Skip to this page's content

Longtime Expert in Nursing Education Named New Dean of Simmons College School of Nursing and Health Sciences

BOSTON (May 9, 2011) — Judy A. Beal, D.N.Sc., RN, a longtime nurse educator who specializes in the changes in 21st century nursing, has been named the new dean of the Simmons College School of Nursing and Health Sciences, effective July 1.

As dean of the Simmons College School of Nursing and Health Sciences, Beal will oversee three distinguished undergraduate and graduate programs: nursing, nutrition, and physical therapy. She will provide strong academic leadership, vision, and financial management; encourage the pursuit of excellence in scholarship, research, and clinical training; invest in resource development and fundraising; and enhance the reputation of the School nationally and internationally. She will lead in the recruitment and retention of diverse faculty, staff, and students, and oversee the tenure and promotion processes.

"Dr. Beal is an outstanding leader in her field, an active researcher, and an excellent teacher," said Simmons College Provost Charlena Seymour. "These combined qualities make her a role model for both students and faculty."

"Judy Beal is a visionary whose ideas will make a difference for Simmons now and in the future," said Simmons College President Helen Drinan. "We are delighted that she will continue as the permanent dean."

Beal has served as interim dean of the School since last year, and has been at Simmons for nearly 30 years. During this time, Beal helped to build the nursing program into one of the largest and most well known academic programs at Simmons, with Simmons students achieving a 97 percent pass rate on the (NCLEX) Registered Nurse exam for first-time takers, and 100 percent for accelerated students. The national average is 88 percent, according to National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

Beal has published more than 40 referred publications, created 100 presentations, and is sought after nationally and regionally as a speaker. She has received grants and funding from numerous organizations including a $120,000 award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and a three-year Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellowship from 2008-2011. Beal also was instrumental in helping Simmons formalize a $2 million gift from Phyllis Dotson, a Simmons alumna, and her husband George, to establish the Dotson Bridge and Mentoring Program, which supports diverse nursing students.

A leader in nursing education since 1978, Beal began her career at Simmons in 1983 as an associate professor and coordinator of nursing research. Through the years, she has served as Director of Research, and Chair of the Nursing Department. She has served on the Simmons Honorary Degree Committee, Graduate Faculty Council, Human Subjects Protection Committee, Faculty Hearing Committee, and many others. Beal is vice president of the Massachusetts Association of Colleges of Nursing and a member of the board of the Nurses Careers Lattice Program at Children's Hospital, and of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. She is the past president of the Yale University School of Nursing Alumni Association, a delegate to the Association of Yale University Alumni, and is actively involved in leadership activities with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and Sigma Theta Tau, the international honor society of nursing.

She has a B.S.N. from Skidmore College, an M.S.N. from Yale University, and a D.N.Sc. from Boston University. Beal received the 2006 Yale University School of Nursing Distinguished Alumni Award, The Mary Ann Garrigan Award for Excellence in Leadership from Sigma Theta Tau, and has been a Sigma Theta Tau Distinguished Lecturer since 1997.

Simmons College is a nationally recognized private university located in the heart of Boston. It offers an undergraduate education for women, and renowned coeducational graduate programs in health sciences, education, liberal arts, social work, library and information science, and communications management, as well as the nation's first MBA program designed specifically for women. Follow Simmons on Twitter @SimmonsCollege and @SimmonsNews.