Waynesburg University Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) graduate, Dr. Barbara Jordan (’13), was recently named Chief Nurse Officer for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center in Maryland, the nation’s largest hospital with a sole devotion to clinical research.
A Pittsburgh native, Dr. Jordan has been a nurse for 42 years, working in a variety of healthcare settings in Ohio, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Maryland. She began her career as a critical care nurse, moving into leadership roles as she advanced.
In her role as Chief Nursing Officer, Dr. Jordan’s responsibilities surround the practice of nursing at the NIH Clinical Center, where she represents the nursing staff on the executive level.
“I am responsible to see that the nurses have the resources they need to provide excellent care to our patients and that they have a voice in decisions that affect their practice,” explained Dr. Jordan. “We are on the journey to Magnet designation, which is very exciting as we are able to showcase the outstanding clinical patient and nurse practice environment outcomes.”
Completing a DNP program prepares you to address clinical issues and concerns in a systematic approach. You learn to use evidenced-based practice principles to make improvements in patient care and the practice environment.”
Dr. Jordan has been with the NIH Clinical Center since 2013, previously serving as Service Chief for Nursing Operations in the Clinical Center Nursing Department and Service Chief for Neuroscience, Behavioral Health and Pediatrics. She also previously served as Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Northwest, Clinical Director of Infection Control and Regulatory Compliance at UPMC St. Margaret and as Clinical Operations Director of the ICU/CCU at Duke Regional Hospital in Durham, North Carolina.
After joining the NIH, Dr. Jordan said it was clear to her that receiving a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree was the standard, as her fellow service chiefs all had DNP degrees.
“I knew I wanted to be a Chief Nurse one day and it would be expected that nurse executives hold a doctorate,” recalled Dr. Jordan. “When DNP programs began, it was the answer I was looking for to acquire a doctorate that was focused in clinical practice.”
As previously serving as an instructor in Waynesburg University’s RN to BSN and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs, Dr. Jordan was already familiar with the standards set in place for students and the hands-on learning environment provided by faculty. This helped to lead her to the University’s DNP program.
“I chose to enroll in the DNP program at Waynesburg because it was flexible and supportive of nurses who work full time. It offered a mix of virtual and in-person learning. I also knew the program had high standards of excellence and I wanted my degree from an institution that is well respected,” said Dr. Jordan, who also praised her mentors within the program, Dr. Kimberly Whiteman and Dr. Kimberly Stephens, for the support they provided to her along the way.
“Completing a DNP program prepares you to address clinical issues and concerns in a systematic approach,” she added. “You learn to use evidenced-based practice principles to make improvements in patient care and the practice environment.”
For nurses and healthcare professionals looking to pursue a DNP degree, Dr. Jordan highly recommends taking the leap.
“I strongly urge nurses to pursue a DNP degree, as it prepares you to address the many challenges we face in healthcare,” she said. “You develop a toolkit and a network of experts on whom you can rely to work through issues.”
In addition to a DNP degree from Waynesburg University, Dr. Jordan also holds a Master of Science in Nursing degree from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Duquesne University. Her research interests are focused in relationship-based care and nursing leadership.
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