Media Contacts

Melinda Rogers

PR Specialist, Health Sciences Public Affairs
Phone: 801-581-7387

May 29, 2013 9:42 AM

(SALT LAKE CITY)— The University of Utah today announced that Patricia G. Morton, R.N., Ph.D. — a nationally known expert in nursing education, critical care and cardiovascular nursing —will lead its College of Nursing as dean.

Morton has most recently worked as professor and associate dean for academic affairs at the University of Maryland School of Nursing and a Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow.  She is a board-certified acute care nurse practitioner (ACNP-BC) and Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN). Last fall, Morton was appointed as the editor of the Journal of Professional Nursing (JPN), a scholarly journal published by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

“We are thrilled to bring on a national leader in Patricia Morton to continue building on the strong tradition of excellence at the University of Utah College of Nursing,” said Vivian S. Lee, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A, Senior Vice President for Health Sciences at the University of Utah, Dean of the University’s School of Medicine and CEO of University of Utah Health Care.

“Dr. Morton is a remarkable individual with enormous energy and enthusiasm and an impressive track record of success. She looks forward to working collaboratively to build a top-notch academic Nursing College that leverages and enhances our health care delivery system.”

At the University of Maryland, Morton was responsible for the baccalaureate, masters and doctoral programs in nursing, which enrolled more than 1,700 students. She served as principal investigator of a grant that funded the development of a student success center for entry level students; co-led the development of a nurse anesthesia master's specialty and served as the principal investigator of a grant that funded the program; established the first simulation laboratory at the school and obtained more than $3.3 million in grants and in-kind gifts to support the expansion of the simulation center and co-chaired a campus-wide inter-professional education task force.

She said she’s excited to take the helm at the University of Utah College of Nursing, which has watched its national reputation and rankings in U.S. News and World Report’s top nursing programs steadily increase.

“I am excited to take on the challenge of leading a talented nursing community at the University of Utah. I’m impressed by the collaborative spirit within the College of Nursing, where educators, researchers and clinicians join together to work on improving the overall health and quality of life in the state,” Morton said.  “In an unprecedented time of change within the health care industry, the role of nursing will only become more vital to sustain health for all of our populations.”

Morton holds undergraduate degrees in biology and nursing from Loyola College and Johns Hopkins University, and earned her master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Maryland.  In addition, she completed the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program at Georgetown University School of Nursing.

She is the author of Critical Care Nursing: A Holistic Approach a textbook now in its 10th addition, as well as 50 journal articles and eight book chapters.

The University of Utah College of Nursing is home to the Veterans Administration (VA) Nursing Academy, part of a nationwide program that partners the VA's health care system with the country's finest nursing schools to provide compassionate, highly educated nurses to look after the health care needs of the nation's veterans. The U.’s College of Nursing was designated one of the first VA Nursing Academies in the country.

The college is also home to the Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence, one of nine centers in the U.S.  funded by a grant from the John A. Hartford Foundation to prepare graduate students to become leaders in the field of geriatric nursing.

And the college’s Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, a multidisciplinary group focused on enhancing the wholeness of health and wellness for women, allows nurses who are interested in pursuing a career connected to women’s health issues to receive specialized training.

Morton is replacing Maureen Keefe, R.N., Ph.D., FAAN,  who has served as the school’s dean since 2001. Morton will officially start her new position Aug.1.