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Nancy Fahrenwald

Nancy Fahrenwald,PhD, RN, PHNA-BC, FAAN



School of Nursing


nursing, rural health, minority health, tobacco control, public health nursing, population health, health disparities, chronic disease
Nancy Fahrenwald

About Nancy Fahrenwald

Nancy Fahrenwald, PhD, RN, PHNA-BC, FAAN, serves as professor and dean at the School of Nursing. Dean Fahrenwald is an accomplished executive leader and scholar with a reputation of excellence in higher education, academic nursing, health innovation, health disparities research and clinical practice. The second dean in the School of Nursing’s history, she is a service-oriented, mission-focused and collaborative leader with experience on state, regional and national boards.

Dean Fahrenwald, highly regarded for her impact on rural and underserved communities experiencing significant health disparities, is known for research expertise in chronic disease prevention and control. Her major contributions are in the design, testing and dissemination of behavioral interventions related to education on organ donation and transplantation with American Indian populations. Dean Fahrenwald’s efforts have led to the wide adoption of these educational interventions in clinical settings. Also an experienced health policy researcher, she has worked to promote tobacco-free school policies and strengthen tobacco cessation programs for rural citizens and American Indians. She previously helped form a transdisciplinary Rural Health Research Center that continues to establish partnerships, sponsor programs and create processes for research collaborations with rural communities.

Dean Fahrenwald’s academic accomplishments include the development of new academic programs and sites that expand access to high quality health professions education and support academic success of students. She is committed to diversity in the health professions workforce and has secured funding for a new nursing education building at the Texas A&M McAllen Higher Education Center. In her prior role as the dean of a nursing school in the Midwest, she developed a Native American Nursing Education Center with excellent outcomes in recruitment and retention of American Indian nursing students.

The longtime nurse educator has taught at all levels and is a member of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, serving on its Nominating Committee and previously chairing the Government Affairs Committee. Dean Fahrenwald also served on the Leadership Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science. She was inducted as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing in 2014.