On The Pulse: Nursing Schools of The Future

On The Pulse: Nursing Schools of The Future

Let’s talk about where and how nursing education will take place in the future.

The Johns Hopkins School of Nursing is nearing completion of a state-of-the-art 41,000 square foot addition; we rolled out a virtual simulation platform during COVID, in summer 2020. With that in mind, we ask, what is the future of nursing education and evolving pedagogy? What impact will that have on nursing school facilities ten years from now and beyond? And then, what will the optimal student interface become—as technology and online learning advance?

Amidst COVID-19, Virtual Reality Makes “Social Distancing” Simulation Possible

A panel answered from a wide range of perspectives: student, faculty, and administrator from Johns Hopkins as well as representatives from the University of Washington, Columbia University, and Hord Coplan Macht, the architectural company that orchestrated Johns Hopkins School of Nursing’s new building.

Building For Johns Hopkins Nursing


Key Takeaways:

We find that schools are traditionally built around faculty. But we much build schools of tomorrow around staff, students, and community as well.

Dean Patricia Davidson

Now there is an emphasis on social determinants of health and interprofessional education, and it’s informing our building planning. We broke ground on a new building totally devoted to health sciences education in August (in the midst of the pandemic) and will incorporate state of the art teaching technology and spaces optimized for team-based, interprofessional education.

Dr. Anne Hirsch, University of Washington School of Nursing

Telehealth exists in the real world now and it’s here to stay. Virtual simulation, where you can’t physically examine the patient, prepares students with a similar skill set.

Dr. Judy Honig, Columbia University School of Nursing

Sometimes simple space changes can enhance community: furnishing, like adding a booth to a wide hallway. Rethinking the space outside the classroom or lab. We can rethink outdoor space and build “white box spaces,” technology-equipped rooms that could be used for anything later.

Paul Lund, Hord Coplan Macht

The future of learning must be anti-racist. Learning resources must account for multiple ethnicities. Faculty should not teach future researchers to control for race without controlling for social determinants of health, and we must increase visibility of nonwhite faculty and researchers.

Emerald Jenkins, DNP/PhD student

Increasingly, students come in passionate about different topics. Academia often finds it scary that in some arenas, just by their life experiences, some students know more than faculty. We need to find ways to embrace students’ passions and incorporate them into the community and the profession.

Jennifer Dotzenrod, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing

Technology alone isn’t enough to make an organization successful. The key questions to ask are, “How do we make these opportunities learner-centered?”

Dr. Kristen Brown, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing


About the Panelists:


Patricia Davidson, PhD, MEd, RN, FAAN, former Dean of Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and current Vice Chancellor of the University of Wollongong.

Emerald Jenkins, MSN, RN. Emerald graduated from the second MSN (Entry into Nursing) cohort in 2017, and became the first master’s entry graduate to continue into the DNP/PhD program, on the DNP Adult Gerontological Nurse Practitioner track. Emerald studies pain in older adults with cognitive impairment. Emerald’s career goals are to increase minority involvement in health care education, improve pain recognition by providers and caregivers, and delay transitions of elders from home to institutionalized care. 



Jennifer Dotzenrod has been the Associate Dean for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing since 2015.  In this role, she oversees the Admissions, Financial Aid, Records and Registration, Student Affairs and Career Development aspects for the School of Nursing. Prior to this, Dotzenrod served as the Assistant Dean for Education at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School from 2013 to 2015, and the Student Affairs officer there from 2008 to 2014.  In 2012 in addition to her student affairs role, Dotzenrod became the administrative director of the full-time MBA program.  Dotzenrod came to Johns Hopkins in 2001, and has served in a number of different areas including student services, alumni relations and admissions. Dotzenrod received her undergraduate degree from Tulane University and earned a master of policy sciences degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.  She has also done additional graduate work at the University of Texas and at Johns Hopkins University.

Kristen Brown, DNP, MS, RN, CRNP, CPNP-AC, CHSE-A, FAAN is an assistant professor and advanced practice simulation coordinator at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. In this role, Dr. Brown has established a full-scale advanced practice simulation program. She has also led the efforts to use new technology to provide innovative solutions for distance learning, including telepresence robots and virtual simulation, including screen-based and virtual reality platforms (VR) across all programs.  Dr. Brown is currently leading a project with the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine to design multi-player VR experiences for trainees across disciplines. She recently received the Johns Hopkins University Digital Education & Learning Technology Acceleration (DELTA) Grant for the project, Deconstructing Healthcare Silos: Interprofessional Education Using Multiplayer Virtual Simulation and Virtual Reality for Medical & Nursing Trainees. Dr. Brown is recognized as a Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator-Advanced® (CHSE-A®) by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare and her nursing and simulation leadership has led to her acceptance into the National League for Nursing (NLN) Leadership Program for Simulation Educators.  Her passion for simulation education stems from her 20-year nursing career devoted to the care of critically ill children. Dr. Brown earned her BSN from the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, her MS with an acute care pediatric nurse practitioner focus from the University of Maryland School of Nursing and her DNP from Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.

Judy Honig, EdD, DNP, CPNP, FAAN is the Dorothy M. Rogers Professor and Vice Dean at Columbia University School of Nursing and a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine. She is a practicing clinician, educator and advocate for advancing nursing and has been a catalyst in the evolution of advanced practice and doctoral education, nationally and globally. Dr. Honig has influenced nursing education, shaping the national Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) movement to build competencies and standards. Internationally, her work on advanced practice nursing includes establishing consensus of advanced practice nursing competencies and curricular development in Latin America and Jordan. She has authored many articles about the intersection of practice, research, education and scholarship and presents often at national and international meetings. Dr. Honig maintains a clinical practice and provides evidence-based integrated mental and primary health care for urban minority children. She has contributed to advanced practice education for over 30 years with a sustained commitment to academic integrity and clinical scholarship, challenging the boundaries and promoting and advancing the nursing profession.

Anne Hirsch, PhD, ARNP, FAANP, FAAN is a member of University of Washington’s executive leadership team as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and is an associate professor in the Child, Family and Population Health Nursing Department. Clinically, she provides care to homeless families and teens as a family nurse practitioner. She has led statewide innovative programs to improve education access through online programs, co-chaired a design team to formulate a master plan for nursing education in Washington, co-chaired a sub-committee of the Washington Nursing Action Coalition to enact these recommendations, and was appointed by the Governor to serve on the coordinating committee to establish core performance measures for health care. Currently, Dr. Hirsch is the PI on a major grant to create clinical opportunities for advance practice students and ARNP post-graduate fellows in primary care throughout rural Washington. Through academic leadership roles, Dr. Hirsch helped establish a PhD program at Washington State University and two DNP programs at WSU and Seattle University. She has guided numerous programs through Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accreditation reviews, and now serves as co-chair of the CCNE Accreditation Review Committee. Dr. Hirsch is a Fellow in the Academy of Nurse Practitioners and a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.

Paul Lund is a principal in Hord Coplan Macht’s Education Studio; he actively leads his projects in the higher education design practice.  He has been instrumental in planning and designing school of nursing buildings throughout his career.  These include nursing projects at Georgetown University, University of Maryland, Penn State, the University of Virginia, and now Johns Hopkins School of Nursing to name a few.  He has a passion for designing buildings that not only meet the programmatic goals but also create strong and vibrant academic communities for students, faculty and researchers.  Paul believes in bringing his clients into the design process in an integrated and collaborative fashion.  He brings the latest educational philosophies and research to his clients and synthesizes them with the institution’s unique mission to create successful and innovative environments.

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