Dean, School of Nursing
Dr. Harper holds a baccalaureate degree in nursing from Cornell University and Master’s of Science in Nursing degree, with a focus on psychiatric-mental health nursing and nursing education, from Catholic University in Washington, D.C. She earned a PhD in Nursing, with a focus on human development and gerontology, from University of Maryland, and became a certified adult nurse practitioner while simultaneously pursuing postmaster’s courses at the University of Maryland School of Nursing.
Dean Harper’s scholarly work is focused on advanced-practice nursing in primary care through the development of community-based partnerships locally and globally. She is nationally known for her expertise in undergraduate and graduate nursing education, nurse-practitioner education, health policy, nursing workforce development, and the advancement of interprofessional education. In association with her interest in community-based partnerships, Dean Harper served as principal investigator for W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Community Partnerships in Graduate Medical and Nursing Education Initiative. A recipient of the 2002 Achievement in Research Award, the 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties, Dr. Harper is also a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.
Internationally, Dr. Harper serves as a member of Pan American Nursing/Midwifery Collaborating Centers (PANMCC) and the Global Nursing Network. As Director of the School’s PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre for International Nursing, one of ten centers in the U.S. and forty-two in the world that focuses on building nursing capacity worldwide, the UAB School of Nursing works collaboratively to develop programs that enhance nursing education, practice and research and to ultimately improve global health. Nationally, Dr. Harper recently served as a Board member of the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) and co-chair of the 2009 AAN Annual Conference. She is also a founding Board member of the Nurse Practitioner Health Foundation. Regionally, she serves on the Board of the Southern Regional Education Board, Council on Collegiate Nursing Education Direction. She chairs and serves on numerous university committees, advisory boards, and university-wide interdisciplinary research centers like the Center for Clinical and Translational Science, Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the Center for Aging, among others.