Dear Friends,

It's an honor to serve the Carolina Nursing community as the eighth dean of the UNC Chapel Hill School of Nursing. Since my arrival on campus at the beginning of August, I have already had the privilege of meeting many of our students, faculty and staff. I'm grateful for the warm and receptive welcome I've received and for all they've shared with me about how Carolina Nurses are working together to advance health care for all.

From our new Diversifying the Nurse-Midwifery Care Pathway to an innovative nursing leadership course to groundbreaking anti-racism in nursing work, it's clear that Carolina Nurses are shaping the future of health care in and beyond North Carolina. 
I look forward to meeting you all — our most dedicated supporters — throughout the coming year. We have a busy calendar filled with many opportunities to gather together, beginning with Alumni Day on October 29! I hope you will join your fellow Carolina Nursing classmates for a tailgate brunch at Carrington Hall before the homecoming game against Pitt. We've included more information and a registration link below. 

We will be in touch throughout the year to share details about upcoming events and ways to stay connected. In the meantime, thank you for your part in supporting the mission of Carolina Nursing.  

We look forward to welcoming Carolina Nursing alumni and families to the School of Nursing for a tailgate brunch before the homecoming game against Pitt!

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2022 | 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Please click the link below to register for the Carolina Nursing tailgate brunch and to purchase football tickets to sit in the Carolina Nursing alumni section.

Undergraduate students, including honorary “student” Dean Valerie Howard, recently hosted a very special guest: honorary UNC SON alum, veteran of the UNC Health system and President of the American Nurses Association, Dr. Ernest Grant, who came to speak about his nursing career path, leadership, anti-racism and a multitude of workforce issues to a rapt audience. 

The American Academy of Nursing has announced its selection of 250 highly distinguished nurse leaders for its 2022 class of Academy Fellows, including SON Assistant Professor Rose Mary Xavier, PhD, MS, RN, PMHNP-BC; and Post-Doctoral Scholar Jing Wang, PhD, RN.

New Carolina Nursing alumni fellows include Dixie Aune, DNP, WHNP-BC, MSN ’03; Robin Dawson, PhD, RN, CPNP-PC, BSN ’88, MSN ’96; and Betsy McDowell, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, MSN ’75.

Congratulations to Associate Professor Saif Khairat, PhD, MPH, on been appointed the Beerstecher-Blackwell Distinguished Term Scholar, effective September 1, 2022.

“His expertise and in-depth program of research make Dr. Khairat exceptionally worthy of this distinction," says Valerie Howard, dean of the UNC School of Nursing. "Thank you, Dr. Khairat, for all the work you do to make life better for the patients and families you work with and for enriching our School and the education of our students."

Our community’s light dimmed last fall when Katherine Nell Acierno, an undergraduate nursing student at the UNC School of Nursing, passed away. She left behind a brilliant legacy filled with love, compassion, and friendship.

That legacy will endure thanks to the Carolina Nursing Katherine Nell Acierno Women’s Health/Doula Scholars Program, which was established by Katherine’s parents, Vince and Beth Acierno, her brother Avery, and other devoted family members and friends.

Rumay Alexander, EdD, RN, FAAN, has received the American Nurses Association President’s Award for her work to address racism in nursing.

Alexander spearheads ANA’s strategic initiatives surrounding equity, diversity, inclusion and racism in nursing across education, practice, policy, and research. She was also pivotal in the launch of the National Commission to Address Racism in Nursing.


We are looking for alumni to share their experiences and expertise with our students to prepare them for their nursing careers.

If you are interested in participating in one or more of our Get Hired! Series events or would like to have your organization participate in the Career Fair, please email for more information.

We invite you to share your expertise, enthusiasm and joy for teaching with our students.

If you are able to help or know of someone who may be interested in precepting, please click here for more information.
Opportunity for alumni to share global expertise

We know our alumni are engaged in meaningful and impactful global efforts, and we to hear about them! The SON Office of Global Initiatives is looking for alumni who can share their global experiences and expertise.
To learn more about our global education, outreach, and opportunities for alumni participation, please click here for a message from our SON Office of Global Initiatives. You can fill out the brief form below to indicate ways you are interested in getting involved with our global efforts.