Marianne Baernholdt

Dean, School of Nursing

The University of Virginia has named international scholar and nursing leader Marianne Baernholdt as the new dean of the School of Nursing.

Baernholdt is an experienced educator who has devoted her career to mentoring students and junior faculty in safety, quality, innovation and leadership. She comes to UVA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Nursing, where she is the associate dean of global initiatives. She also serves as the interim dean of research and is a founding director of its Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Center in Quality and Safety Education in Nursing and Midwifery.

Baernholdt’s hiring marks her return to UVA, where she had previously been a faculty member at the School of Nursing and in the School of Medicine’s Department of Public Health Sciences. During her time at UVA, her leadership roles included serving as director of global initiatives for the School of Nursing and director of its Rural and Global Health Care Center.

“Dr. Baernholdt will provide the School of Nursing a holistic, global perspective on the most important issues in nursing,” said Dr. K. Craig Kent, chief executive officer of UVA Health and executive vice president for health affairs at UVA. “She is a scholar, a thought leader, an exceptional educator and an innovator in patient care and safety. She is everything we could ask for in a dean.”

UVA Executive Vice President and Provost Ian Baucom, the University’s chief academic officer, noted that Baernholdt is an award-winning educator who has mentored countless students and junior faculty members.

“Dr. Baernholdt’s excellence in teaching and research has been well-recognized,” he said. “She is a best-in-class educator and mentor, and we are delighted she is bringing her wisdom and experience back to UVA.”

Baernholdt will succeed Pam Cipriano as dean of the School of Nursing. Cipriano’s more than 40-year career in nursing has been distinguished by her advocacy for quality, her efforts to increase nursing’s influence on health care policy and her tireless commitment to advance the role and visibility of nurses.

“I’m deeply grateful for Dean Cipriano’s years of outstanding service to the School of Nursing, and thrilled to welcome Dr. Baernholdt back to UVA,” University President Jim Ryan said. “She is truly at the forefront of her field, and brings a tremendous scope of knowledge and experience. It’s a wonderful homecoming.”

In addition to her time at UVA and UNC, Baernholdt has also served at Virginia Commonwealth University. There she was founding director of the Langston Center for Quality, Safety and Innovation and interim department chair for Adult Health and Nursing Systems.

Baernholdt’s research focuses on how quality of care should be defined and the various factors that affect care quality in rural areas around the globe. She has particular expertise in using large databases to track organizational, patient and clinician outcomes.

She is the author of a book, “Nurses Contributions to Quality Health Outcomes,” and numerous articles and book chapters on topics ranging from rural health to quality improvement and workplace bullying. She has been named a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, among a long list of accolades that includes awards for outstanding faculty, outstanding faculty research publication and innovative teaching.

Baernholdt earned her doctorate in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her Master of Science in Nursing in critical care and her Master of Public Health from Columbia University, her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Pace University, and her diploma in nursing from Bispebjerg Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark.