Linda Cronenwett, PhD, RN, FAAN

Dean Emeritus and Professor Emeritus

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
School of Nursing
Carrington Hall, CB #7460
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7460

Dr. Cronenwett retired in December 2017 after 19 years as Professor in the School of Nursing. She was recruited to UNC in 1998 to become the first Sarah Frances Russell Distinguished Professor of Nursing Systems. She served for ten years as the School’s fifth dean from 1999-2009, during which time the school opened the first accelerated BSN program in the state, completed an addition to Carrington Hall, and ranked among the top five Schools of Nursing in the U.S. that garnered National Institutes of Health funding for research.

Dr. Cronenwett’s early career included academic appointments at Stanford University and the University of Michigan, with accompanying practice appointments at Stanford University Hospital and University of Michigan Women’s Hospital. During fourteen years at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire, she pioneered the role of a researcher in practice settings, edited the first national publication that shared relevant research findings with practicing nurses, and was an integral part of the inter-professional movement to change health professions education to incorporate quality and safety competencies.

During her tenure at UNC, Dr. Cronenwett served as President of the North Carolina Deans and Directors of Schools of Nursing from 2002-2006. She was elected to the North Carolina Institute of Medicine in 2004, and served as a member of the board of directors from 2007-2014. She also served on the board of directors of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (Cambridge, MA).

Dean Cronenwett led efforts to change nursing curricula to incorporate the development of quality and safety competencies through her publications, presentations and funded work. From 2005-2012, she was principal investigator of the national initiative, Quality and Safety Education for Nurses, with four phases of funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In 2007, Dr. Cronenwett became a member of the board of directors of the North Carolina Center for Hospital Quality and Patient Safety and served as Chair of the board from 2011 to 2013. During this time, she was also a member the Special Medical Advisory Group on Veterans’ Affairs, Washington, DC. (2008-2012).

After her deanship, in 2010, Dr. Cronenwett became the Co-Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Executive Nurse Fellows program and served in that role until her retirement. She also served on the boards of the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation (New York) from 2010 to 2020 and the Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital (Michigan) (2016-2020).

Dr. Cronenwett earned her master’s degree in parent-child nursing from the University of Washington and her undergraduate and doctoral degrees in nursing from the University of Michigan. She was an elected fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (1983) and the National Academies of Practice (1988). She served as chair of the steering committee that founded the Eastern Nursing Research Society (1986-1988), president of the New Hampshire Nurses Association (1987-1990), chair of the American Nurses Association’s Congress of Nursing Practice (1990-1994), and secretary of the American Academy of Nursing (1994-96). She also served as a member of the National Institutes of Health National Advisory Council for Nursing Research from 1992 to 1996.

In addition to her roles as special editor for two issues of Nursing Outlook (2007, no.3, 2009, no. 6), Dr. Cronenwett served terms on the editorial advisory boards of Nursing Research, Applied Nursing Research, Online Journal of Knowledge Synthesis for Nursing, Journal of Nursing Measurement, and the Joint Commission Journal of Quality Improvement.