North Carolina candidate, Laurie Badzek, named dean of College of Nursing

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Laurie A. Badzek, professor of nursing and director of the School of Nursing in the College of Health and Human Services at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW), has been named the new dean of Penn State’s College of Nursing. Badzek will begin her new role on July 1. 

Badzek will succeed Paula Milone-Nuzzo, who left the University to be president of the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions in August 2017. During the national search for her successor, Janice Penrod has served as interim dean of the college.

As a nurse, attorney and educator, Badzek specializes in genomics, health care ethics and law, nursing practice, and end-of-life care and decision making. In addition to her role as director and professor at UNCW beginning in 2015, Badzek has served as the director for nearly 20 years of the American Nurses Association Center for Ethics and Human Rights, an organization that addresses complex ethical and human rights issues confronting nurses.

A champion for improving patient care through nursing policy, practice and education, Badzek, in 2001 and 2015, shepherded the revision of the American Nurses Association Code of Ethics for Nurses, which is written and used by nurses to guide their professional decisions and conduct. In 2017, she collaborated with colleagues in the development of an online educational toolkit from the National Human Genome Research Institute and is currently helping to establish a global nursing alliance, called G2NA. Both initiatives are intended to educate nursing health care professionals on how to integrate genomic information into their daily practice.

“With her extensive expertise in health care, law and higher education, Laurie Badzek is an outstanding choice to be the next dean of Penn State’s College of Nursing,” said Nicholas Jones, executive vice president and provost of the University. “Her leadership on ethical and human rights issues and staunch advocacy regarding nursing education, policy and practice will enable the college and its faculty and students to achieve new levels of academic and research excellence.”

As dean of the College of Nursing, Badzek will oversee educational programs serving undergraduate and graduate students at 12 campuses and online through Penn State’s World Campus. She also will lead the college’s research enterprise, including several centers, spanning areas from end-of-life care to child and adolescent health.

In her current role as director for UNCW’s School of Nursing, Badzek oversees strategic planning, program expansion, faculty governance, compliance, endowments and budgets. During her tenure, she collaborated with colleagues to increase enrollment and faculty and student diversity, as well as to launch a revitalized nurse educator program for graduate students and a new clinical research certificate program.

Before joining the faculty at UNCW, Badzek taught nursing, ethics, law and health policy at West Virginia University, where she is an emeritus professor. Badzek also served as director of the school’s Appalachian Quality of Life Institute and assistant director for the Center for Health Ethics and Law.

Combining her health care and legal expertise, Badzek had a role in drafting state legislation, including West Virginia’s Health Care Decisions Act, Guardianship and Conservatorship Act, Natural Death Act, and Medical Power of Attorney Act, which was recognized as model legislation by the American Association of Retired Persons.

“I am honored to be chosen to serve as the next dean of the College of Nursing, which has a strong history of excellence in both undergraduate and graduate nursing education programs,” Badzek said. “The college is positioned to impact the development of the next generation of nursing leaders who will improve the health of our nation. I am excited to work with my new colleagues to reach new heights in nursing education, practice, service, scholarship and research.”

Throughout her career, Badzek has taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate nursing courses focused on ethics, leadership and health policy. Her research with the National Institutes of Health, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Cancer Institute and other organizations has been published in the Journal of Nursing Scholarship, Journal of Nursing Law, and American Nurse Today, among other publications.

Badzek received the International Society of Nurses in Genetics International Genomics Nursing Research Award in 2016, the American Association of Nurse Attorneys Outstanding Education Section Member Award in 2005, and the American Nephrology Nurses Association Research Award for work related to end-of-life decisions and dialysis patients in 1998.  

Among her many affiliations, Badzek is a member of the American Association of Nurse Attorneys, American Nurses Association, American Colleges of Nursing Deans, and the National Steering Committee on Genomic Core Competency. She is a fellow with the National Academies of Practice, American Association of Colleges of Nursing Wharton Leadership Program, and American Academy of Nursing.

Badzek was a nurse in West Virginia for more than 30 years, and is currently registered in North Carolina and Florida. She is a member of the West Virginia Bar Association.

Badzek received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from West Virginia University and master’s degree in nursing from DePaul University. She also earned a juris doctor from West Virginia University and a postgraduate law degree with a focus on health law, policy and ethics from DePaul University. 

Last Updated February 21, 2018