Universities with an Exceptional Nursing Administration Faculty

The country is in dire need of registered nurses, physicians, and all types of professionals in healthcare. Specifically, the demand for medical and health services administrators is currently growing at a rate of 20 percent—much faster than the average for all other professions in the US. In fact, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that more than 70,000 additional administrators will be added to the workforce between 2016 and 2026.

While a bachelor’s degree and either administrative or clinical experience in a healthcare facility or hospital are the minimum qualifications for a position as a healthcare administrator or executive, nurse administrators are typically registered nurses (RNs) and often hold an advanced degree with specialized training in the field.

Nurse administrators are leaders in healthcare facilities. They direct the design of patient care systems, the delivery of quality and cost-effective care, and the development of collaborative patient-care settings. As in the case of the increasing demand for RNs, the need for nurse leaders is driven by an aging population, both within the general population and within the nursing population itself and the increasing need for nursing specialties.

About 80 percent of the population over 65 currently suffers from at least one chronic condition, and by 2024, it is estimated that 700,000 nurses will retire or stop working full-time. The role of nurse administrators with an aging American population is to ensure the quality of care from acute settings to the home and on the management of the population of patients with chronic disease.

In dealing with the aging of the nursing population, nurse administrators are charged with developing leadership skills through shared governance and leading professional development efforts regarding technology and data management in healthcare. To address the shortage of nurse educators, administrators are involved in creating partnerships between hospitals and universities and actively encourage nurses to become nurse educators.

The following list includes 14 exceptional nursing administration faculty members. Three schools, in particular, stood out for their accomplished faculty members in this discipline: the University of Pennsylvania, the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

These 14 nursing administration professors have years of industry experience and academic scholarship. Their contributions consist of innovative research; an extensive record of published works; teaching excellence; leadership in academic centers, departments and professional organizations; experience in the private and public sectors; community engagement; and other achievements.

University of Pennsylvania, Penn Nursing

The University of Pennsylvania was founded in 1751 by Benjamin Franklin as the Academy and Charitable School in the Province of Pennsylvania. Radical at the time, Franklin’s vision for the school was based upon his essay, “Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth,” which he circulated among prominent Philadelphians to gain support and trustees. His goal was to educate young people of both the gentry and working class to prepare them to be leaders in public service, business, and government.

The other Colonial American colleges at the time served to educate young men for positions in the Christian ministry and Franklin’s liberal arts curriculum challenged education conventions of the times. His ideas were considered radical then and are still innovative today. Franklin’s legacy for inclusion began with breaking down the barriers to higher education that existed due to social class and continues today with gender barriers. The first woman president of an Ivy League university, Judith Rodin, was inaugurated at UPenn in 1994.

  • Kathleen G. Burke


    Dr. Kathleen G. Burke is the assistant dean for clinical nurse learning and innovation at the University of Pennsylvania and the corporate director of nursing professional development and innovation for Penn Medicine Health System.

    In her role as assistant dean, she leads initiatives that address the practice-to-education gap and interprofessional teamwork. She developed the graduate course called “the principles and practice of healthcare quality improvement” for the healthcare administration graduate nursing program, and she co-teaches the “systems thinking in patient safety course” in the same program. Professor Burke’s research is in the area of best practice for educating nurses in practice settings. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and was elected as a member of the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education’s board of directors in 2017.

    Dr. Burke earned her PhD from UPenn, her master’s in nursing from Widener University, and her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Pennsylvania State University.

  • Susan Keim


    Dr. Susan Keim is the director of the health leadership program, director of the nursing and healthcare administration program, and co-vice chair of the biobehavioral health sciences department.

    She teaches graduate courses in systems thinking in patient safety, advanced roles in administrative nursing practice, and the nursing administration practicum. Her research focuses on early, post-discharge acute healthcare utilization and she is a senior fellow of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics. She received the Nurse Educator Award, which is granted by the graduate student organization of Penn Nursing. She is currently working with colleagues on developing a doctorate of nursing practice (DNP) program in executive leadership.

    Dr. Keim earned her doctorate in nursing science and master’s degree in adult health and gerontology (AGNP-PC) from UPenn, her master in nursing administration from the University of Maryland, and her bachelor’s degree from William Patterson University.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – Carolina Nursing

UNC at Chapel Hill opened its doors to students in 1795 to “encourage and promote all useful learning for the betterment of society” as directed in the state’s constitution. The first campus building, Old East, is the oldest state university building in the U.S. and is a National Historic Landmark. Also on campus is a poplar tree that is older than the school and was named after the legislator and trustee, William R. Davie, who lead efforts to obtain the school’s charter.

From these humble beginnings with one building, two professors, and 41 students, UNC at Chapel Hill has grown into a leading institution of higher education with more than 300 buildings, 3,800 professors, and 30,000 students. The university is committed to affordability with tuition and fees being among the lowest in the country.

  • Jennifer Alderman


    Dr. Jennifer Alderman is a lead faculty of the healthcare systems program and an assistant professor of nursing at UNC at Chapel Hill, where she teaches nursing leadership in healthcare organizations, health assessment, and outcomes management, as well as the maternal/newborn clinical and preparation for professional practice courses.

    Her professional experience includes working as a labor and delivery nurse for nine years and two years of nurse management in perinatal care, and her research is in the area of interprofessional education. Dr. Alderman was the recipient of a Junior Faculty Development Award in 2015, which she used to examine predictors of academic success in the bachelor’s of nursing (BSN) program for her Path to Academic Success Study. She also was the 2017 recipient of the Cynthia Davis Sculco Scholarship.

    Dr. Alderman holds a BSN and a PhD from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a master of science in nursing (MSN) from Chapel Hill.

  • Saif Khairat


    Dr. Saif Khairat is an assistant professor of nursing at UNC at Chapel Hill where he teaches a variety of courses in the healthcare systems master’s program including healthcare informatics; the foundations in clinical informatics: data, information, and knowledge; and user-centered analysis and design of healthcare information systems and interfaces.

    Dr. Khairat is interested in human factors in electronic medical record (EMR) systems and mobile technologies in chronic disease management. He is chair of the Education Working Group and a recipient of the Junior Faculty Development Award and the Best of the American Medical Informatics Association Paths Toward Informatics Careers in the Post-HITECH Era Award.

    Dr. Khairat holds a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree—both in computer science—and a PhD in health informatics with a focus on ICU clinical communication from the University of Missouri. He was also a research fellow at Harvard Medical School’s division of clinical informatics and completed a master of public health (MPH) in health policy and management at UNC at Chapel Hill.

  • Jessica Williams


    Dr. Jessica Williams is an assistant professor of nursing at UNC at Chapel Hill. She is also a board-certified advanced practice nurse.

    Dr. Williams researches gender-based violence (GBV) with a particular focus of the role of the healthcare system in identifying and responding to GBV, existing disparities, and how trauma and culture affect patient-provider communication and access to effective health services for such violence. She has served in leadership roles at the Center for Excellence in Health Disparities Research: El Centro and the Vanderbilt-Miami-Meharry Center of Excellence in Precision Medicine and Population Health. She was named the 2015 “Nurse of the Year in Public Health/Ambulatory Care” by the March of Dimes and is widely published in scholarly journals such as the American Journal of Preventive Medicine and the Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research.

    Dr. Williams has a joint BSN and bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Florida and a joint MSN/MPH in community health nursing and public health from Johns Hopkins University, which is where she completed her PhD in nursing.

  • Mark Toles


    Dr. Mark Toles is an assistant professor and registered nurse with expertise in the care of older adults. He teaches how to improve the quality, safety, and outcomes in healthcare systems.

    His research interest lies in transitional care interventions of older adults moving home from skilled nursing facilities and he is currently developing and testing a transitional care intervention called Connect-Home, which helps older adults transition from nursing facilities to their home. Dr. Toles is also a co-investigator on grant-funded projects from The Duke Endowment to study a cardiac rehab program for patients in rural and underserved communities in the Carolinas.

  • Meg Zomorodi


    Dr. Meg Zomorodi is an associate professor of nursing and the assistant provost for interprofessional education and practice at UNC at Chapel Hill, where she teaches classes on population health, interprofessional management in a changing healthcare system, advanced assessment for population-based care, and clinical scholars in nursing innovation, and others.

    Dr. Zomorodi is also the director of the Rural Interprofessional Health Initiative, which provides students with the opportunity to use quality improvement healthcare methodology in rural and underserved communities. She was honored with the Well Care Home Health Faculty Scholar Award in 2016 for establishing a program to promote home health nursing to graduate students. An alumna of the Harvard Macy Institute, Dr. Zomorodi returns each year to teach the systems approach to assessment in health professions course. In 2014, she was selected as a Josia Macy Faculty Scholar, which identifies promising individuals in nursing and medicine.

    Dr. Zomorodi holds a BSN and a PhD degree from UNC at Chapel Hill.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham – UAB School of Nursing

Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the University of Alabama at Birmingham began with the vision to inspire and empower “the creation of knowledge that changes the world.” The roots of the school go back even longer to the Medical College of Alabama, which was founded in 1859 and the Birmingham Extension Center of the University of Alabama, which opened in 1936. The merging of these two entities 50 years ago brought UAB into existence upon the shared values of integrity, respect, diversity and inclusiveness, collaboration, excellence and achievement, stewardship, and accountability.

This comprehensive urban institution of higher education includes an academic health center with national recognition and is the largest employer in the state of Alabama. Upon this foundation, history, and mission, UAB is dedicated to serving students, patients, and the surrounding community through its programs and research.

  • Jacqueline Moss


    Dr. Jacqueline Moss is the associate dean for technology and professor of innovation at UAB. She is a scientist for several UAB research centers including the Center for Outcomes and Effectiveness Research and Education, the Comprehensive Center for Healthy Aging, the Center for Clinical and Translational Science, and the Informatics Institute.

    Dr. Moss is especially interested in healthcare informatics and researches clinical simulation, the use of standardized technology in electronic care documentation, and the use of decision support in acute care clinical practice. Her work has been focused on the implementation of information and communication technologies in healthcare education and practice. Dr. Moss was the 2016 recipient of the UPA Graduate School Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentorship and recognized with the “Research Article of the Year Award” in 2011 for her scholarly contribution on the topic of clinical simulation in nursing.

    Dr. Moss has a PhD in nursing science from the University of Maryland, as well as an MSN and a BSN in adult health nursing from Georgia State University.

  • Martha Dawson


    Dr. Martha Dawson is an assistant professor of nursing and a scholar in the UAB School of Public Health’s Sparkman Center for Global Health. She teaches courses on health systems, management, and leadership theories; quality tools and implementation science; health disparities; and health ethics.

    Her areas of expertise include organizational systems, staff development, leadership, and management, and her research is focused on workforce diversity, career barriers, mobility, development, and health disparity. She has published her work in the Journal of Nursing Administration, Nursing Education Perspectives, and Nurse Educator. Dr. Dawson has won several teaching awards, such as the President’s Excellence in Teaching Award and the Graduate Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentorship.

    Dr. Dawson has a BSN and an MSN from the University of Alabama, Birmingham. She completed her doctor of nursing practice (DNP) from Case Western Reserve University.

  • Doreen Harper


    Dr. Doreen Harper is a certified adult nurse practitioner, the Fay B. Ireland Endowed Chair, and dean of the UAB school of nursing.

    She has led development efforts on interprofessional and collaborative clinical partnerships and has expertise in nurse practitioner education, policy, and population-based care. Her academic writing focuses on health workforce research and nursing education. Dr. Harper is also the director of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Center on International Nursing. She has taught all levels of nursing education at institutions, such as the University of Massachusetts Medical School, the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and in the first nursing program at George Mason University.

    Doreen Harper earned her BSN from Cornell University, her master’s from Catholic University, and her PhD at the University of Maryland.

  • Joy Deupree


    Dr. Joy Deupree is an associate professor of nursing, director of community engagement, and an associate scientist in the UAB school of public health.

    Her research centers around women’s health, advanced practice nursing policy, and health promotion, behavior, and health literacy. She was an appointed member to the Alabama Governor’s Healthcare Improvement Task Force in 2015, and the chair of the Alabama Health Literacy Initiative. Dr. Deupree is also the current senior policy advisor for the Nurse Practitioner Alliance of Alabama, which she co-founded in 2006 and from which she received the Power of One Award in 2014 and the Founder’s Award in 2011. She is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellow (2014-2017) and received the Distinguished Partner Award for Health Literacy in 2010 from the Central Alabama Literacy Council.

    Dr. Deupree holds a BSN and MSN from the UAB School of Nursing, and a PhD in health behavior and health promotion from the UAB Schools of Public Health and Health Education and the University of Alabama School of Health Behavior.

  • Patricia Patrician


    Dr. Patricia Patrician is the Donna Brown Banton Endowed professor at UAB, where she teaches nursing and health systems administration in the School of Nursing.

    She currently studies nursing work environments, care quality, and issues related to circadian misalignment in night shift nurses. A former member of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps, Dr. Patrician’s military career spanned 26 years, during which time she held the position of chief of the Department of Nursing Science in the Academy of Health Sciences at Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Patrician is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Graduate Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentorship, the Sam Brown Bridge Builder Award, the Academy Health IRGNI Mentor Award, and the Duncan Neuhauser Curricular Innovation Award in Healthcare Improvement.

    Dr. Patrician holds a master of science in strategic studies, a PhD in nursing science from the University of Pennsylvania, am MSN from the University of Texas, San Antonio, and a BSN from Wilkes University.

  • Maria Shirey


    Dr. Maria Shirey is a professor and associate dean of the Department of Nursing, Family, Community, and Health Systems at UAB, where she teaches courses in health policy, leadership, and management.

    She is an expert in nursing management and leadership, and her research focus is on maximizing outcomes through nursing leadership with a particular interest in nurse manager work complexity, authentic leadership, and healthy work environments.

    Dr. Shirey has authored a significant body of academic articles and teaches scholarly writing in the DNP program in addition to mentoring developing academic writers. She is currently the principal investigator on a project funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration on building a resilient primary care registered nurse workforce for chronic disease prevention and control in Alabama. She was honored with the Inaugural Suzanne Smith Memorial Award for Writing Excellence in 2016 and the Legacy Leader Award in 2015, among other awards.

    Dr. Shirey holds a PhD in nursing administration from Indiana University, a master of business administration (MBA) in management and operations from Tulane University, a master of science in nursing administration from Texas Woman’s University, and a BSN from Florida State University.


MHAOnline used the following criteria to select nursing administration-focused schools for this list:

  • Accreditation: All nursing administration programs in this list have been accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.
  • Awards and Recognition: These colleges have appeared among the top 10 in the country for nurse administration according to U.S. News & World Report, The Princeton Review, or other respected ranking organizations.
  • Faculty: The schools have a renowned faculty who has published and presented extensively and have received noteworthy accolades and considerable financial support through research grants.
  • Student Opportunities and Support: They let students learn about nursing administration through hands-on learning, research opportunities, internships, and practicum experiences.

To be selected for inclusion in our list of influential entrepreneurship professors, MHAOnline used the following criteria:

  • University Affiliation: First, the professor must be associated with an administration-focused nursing program at an accredited university in the U.S. and actively teaching.
  • Publication: The professors on this list have published extensively in academic, peer-reviewed journals.
  • Institutional and Peer Recognitions: They have been recognized by their peers and their employers as being among the top in the field with awards for teaching excellence, special recognition for their publications, and notable grants and research funding.
  • Professional Commitment: The professors on this list have gone above and beyond in terms of leadership and professional contributions. Some have been selected to be faculty deans or program directors, while others have become leaders of professional organizations or consultants to public, private, or governmental healthcare entities.
Cevia Yellin
Cevia Yellin

Cevia Yellin is a freelance writer based in Eugene, Oregon. She studied English and French literature as an undergraduate. After serving two years as an AmeriCorps volunteer, she earned her master of arts in teaching English to speakers of other languages. Cevia's travels and experiences working with students of diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds have contributed to her interest in the forces that shape identity. She grew up on the edge of Philadelphia, where her mom still lives in her childhood home.

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