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Jean Giddens, Ph.D., began her tenure as dean of the VCU School of Nursing in summer 2013. (File photo)

Jean Giddens, dean of VCU School of Nursing, accepts new role at University of Kansas

Following a decade of transformative leadership, nursing dean will depart VCU.

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Jean Giddens, Ph.D., dean and Doris B. Yingling Endowed Chair in the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing, has accepted the position of dean of the University of Kansas School of Nursing effective April 15, 2024.

“Please join me in thanking Dr. Giddens for her remarkable decade of service and commitment to VCU and the School of Nursing,” said Marlon Levy, M.D., interim senior vice president of VCU Health Sciences and interim CEO of VCU Health. “As a result of her transformative leadership and vision, the school will continue to thrive and be celebrated for its excellence and innovation in nursing education and research.”

Giddens began her tenure as dean of the school in summer 2013. Under her leadership over the past decade, the school has grown its research portfolio, increased the diversity of its students by 15%, expanded admissions in its pre-licensure program by 60%, added academic programs, increased student scholarship support from $700,000 to over $4 million annually, and undertaken a major curriculum redesign.

More recently, the school has grown in new ways, establishing a faculty practice with MCV Physicians in 2021, expanding a robust community-based program to address health care inequities, offering more opportunities for students to engage in innovation and interprofessional education, and attracting historic support for the school’s endowed and scholarship funds that support its students and mission.

Giddens is widely recognized for her impact on national nursing education and her contributions to innovative teaching and learning approaches. She holds positions on the editorial boards of Nurse Educator and the Journal of Nursing Education, with past experience as a guest editor for the Journal of Professional Nursing.

At the end of March, Giddens begins a two-year term as chair of the board of directors of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, an organization that represents more than 860 member schools of nursing at public and private universities and senior colleges nationwide. She has held key positions with AACN since 2019, perhaps most notably as the co-chair of the AACN Essentials Task Force, tasked with developing new guidelines and core competencies for nursing education at the baccalaureate, master's and Doctor of Nursing Practice levels.

An interim dean will be named soon, and the university will begin to develop plans for a national search.