New leader of College of Nursing named

Tampa, FL (March 23, 2010) — USF Health is pleased to announce that Dianne Morrison-Beedy, PhD, RN, FNAP, FAANP, FAAN, will be the next dean of the College of Nursing.

Dr. Morrison-Beedy will join USF Health April 30 from the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY, where she is assistant dean for research in the School of Nursing.

“We are thrilled that Dr. Morrison-Beedy is joining USF Health,” said Dr. Stephen Klasko, CEO of USF Health and dean of the USF College of Medicine. “She truly understands our vision of how USF Health will shape the health care of the future. Her energy makes her the ideal candidate to lead the College of Nursing to the next level.”

Dr. Morrison-Beedy takes over as dean from Patricia Burns, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the College of Nursing for 12 years. Dr. Burns announced last February that she would step down after 12 years as dean. “I would like to thank Dean Patricia Burns for her years of excellent leadership of the College of Nursing,” Dr. Klasko said. “Her contributions have been invaluable, and we remain in her debt.”

Dr. Morrison-Beedy will lead a college that offers a broad range of nursing programs from the undergraduate to graduate level, including a DNP in nursing and master’s nurse practitioner programs in six different specialties. The USF College of Nursing was among the first in the nation to offer the Doctor of Nursing Practice and Clinical Nurse Leader degrees.


Dr. Morrison-Beedy said she was drawn to the university because of the high energy level and leaders’ commitment to making the university better.

“It was evident to me that everyone I met wants to move this university forward to become the best university in the state of Florida,” she said. “USF is already recognized as one of the up-and-coming universities, and it’s clear that it will soon be recognized nationally as one of the best.”

The College of Nursing is part of USF Health, which also includes the College of Public Health and the College of Medicine, along with its School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences and School of Pharmacy.

That concentration of health disciplines under one roof allows for more innovative collaboration in research, education and patient care. It’s a key reason why Dr. Morrison-Beedy wanted to come to USF.

“When I visited, I saw immediately how different colleges within the university could work and partner together,” Dr. Morrison-Beedy said. “True inter-professional education, research and clinical initiatives across all the colleges. That’s how we can make things better for the people of Tampa, of Florida, and of the world when it comes to health care and education.”

Dr. Morrison-Beedy’s commitment to the inter-professionalism of USF Health and her strong research background makes her the perfect fit for USF, said Donna Petersen, dean of the College of Public Health and chair of the search committee.

“Dianne brings a tremendous amount of creative energy, a solid commitment to raising the research profile and a strong desire to promote the visibility of the College, its faculty and its students in the community,” said Dr. Petersen. “She has many strengths, including extensive experience in development, faculty recruitment, improving student diversity, community-based participatory research, building internal and external partnerships, and creating innovative learning models.”


At USF, Dr. Morrison-Beedy wants to support and encourage nursing faculty members as they develop research opportunities and initiatives and facilitate their recognition globally for their outstanding contributions as nursing leaders.

“One predominant strength within the College of Nursing is its outstanding faculty members,” she said.

Dr. Morrison-Beedy’s own research focuses on HIV prevention in adolescent girls and young women. She has received several awards for her research, including the Excellence in HIV Prevention Award from the Association for Nurses in AIDS Care and the New York State Distinguished Nurse Researcher Award from the Foundation for the New York State Nurses Association. 

Her work has benefitted from hearing from many different voices, she said.

“My research team is comprised of people in many different disciplines,” she said. “I love working with people on teams with many different backgrounds. You can get much better answers to your questions that way.”

Dr. Morrison-Beedy has a PhD from the University of Rochester and a master’s in nursing from the Women’s Health / Adult Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program at the University of Buffalo, as well as a B.S. in nursing from Niagara University. She is a certified women’s health nurse practitioner and an R.N.

At the University of Rochester, Dr. Morrison-Beedy also holds the Endowed Chair in Nursing Science. She has published widely and received grants from several sources, including the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Nursing Research. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, of the American Academy of Nursing, and of the National Academies of Practice.

Dr. Morrison-Beedy, her husband Michael, and their children, Megan and Mason, are now in the process of moving to Tampa.

“At USF Health, we’re working to revolutionize the delivery of health care,” said Dr. Klasko. “That’s hy recruiting visionary leaders like Dr. Morrison-Beedy is so important. She will play a vital role in helping USF Health transform health care in Tampa Bay, Florida and the world.”