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Beth NeSmith, PhD

Beth NeSmith, PhD, named dean of AU’s College of Nursing

Following an extensive national candidate search, Beth NeSmith, PhD, has been selected as the next dean of Augusta University’s College of Nursing. NeSmith’s appointment took effect on May 20.

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“It is my honor to serve Augusta University and the state of Georgia as the newest dean of the flagship college of nursing for our state. I take the flagship role of our college very seriously, as we have accountability and a responsibility to the citizens of Georgia to continue educating the best nursing workforce in the nation to care for our fellow Georgians,” NeSmith said.

“Dr. NeSmith has served the College of Nursing for 16 years, and throughout that time she has remained committed to serving both our nursing students and our patients,” said Augusta University President Brooks A. Keel, PhD. “I am confident that she will continue to faithfully guide the college with energy and poise while upholding its values. I want to thank our search committee, chaired by Nancy Young, DMD, for recommending Dr. NeSmith as our next dean of the College of Nursing.”

A faculty member since 2008, NeSmith has served in the interim role since Nov. 6, 2023. Prior to being identified as interim dean, NeSmith served as chair of the Department of Nursing Science and program director for the Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing program.

“Dr. NeSmith’s leadership during the interim period has been nothing short of exceptional, and faculty, staff, students and alumni consistently praised her approachability to the College of Nursing during this time,” said Neil J. MacKinnon, PhD, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost. “I look forward to working alongside Dr. NeSmith as she continues to guide the college with a steady hand, and I know she will foster a culture of innovation and compassion.”

The national search committee was led by Young, dean of the Dental College of Georgia.

“I have enjoyed working with Dr. NeSmith over the past several months in her interim position, and I am excited to have the opportunity to continue working with her as the new College of Nursing dean,” said Young. “Her love and passion for the College of Nursing shows in her dedication to move the college forward.”

With more than 30 years of experience in trauma, emergency and disaster nursing, NeSmith has held leadership roles at the local, regional and national levels. She is an advocate for nursing research and faculty development, including having been awarded a nearly $400,000 grant from the University System of Georgia to launch a research-based, interdisciplinary nursing faculty expansion program.

NeSmith’s research focuses on the effects of inflammaging on outcomes in trauma, and her work has been funded multiple times by the National Institutes of Health. She also has authored multiple trauma-related publications and nationally-presented abstracts and has co-founded the Trauma Interdisciplinary Group for Research.

NeSmith is a triple graduate of AU’s Medical College of Georgia, including an MS in Nursing and PhD in Nursing Science. She has earned numerous awards during her tenure, including induction into the Phi Kappa Phi Collegiate Honor Society in 2015 and recipient of the Dean’s Award of Achievement in 2013. Most recently, she was inducted as a Distinguished Fellow into the National Academies of Practice in April.

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Written by
Milledge Austin

Milledge Austin is a senior communications and marketing strategist for Communications and Marketing at Augusta University. Contact him to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at miaustin@augusta.edu.

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man with glasses standing in front of blue background Written by Milledge Austin

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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