The University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing Reappoints Antonia M. Villarruel as Dean

Antonia M. Villarruel has been reappointed dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. Under Dr. Villarruel’s leadership, Penn Nursing has been ranked by QS World University as the top nursing school in the world annually since 2017.

Among Dean Villarruel’s accomplishments are a near-doubling of National Institutes of Health funding, to $15.3 million in fiscal year 2019 from $7.8 million in fiscal year 2015; the launch of a Doctor of Nursing Practice program; the establishment of a formal Academic Practice Partnership with Penn Medicine; and the creation of strategic global initiatives in regions including Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia.

“As our university, nation, and world continue to grapple with a crippling health crisis, as well as a consistent and urgent cry for social justice,” said Amy Gutmann, president of the University of Pennsylvania, “it is an especially critical time for nursing education, research, and practice. Historically marginalized and disadvantaged populations face a higher burden of illness, injury, disability, and mortality, and their access to and use of care is limited. Nursing, and specifically Penn Nursing, has long focused on social justice and improving health outcomes for the most vulnerable. Dean Villarruel has the vision, energy, skills, and broad support needed to thrive and succeed.”

Before becoming dean of Penn Nursing, Dr. Villarreul was the Nola J. Pender Collegiate Chair and associate dean for research and global affairs at the University of Michigan School of Nursing. Previously she taught at the Penn nursing school from 1995 to 2000.

Dr. Villarruel is a graduate of Nazareth College in Michigan. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. from Wayne State University in Detroit.

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