UCSF Names Sally Rankin Interim Dean of Nursing School

Sally Rankin, RN, PhD, FAAN, associate dean for International Programs and director of the UCSF World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Research and Training in Nursing, has been named interim dean of the UCSF School of Nursing.

Chancellor Sue Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH, announced the appointment saying that Rankin “brings a wealth of leadership experience to this role” in an email message to the UCSF community on Sept. 28.

A search continues to find a permanent new dean of the UCSF School of Nursing since Kathy Dracup, RN, DNSc, FNP, FAAN, who has served at the helm for a decade, announced plans to return to the faculty in October 2010.

Rankin previously served as chair of the Department of Family Health Care Nursing. Her research has focused on the adaptation and recovery of individuals and care-giving family members to chronic illness, particularly HIV/AIDS, coronary artery disease and diabetes mellitus. Her clinical practice areas have spanned cardiac nursing, diabetes education, and primary care practice in student health.

Rankin has been involved in international health as a nursing professor for the past two decades, teaching, consulting, and conducting research in Australia, Japan, and many countries in Europe. Her international work has also taken her to Malawi in Central Africa, where she conducted a National Institutes of Health-funded research study in HIV prevention and care.

Rankin is well-respected in her relationships with students and colleagues at UCSF. She has been nominated three times for the UCSF Graduate Student Association Faculty Mentorship Award, and is the recipient of the Nursing Doctoral Students 2004 Mentor of the Year Award.

Rankin has given extraordinary service to the School of Nursing and to UCSF, including serving as the Chair of the Centennial Celebration of Nursing at UCSF in 2007. At that event, Rankin commented on the caliber of the nursing school.

“I think the school represents something not just to the nation, but to the world that really does bespeak excellence in nursing care, nursing research and nursing education,” she said at the time. “This is an incredibly unusual place. I’ve been at five other universities, and there are none that come close to the UCSF School of Nursing. The quality of the students, the quality of the faculty and the quality of the medical center come together in a unique way that can’t be matched anyplace.”

Below is the full letter from the chancellor.

September 28, 2010

Dear Colleagues,

I am very pleased to announce that Dr. Sally Rankin has agreed to serve as the Interim Dean of the School of Nursing, effective October 1, 2010.

Sally brings a wealth of leadership experience to this role. She began her academic career here at UCSF, completing her PhD in 1988 and joining the faculty. From 1993 to 1998, Sally taught at Boston College where she also directed the Family Nurse Practitioner program. She received the Distinguished Alumna award from Duke University School of Nursing in 1994, was inducted as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing in 1995, received the 2004 Doctoral Mentor of the Year award from the UCSF doctoral students, and the Research Achievement Award from the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties in 2007. Her clinical practice areas have spanned cardiac nursing, diabetes education, and primary care practice in student health.

Following her term as Chair of the Department of Family Health Care Nursing from 2004-2009, Sally assumed the role of Associate Dean for International Programs and Global Health. She is an avid traveler and her research and service projects often take her to Africa, including a Global Health Initiative 5-year grant funded by USAID to build the nursing workforce in Malawi and a Fulbright Inter-professional grant with the University of Alabama, Birmingham for health care professionals in Malawi and Zambia.

I want to thank Sally for agreeing to lead the School of Nursing while we continue our search.


Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor

Photo by Elisabeth Fall/fallfoto.com