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Penn Nursing’s rigorous academic curricula are taught by world renowned experts, ensuring that students at every level receive an exceptional Ivy League education. From augmented reality classrooms and clinical simulations to coursework that includes experiential global travel to clinical placements in top notch facilities, a Penn Nursing education prepares our graduates to lead.

Director of Harvard Global Nursing Leadership Program to be 2024 Penn Nursing Commencement Speaker

Stephanie Ferguson, PhD, RN, FAAN, the Director of the Harvard Global Nursing Leadership Program and Professor of the Practice of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, will serve as the 2024 Penn Nursing commencement speaker. The event will take place at 3:00 PM EST on Monday, May 20, 2024, at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.

March 21, 2024

Dr. Ferguson is a global health care leader who has worked in more than 100 nations as a technical advisor, consultant, and facilitator for organizations including the World Health Organization (WHO), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the International Council of Nurses (ICN), and the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN).

“Dr. Ferguson’s exemplary career as a global health leader has influenced policy at the highest levels, both nationally and internationally. She is a great inspiration as our students look ahead to their careers in nursing,” said Penn Nursing Dean Antonia M. Villarruel. “Penn Nursing develops innovative leaders who are prepared to address looming challenges as opportunities to promote health, wherever they practice. Having Dr. Ferguson address our graduating class this year speaks to the drive I see in our students to expand the boundaries of what society typically thinks nurses do.”

For more than 20 years at WHO’s headquarters, regional offices, and PAHO, Ferguson developed strategic plans and initiatives to strengthen and evaluate health care delivery systems, human resources for health and regulations, population health outcomes, and nursing and other health professional education, leadership programs and services. During her ten-plus years at ICN, she directed the ICN Leadership for Change Programä, the ICN-Burdett Global Nursing Leadership Instituteä, and served as an ICN Consultant for Nursing and Health Policy.

Ferguson is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) and served on the NAM Nominating Committee. She was an appointed member on the NAM’s recent Consensus Study on Global Health and the Future Role of the USA. She is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) and chaired the AAN’s International Task Force. She is a former chair of the Advisory Council for the AAN’s Institute for Nursing Leadership. Ferguson is a Distinguished Practitioner and Fellow in the National Academies of Practice and was a White House Fellow in 1996-97 in President Clinton’s Administration and served at the US Department of Health and Human Services in the Office of the Secretary.

Her many board appointments, honors and awards include the 2014 HRH Princess Muna Al Hussein Award from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, which recognized her significant contributions to health care across borders and exceptional dedication to nursing. She is also the recipient of the American Academy of Nursing’s 2020 Civitas Award for her extraordinary dedication to excellence in promoting quality care in nursing worldwide.

Dr. Ferguson received her PhD in 1996 and her BSN in 1985 from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA. Her MS/Nursing degree in 1987 is from the Virginia Commonwealth University, Medical College of Virginia, in Richmond, VA.

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