Announcing the Appointment of Dr. Donna Nickitas as Dean of the Rutgers School of Nursing-Camden (Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018)

To the Campus Community:

It is with great pleasure that I announce that Dr. Donna Nickitas, a professor at City University of New York’s Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing and The Graduate Center, has agreed to serve as the dean of the Rutgers School of Nursing–Camden.

This is an exciting leadership appointment for both our nursing school and our campus. Dean-designate Nickitas is an exceptional administrator, a noted health policy scholar, and an energetic visionary regarding the future of health care and nursing education in America. Her intuitive understanding of how to catalyze faculty excellence and student ambition to advance an institution is one reason why she is the right leader to help our relatively young nursing school become a national model for advancing nursing education, scholarship, research, and service.

Dean-designate Nickitas currently is at the CUNY Graduate Center as the executive officer of the nursing science Ph.D. program and as the former specialty coordinator of the dual degree in nursing administration (MSN) and public administration (MPA). In both capacities, she has played a critical role in growing enrollment and enhancing the national profile of the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing.

Her advocacy for equitable access to health care is evident throughout her career. She is the author, co-author, or co-editor of peer-reviewed books related to the nursing profession such as Public Policy and Politics for Nurses and Other Health Professionals, second edition (2016; Jones and Bartlett) and Reviews & Rationales: Nursing Leadership & Management (2009; Prentice Hall Health). Her scholarship appears as chapters in books such as Fast Facts About the Nursing Profession Perspectives in a Nutshell (2017; Springer Publishing) and Caring for Population, third edition (2017; Jones and Bartlett).

Dean-designate Nickitas’ research consistently appears in peer-reviewed journals that include Nursing Education Perspectives, Research in Gerontological Nursing, and the Journal of Nursing Education. She is the editor of the journal Nursing Economic$ and has received research grant support from agencies such as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National League for Nursing, the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans, and Sigma Theta Tau International.

She has earned many honors throughout her exemplary career thus far. Dean-designate Nickitas is a member of premier national honor societies including the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and a Fellow of the National Academies of Practice and Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine. She is an invited member of the Hermann Biggs Society and an invited nurse educator for Johnson & Johnson’s “Campaign for Nursing Future” webisode series. Her achievements have been recognized with awards such as the 2017 Josephine Dolan Diamond Jubilee Award for Outstanding Contributions to Nursing Education from the Connecticut Nurses Association and the 2015 Mary Nutting Award for Outstanding Teaching or Leadership in Nursing Education from the National League for Nursing.

Dean-designate Nickitas is a retired major in the U.S. Air Force Nurse Reserve Corps. Prior to joining the CUNY faculty, she served as assistant director of maternal child health nursing at Bellevue Medical Center in New York and as a staff nurse in the labor and delivery unit at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn. She earned her Ph.D. from Adelphi University, her master’s degree from New York University, and her bachelor’s degree from SUNY at Stony Brook.

She will assume her new role on July 1. I look forward to working closely with her and our entire nursing school community as we continue to grow the Rutgers School of Nursing–Camden as a signature center for nursing education and scholarship.

I would like to thank Provost Mike Palis, Senior Associate Dean Marie O’Toole, Associate Dean Claudia Beckmann, and Associate Dean Beth Scannell-Desch for their ongoing interim leadership of our School of Nursing. We owe them all a profound debt of gratitude.

I also would like to thank the members of the search committee, whose tireless efforts produced an exceptionally strong selection of candidates for this deanship. Under the leadership of co-chairs Dr. Margaret Marsh (University Professor of History and dean emerita, FASC) and Dr. Robert Atkins (associate professor, SNC and associate professor, FASC-childhood studies), this committee consisted of faculty, students, alumni, and representatives from the health care sector. They exceeded all expectations and I am grateful for their dedicated service.

Please join me in welcoming Donna Nickitas to Rutgers University–Camden.

Phoebe A. Haddon, J.D., LL.M.

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