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VUSN’s Pilon set to transition into new role

Mar. 27, 2014, 10:12 AM

Bonnie Pilon, Ph.D., senior associate dean for Clinical and Community Partnerships for the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, will step down from her leadership role beginning Jan. 1, 2015, and take a sabbatical year before returning to a faculty role at the school.

Bonnie Pilon, Ph.D.

During the sabbatical she will devote time to researching the history and culture of nurse practitioner-managed clinics.

“Bonnie has a unique ability to seek out new connections and fill unfilled needs in our community and within the Medical Center,” said Linda Norman, DSN, R.N., dean of VUSN and Valere Potter Menefee Professor of Nursing. “She has shown how advanced practice nurses can be effective clinic leaders and a crucial component to increase access to care for all populations, especially the underserved.”

When Pilon came on board in 1999, VUSN had 5,000 patients and certified nurse-midwives delivered 42 babies a year. Last year, VUSN advanced practice nurses (APNs) provided care to more than 19,000 individuals and the VUSN nurse-midwifery practice delivered more than 1,300 babies. The school’s faculty practice currently operates two clinic sites in urban Nashville and has a house calls program in two counties.

Pilon has led a number of grant initiatives in her 15 years as senior associate dean, ranging from a statewide birth center program under the Kellogg Foundation to 13 years of funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration totaling more than $9 million.

Pam Jones, DNP, MSN, R.N.

Pam Jones, DNP, MSN, R.N., chief nursing officer for Vanderbilt University Hospital, will succeed Pilon as senior associate dean of Clinical and Community Partnerships beginning this fall to coincide with the start of the 2014-2015 academic year and provide a time of overlap with Pilon to ensure a smooth transition.

“Pam Jones is the ideal person at this point in time to continue these efforts and to increase the linkage between VUSN and VUMC in our clinical operations in this shared role. Her exceptional leadership abilities will play an important role as we, with our colleagues at VUMC, further expand the impact of VUSN in health care delivery,” Norman said.

“Pam has been a crucial member of my leadership team, steering us through the opening of the Critical Care Tower, workflow redesign initiatives and Magnet designations, and more,” said Marilyn Dubree, MSN, R.N., executive chief nursing officer. “She is a tremendous asset to Vanderbilt, and the partnership between VUSN and Nursing Service will be greatly enhanced by her leadership. I look forward to continuing to work with her in her new role.”

Jones has served in nursing leadership for VUH since 2008, responsible for all inpatient nursing services, Emergency Department, LifeFlight, respiratory therapy, social services and case management. She has taught in VUSN’s health care leadership program for several years and previously worked under Pilon in the school’s faculty practice arm, helping put together the proposal that resulted in Vine Hill Community Clinic becoming a Federally Qualified Health Center. Jones also worked early in her nursing career at Vanderbilt as a staff nurse and unit coordinator.

Prior to joining Vanderbilt, Jones served in several leadership positions for other area hospitals, including chief executive officer for the Baptist Women’s Pavilion Hospital and chief operating officer for Tennessee Christian Medical Center.

She earned her bachelor’s and master’s in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees from VUSN.

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