Karsnitz, DNP, CNM, FACNM, CNE
Lisa Chappell was a wise and fair leader, devoted to her faculty and our students. Lisa was an awesome mentor. For me, joining the FNU faculty was a bit of a culture shock. Lisa never waivered in her support and guidance. I suspect that many of us have benefited from Lisa's wise council. We are all grieving, but hopefully, we can find solace in the knowledge that Lisa Chappell has left an indelible mark on our hearts and minds. Her spirit will live on through the values she instilled in us and the lives she touched. Rest in peace, dear Lisa. Your legacy will endure, and your impact will resonate in our hearts forever.
– Debra Hunt, PhD, FNP, GNP, CNE
Dr. Chappell was a quiet force at Frontier Nursing University. Her calm demeanor and gentle Southern accent could lead you to believe that she was weak, but don't be fooled. Lisa could be clear and strong as needed. I first encountered her strength and diplomacy when we were at Clinical Bound together and dealing with an interpersonal problem between a faculty member and a student. She was amazing. As a member of the Emergency Fund Scholarship Committee, I witnessed her compassion and generosity time and again while also requiring adherence to policies and procedures. She will be sorely missed at Frontier and in my life.
– Mickey Gillmor, MN, CNM
Thank you, Dr Chappell, for your wisdom, mentoring, and friendship. You were the FNP Department champion for faculty and students. Your legacy is the lasting impact of kindness, humility, quality, and accountability in nursing education. May we continue to honor that legacy.
– Dr. Audra Cave DNP, FNP-BC
Dear Lisa, I pray you are safe and well and in the arms of your beloved husband. May God continue to watch over you.
– Dr. Carol McFarland. DNP, APRN, NP-C, PMHNP-BC, CDE
Dr. Lisa Chappell was an exemplary educator, leader, and mentor. I am truly blessed to have known her.
– Dr. April Phillips, DNP, FNP-c, PMHNP-BC
Lisa Chappell was a wonderful boss, mentor, and friend to me. She was a woman who steered her life by her faith. Often, she told me she just had to get out of the way to let the Lord work through her. That showed in all that she did. Lisa has a wonderful biological family and has created a family here at FNU with us. She could be stern with a look and a "wait a minute now" comment. She didn't like everything we did, but she did love each and every one of us. She loved to cook, read three books at a time, and sing to Carrie Underwood's version of Victory in Jesus as ardently as Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars. I still hear her singing, "Gotta kiss myself, I'm so pretty." When David, her husband, died, she was devastated. She turned to work and was buoyed by her desire to serve "her people" (us) and the FNP Department. We helped her through her loss. When she shared her diagnosis with me, I asked her what I could do for her. She asked that I help take care of her people and the Department. She also wanted us all to know that there is never enough time. It gives me great comfort to know where she is and that she is with David. I love you, Lisa.
– Dr. Joanne Keefe DNP, MPH, FNP-c, CNE
Dr. Chappell was an amazing woman who practiced the culture of caring every day. To know her for the past 10 years has been something I will always treasure. Her humor, smile, and laugh were infectious, and whenever she met with me, she always ended our meeting with a positive comment and made me feel special even on my worst day. Her support was unwavering, and she always had my back. We had so many wonderful talks about work, life, and family. She always made sure to ask how everyone was. I would always say, "I hope I can be half of the person Dr. Chappell is" because she was someone who inspired me to be a better person. She will be deeply missed. RIP our wonderful colleague and friend!
– Dr. Vicky Stone-Gale, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, FAANP, FNAP
Thank you, Lisa, for sharing all of your time, talents, and wisdom with us at Frontier. I know I personally spent many hours talking to you around the big tables in Hyden and learned a tremendous amount about teaching, navigating the politics of working at a university, and taking care of oneself in the process. You had the kindest soul and could always make me laugh. I will never forget your description of the beds on the Hyden campus and you calling them "child's beds" in your southern drawl. I still smile to this day thinking about that! You are sorely missed.
–Tia Andrighetti DNP, CNM, APRN, CHSE-A, CNE, FACNM
Lisa was a remarkable woman whose spirit and unwavering dedication to education have left a permanent mark on all who were fortunate enough to know her. Her commitment to the faculty and students was not merely professional; it was a deeply personal investment in our lives and the future of her students. Her love for her job was evident in her devotion to the betterment of FNU. Her legacy is one of kindness and compassion and will live on in all of us as we continue the work of education here at FNU. She will be deeply missed.
– Dr. Nancy Pesta Walsh, DNP, FNP, PMHNP
I am so GRATEFUL for her compassion for the students and also the faculty/staff. Her unwavering support and encouragement. Thank you for being such a GREAT leader and example for US ALL, Lisa. Frontier LEGEND!!!! May we make you PROUD as we strive to prepare the next generation of FNPs for GREATNESS, DIVERSITY, and CULTURE OF CARING.
– Torica Fuller, DNP, MSN, FNP-BC, FNP-C, WHNP-BC, CDP, CGRN, CPN, NRCME
I have worked closely with Lisa since her start at FNU--first as course faculty in the same courses and then as my Associate. Dean. She was so much more than her title; she was an advocate, encourager, friend, and confidante. Her heart was big and beautiful, and she cared deeply for others. I will miss her laughter and witty jokes. I will miss the peace and calm that she brought to every circumstance. And, goodness, she gave the best hugs! FNU was truly graced with Lisa's presence and leadership. Fly high, lovely lady . . . and rest well. May your memory be eternal.
– Nena R. Harris, PhD, FNP-BC, CNM, CNE, FACNM
Lisa was one of the most kind colleagues I have ever worked with and always made others feel welcome and appreciated. Her friendly demeanor and calming presence made anyone feel at ease. She will be greatly missed and was a true example of FNU's culture of caring.
– Brittney Kinison
Circling up from Utah, I’ll always cherish her kindness of encouragement on my journey to becoming a Frontier FNP.
– Jacob Ross
I am so sad to see this. I remember meeting her at Frontier Bound and she was so kind and welcoming to all the students. What a great loss to Frontier. Her compassionate spirit will live on.
– Celeste Desiree
I was honored to meet her at Frontier Bound last year. She was encouraging and made me look forward to being at Frontier for my FNP journey. Condolences to her loved ones and colleagues.
– Elizabeth Rice
Dr. Chappell provided such warmth and kindness to me and other FNP students at Frontier Bound. I loved hearing her nursing stories and the journeys her career took her on! I am sending love and prayers to her friends and family, especially her husband, of whom she talked so dearly!
– Evelyn Grace Cutting