Marianne Baernholdt, 7th nursing dean and a  global scholar.
Dean Marianne Baernholdt - an international scholar, nursing leader, and mentor - returns to UVA as the School of Nursing's 7th dean.

The University of Virginia has named international scholar and nursing leader Marianne Baernholdt, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN, the new dean of the School of Nursing.

“She is everything we could ask for in a dean.”

K. Craig Kent, MD, chief executive officer of UVA Health and executive vice president for health affairs at UVA

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, the interim dean of research, and 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 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 & Global Health Care Center.


“Dr. Baernholdt will provide the School of Nursing a holistic, global perspective on the most important issues in nursing,” said K. Craig Kent, MD, 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. “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 healthcare 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,” said University President Jim Ryan. “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 Richmond’s Virginia Commonwealth University. There she was founding director of the Langston Center for Quality, Safety & Innovation and interim department chair for Adult Health & Health 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, with Diane K. Boyle, of Nurses' Contributions to Quality Health Outcomes (Springer: 2021) and numerous articles and book chapters on topics ranging from rural health to quality improvement and workplace bullying. She is 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 a PhD in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s in public health from Columbia University. She earned an MSN in critical care from Columbia and an MPH in international health, a BSN from Pace University, and a diploma in nursing from Bispebjerg Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Baernholdt’s first day at UVA will be August 1, 2022.