Pam Jones: New VUSN Practice Leader

Photo by Susan Urmy

Pam Jones understands where health care delivery has been, where it is today, and where it is heading.

As the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing’s incoming Senior Associate Dean of Clinical and Community Partnerships, she will further enhance interdisciplinary learning, develop future models of care that enhance health and provide teaching opportunities for VUSN students, oversee several non-nursing community outreach programs, and look for ways to more fully integrate with Vanderbilt’s growing affiliated network.

“I’m following the great leadership of Bonnie Pilon, and want to add to the strong tradition of the Nursing School,” Jones said. “Health care delivery is changing so quickly and while there are a lot of challenges, there is also much opportunity.”

Jones points to the success of employer-based clinics like those in Nashville at Opryland and for the Metro Nashville Public School district, as examples of increasing health quality for patients and decreasing costs to employers. With Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) colleagues such as Lee Parmley, MD, and April Kapu, DNP, MSN, she has worked on a team to change the physician/advanced practice nurse dynamic in the intensive care unit resulting in more coordinated care and better outcomes for patients. She is proud that VUMC is known nationally for the large number of advance practice providers filling crucial roles.

Jones started her career in nursing at Vanderbilt as a neonatal nurse—the 1985 Vanderbilt Campaign for Medicine and Nursing brochure even shows her at the bedside of a young boy. While she has seen firsthand the impact a nurse can make on each individual, she came to believe that pursuing management roles would help her ultimately impact even more patients.

Jones has served in nursing leadership for Vanderbilt University Hospital since 2008, responsible for all inpatient nursing services, Emergency Department, LifeFlight, respiratory therapy, social services and case management. Recently, she earned the 2015 American Association of Nurse Practitioners’ Advocate State Award for Excellence, in recognition of helping increase the awareness and acceptance of the nurse practitioner role in Tennessee.

“My prior experience in community hospitals and clinics in combination with my Vanderbilt Hospital experience gives me a broad understanding of the health system as a whole which is particularly pertinent as we face a changing health care system. In addition, I love to work with teams to tackle issues, and formally and informally develop leaders,” said Jones.

She taught in VUSN’s health care leadership program for several years and previously worked in the school’s faculty practice arm, helping put together the proposal that resulted in Vine Hill Community Clinic becoming a Federally Qualified Health Center.

“I admire Dean (Linda) Norman and the entire VUSN leadership team. They are wonderful colleagues and very future-minded. I feel privileged to serve in this way,” said Jones.

Prior to joining Vanderbilt, Jones served in several leadership positions for other area hospitals in Nashville, including chief executive officer for the Baptist Women’s Pavilion Hospital and chief operating officer for Tennessee Christian Medical Center. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees from VUSN.

– Kathy Rivers