Penn School of Nursing researcher Julie Sochalski, an expert on healthcare workforce issues, was recently appointed director for the Division of Nursing in the Bureau of Health Professions in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
“This is a very critical time for nursing as we implement healthcare reform and I cannot think of a more qualified person to lead the national agenda for nursing and improved quality of care,” says Penn Nursing Dean Afaf I. Meleis. “She will help to define the future of nursing.”
An associate professor in Penn Nursing who has directed multiple federal research efforts, Sochalski will take a two-year leave from the University to fulfill the federal assignment.
Sochalski says America’s health care system is only as strong as the workforce that supports it. “Building a highly skilled, effectively deployed, and fully resourced nursing workforce is integral to assuring that all people and communities have access to high-value health care,” she says.
As director for the HHS Division of Nursing, Sochalski will serve as a principal advisor for national policy for nursing research, practice and education, with the overall objective of improving the nation’s quality of healthcare and nursing service.
Sochalski has directed a series of studies funded by National Institutes of Health and other foundations focused on the factors associated with nursing care that help to explain a variation in patient outcomes. She has also served as a senior scholar with the Bureau of Health Professions at HHS, advising on research and policy issues regarding the current national nursing shortage.
Originally published on September 23, 2010