VCU School of Nursing alumnus Kenneth R. White, AGACNP-BC, ACHPN, FACHE, FAAN (B.S.’95/N; M.S.’95/N; Ph.D.’96/HP), associate dean for strategic partnerships and innovation at the University of Virginia School of Nursing, was named president-elect of the American Academy of Nursing’s Board of Directors at that organization’s recent annual induction ceremony and policy conference in Washington, D.C. Also during the events, Debra Barksdale, Ph.D., FNP-BC, CNE, FAANP, FAAN, associate dean of academic affairs at the VCU School of Nursing, was reappointed to the AAN Board of Directors for a two-year term.

The AAN is nursing’s most prestigious group, comprised of more than 2,400 Fellows from around the world who are nurse leaders in education, management, practice, policy, and research. The Academy’s board aims to transform health and health care by influencing and impacting health policy, improving nursing practice and leadership, and disseminating knowledge to benefit the nursing profession and, ultimately, impact the health and health care of patients and communities, from local to global.

White will serve as the Academy’s president-elect through fall 2021, assuming the two-year presidency from 2021 to 2023.

A former health care executive who also spent 20 years at VCU in teaching and administrative roles, White currently works part time as a palliative care nurse practitioner at UVA Health in addition to his full-time academic responsibilities. An endowed professor at both UVA School of Nursing and UVA Medical Center, he holds joint academic appointments in the School of Medicine, Darden School of Business, and McIntire School of Commerce. Inducted as an Academy Fellow in 2012, he served as an elected member of the AAN Fellow Selection committee from 2014 to 2017 and was elected to its 10-member Board of Directors in 2017.

A Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, White was elected to its Board of Governors in 2004 – the first nurse ever to serve as part of the group’s governing body. He also co-founded the Central Virginia Healthcare Executive’s group in 2002.

Barksdale will serve on the AAN board through fall 2021. She also serves as the board liaison to the Diversity and Inclusivity Committee, the expert panels for breastfeeding, primary care and nursing theory-guided practice, and the Jonas Policy Scholars.

A nationally known educator, researcher, practitioner and advocate for improving health care, Barksdale is a Nursing Alumni Endowed Professor at the VCU School of Nursing. She has demonstrated leadership in nursing education nationally through working to improve the quality of APRN education, develop competent/confident leaders and diversify the workforce. Barksdale served an eight-year stint as the first and only nurse appointed to the Board of Governors for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).  She is a former Department of Health and Human Services Primary Health Care Policy Fellow and is an alumna of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellows Program. Barksdale is also past president of the National Organization of Nurses Practitioner Faculties, where she led initiatives for enhancing nurse practitioner education in M.S.N. and DNP programs.

head shot of Kenneth White
Dr. Kenneth White
head shot of Debra Barksdale
Dr. Debra Barksdale
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