School of Nursing names new assistant dean of diversity and inclusion

Rolanda Johnson, PhD, MSN, assistant dean for academics and associate professor of nursing, has been named assistant dean for diversity and inclusion for Vanderbilt University School of Nursing.

Assistant Dean Rolanda JohnsonShe replaces Assistant Professor Jana Lauderdale, who returned to her faculty role.

As assistant dean for diversity and inclusion, Johnson oversees VUSN’s efforts to support and foster an environment that is culturally appreciative and inclusive, particularly for historically underrepresented and marginalized groups and individuals. She also continues as assistant dean for academics, charged with assisting students with special curriculum needs or who experience academic difficulty.

“We’re very fortunate to have Rolanda in this leadership role,” said Linda D. Norman, DSN, FAAN, VUSN dean and the Valere Potter Menefee Professor of Nursing. “With her experience in academic enhancement services, as the longtime adviser to the Black Student Nurses Association, and through her research in health promotion for African Americans and in black racial identity, Rolanda will bring expertise and wisdom to the role of VUSN’s assistant dean for diversity and inclusion.”

Johnson joined the School of Nursing in 1998, the same year she received her PhD in Nursing Science from Vanderbilt. In her 20 years at VUSN, she has provided leadership for a variety of initiatives, including serving as director of the Fisk University–Vanderbilt University Nursing Partnership Program, re-establishing the school’s Black Student Nurses Association, and representing VUSN in campus-wide programs that included the Provost’s Task Force on Sexual Assault, FutureVU Faculty Advisory Committee, and Diversity, Inclusion and Community Committee. Johnson was the first African American to hold a vice-chair position in Vanderbilt’s Faculty Senate. She has also been influential in helping recruit minority students to VUSN and by increasing minority visibility at the school.

She is the founding president of the Nashville Chapter of the National Black Nurses Association. Earlier in 2018, she was honored as a Vanderbilt Pioneer for her role with the Faculty Senate and at VUSN.

Image: Keith Wood/VUSN