Mar 16, 2023

Boston doctor named to lead UNMC College of Nursing

Posted Mar 16, 2023 9:55 AM
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Lepaine Sharp-McHenry, DNP, dean of the College of Natural, Behavioral and Health Sciences at Simmons University in Boston, has been named the next dean of the UNMC College of Nursing.

She will join UNMC on July 3, pending approval of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents.

“I am pleased to welcome Dr. Sharp-McHenry to UNMC,” UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, MD, said in making the announcement. “She has led her profession at the local, state and national levels, and is a transformational leader who brings both the experience and the vision to further elevate an already outstanding College of Nursing.”

Dr. Gold also commended the work done by the search committee, chaired by UNMC’s College of Allied Health Professions Dean Kyle Meyer, PhD; the faculty and staff of the College of Nursing; and Spencer Stuart.

Dr. Sharp-McHenry was selected after an in-depth national search to replace retiring College of Nursing Dean Juliann Sebastian, PhD, who has served as dean for the past 12 years, overseeing UNMC College of Nursing divisions in Scottsbluff, Kearney, Norfolk, Lincoln and Omaha. The college traces its history to the University of Nebraska School of Nursing, which enrolled 13 women in 1917. Today, the college offers programs leading to baccalaureate, master's and doctoral degrees and has more than 900 students enrolled.

“Dr. Sharp-McHenry brings a wealth of experience as a proven leader,” Dr. Meyer said. “She will be a tremendous asset in addressing the nursing workforce shortage and expanding nursing research. We are pleased that she’ll be joining the UNMC community.”

Prior to joining Simmons University in 2019, Dr. Sharp-McHenry served as dean of the College of Nursing at Oklahoma Baptist University and assistant director of the Eleanor Mann School of Nursing at the University of Arkansas. Through her expertise in higher education, health care and regulation, Dr. Sharp-McHenry is recognized as a leader in her field and an enthusiastic advocate who actively supports initiatives to ensure the highest quality education and accessible health care.

A practicing nurse since 1981, her educational background includes an associate of science in nursing at Southern Arkansas University, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Arkansas, a Master of Science in Nursing (clinical nurse specialist in psychiatric mental health) from the University of Oklahoma and a Doctorate in Nursing Practice in executive leadership from Union University.

The Arkansas native has held leadership roles in such national organizations as the National Association of Directors of Nursing Administration in Long Term Care, National Council of State Boards of Nursing, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. She has published and co-authored articles and served as an expert panel member in the development of clinical practice guidelines in the long-term care field.

“I am both excited and humbled to be named the next dean of the UNMC College of Nursing,” Dr. Sharp-McHenry said in response to her selection. “The selection process revealed what phenomenal people and programs Dr. Gold and the leadership team have established here. I recognize the trust that it takes to afford me this opportunity, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance nursing education, research and health equity in Nebraska and beyond.”