faculty profile

Margaret (Betsy) Babb Kennedy   PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, FAWHONN

Associate Dean for Academic & Curriculum Affairs


Dr. Kennedy is Professor of Nursing, and Associate Dean for Academic & Curriculum Affairs. With a clinical practice background in high risk and critical care obstetrics, she joined the faculty in 1993. She has taught numerous courses at VUSN and currently directs the nursing education course series and post master's certificate in nursing education program. 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 at VUSN for clinical teaching, classroom teaching, and contributions to student-faculty relations outside the classroom. She received the Ingeborg Mauschk Award for excellence in faculty mentoring at the School of Nursing three times and has been named as a fellow in the National League for Nursing Academy of Nurse Education and the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric & Neonatal Nursing.


  • 2012 PhD, Medical University of South Carolina
  • 1993 MSN, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing (Critical Care Obstetrics)
  • 1989 BSN, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing

Current Research/Scholarly Interests

  • Faculty development and mentorship in the academic role
  • Educator professional identity formation
  • Optimizing the health professions learning environment

Academic Interests

  • Nursing Education
  • High risk and critical care obstetrics

Current Projects


Southeastern Conference (SEC) Nursing Faculty Development Consortium "After the Session" podcast host/co-host 2022 - current
Found at: https://secnursefacultydevelopment.wordpress.com/


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

Representative Publications


Martens, M., Schroer, M., Williams, T. & Kennedy, B. (2023). Identifying mental health issues with infertility. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nurpra.2022.09.024

Bradford, H., Grady, K., Kennedy, B. & Johnson, R. (2022). Advancing Faculty Diversity in Nursing Education: Strategies for Success. Journal of Professional Nursing, 42, 239-249.

Wilbeck, J., Cross, L., Weaver, A., Kennedy, B. (2022). Utilization of Phone Simulations to Assess Competency Within Nursing Education. Nurse Educator, 47(5), 278-282.

Kleinpell, R., Kennedy, B., Piano, M., & Norman, L. (2021). Advancing Scholarship among non-tenure track faculty: A faculty scholarship program. Journal of Professional Nursing, 37(6), 1187-1190.

Kennedy, B. & Parish, A. (2021). Educational Theory and Cognitive Science: Practical Principles for Patient Education. Nursing Clinics of North America, 56(3), 401-412.

Baird, S., Martin, S., & Kennedy, B. (2021). Goals for Collaborative Management of Obstetric Hemorrhage. Obstetrics & Gynecology Clinics of North America, 48(1), 151-171.

Jessee, M. A., Russell, R., Kennedy, B. B., Dietrich, M., Schorn, M. (2020). Development and Pilot Testing of a Multidimensional Learning Environment Survey. Nurse Educator, 45(5), E50-E54.

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.

Philippi, J. & Kennedy, B. B. & Gregory, K. (2019). From the Editors: Health Disparities. Who is Missing or Unheard? Seeking and 'Seeing' the Underserved in Our Communities. Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing, 33(2), 97-98.

Smith, L., Hande, K., & Kennedy, B. B. (2019). Promoting a Culture of Scholarly Caring: An Inclusive Scholarship Support Group. Nurse Educator, 45(4), 185-186.

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, 35(4), 314-319.

Book Chapters

Christenbery, T., Parish, A., & Kennedy, B. (2023). Reliability and Validity in Nursing Student Assessment and Evaluation: Contemporary Issues. In Hall, Gobbi, Whitcomb, & Yoder-Wise (Eds.) SAGE Handbook of Nursing Education (1st ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Devane-Johnson, S. & Kennedy, B. (2022). Perinatal Cultural Diversity. In Baker & Janke (Eds.) AWHONN's Core Curriculum for Maternal-Newborn Nursing (6th ed.).

Kennedy, B. B. (2018). Acute Renal Failure in Pregnancy. In High Risk and Critical Care: Intrapartum Nursing. (4th 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

Parish, A. & Kennedy, B. Authentic Experiences to Develop Nurse Educator Professional Identity. National League for Nursing Summit, Washington, DC. Sept 27-Sept 29, 2023

Kennedy, B. Schorn, M, Jessee, M. Russell R., & Raman, R. Assessing the Learning Environment in Nursing Education: A Five-Year Report NLN-Sigma Theta Tau, Nursing Education Research Conference. Washington, DC, March 30-April 1, 2023

Kennedy, B. A Faculty Development Framework to Support and Evaluate Individual, Organizational, and Educational Outcomes. AACN Transform. Chicago, IL. Dec 1-2, 2022

Russell, R., Vinson, K., Kennedy, B., Leep-Hunderford, A. Vanderbilt – Mayo Diversity Equity Inclusiveness Climate Scale for Health Professions Education. Connect, Convene, Catalyze Toward Flourishing: The Kern National Network for Caring & Character in Medicine Conference. Milwaukee, WI. Sept 29th, 2022

Kennedy, B. & Pfieffer, M. L. Idea to In Print: A Group Peer Mentoring Model to Support Achievement of Faculty Scholarly Writing Goals Sponsored by the International Academy of Nurse Editors. July 31-August 3, 2022

SEC Scholars Workshop, Writing strong Teaching & Diversity Statements. Vanderbilt University Graduate School, Panel presenter. August 10, 2022

Tennessee Action Coalition Star 40 under 40 Nurse Leader Program, Intentional Career Growth Virtual Panel Discussion. Panel presenter. July 11, 2022

Because YOU Matter: Taking Care of Self as Well as Others. Closing Keynote. AWHONN TN Section Conference, Virtual, Sept 18, 2021

Hande, K., Kennedy, B. Progress in Scholarship: Peer Support. INANE Virtual Conference. Sponsored by the International Academy of Nurse Editors. August 4-6, 2021

Professional Impact and Personal Care: Strategies for Learning, Leading, and Living Well

Closing keynote speaker, AWHONN Regional Section Conference, Nashville, TN. April 13, 2019

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

Smith, L., Hande, K., Kennedy, B. Scholarship in Progress Peer Support: An Initiative to Creating Healthy Work Environments Conference. Sigma Theta Tau International, New Orleans, LA. February 22-24, 2019


  • Editorial Board, Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing
  • Manuscript Reviewer: Nursing for Women's Health, Nursing Education Perspectives, Journal for Professional Nursing, International Journal for Nursing Education Scholarship, Nursing Education in Practice, Research in Nursing & Health
  • AACN Advanced Critical Care Symposium editor, Critical Care Obstetrics edition, 2018

Professional Organizations

American Association of Colleges of Nursing

Association of Women's Health, Obstetric, & Neonatal Nursing
AWHONN Fellows Working Group 2023

National Public Policy Committee 2018

National 2016 Convention Program Committee Chair 2014 - 2016

National Board of Directors At-large director 2013 - 2015

National Finance Committee 2013 - 2015

National Development Committee 2013 - 2017

Tennessee Section State Conference Planning Committee 2021, 2008, 2012, 

Tennessee Section Legislative Coordinator 2008 - 2010

Host Committee Chair National Convention 2010

Program Committee National Convention 2010

National Nominating Committee 2011

National League for Nursing

Ambassador 2014 - 2020

Centers of Excellence Review Panel 2023-2025

Sigma Theta Tau

Iota Chapter Vice President 2001-2003

Southeastern Conference Nurse Faculty Professional Development Consortium

Inaugural chair 2021-2023, current member


  • 2023 Lulu K. Hassenplug Alumni Award for Career Achievement – VUSN
  • 2023 Inaugural Fellow, Association of Women's Health, Obstetrics & Neonatal Nursing (AWHONN)
  • 2022 Fellow, National League for Nursing (NLN) Academy of Nursing Education
  • 2022 Honor of Distinction, Certification Star Award, National League for Nursing (NLN)
  • 2014, 2016, 2022 Ingeborg Mauschk Award - For Faculty Mentoring
  • 2022 Colleen Conway Welch Award - For significant contributions to doctoral students
  • 2017 Gold Humanism Scholar - Arthur P. Gold Foundation
  • 2017 Harvard Macy Scholar
  • 2016 American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year (#2 – Maternal/Child Health Category) Intrapartum Management Modules, 5th edition.
  • 2014 Dean's Award for Recognition of Faculty Achievement in Academics - Educational innovation with significant contribution to excellence in teaching and learning
  • 2007 Shirley K. Titus Award - Contributions to classroom teaching
  • 1999, 1995 Clinical Excellence Award - Contribution to clinical teaching
  • 1998 Julia Hereford Award - Contributions to student-faculty relations outside of the classroom or clinic