Celebrating Beth Merwin


Congratulations to Elizabeth Merwin, executive vice dean and Ann Henshaw Gardiner Professor of Nursing, as she begins her new role as dean of the College of Nursing and Health Innovation at The University of Texas Arlington.

Merwin joined Duke in 2012 as the School’s first executive vice dean, providing senior leadership to faculty and academic affairs.

“When I arrived at DUSON, there was a great need for expertise in areas surrounding mental health,” said Merwin. “During my time, I’ve been excited to see how the DUSON community has continued to embrace the need for more programs surrounding mental health and that the faculty developed innovative programs in the educational curriculum.” There was also an opportunity to expand the focus on increasing the use of huge secondary databases in nursing research, which she advances through her work with PhD students and by developing a course for the PhD program in this area.

In addition to her role as executive vice dean, Merwin has also taught multiple courses in the DNP and PhD programs, led or participated in extensive research projects and has served as a member of the Dean’s executive committee.

“As a scholar, educator and nurse, Beth’s passion for advocating and serving those less fortunate has been demonstrated across more than four decades of service to the nursing profession,” says Marion E. Broome, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean and Ruby Wilson Professor of Nursing, vice chancellor for Nursing Affairs, Duke University and associate vice president for Academic Affairs for Nursing, Duke University Health System. “I’m thrilled for Beth as her leadership as a dean will add so much to the nursing profession.”

Beginning her career as a staff nurse in Richmond, VA, Merwin later joined the University of Virginia School of Nursing, where she served as the Madge M. Jones Professor of Nursing and associate dean for research. She also served as a visiting professor at The University of Hong Kong Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine Department of Nursing Studies for a number of years.

She has led extensive research projects and is known in the nursing industry as an accomplished nursing and health services researcher whose work focuses on improving care for underserved populations in rural areas and mentally ill, impoverished and minority populations. She is currently the contact PI for a four-year, National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded R01 study of the nation’s Medicare population on Reducing Health Disparities for SMI, Rural and Minorities. In addition to this study, she has been consistently awarded funding from the NIH among other prominent agencies for more than 25 years and is currently involved in more than 10 active research projects. 

While at UVA, Merwin conducted an NIH R01 study on the Shortages of Health Professionals. She also served as the principal investigator and director of the Rural Health Care Research Center (RHCRC), funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research.

Looking back at her extraordinary career, Merwin became a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing in 1994. She received the Psychiatric Nursing Research Award from the Society for Education and Research in Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing in 1998. In 2008, she received the Distinguished Professor Award from the University of Virginia’s School of Nursing and in 2018, received the Distinguished Contributions to Nursing Science Award from DUSON.

She earned her PhD in Health Services Organization and Research in 1998 and an MS in Nursing in 1979, both from Virginia Commonwealth University. She earned her BS in Nursing from Radford College in 1976. She also completed an intensive leadership program at the Institute for Management and Leadership in Education at Harvard University.

“The leaders in each area of nursing that I’ve had the opportunity to work with are among the best,” says Merwin. “It’s been a great experience to be here among the most accomplished nursing leaders in our country and also the leaders of the future.”

Please join us in congratulating Beth on this new chapter in her career!


Involved Faculty: 
News Category: 
Scroll back to top automatically