Valerie Howard, EdD, MSN, RN, joined Duke in 2018. Dr. Howard has over 21 years of experience in higher education, with the past eleven years dedicated to researching, developing, implementing and evaluating innovative teaching methods and leadership and team building experiences across the curriculum.
Dr. Howard served as Dean at Robert Morris University’s (RMU) School of Nursing and Health Sciences (SNHS) in Pittsburgh, PA, where she was also the University Professor of Nursing. Her accomplishments as Dean included improved certification exam pass rates, increased enrollment, execution of contracts with healthcare organizations to support clinical education of nurses, successful accreditation efforts for nursing and health sciences programs, improved marketing efforts and the development of innovative and collaborative majors
Prior to position as Dean, she served RMU in various leadership roles including Director of Development and Assistant Dean for External Affairs, Academic Department Head and Academic Integrity Council Chair. While serving in these roles, she helped to raise over $8,000,000 in both research and non-research funding working in tandem with the RMU Advancement Team, Office of the President, Office of Research and Grants and SNHS administrative team to support programmatic and simulation initiatives, improve the campus experience and construct a new building for the SNHS, Scaife Hall.
Dr. Howard created the Society for Simulation in Healthcare accredited RMU Regional Research and Innovation in Simulation Education (RISE) Center and served as its founding director. She was president of the International Nursing Association of Clinical Simulation and Learning (INACSL) from 2011 to 2013 and received the INACSL Excellence Award in Research in 2010. Dr. Howard worked with a team to develop the inaugural Elsevier Simulation Learning System, a curricular support system to assist with implementation of simulation experiences that is now being used at over 400 schools of nursing. She also developed the STRIVE Model ©Howard 2010 to guide educators in designing and planning simulation programs at their respective institutions. She created the RMU Leadership in Simulation Instruction and Management Certificate Program to prepare faculty to implement simulation in their curricula.
In alignment with the IOM Recommendations, Dr. Howard implemented, evaluated and sustained the Dedicated Education Unit Model for educating nurses in the Pittsburgh region, and she is currently working with the PA Action Coalition to provide board training in support of the national Nurses on Boards initiatives.
Dr. Howard earned her EdD in Higher Education Administration and MSN (Nursing Education) from the University of Pittsburgh and her BSN from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.