Can you explain what the steps are to become a Dean of a nursing school?

And is it true that you have to either choose to be a great Clinician or a great Academic/Researcher? Do you think it is possible to be great at both?

Antonia Villarruel's avatar image.

There are many paths to be coming a dean – but there are some commonalities in the path. First, in order to lead an academic unit, you must have the requisite academic preparation ( most common – is a PhD) and demonstrated expertise in an area (e.g. publications, research grants, national/international awards and recognition) in order to be tenured and achieve the rank of professor. In addition a dean needs to have demonstrated leadership in an academic or clinical area. They need to have administrative experience including strategic planning, financial administration, and personnel. Importantly, a dean advances the mission of the School and University. They need to be an excellent communicator with multiple cons***uencies – students, parents, faculty, other University administrators, donors, and the public. These skills can be learned and developed in a mul***ude of environments.

I don’t think you have to choose to be either a clinician OR a great academic/researcher. There are many examples of nurse leaders who have excelled at all three. Nursing is a practice discipline – so having a connection to practice is important. It is where many nurse researchers start their programs of research - trying to figure out an issue they confront in practice. For example – how can we best assess pain in children? What are effective ways to reduce sexual risk behaviors among Latino adolescents? These are questions from my practice – that led to my programs of research.