Dr. Smith joined the School of Nursing faculty as Assistant Professor in 2001 being named the Kay K. Chitty Professor. In this position, she taught in the undergraduate and graduate programs and practiced as a Family Nurse Practitioner two days a week in community clinics serving vulnerable populations. She was appointed Coordinator of the Family Nurse Practitioner Concentration in 2005 and was promoted to UC Foundation Associate Professor in 2009. In 2012, she assumed the position of Interim Director of the School of Nursing and was named the permanent director in January 2014. In 2016 she was promoted to Professor. Her primary teaching responsibilities are in the graduate programs, primarily the FNP concentration. She maintains national certification and continues to engage in faculty practice at University Health Services at UTC where she precepts Family Nurse Practitioner Students.
Dr. Smith has published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at several national conferences. She has been recognized as a Leader Among Our Midst by the Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute, with the Boys and Girls Club Dedicated to Youth Service Award and the Key Stone Award, as well as receiving the Girls’ Inc. Unbought and Unbossed Award. She was also named a Woman of Distinction by the American Lung Association. She was awarded the UT System President’s Connect Award in 2017 for her efforts in outreach, engagement and service efforts and programs. At UTC, she has received the CHEPS Outstanding Service and Outreach Awards, and the Outstanding Faculty Award. In 2019, she was given the Carolyn Thompson and Roger Brown Community Engagement Award. She was named the College of Nursing Top 60 Alums for East Tennessee State University. She has been awarded more than $6 million in HRSA funded grants. She is a member of the Board of Directors for A Step Ahead, a nonprofit organization which provides long acting reproductive contraception to all women of childbearing age free of charge, and serves as Secretary for the Weldon Obsorne Foundation.