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New associate dean for practice engagement set to establish Center for Clinical and Organizational Science

Wednesday, May 07, 2014 - New associate dean for practice engagement set to establish Center for Clinical and Organizational Science

ST. LOUIS - Shirley Thorn, PhD, MN, MAdmin, RN joined Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College as the associate dean for practice engagement and will become the program director for health systems and organizational leadership upon approval by the Higher Learning Commission, a process which Thorn will collaborate with others to achieve. Thorn’s appointment began in February 2014 with responsibilities to bring informatics, decision-science, and technology-based functions in alignment within the College and curricula of the nursing programs. In addition, she will co-lead the development of a new Center for Clinical and Organizational Science with select practice partners.   

“Recruiting Dr. Thorn to Goldfarb School of Nursing was a trifecta to match our needs for someone with expertise in leadership and policy, informatics and decision-science, and academic-service partnerships,” said Michael Bleich, PhD, RN, FAAN, President and Maxine Clark and Bob Fox Dean and Professor.  “Shirley possesses international knowledge of the Canadian health system and has very strong project management skills, bringing new abilities and perspectives to our leadership team.  She will be a strong academic and a compelling leader for us.”

Most recently working at BE Smith, an executive healthcare search firm, Thorn has spent her career gaining experience in a wide range of clinical environments and organizations, including building leadership expertise. “As a professional nurse, I am a life-long learner with a desire to share my knowledge and help future nurses integrate academic preparation with the demands of the current workplace,” Thorn said.

Thorn earned her PhD in Nursing and Healthcare Informatics from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN and graduate degrees in nursing from the University of Manitoba and business and public policy administration from the University of Regina. She is a member of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) with additional membership in the National League of Nursing (NLN), Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), American Nurses Association (ANA), Commission on Collegiate Nursing, Council for Higher Education Accreditation, The Higher Learning Commission, Missouri League for Nursing, and Council of Dean and Directors of Greater St. Louis.

“Goldfarb is at an exciting juncture and influencing organizational growth in an academic environment aligned with a major health system truly appeals to me,” Thorn concluded.


Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College is located on the campus of Washington University Medical Center in St. Louis and is affiliated with Barnes-Jewish Hospital, with a site at Missouri Baptist Medical Center. The College is housed in a nationally recognized educational facility with state-of-the-art classrooms, lecture halls and a Clinical Simulation Institute with six patient simulation labs and two exam rooms providing high-tech, advanced nursing care experiences.
Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and is approved by the Missouri State Board of Nursing.

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