UMass Dartmouth announced today the appointment of Dr. Kimberly Christopher as its new Dean of Nursing. Dr. Christopher brings more than three decades of academic and clinical experience to UMass Dartmouth, most recently as Chair and Chief Nurse Executive of the Department of Nursing, College of Health Professions at Towson University in Maryland.
"We are very excited to welcome Dr. Christopher as the leader of our nationally recognized College of Nursing," said Provost Mohammad Karim. "Her extensive background and demonstrated leadership will help position the college's faculty and students to excel in the rapidly changing health care environment."
"Dr. Christopher's commitment to advancing the field of nursing by building an excellent faculty, focusing on student success, and confronting community health challenges will be a valuable addition to the college, the University and the region," said UMass Dartmouth School for Marine Science & Technology Dean Steven Lohrenz, who chaired the search committee for the new leader of the College of Nursing. "I look forward to working with her."
At Towson, Dr. Christopher oversaw the operations of a department that included 30 full-time faculty members, 60 adjunct clinical faculty, 685 undergraduate nursing majors, and 110 graduate students. Most recently, she served as President of the Maryland Council of Directors of Associate Degree and Baccalaureate Nursing Programs. She led statewide planning for nursing education, fostering collaboration between various educational programs and working with nursing service executives and the state board of nursing to ensure quality nursing care for the state.
"I look forward to returning to UMass Dartmouth and building upon the successes of College of Nursing," said Dr. Christopher, who was a member of the UMass Dartmouth College of Nursing for 12 years. "UMass Dartmouth nursing faculty, alumni and students have made enormous contributions to improving health care in the region, and I am excited to work with all of them and colleagues across the campus to take the College to the next level."
Prior to Towson, Dr. Kimberly Christopher had worked at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston for 6 years where she had served also as Director of Nursing Research and Education (1996-1998) and at the UMass Dartmouth College of Nursing for 12 years where she served also as chair of Department of Adult and Child Nursing (2004-2008). Dr. Christopher earned her Ph.D. in Nursing from Boston College (1998), MS in Community Health Nursing from the University of California, San Francisco (1987), MA in Anthropology from Stanford University (1984) and a BS in Nursing from Boston College (1979).
Dr. Christopher follows Dr. James Fain, who led the University's College of Nursing for eight years.
"I want to take this opportunity to thank Dean James Fain for his long tenure and contributions as Dean of the College of Nursing," said Provost Karim. "Under his watch UMass Dartmouth developed and implemented two new doctoral programs as well as getting the RN to BS Track Option Program transitioned to being totally online. All three academic programs (BS, MS, DNP) in the College were recently accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)."
UMass Dartmouth's College of Nursing enrolls more than 650 students in its DNP program, BS, RN-to-BS Online, RN Refresher, MS, and PhD programs of study. Since 1969, the college's programs have prepared professional nurses for leadership and innovation in health care in Southeastern Massachusetts and beyond. The College of Nursing was ranked 79th nationwide by U.S. News & World Report in its 2015 edition of the "Best Graduate Schools" issue. The University's College of Nursing was among nearly 1,000 programs surveyed by U.S. News. This past Fall, UMass Dartmouth opened the Elisabeth A. Pennington Simulation Laboratory (SimLab), which offers students an experiential learning environment with innovative equipment necessary for them to practice basic and advanced nursing skills.