Anna D. Wolf Endowed Professor

Anna D. Wolf Endowed Professor

Sydnee Logan
By Sydnee Logan  | 
Spring 2024 As Seen in Our Spring 2024 Issue
Robert Atkins follows ‘Living Legend’ in raising nursing education, profile

Johns Hopkins School of Nursing Executive Vice Dean and Professor Robert (Bob) Atkins, PhD, RN, FAAN, has been installed as the next Anna D. Wolf Endowed Professor.

“Dr. Bob Atkins is a visionary leader with an unrivaled ability to inspire action,” says Dean Sarah Szanton, PhD, RN, FAAN. “His installation as an endowed professor formally acknowledges both his leadership in redesigning the path to 21st-century nursing education and his drive to achieve health for all people.”

Atkins inherits the seat from Professor Jacquelyn Campbell, PhD, RN, FAAN, who was installed in
1993 as the inaugural holder of the chair. Campbell is a global leader in research and advocacy for preventing violence against women and a Living Legend of the American Academy of Nursing. She is perhaps best known for developing the Danger Assessment, which helps abused women assess the risks of bodily harm or death. The tool has driven national policy, has been cited in four National Academy of Medicine reports, and is in use by front line health care and/or law enforcement professionals in 49 states and internationally.

Anna D. Wolf was a 1915 graduate of the Johns Hopkins Hospital Training School and went on to become director of the school from 1940 to 1955. She was also the first dean of the first college-level nursing program in China—Peking Union Medical College School of Nursing—and a staunch advocate of raising nursing education to the baccalaureate level. Wolf laid the groundwork for the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and its BSN program, which opened in 1984, a year before her death.

The professorship was funded in her honor by nursing alumni, family, and friends united by their admiration.

“Anna D. Wolf was an extraordinary leader in nursing education, known for having an amazing vision of what is possible, and for having exacting high standards and a caring heart,” explains Campbell, adding that Atkins “exemplifies that legacy with charisma.”

Atkins has been executive vice dean of the School of Nursing since 2022. He works to improve systems to foster an inclusive school community that advances diversity, equity, and inclusion. His work also focuses on turning research into practice and practice into meaningful policy that has the greatest impact for sustainable health
for all people.

He has spent most of his career working to improve the health and well-being of marginalized children and families living in distressed neighborhoods. He began his career as a school nurse in Camden NJ, co-founding the Camden STARR Program, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the life chances of local youth. Atkins later held leadership roles with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Rutgers University.

“Right now, nursing and nursing education has the opportunity for a true leap forward,” says Atkins. “I am honored to be the next Anna D. Wolf Endowed Professor, with the resources to maximize our impact.”

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