Dr. Doreen C. Harper

Described as a visionary leader who strategically “pushes the envelope”, Doreen C. Harper has led the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing as dean since 2005.  During her tenure, the nursing school has experienced tremendous growth adding eight new graduate specialties and two new degree programs. In addition to serving as dean and endowed chair, Dr. Harper is Director of the school’s Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Center (WHOCC) for International Nursing which recognizes sustained involvement and interest in global nursing development.

Dr. Harper holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Cornell University, a master’s degree in Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing from Catholic University, a post-master’s certificate as an Adult Nurse Practitioner from the University of Maryland, and a doctorate in Human Development/Gerontology from the University of Maryland. She began her career in academia at George Mason University and held faculty and administrative positions at the University of Maryland, George Washington University, and the University of Massachusetts Worcester, Graduate School of Nursing.

A staunch believer in the power of partnerships, Dr. Harper excels in forming alliances. She brings together interdisciplinary teams to address the complex needs of nursing education, practice and delivery. She was instrumental in creating the VA Nursing Academy at the Birmingham VA as well as the joint Doctor of Nursing Practice program within the UA System.

Dr. Harper has received many accolades and awards for her contributions to the profession of nursing, but her most notable accomplishment is the effect her influence will have on nursing education for many generations to come.