Inspired by the nurses who cared for her after a childhood medical procedure, Phyllis Adams has dedicated her life to the field. She told her parents she wanted to be a nurse right after the surgery, and they were completely supportive. From that moment on, her path was clear. Dr. Adams never wavered from the pursuit of her goal and, in 1969, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Dillard University and a Doctorate of Higher Education from Texas Southern University. She got her first professional position, charge nurse at The Methodist Hospital, that same year.
Ever since then, Dr. Adams has steadily grown within the industry. She moved through roles like faculty coordinator at the Columbus Technical Institute, practitioner and assistant manager at The Methodist Hospital, coordinator and assistant professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Texas Health Science Center, and special assistant to the president of the Office of Campus Diversity at the university. Dr. Adams also served as a family nurse practitioner at the John Peter Smith Health Network of Tarrant County during this time. Today, she continues her mission to make a difference in the lives of patients and students through her positions as an Associate Clinical Professor and Director of the Family Nurse Practitioner Program at the University of Texas at Arlington College of Nursing and online teacher at the University of Texas at Arlington College of Nursing. Her expertise is in sickle cell traits and sickle cell anemia.
The highlight of Dr. Adams’ career was becoming a Fellow in two prestigious organizations. She was also proud that she has been able to work straight into her 70s; giving back to her community and caring for such wonderful patients has been a dream come true. One moment that stands out in particular was when she was assigned an elderly patient who refused to cooperate with anyone. The doctors wouldn’t discharge her until she could walk, but they couldn’t get her to get up and try. Dr. Adams stepped in and was able to get the patient up and moving on two occasions. The patient was released the next day. Dr. Adams was thrilled her compassionate approach was effective.
In recognition of her achievements, Dr. Adams was honored with a number of accolades over the years. She notably won the Lifetime Achievement in Education and Research Award in 2013 and was nominated for the 2009-2010 Outstanding Academic Advisor Award by the University of Texas at Arlington Advising Association (UTAAA), among many others. Additionally, she was featured in numerous editions of Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare, Who’s Who in American Nursing, Who’s Who in the World, and Who’s Who in the South and Southwest.
When Dr. Adams isn’t working, she enjoys reading, skeet, aerobics, and frog collecting.