About The School

Who We Are

A diverse community of scholars and clinicians, Duke University School of Nursing is educating the next generation of transformational leaders in nursing. We advance nursing science in issues of global importance and foster the scholarly practice of nursing. The School offers Master's, PhD, Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees and a pre-licensure degree to students who have previously graduated from college.

Welcome from Dean Michael V. Relf


Mary T. Champagne Distinguished Professor of Nursing
Interim Dean
Duke University School of Nursing

Associate Chief Nurse Executive for Academic Partnerships and Innovation
Duke University Health System

October 1, 2023 | Duke University School of Nursing

Dr. Michael Relf, PhD currently serves as the Interim Dean in the School of Nursing. From 2008 to 2014, he served as the Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Education and Director of the Accelerated BSN Program. He most recently served as Professor of Nursing and Global Health, and Associate Dean for Global and Community Health Initiatives.

Initially, his clinical practice was in adult critical care, where he functioned as a staff nurse, critical care clinical nurse specialist and nurse manager. It was through these experiences early in the HIV epidemic that his practice shifted to infectious diseases. Through his research, he has documented the role of the professional and advanced practice nurse in the prevention, care and treatment of persons at risk for or living with HIV.

Prior to joining the School of Nursing in 2008, Dr. Relf was the Chair of the Department of Nursing at Georgetown University and the Associate Medical Administrator/Director of Nursing and Clinical Support Services at Whitman-Walker Clinic. He has been a visiting professor at Queen University Belfast (Northern Ireland), the University of Zululand (South Africa) and Fudan University (China) where he was appointed a Consulting Professor in July 2023.

He currently serves as the Editor of the Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN) and the Academy of Nursing Education (ANEF).

Michael Relf
Interim Dean Michael V. Relf, Duke University School of Nursing

Mission, Vision & Values


We, at the Duke University School of Nursing, advance health equity and social justice by preparing nurse leaders and innovators with a commitment to improving health outcomes through transformative excellence in education, clinical practice, and nursing science.

Vision Statement

Together transforming the future of nursing, to advance health with individuals, families and communities.


  • Excellence
  • Integrity
  • Collaboration
  • Respect
  • Innovation
  • Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging

Statement of Diversity and Inclusion

We are committed to increasing diversity and inclusiveness in our community. Diversity is more than broadly representative demographic differences. Rather, diversity embodies cultural sensitivity and openness, collaboration, and inclusion. Diversity fosters learning by reflecting experiences from life, classroom and practice, and social beliefs.

Rankings & Distinctions

We are a top-ranked program with some of the leading nursing programs in the country:

  • #1 Best Bachelor of Science in Nursing Programs (2023)
  • #3 Best Nursing Schools: Master's (2024)
  • #3 Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice (tie) (2024)


Rankings and Accolades   

Our History

Duke School of Nursing January 2, 1931, the school opened its doors to its first class of 24 undergraduate students under the direction of Dean Bessie Baker and instructor Ann Henshaw Gardiner.

Learn More About Our History    

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