Juliann Sebastian, PhD, to retire as UNMC College of Nursing dean

Juliann Sebastian, PhD

Juliann Sebastian, PhD

Juliann Sebastian, Ph.D., dean of the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing since October 2011, announced today that she plans to retire in early 2023.

“Serving as the dean of the UNMC College of Nursing continues to be the honor of a lifetime, and I’m tremendously proud of our college’s accomplishments over the past decade,” Dr. Sebastian said. “I look forward to continuing to work over the next months to ensure that our college maintains momentum on several key initiatives and that there’s a smooth transition to the next dean of this wonderful college. It has been a true privilege working with the brilliant faculty, staff and students in the college and my colleagues throughout UNMC and the community.”

UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, MD, praised Dr. Sebastian.

“The College of Nursing has grown to unprecedented heights under Dr. Sebastian’s leadership, in education, in research and in community engagement,” Dr. Gold said. “More so, Dr. Sebastian has been a tremendous colleague and skilled administrator on several key initiatives, including increasing the number of nursing graduates, providing additional scholarship opportunities for students pursing nursing degrees, and elevating UNMC’s nursing presence across the state of Nebraska.

“I’m pleased that Dr. Sebastian has agreed to serve through the end of the calendar year to ensure a smooth transition, so that the College of Nursing continues on its upward trajectory.”

The college has brick-and-mortar divisions across the state of Nebraska, with locations in Scottsbluff, Kearney, Norfolk, Lincoln and Omaha. Its degree offerings range from several different bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree programs to advanced practice and doctoral-level programs. The college also provides countless offerings for continuing nursing education.

Dele Davies, MD, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs at UNMC, noted several of Dr. Sebastian’s accomplishments, including the expansion of enrollment within the colleges and enhancing partnerships with community colleges.

“The College of Nursing’s successes under Dr. Sebastian’s leadership are truly astounding,” Dr. Davies said. “Her poise as a dean, coupled with the traits of caring, empathy and commitment to advocacy arising from her strong nursing background and a calm demeanor, made Dr. Sebastian an absolute delight to work with. And, these traits were instrumental in leading the college to unprecedented heights.”

“UNMC and the College of Nursing have a vision for a healthier future for everyone, built on ensuring health equity and eliminating social, economic, and environmental barriers to health, and expanding the science underlying better health,” Dr. Sebastian said. “Collectively, the plans for ways to achieve that vision are innovative and futuristic.  The faculty, staff, students and alumni of the college are uniquely talented and such dedicated leaders that I look forward to seeing all of the amazing ways the college will continue to excel in achieving the vision in the years to come.”

Dr. Gold and Dr. Davies said that a nationwide search for Dr. Sebastian’s replacement would begin soon. He plans to name a search committee in the next several weeks.

Prior to her appointment as the dean at the UNMC College of Nursing, Dr. Sebastian served as dean at the University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Nursing. Before that, she was assistant dean for advanced practice nursing and professor at the University of Kentucky College of Nursing. She earned her bachelor’s and masters of science in nursing from the University of Kentucky College of Nursing and her doctorate in Business Administration from the College of Business and Economics there.

Dr. Sebastian’s areas of expertise are organization of care delivery systems, and in particular care for underserved populations, academic nursing practice and nurse-managed centers, and Doctor of Nursing Practice program curricula. She has presented widely at national and international conferences on these topics and has had numerous papers, book chapters, abstracts, and three books related to community nursing published. She was a member of the inaugural cohort of the Robert Wood Johnson Nurse Executive Fellowship program (1998-2001) and focused her fellowship work on academic nursing practice and system change.

Dr. Sebastian was inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing in 1999. She has been active in numerous national and international professional organizations. Notably, Dr. Sebastian served as an American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Board Member-At-Large (2008-2010) and as Secretary on the AACN Board of Directors (2010-2014). Dr. Sebastian served as Chair-Elect of AACN (2014-2016) and served as Chair of the AACN Board of Directors (2016-18).

Dr. Sebastian's awards include recognition as one of the University of Kentucky College of Nursing's fifty outstanding alumni in 2010 and induction into their Hall of Fame in 2011.

College of Nursing accomplishments during Dr. Sebastian’s tenure are vast. Among the highlights: 

· Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing degree program recognized by the U.S. News and World Report as 10th in the nation for 2022;

· The Office of Continuing Nursing Education collaborated with the Center for Continuing Education in the College of Medicine to obtain Joint Accreditation status in 2020.

· Worked with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln University Health Center on construction and opening a new building on the UNL City Campus in 2018 that added space for program expansions and world class learning environments for the College of Nursing;

· Enhanced partnerships with Nebraska Community Colleges through the Nebraska RN-BSN Collaboratives for guaranteed admissions. The program was established in 2017;

· Obtained Board of Regents approval for the Center for Chronic Care Management in 2016, with renewal in 2021.  This Center promotes growth in interdisciplinary research in patient, family and community engagement in preventing and managing chronic health conditions.

· Collaborated with the UNMC College of Allied Health Professions and the University of Nebraska at Kearney in opening the Health Science Education Center on the UNK campus in 2015, expanding enrollment capacity in the College of Nursing; and

· The Office of Transformational Practice and Partnerships has expanded College of Nursing faculty practice and global engagement.

We are Nebraska Medicine and UNMC. Our mission is to lead the world in transforming lives to create a healthy future for all individuals and communities through premier educational programs, innovative research and extraordinary patient care.

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