By KBS and Lynn Schultz-Writsel
In an ongoing strategic initiative, the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing has created three new academic departments structured around the school’s areas of excellence: Acute and Chronic Care; Health Systems and Outcomes; and Community and Public Health.
“This is an exciting chance to not only enhance, but also showcase our academic excellence and our expertise,” says Dean Martha N. Hill, PhD, RN, FAAN. “This new way of organizing the school provides an innovative and creative solution to the challenges created by significant growth—communication, collaboration, and career development for faculty and staff.”
It’s no secret that the School of Nursing is growing rapidly in response to the pressing demands of the U.S. nursing shortage; student enrollment has increased by more than 50 percent since the Anne M. Pinkard building opened nearly a decade ago. As additional faculty and staff were added to accommodate the growing number of students, the school has increased in both size and complexity.
In response, a 2006 Faculty Senate Task Force on Decision Making and Organizational Structure recommended the formation of three faculty and staff sub-groups, created around a common academic, clinical, and research focus. A team of employees consisting of research faculty, practice faculty, administrative staff, executive staff, and staff from Johns Hopkins University Human Resources and Organizational Development, guided the implementation of the three departments, ultimately resulting in the naming of three new faculty department chairs.
Professor Fannie Gaston-Johansson, PhD, RN, FAAN, who will lead the faculty in the Acute and Chronic Care Department, holds the school’s Elsie M. Lawler Endowed Chair and serves as the director of the school’s Center for Health Disparities. As department chair, Gaston-Johansson aims to “cultivate an academic environment that supports faculty, staff, and students in achieving excellence in research, teaching and practice.”
Professor Victoria Mock, PhD, RN, FAAN, has agreed to chair the new department of Health Systems and Outcomes, which she says will “advance the school’s progress in the global implementation of evidence-based standards of practice in health systems to improve outcomes for patients.” Mock leads the school’s National Institutes of Health funded Center for Collaborative Intervention Research and serves as director of nursing research at the Kimmel Cancer Center.
Associate professor Phyllis W. Sharps, PhD, RN, FAAN, former director of the school’s Master’s Program, will head the third department, Community and Public Health. “The Department of Community and Public Health is committed to maintaining and enhancing the school’s ranking in public health nursing,” says Sharps. Her research targets underserved audiences, and she currently is the principal investigator on a multi-million dollar National Institute of Nursing Research community-based study aimed at helping at-risk pregnant women and their infants.