faculty profile

Betsy Babb Kennedy   PhD, RN, CNE

Associate Dean for Academic & Curriculum Affairs


Dr. Kennedy is Professor of Nursing, and Assistant Dean for Non-Tenure Track Faculty Affairs and Advancement at VUSN. With a clinical practice background in high risk and critical care obstetrics, she joined the faculty in 1993. She has taught numerous courses in the master's program and currently teaches the nursing education course series for doctoral students. Dr. Kennedy has taught a VU freshman Commons Seminar, and a VU Osher Center for Life Long Learning Course about the social determinants of health. Dr. Kennedy has authored several journal articles and book chapters primarily in the areas of high risk and critical care obstetrics and nursing education. She is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing, and has served on the board of directors for the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses, and held leadership roles in other professional organizations. Dr. Kennedy serves the Vanderbilt community on several school of nursing committees, interprofessional work groups, and has represented the School of Nursing as a member of the Faculty Senate. She was a Gold Humanism and Harvard Macy Scholar at the Institute for Health Professions Educators and has received multiple awards in the school of nursing for clinical teaching, classroom teaching, and contributions to student-faculty relations outside the classroom. She has twice received the Ingeborg Mauschk Award for excellence in faculty mentoring at the School of Nursing.


  • PhD, Medical University of South Carolina
  • MSN, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing (Critical Care Obstetrics)
  • BSN, Vanderbilt University


  • Certified Nurse Educator - National League for Nursing

Current Research/Scholarly Interests

  • Faculty development and mentorship in the academic role
  • Assessment and optimization of the learning environment
  • Cultivating humanistic practice in students and faculty
  • Influence of the hidden curriculum in learning and professional identity formation
  • High risk and critical care obstetrics

Academic Interests

  • Curriculum Strategies for Health Professions Education
  • Educational Evaluation for Healthcare Professionals
  • Online Teaching Methodologies


Kennedy, B. B. (PI) (2011-2012). Developmental Networks for Mentoring of Nurse Faculty: Connections that Count. National League for Nursing. $3150.

Representative Publications


Jessee, M. A., Russell, R., Kennedy, B. B., Deitrich, M., Schorn, M. (2020). Development and Pilot Testing of a Multidimensional Learning Environment Survey. Nurse Educator.

Hande, K. Kennedy, B., Jessee, M.A., Zsamboky, M., & Christenbery, T. (2020). Optimizing the student learning environment: A framework to select faculty for teaching courses. Journal of Professional Nursing, 36(5), 401-411.

Kennedy, B., Parish, A., & Brame, C. (2020). Speak Up Culture in Academic Nursing: Empowering Junior Faculty. Journal of Nursing Education, 59(4), 210-213.

Smith, L., Hande, K., & Kennedy, B. B. (2019). Promoting a Culture of Scholarly Caring: An Inclusive Scholarship Support Group. Nurse Educator. doi: 10.1097/NNE.0000000000000736

Kennedy, B. B., Russell, R., Martinez, W., Gigante, I., Penrod, C., Ehrenfeld, J., Vinson, K., Swan, R., Brady, D. W., Schorn M., & Miller, B. (2019). Development of an Inter-Professional Clinical Learning Environment Report Card. Journal of Professional Nursing. Published online ahead of print. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.profnurs.2019.02.003

 Philippi, J. & Kennedy, B. B. (2019). From the Editors... Health Disparities. Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing, 33(2). 

Kennedy, B. B. & Baird, S. M. Critical Care Obstetrics. (2018). Critical Care Obstetrics. AACN Advanced Critical Care, 29(3), 269-272. (Guest Editors) 

Wilbeck, J. & Kennedy, B. B. (2018). Educational Innovations for Continuing Education: JumpStart Modules for Advanced Practice Providers. Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal, 40(3), 194-197. 

Leming-Lee, T. Crutcher, T. & Kennedy, B. B. (2017). The LEAN Methodology in Healthcare Course: Application of Transformational Learning. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners. Epub:   http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nurpra.2017.06.022 

Day, L., Ziehm, S., Jessup, M., Amedro, P., Dawson-Rose, C., Derouin, A., Kennedy B., Manahan, S., Parish, A., Remen, R. N. (2017). The Power of Nursing: An innovative course in values clarification and self- discovery. Journal of Professional Nursing, 33(4), 267-270. 

Hande, K., Parish, A., Glassford, M., Richmond, A., Cook, C. Brame, C., Kennedy, B. (2017). Junior FacultyTeaching Fellowship: A model to transform nursing education.  Nurse Educator. doi:   10.1097/NNE.0000000000000413

Kennedy, B. B. & Baird, S. M. (2017). Obstetric Hemorrhage: Collaborative Strategies for Management.  Critical Care Nursing Clinics, 29(3), 315-330.  

Book Chapters

Kennedy, B. B. (2018). Acute Renal Failure in Pregnancy. In High Risk and Critical Care Intrapartum Nursing. (4rd ed.). (Troiano, Chez, Witcher & Baird, eds.) Philadelphia, PA, Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins


Kennedy, B. B. & Baird, S. M. (Eds.). (2016). Intrapartum Management Modules: A Perinatal Education Program. (5th ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.

Representative Presentations

Kennedy, B., Parish, A, Brame, C. Speak up Culture in the Academic setting: The Junior Faculty Perspective. Creating Healthy Work Environments Conference. Sigma Theta Tau International, New Orleans, LA. February 22-24, 2019. 

Thomas, M.P. & Kennedy, B. The Power of Nursing: Embracing the Healer's Art. American Association of Colleges of Nursing, National Webinar, November 30, 2017. 

Kennedy, B. Russell, R., Jessee, MA, Hande, K. & Deitrich, M., Schorn, M. Development and Pilot Testing of a Multidimensional Learning Environment Survey. NLN/Sigma Nursing Education Research Conference, Washington, DC, April 19-21, 2018. (Poster) 

Kennedy, B. & Parish, A. Professional Formation: Facilitating Integration of Personal and Professional Values in Nursing Education. International Nursing Research Congress. Sigma Theta Tau International. Dublin, Ireland. July 27, 2017. (Poster) 

Baird, S. Arafeh, J., & Kennedy, B. Cardiac Disease in Pregnancy: A Case Study. Association of Women's Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nursing, National Convention. New Orleans, LA. June 25-28, 2017. 

Kennedy, B. & Baird, S. When a Mother Dies: Supporting Families and Care Providers, Association of Women's Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nursing, National Convention. New Orleans, LA. June 25-28, 2017. 

Kennedy, B. The Multigenerational Classroom: Challenges and Opportunities. AACN Graduate Nursing Admissions Professionals Network Annual Conference. Dallas, TX. April 5, 2017. 

Kennedy, B. Bystander Awareness Techniques to Defuse Disruptive Behavior on Your Unit. AWHONN California Section Annual Conference. Berkeley, CA. February 18, 2017. 

Kennedy, B.  Developmental Networks: Reframing Mentorship of Nurse Faculty, STTI/NLN Nursing Education Research Conference, Washington, DC. April 7-9, 2016. 

Kennedy, B. A Phased Approach for Implementation of Distance Education Quality Indicators AACN Master's Education Conference, Houston, TX. February 24-26., 2016


  • Editorial Board, Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing
  • Manuscript Reviewer: Nursing for Women's Health, Nursing Education Perspectives

Professional Organizations

American Association of Colleges of Nursing: Reviewer, National Faculty Teaching Awards 2016

Association of Women's Health, Obstetric, & Neonatal Nursing:
National Public Policy Committee, 2018 - present
Development Committee, member, 2013 - 2017
National 2016 Convention Program Committee Chair, 2014 - 2016
National Board of Directors, At-large member, 2013 - 2015
Finance Committee, member, 2013 - 2015
Tennessee Section State Conference Planning Committee, 2008, 2012
Tennessee Section Legislative Coordinator, 2008 - 2010
Host Committee Chair National Convention, 2010
Member Program Committee National Convention, 2010
Member National Nominating Committee, 2011
Reviewer, Perinatal Orientation & Education Program, Module 1, Physiology of Pregnancy

National League for Nursing: Educational Research Grant Reviewer 2013, 2014, 2015

Sigma Theta Tau, Iota Chapter


  • Gold Humanism Scholar - Arthur P. Gold Foundation, 2017
  • Harvard Macy Scholar, 2017
  • American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year (#2 - Maternal/Child Health Category) Intrapartum Management Modules, 5th edition, 2016
  • Ingeborg Mauschk Award - Excellence in mentoring other faculty, nurses in the community, or alumna, 2016, 2014
  • Dean's Award for Recognition of Faculty Achievement in Academics - Educational innovation with significant contribution to excellence in teaching and learning, 2014
  • Shirley K. Titus Award - Contribution to classroom teaching, 2007
  • Clinical Excellence Award - Contribution to clinical teaching, 1999, 1995
  • Julia Hereford Award - Contributions to student-faculty relations outside of the classroom or clinic, 1998