Dr. Melissa Knight


Dr. Melissa Knight, currently serves as Assistant Professor of Nursing at Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina.  Dr. Knight comes to Claflin with an extensive nursing education, clinical nursing and leadership background including critical care, community health, home health, medical-surgical nursing and nurse entrepreneurship. Dr. Knight is noted for her extensive innovative research within the RN-to-BSN population that extends from her doctorate dissertation study entitled “Accelerated Online and Hybrid RN-to-BSN Programs: An Predictive Retention Algorithm” that was published February, 2019. She is currently working towards validating the predictive algorithm and once validated this tool will serve as a valuable global model to improve retention and graduation outcomes within accelerated online and hybrid RN-to-BSN programs.  Dr. Knight is also the author of, Becoming an Innovative Nurse Educator: Moving from mediocre teaching to innovative learning; releasing for publishing on August 31, 2019.  Dr. Knight is passionate about fostering innovative cultures within both nursing practice and academia; resulting in quality education and furthermore safe, quality and cost-contained patient care. In addition to nursing education research, Dr. Knight has been heavily involved in chronic disease research extending to community health awareness, health behavior modification, disease prevention education and chronic disease management.   

Dr. Knight has presented numerous lectures, seminars and workshops to nurses for professional development purposes and nursing students of various degree levels to improve academic outcomes.  In addition to her academic responsibilities, she has served as an expert consultant for nursing academic programs, nurse educators, nurse leaders and nurse entrepreneurs aligned with her extensive nursing expertise, nursing education research and business management background.  In addition to her active schedule as a nurse academic, Dr. Knight is the founder and owner of an innovation and soft-skill training academy designed for youth, novices and seasoned professionals presently pursuing or actively working within a healthcare context.  


  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PHD), Nursing Education and Nursing Leadership, Walden University
  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Nursing Education, Walden University
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration(BS), Marketing and Management, University of South Carolina-Columbia
  • Associate in Science-Nursing (ADN), Midland’s Technical College-Columbia

Research Interests

  • RN-to-BSN Online and Hybrid Program Retention and Timely Graduation
  • Innovations in Nursing Education and Nursing Practice
  • Innovation and creative leadership and educator development
  • Design Thinking and Human-Centered Design in Nursing Academia
  • Nursing student development of innovation and creativity skills
  • Nursing student retention and graduation across degree levels
  • Chronic disease management in rural populations

Activities and Honors

  • National Nurses in Business Association
  • National League of Nursing
  • South Carolina Nurses Association
  • American Nurses Association
  • National Nurses Honors Society (Sigma Theta Tau)
  • Society of Nurse Scientists, Innovators, Entrepreneurs & Leaders (SONSIEL).

Recent Publications

Recent Presentations

  • Feedback: Making it More Thoughtful and Meaningful, La Fe Solutions 2019 Nurse Educator Seminar, Columbia, SC, April 2019.
  • Nursing’s Power of “Community and Holistic Care in the 21stcentury. La Fe Solutions Nurse Educator Seminar, Columbia SC, March 2019.
  • Leading with a Servant Mindset Series, Nurse Educator Seminar, Columbia, SC, December 2018.
  • Innovation in Nursing Education, Premier Series, Nurse Educator Workshop, La Fe Solutions, Columbia, South Carolina, May 2018. 

Dr. Melissa Knight
Assistant Professor of Nursing