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Nursing Professor is First African American Female to Receive Tenure and Full Professorship at Hopkins

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Posted: 10/1/1998

Fannie Gaston-Johansson, DrMedSc, RN, associate professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, has been named full professor with tenure in Nursing. The appointment makes Dr. Gaston-Johansson the first African American female at the University to have both tenure and full professorship.

Dr. Gaston-Johansson is director of International and Extramural Affairs at the School of Nursing and also holds the Elsie M. Lawler Endowed Chair. The focus of her research is pain management and testing of a comprehensive coping strategy to help women with breast cancer adjust to diagnosis and treatment. She has received national and international recognition for development of the Painometer, a patented pain assessment tool, and has received federal funding for her research. Dr. Gaston-Johansson is a member of the American Academy of Nursing and a fellow in the American Academy of Pain Management.

As director of the School’s international program, Dr. Gaston-Johansson educates undergraduate and graduate students about health care systems around the world, guiding them in exchange experiences. She has been instrumental in establishing partnerships between Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and other international universities in Sweden, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.

A native of Hickory, NC, Dr. Gaston-Johansson has been at Hopkins since 1993. Prior to that, she was associate professor at University of Nebraska Medical Center where she also worked as director of nursing research in clinical practice. While in Nebraska, she developed the Research Nurse Internship Program, bringing research findings to the bedside so patients can benefit from scientific discovery.

"I have always felt honored to contribute to the expertise and high standards that are representative of Johns Hopkins," says Dr. Gaston-Johansson. "As the first African American woman to receive tenure and full professorship at Hopkins, I am proud of this historical accomplishment. Hopefully, I will be a role model and inspire young women who wish to pursue academic careers."

Dr. Gaston-Johansson received a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Winston-Salem State University where, in 1994, she was given an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. She received a master’s degree in Nursing from the University of California in San Francisco. In 1985, Dr. Gaston-Johansson received a doctorate of medical science degree from the University of Gothenburg School of Medicine in Sweden. During her years in Sweden, Dr. Gaston-Johansson worked in both academic and administrative nursing positions and, in 1988, was visiting professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Gothenburg. In 1995, she was named visiting professor at the University of Washington in Seattle.

"We are honored to have Dr. Fannie Gaston-Johansson on the faculty of the School of Nursing because she is a leader, international scholar and researcher," says Sue K. Donaldson, PhD, RN, dean of the School of Nursing. "Her exciting work and many achievements are appropriately recognized with this promotion to the rank of full professor with tenure. This historic event at Hopkins gives us yet another reason to celebrate. We are counting on Dr. Gaston-Johansson to take us into the next century, helping us achieve our goals.