Sonya Hardin, PhD, MBA, MHA, NP-C, FAAN, associate dean for graduate programs and professor in the College of Nursing at East Carolina University, has been named dean of the University of Louisville School of Nursing.
Hardin will start on Aug. 13, serving as acting dean until the UofL Board of Trustees approves her appointment.
“I am excited to join UofL,” Hardin said. “The School of Nursing has an exemplary leadership team, nationally-renowned faculty and an outstanding cadre of staff, students, distinguished alumni and supporters who are well positioned to impact the health of individuals, families and communities.”
Hardin will replace Marcia J. Hern, who in 2017 announced her plan to retire from the school after an 11-year tenure as dean.
“Dr. Hardin will expand upon the advancement that has occurred in the past decade at the School of Nursing, which has seen growth in programs, learning space and student enrollment,” said Greg Postel, MD, executive vice president for health affairs at UofL.
“Many thanks to Dr. Hern for agreeing to remain as dean during the search process. Under her leadership, the school added two graduate programs, established the only traditional nursing baccalaureate program in Owensboro and underwent significant classroom and clinical simulation lab expansion. Student standards have risen and pass rates on the National Council Licensure Examination for registered nurses exceed the national average.”
Hardin is a nurse practitioner specializing in care for older adults, and her research has focused on symptom management and issues surrounding inpatient critical care of the geriatric population.
While at East Carolina University, she led a three-year, $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services titled the Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program, which created a comprehensive approach to caring for older adults in the eastern region of North Carolina. Working with community partners, the initiative established an interprofessional education model, trained primary care providers to meet the needs of older adults and created community-based programs for rural older adults and their families.
Hardin has co-authored more than 50 peer-reviewed articles and three books with topics focusing on geriatric care, critical care for older adults and chronic disease. In 2017, she became a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, one of the highest honors in the profession.
Incorporating entrepreneurship and technology into practice, Hardin worked with an engineer team at East Carolina University to create a device that quantitatively measures edema in the lower extremity. The group has received a provisional patent on the device.
“Dr. Hardin is an innovative leader with a proven record of providing strategic direction at academic medical centers and nursing schools,” said Toni Ganzel, MD, MBA, dean of the UofL School of Medicine, who led the School of Nursing dean search committee. “She brings a unique skill set to bolster the research mission and visibility of the School of Nursing, build robust partnerships and advance the school in educating the next generation of nurses.”
Hardin joined the nursing college at East Carolina University in 2013, where she started the psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner program and oversaw accreditation of the doctor of nursing practice, certified registered nurse anesthetist and midwifery programs. She previously had faculty positions at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Lenoir Rhyne College. Hardin started her career in 1982, working as a critical care staff nurse in several North Carolina hospitals and earned her adult nurse practitioner license in 2009.
Hardin has a PhD in nursing from the University of Colorado and master’s degrees in business and health administration from Pfeiffer University in North Carolina. She earned master’s and bachelor’s degrees in nursing from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She also completed post-doctoral fellowships at Stanford University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.