Dorothy L. Powell, EdD, RN, FAAN

Dr. Powell is a seasoned nursing educator and administrator with over 30 years of experience. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Hampton University, a Master of Science in Maternal and Infant Nursing from the Catholic University in America, and a Doctorate of Nursing Education in Higher Education Administration from the College of William and Mary. She furthered her studies at Harvard University in the School of Education. Prior to coming to Duke in January, 2006, Dr. Powell spent the previous 18 years as Chief Academic Officer for Nursing at Howard University, Washington, DC. Other posts include Chairperson, Department of Nursing at Norfolk State University, and Assistant Professor of Nursing at George Mason University, Hampton University, and Thomas Nelson Community College. From 2006 to 2013, she served as Associate Dean of the Office of Global and Community Health Initiatives in the School of Nursing at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.



Dr. Powell is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. She has served as Secretary and a member of the Board of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. In addition, she has served on several national advisory councils including the National Institute of Nursing Research, the National Center on Research Resources, the National Advisory Council on Nursing Education and Practice, and Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research. Her dominant area of scholarly study and publications is environmental justice.



Beyond academic and administrative roles, much of Dr. Powell’s career has incorporated service to the community, particularly low income and minority communities. A significant facet of her community work has been her involvement with the homeless population in Washington, DC. In that capacity, she provided leadership to the development of a convalescent unit for homeless individuals in a large shelter. She was also responsible for the development of a unique career training program, Nursing Careers for Homeless People, which has won national recognition. Through this program, nearly 90 previously homeless men and women were trained for careers in nursing ranging from nursing assistants to RNs with Bachelor of Science degrees.



Since the late 1980s, Dr. Powell has been engaged in international development work. This work has been primarily focused in southern Africa. She has provided technical assistance and consultation on primary health care development to ministries of health, schools of nursing, hospitals and health care systems in Swaziland, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, and South Africa.



Dr. Powell’s founded the School of Nursing's Office of Global and Community Health Initiatives (OGACHI) in 2006, and served as Associate Dean for Global Health and Community Initiatives until July, 2014. Her responsibilities included developing and facilitating educational, research, and community service programs to reduce health disparities in Durham, in North Carolina, and in countries around the world. Her international work targeted the Caribbean, Central America, Africa, and parts of Asia.

Academic Program Affiliations
Education
  • EdD - College of William and Mary
  • MSN - The Catholic University of America
  • BSN - Hampton University
Research Interests
Research Interests: Environmental Health, Environmental Justice, Global Health, Health Disparities, Community-Based Participatory Research, Homelessness, Adolescent Pregnancy
Awards and Honors
  • 2013 || Samuel DuBois Cook Society Award, Samuel DuBois Cook Society, Duke University
  • 2012 || Appointed to the North Carolina Institute of Medicine (NCIOM)
  • 2009 || Inductee, Institute of Excellence, National Black Nurses Association
  • 2003 || Featured on BET Television Special Presentation, Black Entertainment Televison
  • 2003 || Black Nurse of the Year, Black Nurses Association of the Greater Washington DC-area.
  • 2003 || Featured in the Aetna 2003 African American History Calendar saluting African American Nurses, Aetna
  • 2002 || Participant in press conference on the nursing shortage, with Secretary of Health and Human Services Terry Thompson
  • 2001 || Compassionate Employer Recognition Award, Compassionate Friends
  • 1999 || National Honorary Member, Chi Eta Phi Sorority
  • 1994 || School of Nursing Alumni Hall of Fame, Hampton University, Hampton, Va.
  • 1993 || Association of Academic Health Centers Scholar in Academic Administration and Health Policy, Academic Health Centers
  • 1993 || Certificate of Recognition for Cooperation in the Development of the Northeastern Health Care Center, Prince George's County
  • 1993 || Recognized and honored for Notable and Outstanding Contributions to Nursing as one of the 100 Extraordinary Nurses, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Gamma Beta Chapter
  • 1991 || Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, American Academy of Nursing
  • 1991 || Search for Excellence Award, American Nurses Association
  • 1990 || Outstanding Nurse Educator’s Award, District of Columbia Nurses Association
  • 1990 || Presidential Citation, Norfolk State University
  • 1990 || Regents Lecturer, School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco, CA
  • 1988 || Certificate of Achievement, Department of the Army, Camp All-American, Fort Bragg, NC
  • 1985 || Outstanding Nurse Leader, Chi Eta Phi Nursing Sorority
  • 1983 || Inducted, Kappa Delta Pi
  • 1969 || Inducted, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society
Representative Publications
  • 2010 -- PubMed # : 20055969 -- Powell, D. L. and Gilliss, C. L. and Hewitt, H. H. and Flint, E. P. Application of a partnership model for transformative and sustainable international development. Public Health Nurs. Jan-Feb, 2010 27(1); 54-70.
  • 2003 -- Powell, D. L. and Slade, D. Environmental justice: The context challenges and strategies for nursing advocacy. 2003 321-338.
  • 1994 -- Powell, D. L. Prevention and primary health care delivery (Chapter 1). 1994 4-16.
  • 1990 -- PubMed # : 2235426 -- Powell, D. L. and Lacey, B. M. Taking nursing education to the streets. NLN Publ. 1990 107-16.
  • 1990 -- Powell, D. L. Development and implementation of RN to BSN option at a public institution. 1990 131-147.
  • 1986 -- Powell, D. L. Articulation: Process and model ... transition of the associate degree/diploma nurse to a bachelor's degree nurse. Virginia Nurse. 1986 54(1); 38-40.
  • 1984 -- Powell, D.L. and Baker, S. Homes for the aged: A comparative AHEC, Community University Educational Experience Eastern Virginia AHEC Bulletin. 1984-1985 Fall/Winter .
  • 2005 -- PubMed # : 15988443 -- Powell, D. L. and Gilliss, C. L. Building capacity and competency in conducting health disparities research. Nurs Outlook. 53(3); 107-8.
  • 2003 -- PubMed # : 15011943 -- Powell, D. L. and Gilliss, C. L. Partnering in the cultivation of the next generation of ethnic minority nurse scientists: responding to a compelling national agenda. J Natl Black Nurses Assoc. December, 2003 14(2); 34-43.
  • 2002 -- Powell, D. L. and Green, P. M. and Slade, D. S. Socializing students toward a career in nursing research. Nursing Education Perspectives. Mar-Apr, 2002 23(2); 76-80.
  • 2001 -- PubMed # : 11579675 -- Powell, D. L. and Stewart, V. Children. The unwitting target of environmental injustices. Pediatr Clin North Am. October, 2001 48(5); 1291-305.
  • 1999 -- PubMed # : 10188433 -- Powell, D. L. and Lee, N. T. and Nichols, S. A. and Kamara, P. and Sawyer, E. M. Nursing careers for the homeless: a curriculum for success. J Natl Black Nurses Assoc. December, 1999 10(1); 81-93.
  • 1993 -- PubMed # : 1291622 -- Powell, D. L. The recruitment and retention of African American nurses: an analysis of current data. J Natl Black Nurses Assoc. April, 1993 6(1); 3-12.
  • 1991 -- PubMed # : 1885955 -- Powell, D. L. Health care crisis in the black community: challenges prospects, and the black nurse. J Natl Black Nurses Assoc. October, 1991 5(1); 3-10.
  • 1983 -- PubMed # : 6879618 -- McNeil, P. and Olafson, F. and Powell, D. L. and Jackson, J. The Women's Centre in Jamaica: an innovative project for adolescent mothers. Stud Fam Plann. 14(5); 143-9.
  • 1992 -- Powell, D. L. AACN Representative to National Coordinating Committee on Clinical Prevention Service (Inteview) Syllabus. 1992 1992 2-3.
  • 2010 -- PubMed # : 21531964 -- Gilliss, C. L. and Powell, D. L. and Carter, B. Recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce in nursing: from evidence to best practices to policy. Policy Polit Nurs Pract. November, 2010 11(4); 294-301.
  • 2012 -- PubMed # : 22211755 -- Powell, D. L. and Price, A. J. and Burns, F. A. and McConnell, E. S. and Hendrix, C. C. and McWhinney-Dehaney, L. and Lombardi, M. M. Pillars for the Care of Older Persons in the Caribbean. Public Health Nurs. January, 2012 29(1); 80-90.
  • 2011 -- PubMed # : 20413330 -- Relf, M. V. and Mekwa, J. and Chasokela, C. and Booth, C. and Deng, L. and Mallinson, R. K. and Ramantele, K. and Letsie, E. and Mtengezo, J. and Nhlengethwa, W. and Powell, D. and Webb, A. and Diesel, T. and Liddle, A. Essential core competencies related to HIV and AIDS are critically needed in nursing. J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care. January-February, 2011 22(1); S2-8.
  • 2011 -- PubMed # : 21211698 -- Relf, M. V. and Mekwa, J. and Chasokela, C. and Nhlengethwa, W. and Letsie, E. and Mtengezo, J. and Ramantele, K. and Diesel, T. and Booth, C. and Deng, L. and Mallinson, R. K. and Powell, D. and Webb, A. and Liddle, A. and Yu-Shears, J. and Hall, C. and Aranda-Naranjo, B. and Parham Hopson, D. Essential nursing competencies related to HIV and AIDS: Executive summary. J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care. January-February, 2011 22(1); S9-16.
  • 2011 -- PubMed # : 21168066 -- Relf, M. V. and Mekwa, J. and Chasokela, C. and Nhlengethwa, W. and Letsie, E. and Mtengezo, J. and Ramantele, K. and Diesel, T. and Booth, C. and Deng, L. and Mallinson, R. K. and Powell, D. and Webb, A. and Liddle, A. and Yu-Shears, J. and Hall, C. and Aranda-Naranjo, B. and Hopson, D. P. Essential nursing competencies related to HIV and AIDS. J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care. January-February, 2011 22(1 Suppl); e5-40.
  • 2009 -- Powell, D. L. When wanting to do good may not be enough. The National Black Nurses Association News. Winter, 2009 39-40.
  • 2004 -- Eads, N. L. and Powell, D. L. Cause for celebration. Minority Nurse. Summer, 2004 36-41.
  • 2003 -- Gilliss, C. L. and Powell, D. L. Perspectives in leadership. Supporting the next research generation. Nursing Spectrum. February 24, 2003 13(4DC); 7.
  • 1997 -- PubMed # : 9275805 -- Powell, D. L. and Pope, D. Nursing education: urban university inspires service to under served. Reflections. 1997, 1st Quarter 23(1); 29.
  • 2013 -- PubMed # : 22999856 -- Hunter, A. and Wilson, L. and Stanhope, M. and Hatcher, B. and Hattar, M. and Hilfinger Messias, D. K. and Powell, D. Global health diplomacy: an integrative review of the literature and implications for nursing. Nurs Outlook. March-April, 2013 61(2); 85-92.
  • 2014 -- PubMed # : 24487768 -- Brandon, D. H. and Collins-McNeil, J. and Onsomu, E. O. and Powell, D. L. Winston-Salem State University and Duke University’s Bridge to the Doctorate Program. North Carolina Medical Journal. January/February, 2014 75(1); 68-70.
  • 2015 -- PubMed # : 25839948 -- Carter, B. M. and Powell, D. L. and Derouin, A. L. and Cusatis, J. Beginning with the end in mind: cultivating minority nurse leaders. J Prof Nurs. March-April, 2015 31(2); 95-103.
Grant Funding (Selected)
  • Making a Difference in Nursing II
    Health Resources and Service Administration
    1D19-HP19020-01-00
    07/2010 to 06/2013
    Role: PI
    Project Goal: To increase the number of high achieving/high potential under-represented minorities in nursing for enrollment in the School of Nursing.
  • Human Resources for Health, Rwanda
    Rwanda Ministry of Health
    05/2012 to 07/2013
    Role: PI (with Nathan M. Thielman)
  • Step 2:5 - Enabling Policy: Building a Preferred Future for Elderly in the Caribbean
    Pfizer, Inc.
    10/2009 to 04/2010
    Role: PI
    Project Goal: To support activities strengthening the capacity of the nursing profession in the Caribbean to improve care of the elderly (includes development of white paper, travel, consultations, etc.)
  • Raising Health, Raising Hope
    Emmy Lou Tompkins Foundation
    09/2010 to 09/2011
    Role: PI
    Project Goal: Raising Health, Raising Hope is a student based service-learning experience to provide tailored monthly health promotion classes to homeless families at Genesis Home Family Shelter in Durham. These funds will support instructional supplies and materials necessary to hold the classes and to replicate the program at the Durham Rescue mission, Women’s Shelter.
  • Strengthening and Expanding Raising Health / Raising Hope among the Homeless
    Duke University Chapel
    11/2007 to 12/2011
    Role: PI
    Project Goal: To support the Raising Health / Raising Hope program and Project Homeless Connect. Both programs support the work being done by DUSON students with the homeless population of Durham, NC.
  • The Millennium Development Goals: Will Developing Countries Meet Them by 2015
    Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation
    11/2009 to 10/2010
    Role: PI
    Project Goal: To enhance student and faculty development regarding health disparities in developing nations through the 3rd Annual Global Health Lecture.
  • Caribbean Continuing Education Conference on Managing Cardiovascular Disease in the Elderly
    Pfizer, Inc.
    09/2008 to 09/2009
    Role: PI
    Project Goal: To provide partial support for 2008 continuing education conference (Community-based Prevention and Management of Cardiovascular and Other Chronic Diseases Among Caribbean Elderly: A Focus on Nursing Leadership).
  • Strengthening and Expanding Raising Health / Raising Hope Among the Homeless
    Mary Duke Biddle Foundation
    02/2008 to 06/2008
    Role: PI
    Project Goal: Raising Health, Raising Hope is a student based service-learning experience to provide tailored monthly health promotion classes to homeless families at Genesis Home Family Shelter in Durham. These funds will support instructional supplies and materials necessary to hold the classes and to replicate the program at the Durham Rescue Mission Women’s Shelter.
  • Public Health Conference Support Program (Caribbean Continuing Education Conference on Managing Cardiovascular Disease)
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
    1U13-DP000702-01
    09/2007 to 09/2010
    Role: PI
    Purpose: To provide partial support for specific continuing education conferences supporting capacity building in Caribbean nations for health promotion and disease prevention in the elderly. 2007 conference title: Managing Cardiovascular Disease in the Elderly. 2008 conference title: Community-based Prevention and Management of Cardiovascular and Other Chronic Diseases Among Caribbean Elderly: A Focus on Nursing Leadership.
  • Caribbean Continuing Education Conference on Managing Cardiovascular Disease in the Elderly
    Pfizer Medical Education Grants
    08/2007 to 10/2007
    Role: PI
    Project Goal: To provide partial support for continuing education conferences in the areas of health promotion and disease prevention for Caribbean elderly. 2007 conference title: Managing Cardiovascular Disease in the Elderly.
  • 2007 Caribbean Conference on Managing Cardiovascular Disease in the Elderly
    Merck, Inc.
    04/2007 to 10/2007
    Role: PI
    To provide partial support for 2007 Conference: Managing Cardiovascular Disease in the Elderly.
  • Howard/Hopkins Center for Reducing Asthma Disparities
    National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
    5U-01-HL07243-03
    09/2002 to 09/2006
    Role: Co-investigator and Subccontractor
    Project Goal: Subcontractor with the Howard University College of Medicine’s five year partnership grant with application with Johns Hopkins’ University for the establishment of the Partnership Center on Asthma Disparities. Nursing’s submission was to support the development of a training component with Dorothy Powell as co-investigator.
  • Reducing Health Disparities by Self and Family Management
    NIH/NINR
    09/2002 to 06/2006
    Role: Co-PI
    Project Goal: To develop nurse scientists committed to reducing health disparities (Yale-Howard Partnership Center on Reducing Health Disparities).
  • Environmental Justice in Environmental Health and Nursing
    Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
    07/2002 to 06/2003
    Role: PI
    Project Goal: Sub-contract to Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry for updating the module on Environmental Justice in Environmental Health and Nursing (Division of Nursing/ATSDR, 1999).
  • Environmental Health Curriculum for Health Professionals; an Adaptation of Environmental Health and Nursing through the Minority Health Professions Foundation (MHPF)
    U.S. Agency for Toxic Waste and Disease Registry (ATSDR) & Minority Health Professions Foundation
    07/2001 to 06/2002
    Role: PI
    Project Goal: To adapt the environmental health nursing curriculum for broader applicability to health professionals, in general.
  • Mississippi Delta Project: Evaluation of Nurse Education Project
    U.S. Agency for Toxic Waste and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
    07/1999 to 06/2000
    Role: PI
    Project Goal: To systematically evaluate the use and impact of the environmental health modules in schools of nursing in the Mississippi Delta.
  • Faculty Development in Environmental Health
    W. K. Kellogg Foundation as a sub-contract with the University of Maryland, School of Nursing
    07/1998 to 06/2001
    Role: PI on subcontract through University of Maryland SON
    Project Goal: To develop, implement, and evaluate an environmental health training program in partnership with the School of Nursing, University of Maryland, for faculty in schools of nursing in the southern region of the US.
  • Supplemental Funding for Nursing Careers Project
    W.K. Kellogg Foundation
    07/1997 to 06/2000
    Role: PI
    Project Goal: To supplement the federal Nursing Careers for the Homeless Project to cover certain non-allowable federal cost (clothes, child care, etc.)
  • Partnership for Support of Homeless Populations in Prince Georges County
    Maryland Baptist Association.
    07/1997 to 06/1998
    Role: PI
    A collaboration among Howard University Division of Nursing, Kettering Baptist Church, and Community Ministries of PG County, submitted to and funded by the Maryland Baptist Association. Purpose: To support a training and health monitoring program for the homeless during the winter months.
  • Nursing Careers for the Homeless
    USDHHS, HRSA, Division of Nursing
    07/1996 to 06/1998
    Role: PI
    Project Goal: To develop and facilitate a program to train selected homeless individuals for careers as registered nurses.
  • The Mississippi Delta Project: The Education of Nurses
    U.S. Agency for Toxic Waste and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
    07/1996 to 06/2000
    Role: PI
    Project Goal: To develop educational modules for the integration of environmental health into the curriculum of schools of nursing in the Mississippi Delta.
  • Nursing Careers for Homeless People
    USDHHS, HRSA Division of Nursing
    07/1993 to 06/1996
    Role: PI
    Project Goal: To develop and facilitate a program to train selected homeless individuals for careers as registered nurses.
  • Training Initiative for International Students
    West Bank/Gaza Human Resource Development Project (AMIDEAST)
    01/1993 to 12/1993
    Role: PI
    Project Goal: To arrange and facilitate professional nursing experience for an international visitor.
  • Community Intervention to Reduce Infant Mortality
    National Institutes of Health/ National Institutes of Nursing Research
    01/1992 to 12/1992
    Role: PI
    Project Goal: To develop and implement multiple community-based research projects involving the collaboration among multiple academic institutions in the District of Columbia and community agencies to address the disproportionately high rate of infant mortality in the District.
  • Curriculum Development for Primary Care Teachers in Southern Africa
    W.K. Kellogg Foundation
    01/1990 to 12/1990
    Role: Co-PI
    Project Goal: To develop, implement, and evaluate a 4 week continuing education program for teachers of nursing in four southern African countries to increase skills in teaching, clinical supervision, and test and measurement.
  • Expand Opportunities for RNs with Community Linkages
    USDHHS, HRSA Division of Nursing
    07/1989 to 06/1997
    Role: Project Director
    Project Goal: To develop and implement an RN to BSN program utilizing a variety of primary health care settings in the community to support the clinical program.
  • Flexible Curricular Pathways to a BSN for Inner City RNs
    USDHHS, HRSA Division of Nursing
    07/1989 to 06/1992
    Role: Project Director
    Project Goal: To establish an RN to BSN program with multiple pathways for entry and targeted to non-baccalaureate registered nurse serving vulnerable populations in the Washington, DC area.
  • Nurse Managed Health Care Delivery Model for the Homeless
    W. K. Kellogg Foundation
    07/1989 to 06/1993
    Role: PI
    Project Goal: To develop a 24 bed respite unit for homeless men in a 1500 bed homeless shelter to provide around the clock management of minor common health problems and to integrate opportunities for clinical learning for nursing students.
  • Professional Nurse Traineeship Program
    USDHHS, HRSA Division of Nursing
    07/1989 to 06/1998
    Role: Project Director
    Project Goal: To provide financial support for graduate nursing students.
  • Scholarships for the Undergraduate Education of Professional Nurses Grant Program
    USDHHS, Bureau of Health Professionals
    07/1989 to 06/1990
    Role: Project Director
    Project Goal: To provide financial support for undergraduate nursing students.
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