News Releases

University of Maryland School of Nursing Dean to Retire

March 28, 2012

Baltimore, Md. – Janet D. Allan, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON), announced that she will retire this summer after a decade of distinguished leadership. Renowned and admired as a nurse leader, researcher, role model, and mentor, Dr. Allan’s legacy will have a lasting impact on the University and the health care of Marylanders for many years to come.

“I take great pride in the tremendous accomplishments and achievements of UMSON faculty, staff, and students,” said Dr. Allan. “While this was a very tough decision, I believe the timing is right for me and for the School. Though I am stepping down as dean, I am more excited than ever by UMSON’s state and national prominence and the possibilities on the horizon for our School and the University.”

Under Dr. Allan’s leadership, UMSON expanded its research efforts, pioneering two centers of research excellence. The School’s rankings rose dramatically in schools of nursing receiving funding from the National Institutes of Health. Enrollment grew to an all-time high, making UMSON one of the largest schools of nursing in the nation; the number of doctoral-prepared faculty members increased considerably; and the School rose in U.S.News & World Report rankings of graduate nursing programs.

During Dr. Allan’s tenure, several new academic programs were introduced, including the state’s first Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, Nurse Anesthesia master’s specialty, and Clinical Nurse Leader option. The Institute for Educators in Nursing and Health Professions and the Office of Global Health were also initiated. In 2010, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education granted the maximum first-time accreditation of five years to UMSON’s graduate and undergraduate programs.

Dr. Allan led the establishment of the 10-year, $100 million Nurse Support II program that provides grant funding to nursing programs and support to students for educational advancement to increase the number of nurse faculty members in the state. After the Institute of Medicine/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released the Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health report in October 2010, Dr. Allan chaired the Maryland Action Coalition, a diverse group of stakeholders charged with developing a blueprint for implementing the recommendations in the state.

“Nurses are on the front lines, fighting day and night for the health and well-being of Maryland families,” said U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski. “Dr. Janet Allan has been a tireless advocate for Maryland nurses, who are too often overworked, underpaid, and undervalued. As Dean of the University of Maryland School of Nursing, she has helped educate a new pipeline of workers to fill jobs in nursing that have helped to save lives, protect families, and transform communities.”

Dr. Allan is the first nursing school dean appointed to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) Committee, a sub-committee of the University of Maryland Medical System that serves as UMMC’s governing board. She orchestrated a partnership between UMSON and UMMC, UM Nursing, which provides novel opportunities for research, education, and practice to optimize health outcomes. 

In addition to her service to the state of Maryland, Dr. Allan has held numerous positions of national leadership. She is currently treasurer of the Board of Directors for the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), as well as AACN’s representative on the multidisciplinary Healthy People Curriculum Task Force and the AACN Grassroots Liaison for Maryland. In the past, Dr. Allan has served as vice chair of the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force and as its lead spokesperson on topics such as breast cancer screening, hormone replacement therapy, and adult obesity. She was also president of the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) and the Southern Nursing Research Society (SNRS), and a board member for the American Academy of Nursing and the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research. 

“Janet Allan brought the School of Nursing to a new level of excellence during her decade as dean,” said Jay A. Perman, MD, president of the University of Maryland. “Her visionary leadership, as well as the new programs and initiatives introduced during her tenure, have resulted in a prominent presence for the School at the local, state, and national levels.”

Dr. Allan has published nearly 150 articles, book chapters, and abstracts, and is an expert on the nurse shortage, the nursing faculty shortage, leadership in academia, breast cancer screening, and obesity in women. She has received numerous honors and awards, including being named an American Academy of Nursing Fellow, receiving the Maryland Nurses’ Association’s 2011 Outstanding Pathfinder of the Year Award, and obtaining membership in The Daily Record’s Top 100 Women “Circle of Excellence.” In addition, Dr. Allan received NurseWeek magazine’s prestigious Nursing Excellence Award, the NONPF Lifetime Achievement Award, and the SNRS’s Distinguished Researcher of the Year Award. Dr. Allan was also one of only nine nurses in the nation honored for her contributions to the care of people with AIDS and HIV infection.

Dr. Allan holds a PhD in medical anthropology from the University of California, San Francisco and Berkeley; an MS degree and a post-MS certificate (Adult Health Practitioner) from the University of California, San Francisco; and a BS from Skidmore College.

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The University of Maryland School of Nursing, founded in 1889, is one of the oldest and largest nursing schools, and is ranked 11th nationally. Enrolling more than 1,600 students in its baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs, the School develops leaders who shape the profession of nursing and impact the health care environment