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The Johns Hopkins School of Nursing Announces New Faculty Leadership Positions


Four faculty from the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing (JHSON) have received leadership appointments to help promote and advance the school’s Master of Science (Entry into Nursing), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), PhD, and postdoctoral programs.

“These faculty have exceptional teaching, mentorship, and leadership experience, and will bring diverse perspective, strategic outlook, and innovation to our programs,” says Marie Nolan, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN, interim dean of JHSON.

The faculty appointments include:

Kamila Alexander, PhD, MSN/MPH, RN
Associate Director of PhD and Postdoctoral Programs

As an assistant professor, Alexander also holds a joint appointment in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her research focuses on prevention of sexual health outcome disparities and the complex roles that structural determinants such as intimate partner violence, societal gender expectations, and limited economic opportunities play in the experience of intimate human relationships. Using health equity and social justice lenses, she aims to learn why men and women make particular sexual decisions and convey those decisions to their emotional partners. She also studies the promotion of safe relationships and current prevention efforts to mitigate intimate partner violence, unintended pregnancies, and sexually transmitted infections including HIV.

Nada Lukkahatai, PhD, MSN, RN, FAAN
Director of the MSN (Entry into Nursing) Research Honors Program

Through her research, Lukkahatai seeks to understand biological mechanisms in the clustering of symptoms. A recent study has focused on an intervention for cancer survivors who are living with other chronic illnesses like hypertension and diabetes, as well as the development of non-pharmacological interventions to reduce symptom burden. Lukkahatai has been a postdoctoral fellow at the Division of Intramural Research, National Institute of Nursing Research, and National Institutes of Health. She holds a joint appointment in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Oncology Center.

Brigit VanGraafeiland, DNP, CRNP, CNE, FAAN
Associate Director of DNP Executive Track

VanGraafeiland has been a pediatric nurse practitioner for 30 years and a nursing educator for 20. She has practiced extensively in both rural and urban primary care settings and in pediatric urgent care in Eastern Baltimore. Dr. VanGraafeiland’s scholarship centers on improving outcomes for children in foster care, child maltreatment, and screening for human trafficking. She has also focused on using clinical simulation and standardized patients to enhance the advanced practice student’s critical-thinking skills and clinical acumen. VanGraafeiland has served as director of the JHSON Helene Fuld Leadership Program for the advancement of patient safety.

Jennifer Wenzel, PhD, MS, RN, FAAN, CCM
Director of PhD and Postdoctoral Programs

Working with interdisciplinary teams from the Johns Hopkins schools of Medicine and Public Health, Wenzel leads multi-institutional interventions to improve collaborative cancer decision making and treatment for patients and support for care partners. Wenzel helps to lead Region 1 within the national Geographical Management of Cancer Health Disparities program and directs the Johns Hopkins branch of Enhancing Minority Participation in Clinical Trials (EMPaCT). As a researcher, Wenzel’s major contribution to nursing is the innovative extension of nurse-community health worker navigation interventions to include family or other patient-designated care partners.


Located in Baltimore, the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing is a globally-recognized leader in nursing education, research, and practice. In U.S. News & World Report rankings, the school is No. 1 nationally for its master’s programs, and No. 2 for DNP programs and its online MSN Healthcare Organizational Leadership options. JHSON is ranked No. 1 for total NIH funding among schools of nursing for fiscal year 2020. In addition, the school is ranked by QS World University as the No. 3 nursing school in the world, No.1 by College Choice for its master’s program, and No. 1 by NursingSchoolHub.com for its DNP program. For more information, visit www.nursing.jhu.edu.

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