Dr. Janice Smolowitz Named Founding Dean of the School of Nursing

School to offer a Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) degree program in Fall 2016

Dr. Janice Smolowitz has been appointed the founding dean of the School of Nursing at Montclair State University, effective May 9, 2016. Beginning in fall 2016, the new School will offer a Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) degree program. Other undergraduate and graduate degree programs will roll out starting in 2017.

Smolowitz is currently serving as the senior director of education, professional practice and research at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Prior to that, she held positions at Columbia University’s School of Nursing as a professor of nursing and director of the school’s Doctor of Nursing Practice residency program and as a senior associate dean with admitting and clinical privileges as a faculty nurse practitioner at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University Medical Center.

“It gives me great pleasure to announce Janice Smolowitz’s appointment,” said Montclair State University President Susan A. Cole. “An effective educator, accomplished administrator and experienced clinician, she possesses the clarity of vision and proven leadership skills to advance the School of Nursing’s commitment to providing a nursing education that meets current and future health care needs.”

For Smolowitz, her appointment offers not only an opportunity to help current nurses secure their professional futures, but also to help shape the future of the profession itself, while forging constructive partnerships that will advance the mission of the new School.

“The practice of Nursing is all about creating teams to promote health,” she stated. “Montclair State understands that nursing education should reflect that goal. I’m excited to be able to use my expertise to help the School of Nursing provide an education that will meet health care needs both today and tomorrow.”

Montclair State is renovating an existing building to support the School’s offerings, turning Partridge Hall into a state-of-the-art facility featuring the latest in health care technology including high-fidelity simulation labs, an anatomy lab and a mock quarantine room.

The School’s first offering, an RN to BSN degree, will provide registered nurses who currently hold an associate’s degree in nursing or are graduates from a nursing diploma program the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

“There continues to be both a regional and a national severe shortage of qualified nurses in a health care environment that is undergoing radical changes,” said Cole. “Our nursing program has the significant advantage of being able to align itself fully with the new directions of the profession without the burdens of a legacy program.”

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts faster than average growth in the national demand for registered nurses, a 19 percent increase from 2012 to 2022. The current trend is for entry-level nurses to have a bachelor’s degree in nursing, with many employers requiring a BSN or higher for nurses to be considered for administrative or management positions. In its 2010 report on the future of nursing, the Institute of Medicine recommended at least 80 percent of practicing nurses should have a bachelor’s degree by 2020. Additionally, 79 percent of nursing-related jobs posted in 2014 required a bachelor’s degree.

A board-certified adult nurse practitioner (ANP-BC), Smolowitz received a DNP from the Columbia University School of Nursing. She also holds an MS degree and an EdD in applied physiology from Columbia University and a BSN from the College of Brockport, State University of New York. She was a 2012-2015 participant in the selective Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellows Program. Smolowitz has written on a number of health care topics. Her research interests include chronic illness management.