Vanderbilt Magazine

School of Nursing Dean Pamela Jeffries honored with endowed chair

environmental photograph of Pamela Jeffries standing in front of bookcase
Pamela R. Jeffries (John Russell/Vanderbilt University)

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing Dean Pamela R. Jeffries has been awarded the Valere Potter Distinguished Chair in Nursing.

Jeffries, an internationally recognized leader in nursing education, joined the School of Nursing as dean on July 1.

“Dean Jeffries has laid out an ambitious road map to elevate scholarship, teaching and technological innovation to bring the School of Nursing to new heights,” said Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs C. Cybele Raver. “As a leader in the field of digital learning initiatives for nursing education, as well as a powerful advocate for diversity, inclusion and interdisciplinary collaboration, Dean Jeffries is most deserving of this endowed chair, the university’s highest faculty honor.”

The Valere Potter Distinguished Chair in Nursing was established by Vanderbilt in 1975 at the direction of Valere Blair Potter, an alumna of the class of 1919 and a key university benefactor, to support a faculty member at the School of Nursing.

Jeffries was recruited to Vanderbilt from George Washington University School of Nursing, where she became known as a “systems thinker,” striving to raise the bar on operations, services and academic programs. She has played a strong role in shaping nursing policy throughout her career and continues to be an ambassador and advocate for nurses nationally through her service on the board of directors of the American Academy of Nursing. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, the NLN’s Academy of Nursing Education, the Society of Simulation in Healthcare and an alumna of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellows program.

Jeffries also held leadership appointments at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing before serving as vice provost of digital initiatives for Johns Hopkins University. In that role, she worked in administration across 10 schools to promote shared resources for a successful approach to digital learning.

Jeffries was an early leader in the use of simulations to model patient-care activities, redesigning clinical education for nursing and health professional students.

With support from the National League of Nursing and many research colleagues across the nation, Jeffries developed one of the most significant contributions to simulation scholarship—the NLN Jeffries Simulation Theory.

Jeffries earned a master of science and a doctorate in nursing from Indiana University, Indianapolis. She grew up in rural Indiana and earned a bachelor of arts in nursing from Ball State University.