Shakira Henderson named dean of the UF College of Nursing

Published: October 26th, 2023

Category: Memos

It is my pleasure to announce the appointment of Shakira Henderson Ph.D., D.N.P., M.S., M.P.H., EMBA, RNC-NIC, IBCLC, as dean of the University of Florida College of Nursing. She will begin her new role on Jan. 29. Dr. Henderson has a distinguished record of leadership that spans healthcare operations and academia. She is the ideal choice to lead the college as the profession and education of nursing continue to transform. Dr. Henderson will also serve as the associate vice president for nursing education, practice, and research — or System Chief Nurse Executive — with UF Health. In this role, she will be responsible for the integration of nursing education, quality, and research across the UF Health system.

Dr. Henderson currently serves as the assistant vice chancellor, system vice president research officer and clinical integration research officer at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, UNC Health and the UNC – Chapel Hill School of Medicine. In these roles, she serves as the executive leader for the integration of health care operations and clinical research operations throughout the health system, the university and the School of Medicine. She also works with the executive leadership to develop and execute on interorganizational health care and clinical research strategy and has been successful in increasing external partnerships by 50% and supporting grant funding initiatives of more than $100 million over two years.

Passionate about community involvement and mentorship, Dr. Henderson also currently serves as the president and board chair of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric & Neonatal Nursing, where she is a double recipient of the national award for nursing leadership and health care practice. She is also the program chair and sits on the board of directors for Leadership North Carolina.

Dr. Henderson earned a Ph.D. in Nursing from the University of Miami, a Doctor of Nursing Practice and a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of South Alabama, as well as a Master of Science in Anatomy, Master of Public Health and Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Barry University. This year, she completed a global executive Master of Business Administration with a focus on social impact from Brown University and IE Business School in Madrid. Prior to joining the UNC-CH system, she held leadership positions at Vidant Health, including senior systems administrator for research and grants and director of nursing and health sciences research.

Dr. Henderson succeeds Anna M. McDaniel, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN, who led the college between 2013 and 2023 and stepped down in June. Under Dr. McDaniel’s leadership, the College of Nursing experienced tremendous growth, as well as received national and international recognition. Most notable was the rise in rankings for the DNP and BSN degrees, as well as National Institutes of Health research funding, which increased 12-fold since 2014. Dr. McDaniel also led the recruitment of many world-renowned clinicians and researchers, increasing faculty numbers by 50% in nine years.

I would like to thank Debra Lyon, Ph.D., R.N., FNP-BC, FNAP, FAAN, who stepped forward to lead the college as interim dean during the transition period. I would also like to thank the College of Nursing Dean Search Committee for their hard work and valuable input during this process.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Henderson to UF Health and the College of Nursing when she begins her new role in January.

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