Pamela R. Jeffries, dean of the George Washington University School of Nursing, has been named dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, Vanderbilt announced Wednesday.
Dr. Jeffries will remain dean of the GW School of Nursing through the end of June and begin her new role on July 1.
“The opportunity I’ve been given over the last six years to lead the school of nursing at such a pivotal time in its young history has been such an honor,” said Dr. Jeffries. “Our success and growth has been the result of the collaborative efforts of an amazingly talented group of faculty and staff who work tirelessly on behalf of our nursing students. This has been one of my most rewarding experiences, professionally and personally, and I will always cherish my time at GW.”
Since joining GW in 2015 as the school of nursing’s second dean, Dr. Jeffries, a renowned innovator and scholar, has prioritized expanding the school’s infrastructure and enhancing processes and standards. Under Dr. Jeffries’ leadership, the school grew considerably, including the doubling of enrollment; the addition of more than 20 new faculty lines; the introduction of several new degree programs, including a limited residency Ph.D.; the increase of annual research funding by nearly 160 percent; and major renovations to nursing spaces on the Virginia Science Technology Campus and Foggy Bottom campus. The school’s graduate programs have also steadily risen in the rankings of the annual US News & World Report surveys, placing at #6 for online nursing programs this year.
During her tenure, reducing the financial burdens associated with the cost of attending nursing school was the centerpiece of her fundraising. Jeffries strengthened important relationships with funding organizations, individual donors, and new clinical partners. She doubled the amount of school of nursing support for scholarships, increased the total number of endowed scholarships, and funded GRAs and stipends for doctoral students. She also secured a $2.5 million gift, the largest in the school’s history, from William and Joanne Conway as aid for veteran students in the bachelor of science in nursing program.
Dr. Jeffries also focused on building a more diverse and inclusive nursing community at GW. In 2017, she charged a task force to study diversity and inclusion issues, resulting in a faculty- and staff-run advisory council for diversity; the institution of the first assistant dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion; and mandatory unconscious bias training for all faculty search committees. The school of nursing in 2018 won the Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, which recognizes schools that demonstrate commitment to welcoming and increasing diversity.
In addition to her leadership role at the school of nursing, Jeffries has been an ambassador and advocate for GW Nursing and nursing education, locally and nationally. She is the current president of the Virginia Association of Colleges of Nursing, serves on the board of directors for the American Academy of Nursing and is a member of the Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education for the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine.
“Pam has been a transformational leader for GW,” said Provost M. Brian Blake. “The advancements she’s made to the school of nursing’s operations, services, and academic programming are exceptional and will strengthen our ability to attract another outstanding dean. We will miss her but we wish her the best of success at Vanderbilt University.”