SON welcomes new Associate Dean of Research

On July 1, Ruth Anderson, PhD, RN, FAAN joined the UNC Chapel Hill School of Nursing as the Beerstecher-Blackwell Term Professor and Associate Dean for Research.

Before coming to UNC, Dr. Anderson was the Virginia Stone Professor of Nursing at the Duke University School of Nursing and a senior fellow in Duke’s Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development. Her research focuses on chronic illness and care outcomes for older adults and has been funded by numerous agencies, including 12 years of continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health. She pioneered the application of complexity theory and management science in nursing for analyzing the institutional environment of nursing homes.

“We are delighted and most fortunate to have Dr. Ruth Anderson join our school as our newest colleague,” says Interim Dean Donna S. Havens, PhD, RN, FAAN. “Dr. Anderson brings a wealth of experience as a funded scientist, prolific author, valued consultant and an outstanding mentor of faculty and students.”

Dr. Anderson is one of 19 honorees who will be inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) 2015 Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame during STTI’s 26th International Nurse Research Congress in late July. The Hall of Fame recognizes nurse researchers who have achieved significant and sustained national or international recognition and whose research has improved the profession and the people it serves

As Associate Dean for Research, she will lead the School’s Office of Research Support and Consultation (RSC). Former Associate Dean for Research Dr. Kathleen Knafl, PhD, FAAN, has transitioned into a faculty role at the School. “Dr. Knafl has built a very solid set of services in the RSC,” says Dr. Anderson. “She has been able to stabilize the staff, who are all very highly competent and are providing phenomenal services.”

For the last 15 years, Dr. Anderson has focused on helping junior faculty launch their research. She is bringing that experience to SON, where she plans to spend much of her time working directly with junior faculty to help them develop their research ideas, write proposals and get funded. Many senior faculty have retired from the School in the last five years, and her emphasis on developing junior faculty will help move their research careers forward while also upping the overall research funding for the School.

Dr. Anderson says she came to the UNC School of Nursing because of its high quality faculty. “We have very strong faculty with a real desire to do well in the research area,” she says. “I am looking forward to using my strengths to move the School forward in terms of its research.”