Meet the Dean

Jean E. Johnson, founding dean of the George Washington University School of Nursing, will lead the school as interim dean, effective immediately.

Johnson joined GW in 1981 as a geriatric nurse practitioner and later was named director of the nurse practitioner (NP) program and then senior associate dean for health sciences programs. As senior associate dean, she developed and enhanced health sciences programs at GW, including significantly expanding enrollment and establishing the Doctor of Physical Therapy program and the Department of Nursing Education in 2005.

In 2010, Johnson further advanced GW nursing education by helping to launch the School of Nursing and serving as its founding dean.

“From the beginning, Dr. Johnson has been a champion of nursing education at GW and an innovative and dedicated leader for students, faculty and staff,” said Provost Christopher Alan Bracey. “Her vision of excellence for nursing education has been foundational for the school’s continued growth, and her experienced leadership will ensure it remains on a trajectory of success in its second decade.”

Johnson oversaw all aspects of the School of Nursing in her four years as dean, including academic programs, finances, faculty affairs, and research activity. Under Johnson’s innovative leadership, the school enhanced its academic reputation and excellence. It created an accelerated bachelor’s degree program and was an early adopter of online programs, which increased educational access for military service members, parents and working professionals. The school’s enrollment doubled during Johnson’s tenure, and she prioritized enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion within the school and the nursing field more broadly.

“I am honored to serve as the interim dean of the School of Nursing,” said Johnson. “The School of Nursing has made great progress since its inception, with many of the programs being ranked in the top ten of the country and faculty research having a national impact on policy and patient care. I have the greatest respect for the faculty and staff, who are creative, courageous and care deeply about the students and the profession. It is a privilege to support the faculty, staff and students who have worked so hard to build a culture of excellence in education, research and service.”

Johnson returned to the GW nursing faculty in 2015 and has held several additional roles since then, including as president of the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties; a Fulbright scholar teaching in the graduate clinical pediatric program at the University of Cape Town South Africa and Red Cross Children's Hospital; and interim executive director of GW’s Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement. She also works as an executive coach and leadership consultant for academic and clinical leaders nationwide to enhance high-level leadership impact.