VCU School of Nursing names new associate dean of academic programs

Debra J. Barksdale, Ph.D.
Debra J. Barksdale, Ph.D.

Virginia Commonwealth University recently appointed Debra J. Barksdale, Ph.D., as professor and associate dean of academic programs in the School of Nursing. She succeeds Ann Hamric, Ph.D., who retired Sept. 1 after joining VCU in 2011.

“We are pleased to welcome Debra to the School of Nursing as she is truly an innovative thought leader in nursing education,” said Jean Giddens, Ph.D., professor and dean of the School of Nursing.

Barksdale is certified as a family nurse practitioner, an adult nurse practitioner and a nurse educator. She earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Virginia, master’s degree in nursing from Howard University and completed her Ph.D. at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on stress and cardiovascular disease in the African-American community and her former National Institutes of Health-funded study, titled “Hypertension in Black Americans: Environment, Behavior, and Biology,” explores the underlying hemodynamic determinants of hypertension.

I am honored for the opportunity to join the VCU School of Nursing team.

“I am honored for the opportunity to join the VCU School of Nursing team,” Barksdale said. “Words cannot adequately express my excitement about joining this world-renowned, first-class university.”

Barksdale is a past president of the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties and is a Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellows alumna. She is a member of the Board of Governors of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and in 2015 she served on the Veterans Choice Act Blue Ribbon Panel.

“Debra’s stellar record of working to transform health care will be a huge asset to shaping our current and future academic programs,” Giddens said.

About VCU and VCU Health

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 217 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Thirty-eight of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 11 schools and three colleges. The VCU Health brand represents the VCU health sciences academic programs, the VCU Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Health System, which comprises VCU Medical Center (the only academic medical center in the region), Community Memorial Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, MCV Physicians and Virginia Premier Health Plan. For more, please visit and