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Betty Pierce Dennis to Lead NLN/Chamberlain College of Nursing Center for the Advancement of the Science of Nursing Education

Washington DC - The National League for Nursing is pleased to announce that Betty Pierce Dennis, DrPH, MN, RN, FAAN, became the inaugural director of the NLN/Chamberlain College of Nursing Center for the Advancement of the Science of Nursing Education, effective August 11. The center is one of seven that comprise the NLN Home for Transformative Excellence, established with the League's historic move to the nation's capital a year ago.

Under Dr. Dennis's leadership, the NLN/Chamberlain Center will expand the NLN's promotion and advancement of its signature programming for evidence-based nursing education and the scholarship of teaching. Among these are the Research Priorities Think Tank and the bi-annual research conference the NLN organizes in partnership with Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI).

"We welcome Betty to the NLN knowing of her unwavering commitment to the power of the science of nursing education to transform health care for the 21st century," remarked NLN CEO Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN. "Research, scholarship, and a strong evidence base for nursing education's best practices, in the classroom and clinical settings, are certain to aid in the fulfillment of the NLN's mission to prepare a strong and diverse nursing workforce to advance the health of the nation and the global community."

Added Marsha Howell Adams, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, president of the NLN and dean of the College of Nursing at the University of Alabama-in Huntsville: "As the only national nursing organization funding nursing education research, the NLN is the leader in advancing the science of nursing education. We are indebted to the center's Elite Partner, Chamberlain College of Nursing, for its support of our shared goals and values embodied in the NLN/Chamberlain Center. In Betty, we know we have found a leader worthy of the critical tasks at hand."

"We look forward to Betty's leadership of the NLN/Chamberlain Center as she continues a career commitment to advancing nursing education," said Susan Groenwald, PhD, RN, president of Chamberlain College of Nursing. "Chamberlain is proud to be a partner in expanding the global resources available to nurse educators as they prepare future nurses to meet the needs emerging from today's evolving health care landscape."

A professor and chair of the Department of Nursing at North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC since 2011, Dr. Dennis served for a year as director of the Dillard University/LSUHSC Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center, a $6.4 million NIH Center of Excellence initiative, funded by the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health, to improve the health of residents in Louisiana and the region. Prior to that, from 2004 to 2010, she was dean of the Division of Nursing at Dillard University in New Orleans. She holds a doctorate in public health, with a focus on maternal and child health, from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. (For Dr. Dennis's full bio-sketch, please see below.)

Editors/Reporters: For interview opportunities, please contact Karen R. Klestzick, chief communications officer at the NLN, at 202-909-2483 or

Dedicated to excellence in nursing, the National League for Nursing is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education. The NLN offers professional development, networking opportunities, testing services, nursing research grants, and public policy initiatives to its 40,000 individual and 1,200 institutional members. NLN members represent nursing education programs across the spectrum of higher education, and health care organizations and agencies. 


Betty Pierce Dennis, DrPH, MN, RN, FAAN

Betty Pierce Dennis received her bachelor of science in nursing from North Carolina A&T State University, a master's degree in adult health administration at Emory University, and a DrPH in maternal and child health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In addition, she completed two post doctorate programs, one at the University of Montana at Bozeman, where study focused on adult learning as practiced in national and international settings, with investigations that involved Native Americans and Africans; and the second at Oregon Health and Sciences University, where post-doctoral themes were health disparities and immigrant populations. An Extramural Associate Fellowship was completed at the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, where she was awarded a grant to build and support the research enterprise at her home institution. She was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Nursing in 2012.

Dr. Dennis has military experience, having served a tour of duty in the US Army Nurse Corps and Reserves. Her international nursing experience is also extensive. In Moshi, Tanzania at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre School of Nursing, she taught nursing and developed curricula as a member of an international faculty. Through the Kellogg Foundation, she served as a consultant and staff member at the Ithusheng Community Health Centre in Tzaneen, South Africa. There, she was involved in the development of community systems to promote health, such as, clinics, day care centers, and lay health worker training. Following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, she joined an effort to intervene and reduce the occurrence of gender-based violence that often follows catastrophic events. Working with the International Council of Nurses, she contributed to the development of a nursing documentation tool for international use. She has also served as consultant to nursing education programs in the US and the US Virgin Islands.

In the senior administration of several academic nursing education programs, Dr. Dennis has been a director, department chair, and dean. She is the recipient of multiple research, scholarship, and program grants, and is a published author in refereed resources. Her research interests center primarily on community-based interventions supported by participatory models; global health issues affected by nursing education and nursing care; and the ethics of health care and health care delivery. She is also a student of the synthesis of leadership as theory and as practice. Through various awards Dr. Dennis has been recognized for achievements in leadership and in service to community.