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Patricia M. Davidson

Patricia M. Davidson


Davidson, a dean of the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, was born in Canberra, Australia. She began her career as a registered nurse in 1980. Davidson earned a B.A. in education in 1985, and a masters degree in education in 1993, both from the University of Wollongong. In 2003, she earned a Ph.D. from the University of Newcastle.

In 1997, Davidson shifted her focus to research and teaching, and was appointed a clinical associate professor at the University of Western Sydney School of Nursing in the department of family and community health. She was appointed adjunct associate professor in 2002 before being named director of the Sydney West Area Health Service Nursing Research Unit and being named faculty in the department of area health service in 2003. In 2005, Davidson was named adjunct professor at the University of New South Wales. She became director of the Centre for Cardiovascular and Chronic Care and adjunct professor at Curtin University in 2007. In 2010, Davidson was appointed professor at the University of Technology, Sydney and director of the Centre for Cardiovascular and Chronic Care faculty of health. That same year, she was named adjunct professor at the University of Western Australia and in 2012, earned the rank of adjunct professor at the American University of Beirut. In the fall of 2013, Davidson arrived in Baltimore to accept the position as dean of the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, and the university finalized her appointment in January 2014 after she secured her American licensure. In 2018, she was named Co-Secretary General of the World Health Organization, Collaborating Centers for Nursing and Midwifery Secretariat. In 2021, Davidson returned to Australia as vice-chancellor at the University of Wollongong, the first woman, first alumna, and first nurse to serve in this position.

Under Davidson’s leadership, the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing transitioned to an exclusive focus on graduate-level instruction and introduced a range of new graduate programs with notable collaborations across the university. The doctor of nursing practice/masters of business, doctor of nursing practice/masters of public health, doctor of nursing/nurse anesthesiology, and doctor of nursing practice/doctor of philosophy are examples of programs meeting the contemporary needs of health care and preparing the next generation of leaders. During Davidson’s tenure, the school of nursing’s commitment to research strengthened, increasing annual scholarly publications by almost sixty percent from 2016 to 2020, and grant submissions by sixty-six percent from 2014 to 2020. She deepened the commitment of the school’s alumni, donors, friends, and foundations through an ambitious fundraising agenda. An outcome of this commitment was the opening of a renovated and re-imagined school of nursing building in 2021.

Davidson’s research focus has been on cardiac health for women and indigenous peoples. She has authored almost 600 publications and twenty-nine book chapters. She has served as counsel general of the International Council on Women’s Health Issues, a member of Sigma Theta Tau International’s Institute for Global Healthcare Leadership Advisory Board, and a board member of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health. She has also served on the Board on Health Care Services for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. In 2016, Davidson earned the Australian Museum Eureka Prize for Outstanding Mentor of Young Researchers, the most prestigious research mentorship award in Australia.

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