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Johns Hopkins School of Nursing Appoints Deborah Baker to Align Academic and Practice Nursing


The Johns Hopkins School of Nursing (JHSON) has appointed Deborah Baker, DNP, ACNP, NEA-BC, to serve as Associate Dean for Health Systems Partnership and Innovation. This new position will formally strengthen the alignment between nursing in the academic and practice settings, and expand partnership opportunities with JHSON and the work of the Johns Hopkins Health System.

Baker is currently senior vice president for nursing at the Johns Hopkins Health System, vice president for nursing and patient care services at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, and faculty of JHSON’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. In her new role, she will cement the existing and effective collaboration of JHSON and the Johns Hopkins Health System to provide a more seamless union between learning and application, develop workforce readiness, and strengthen the impact of nursing on the health and wellbeing of the local community and beyond.

“Dr. Baker will bring the necessary knowledge, experience, and direction to take a strong lead in this initiative,” says Patricia Davidson, PhD, MEd, RN, FAAN, dean of JHSON. “Collaboratively tying these networks together will be critical as we continue to think about the future needs of health care—requiring innovative, unified, and interdisciplinary approaches.”

In her senior VP role, Baker partners with chief nursing officers and leaders at each of the Johns Hopkins affiliated hospitals and outpatient care settings to ensure integration of services and alignment with the health system’s strategic goals and objectives. She also focuses on nursing recruitment, education, patient safety, quality, patient experience, and research, and ensuring high professional and clinical standards for nursing within the Johns Hopkins systems.

“Establishing this position is a great step in our evolution to strengthen integration across Johns Hopkins institutions,” adds Kevin Sowers, president of the Johns Hopkins Health System and executive vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine. “As an experienced nursing leader, Dr. Baker will be essential in paralleling research, practice, service, and collaboration among the nursing school and health center.”

A three-time graduate from JHSON—earning her bachelor’s, master’s and DNP degree from the school—Baker has served in a number of roles within Johns Hopkins, including clinical care nurse, clinical instructor, acute care nurse practitioner, advanced practice manager, co-director of the postgraduate surgical physician assistant residency program, and assistant director and director of nursing.

“I am honored to have been appointed to lead this timely and important transition to solidify our combined efforts,” says Baker. “The Johns Hopkins School of Nursing has always been an active partner with the health system, and I look forward to seeing the many new, exciting opportunities created through this partnership.”


Located in Baltimore, the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing is a globally-recognized leader in nursing education, research and practice and ranks No. 1 nationally among graduate schools of nursing and No. 2 for DNP programs in the U.S. News & World Report 2019 rankings. In addition, the school is ranked by QS World University as the No. 3 nursing school in the world and is No.1 by College Choice for its master’s program. For more information, visit www.nursing.jhu.edu.

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