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College of Health and Human Services Announces New School of Nursing Director

Patricia D. Suplee, Ph.D., RNC-OB, FAAN
Patricia D. Suplee, Ph.D., RNC-OB, FAAN

The UNCW College of Health and Human Services is pleased to announce that Patricia D. Suplee, PhD, RNC-OB, FAAN, has accepted the role of Director of the School of Nursing and Irwin Belk Distinguished Professor of Nursing.

With more than 30 years of experience in nursing higher education, Dr. Suplee has held faculty and academic administration appointments at several prominent institutions and has been the recipient of numerous teaching excellence awards. She earned a Ph.D. and Master of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Indiana University. Most recently, Dr. Suplee has served as an associate professor with tenure at Rutgers University, School of Nursing in Camden, N.J. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. 

As a visionary leader, seasoned researcher, and educator, Dr. Suplee has spearheaded research projects focused on improving maternal health outcomes, especially for those from underrepresented groups. More specifically she has dedicated her research to improving maternal morbidity and mortality outcomes, translating evidence into clinical practice especially during the postpartum period. Her collaborative work with the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) led to the development of post-birth educational tools that have been incorporated into postpartum discharge teaching throughout the U.S. Based on her expertise, she was an invited member to an interdisciplinary national committee that developed two AIM Patient Safety Bundles that are currently used as best postpartum care practice models.

Dr. Suplee has been an appointed member of the New Jersey Maternal Mortality Review team that analyzes cases, identifies gaps in care, and makes recommendations to decrease maternal mortality rates. In addition, she has held a leadership position on the Strategic Planning Committee of the New Jersey Maternal Care Quality Collaborative and has served as chair of the NJ AWHONN section. She publishes and presents nationally, is a reviewer for several nursing journals, and has mentored numerous faculty colleagues, clinicians, and students over the last three decades.