School of Nursing

Innovative leaders transforming health.

VISION: The UAB School of Nursing, as part of a research university and academic health center, shapes patient-centered health care by preparing recognized nurse leaders who excel as clinicians, researchers and educators, in Alabama, nationally and internationally.

STRATEGIC PLAN SUMMARY: We stand proud as part of the premier academic health science center in a progressive health system, located in one of the leading diverse universities in the nation — the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In keeping with our longstanding commitment of collaboration across the university’s mission pillars of teaching, research and service, our Strategic Plan has exciting synergy with UAB’s vision to be a world-renowned research university and medical center — a first choice for education and health care, the IOM’s Future of Nursing Report and the preferred academic medical center of the 21st century (AMC21), the Strategic Plan for UAB Medicine.

Innovative Programs

Goal: Leading the transformation of nursing’s workforce: The UAB School of Nursing consistently ranks among the top nursing schools nationally by US News and World Report for its pioneering hybrid graduate specialty programs. Similarly, the SON is the leading producer of baccalaureate, master's and doctoral degree nurses in Alabama and the Southeast.


  • Expand interprofessional education and simulation experiences for all prelicensure and graduate-level students.
  • Increase enrollment in targeted areas by 25 percent.
  • Demonstrate excellence in student and program outcomes.
  • Develop and implement cutting-edge signature programs to meet the changing needs of the health care system.
  • Achieve greater recognition as one of the preferred schools of nursing in the nation.


  • Interprofessional learning is incorporated into all pre-licensure curricula, and students participated in numerous interprofessional clinical simulation experiences as of 2014 with students from Medicine, Public Health, Physical Therapy, and Social Work.
  • Graduate NP and Nurse Anesthesia students are involved in Objective Structured Clinical Exams in the School of Medicine. Graduate programs are also targeted to increase interprofessional opportunities via HRSA grants, curriculum revisions, and scholarly projects, and other learning strategies.
  • Total annual enrollment for the SON increased by 13% between 2011-12 and 2013-14 which shows strides toward the goal set for 2017, although 2014-15 saw a slight decrease in enrollment (1%). The targeted programs of RN-BSN Mobility and the Accelerated Masters in Nursing Program saw increases of 9% and 11%, respectively.
  • The SON has revitalized two new signature graduate programs – oncology and palliative care and is in the process of developing a forensics specialty.

Sustainable Scholarship

Goal: Leading the discovery of knowledge that translates into better health and quality of life: In the past five years, the UAB School of Nursing’s sustained scholarship has increased from under $2 million annually to nearly $8 million annually. While funding has improved substantially, the complexity of health care demands that we discover and apply the best evidence-based nursing from bench to bedside to community.


  • Move SON to the top 20 NIH-funded schools of nursing.
  • Recruit promising mid-career funded research faculty with focus on signature programs.
  • Leverage existing endowed chairs and professorships to recruit research teams in signature programs.
  • Create two additional endowed chair/professor research team positions.
  • Develop collaborative research partnerships with other nursing schools and with UAB Hospital and Health System, the Birmingham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and Children’s of Alabama.


  • Dr. Wendy Landier (formerly of City of Hope) brings research in pediatric oncology to the Schools of Nursing and Medicine via a dual appointment and to Children’s of Alabama.
  • Dr. Marie Bakitas’ American Cancer Society grant brings phone-based palliative care interventions to veterans who receive their care at the BVAMC.
  • Dr. June Cho with her R01 grant collaborates with UAB Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics to study infants born preterm.
  • Several initiatives with the Birmingham VA Medical Center are funded to promote pre and post-doctoral funding and quality and safety interventions.
  • Dr. Gwen Child is funded to lead a clinical excellence program for selected nurses at CHA to develop evidenced based practice programs to improve quality and safety.
  • Dr. Comfort Enah leads an NIH funded project to develop an innovative video game on HIV prevention for adolescents.  

Valuable Resources

Goal: Developing our assets to achieve strategic priorities: Donors make critical investments in UAB School of Nursing undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, facility improvements, and special collections. The school’s interactions with collaborative partners — including UAB Hospital — with designated magnet status for nursing excellence, contribute to the development of its most treasured resources: students, faculty, staff, alumni, boards and community.


  • Enhance and expand School of Nursing building with $15 million in philanthropic funding.
  • Increase endowed chairs and professorships with $5 million in philanthropic funding.
  • Increase scholarship and program support to attract the best and brightest students with $10 million in philanthropic funding.


  • Since the public phase of the UAB Capital Campaign, UAB SON has raised more than $3.9 million of which $1.2 million has been raised for School of Nursing Building Expansion.

Collaborative Partnerships

Goal: Improving health through new models for access and delivery of patient care: Using the collective experience in the UAB School of Nursing, partnerships are created to advance interprofessional teaching, research and service that broaden students and faculty, opening opportunities for collaborative programs, shared resources, faculty practice, care redesign, professional development, global partnerships and delivering care to underserved populations.


  • Continue to grow faculty practice opportunities with an emphasis on team-based, collaborative models and the growing need for chronic and transitional care.
  • Expand the reach of the SON by leading signature high-quality, innovative programs at home and around the globe.
  • Expand partnerships with community colleges, hospitals for the RN to BSN/MSN programs.
  • Collaborate with the UAB Health System and other key state stakeholders to develop new care models to utilize advanced practice nurses (NPs, nurse anesthetists, CNLs, nurse executives) to improve health care access and quality to better meet the health-care needs of Alabamians.
  • Partner with selected underserved communities to improve health outcomes through investment in interprofessional opportunities for teaching, research, practice and service.


  • Interprofessional collaboration involving faculty and students across UAB’s academic health center has resulted in several partnerships serving the under- and uninsured within the greater Birmingham area. These partnerships include the PATH Clinic at M-POWER Ministries, which manages diabetic patients post-discharge, a NEPQR-sponsored transitional care clinic for heart-failure patients, and the Foundry Clinic in Bessemer that provides access to primary and urgent care to the local community.
  • The SON and UAB Health System are working together to bridge the gap between nursing academics and nursing practice to generate the concept of UAB Nursing. This concept encompasses building a nursing workforce dedicated to improving quality of care, patient satisfaction, financial stability, and nursing research and innovation.
  • Since 2009, the SON and the BVAMC have been educational, research and clinical care partners in the VA Nursing Academic partnership. The program has since expanded to include not only undergraduate programming but also graduate education with the VA Nursing Academic Partnership in Graduate Education (VANAP-GE), which is the only one of its kind in the country. VANAP-GE has the goal of placing 48 new psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners into the VA workforce and is one of only four sites in the country that has a graduate residency program for mental health nurse practitioners. Over the course of this partnership, UAB SON has generated more than $1.5 million through VA IPAs for the VANA and VANAP-GE programs.

Global Leadership

Goal: Impacting health locally and globally: The UAB School of Nursing’s leadership stretches from Birmingham, throughout Alabama and the Southern region to the national level, and international sites such as Latin America and Africa, where the school partners to build nursing capacity and develop knowledge to improve health and well-being. The need for nursing leaders to help forge creative change to advance health locally and globally remains a high-priority need.


  • Lead local and global efforts to reduce health disparities by improving the quantity, diversity, distribution and quality of the nursing workforce.
  • Grow sustained partnerships locally and globally to build nursing capacity and develop knowledge to improve health and well-being.
  • Sustain the UAB SON PAHO/WHOCC signature program.


  • Awarded a $1M philanthropic grant from the Daniel Foundation of Alabama, UAB SON is educating and training NPs to provide primary care in Alabama’s rural-designated counties upon graduation with an inaugural class of 8 Graduate Nursing Education Primary Care Scholars.
  • UAB SON leads the production of today’s highly educated nursing workforce with 1 of every 4 nursing graduates - baccalaureate and higher degree – in Alabama educated at UAB. With an emphasis on diversity in the nursing workforce to reduce health disparities, UABSON produces 1 out of every 5 African-American nursing graduates and 1 out of every 5 male nursing graduates.
  • The faculty at UAB SON also reflects the School’s commitment towards their core value of diversity as the overall percentage of full time faculty (including instructors) who are minority is 18%. Among full time faculty at the Assistant Professor and above rank, 21% are minority, as well as, 18% of the tenured faculty.
  • Selected by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Dr. C. Ann Gakumo is a RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholar and Dr. Joy P. Deupree is a RWJF Executive Nurse Fellow, allowing them to improve health and remove barriers to health care for Alabama’s minority and rural populations.
  • Faculty participate in various faculty practices throughout the greater Birmingham area, including the UAB Health System, Children’s of Alabama and the BVAMC. UAB SON leads three nurse-led primary care and chronic disease clinics funded through grants - the Foundry Clinic, the PATH Clinic at EMPOWER, and a CHF Transitional Care Clinic at UAB’s Russell Clinic.
  • UAB SON also helped to establish a HIV Nurse Practitioner program in Zambia with the Lusaka School of Nursing (LSN) and the University of Zambia Department of Nursing Science (UNZA DNS). As of 2014, 140 students have graduated from the program.
  • UAB SON submitted for re-designation of the UAB SON PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center. The re-designation has been submitted with focus on evaluating nursing education programs in Central and South America and will extend its designation to 25 years.