Posted on Oct 5, 2012

USF Nursing Dean in Select Group at First AACN-Wharton Executive Leadership Program

USF Nursing Dean in Select Group at First AACN-Wharton Executive Leadership Program

The inaugural class of nursing deans and other senior faculty leaders met August 14-17, 2012 at Wharton University in Philadelphia  PA for the AACN-Wharton Executive Leadership Program. Dianne Morrison-Beedy, PhD, RN, WHNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP, FAAN, Senior Associate Vice President of USF Health, and Dean of the College of Nursing at the University of South Florida, is one of the select group of 37 nursing deans and senior faculty leaders selected, from 25 states, chosen through a highly competitive process.

The first inaugural class of nursing deans and senior faculty leaders who have been selected to participate in the new AACN-Wharton Executive Leadership Program (Dean Morrison-Beedy pictured front row, second from right). 

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) announced this exciting new nursing leadership development program in July 2012 in partnership with the Wharton School of Nursing in Philadelphia.

“AACN is pleased to welcome our first class of nursing leaders who represent a broad, geographically diverse mix of educational programs, including large academic health centers, public and private institutions, and small specialized schools of nursing,” said AACN President Jane Kirschling. “Fortified with a new layer of leadership expertise, those completing the program will be well-prepared to make a lasting impact on how nurses are educated and how they practice.”

This world-class enrichment program, which is designed exclusively for top academic leaders in nursing, is generously sponsored in part by the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence. The program is designed to provide nursing school deans and directors with the concepts and tools needed to enhance leadership capacity and hone the skills that are essential to thrive and move forward strategically. According to the program’s website:

Today’s senior executives, across industries and settings, must lead in an environment of volatility, uncertainty, and ambiguity. Leaders in academic institutions face even greater challenges that involve engaging internal stakeholders (students, faculty, and administration) as well as an even wider array of influential external stakeholders. Academic leaders in health care disciplines must accomplish all of this and still honor the triad of mission objectives: education, practice, and research.

The AACN / Wharton curriculum provides the concepts and tools needed to enhance leadership capacity and hone the skills that are essential to move forward strategically as an academic leader. The program addresses issues around managing and leading change, influencing and galvanizing a diverse set of stakeholders, and building strategic relationships in highly volatile environments. Participants in this program will leave equipped with an advanced set of negotiation, leadership, and influencing skills, and the confidence and ability to serve on or lead high-powered boards. Interactions and collaboration within the cohort will also provide participants with a valuable and ongoing resource network.

The four day program at Wharton led the nursing leaders through a series of sessions with relevant and timely content designed to advance chief academic administrators to a higher level of leadership. Program participants focused on:

  • Manage and lead change at an enterprise level
  • Strategically influence and negotiate
  • Skillfully strategize with external stakeholders
  • Lead or serve on high-powered boards

“Though many executive leadership programs are available at top schools like Wharton, none focus exclusively on the needs of nursing deans,” added Dr. Kirschling. “AACN is hopeful that this innovative program will help to amplify nursing’s voice in national conversations about healthcare reform and enhancing patient care.”

The following individuals comprise the 2012 cohort for the AACN-Wharton Executive Leadership Program.  USF is the only Florida university and 1 of only 12 schools of nursing ranked in research funding by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for fiscal year 2011, participating in the program.

  • Lazelle Benefield, Dean, College of Nursing, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
  • Audrey Berman, Dean, School of Nursing, Samuel Merritt University (CA)
  • Devon Berry, Director of Innovations and Community Partnerships, Wright State University (OH)
  • Lenora Campbell, Associate Dean, Winston Salem State University (NC)
  • Ann Cary, Director, School of Nursing, Loyola University New Orleans (LA)
  • Daisy Cruz-Richman, Dean, College of Nursing, SUNY Downstate Medical Center (NY)
  • Debra Davis, Dean, College of Nursing, University of South Alabama
  • Judy Didion, Dean, College of Nursing, Lourdes University (OH)
  • Dorrie Fontaine, Dean, School of Nursing, University of Virginia
  • Rita Frantz, Dean, College of Nursing, The University of Iowa
  • Lorraine Frazier, Dean, College of Nursing, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
  • Carla Gross, Department Chair, Nursing, North Dakota State University
  • Phyllis S. Hansell, Dean, College of Nursing, Seton Hall University (NJ)
  • Marcia Hern, Dean, School of Nursing, University of Louisville (KY)
  • Karen Karlowicz, Chairperson, College of Health Sciences, Old Dominion University (VA)
  • Judith F. Karshmer, Dean, School of Nursing and Health Professions, University of San Francisco (CA)
  • Marsha Lewis, Dean, School of Nursing, University at Buffalo (NY)
  • Krista M. Meinersmann, Director, School of Nursing, University of Southern Maine
  • Helen Melland, Dean, College of Nursing, Montana State University
  • Pamela Mitchell, Interim Dean, School of Nursing, University of Washington
  • Dianne Morrison-Beedy, Dean, College of Nursing, University of South Florida
  • Nina Ouimette, Dean, Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing (TX)
  • Demetrius James Porche, Dean, School of Nursing, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
  • Rosanne Pruitt, Director, School of Nursing, Clemson University (SC)
  • Sharon Radzyminski, Chair, School of Nursing, Georgia Southern University
  • Joanne Robinson, Dean, School of Nursing, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey-Camden
  • Nena F. Sanders, Dean, School of Nursing, Samford University (AL)
  • Kerri Schuiling, Dean, School of Nursing, Oakland University (MI)
  • Juliann Sebastian, Dean, College of Nursing, University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Sandie Soldwisch, Dean, College of Nursing, Resurrection University (IL)
  • Mary C. Sullivan, Interim Dean, College of Nursing, University of Rhode Island
  • Beth Ann Swan, Dean, School of Nursing, Thomas Jefferson University (PA)
  • Kristen M. Swanson, Dean, School of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • David Vlahov, Dean, School of Nursing, University of California San Francisco
  • Pamela G. Watson, Dean, School of Nursing, University of Texas Medical Branch
  • Susan Wilkinson, Department Head, Department of Nursing and Rehabilitation Sciences, Angelo State University (TX)
  • Barbara Williams, Chairperson, Department of Nursing, University of Central Arkansas

For more details on this leadership development program for nurse educators, see