SAN ANTONIO (April 10, 2008) — Eileen T. Breslin, Ph.D., R.N., professor and dean of the School of Nursing at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (UMass), is the new dean of the School of Nursing at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. She succeeded Dean Robin Froman, R.N., Ph.D., F.A.A.N., who retired in March.
“I am enjoying working with this dynamic executive team. The School of Nursing is known as a leader in the field and has an outstanding reputation. What really excites me is the caliber of the faculty, staff and students,” Dean Breslin said.
UT Health Science Center President Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., said, “Dean Breslin is regarded as being a visionary, an excellent communicator who is known to be inclusive and transparent, and someone with lots of energy. She has a solid, outstanding national reputation and has done a superb job with partnering and creating interdisciplinary programs. We are looking forward to her experience, her vision and her enthusiasm in this position.”
Dean Breslin, whose personal career interests include women’s health and public health nursing, led a number of major initiatives during her nine years as dean at UMass. She instituted a Doctoral Degree in Nursing Practice, a clinical nurse leader program and a dual Master of Science and Master of Public Health program ― all firsts in the state of Massachusetts.
She also held the dual position of dean of the School of Nursing and interim dean of the School of Public Health & Health Sciences during a time of fiscal crisis at UMass.
Dean Breslin began her career as a registered nurse in the obstetrics and gynecology unit at Flagstaff Community Hospital in Flagstaff, Ariz. She later worked with Planned Parenthood in Flagstaff, Phoenix and Tucson before entering academia as a teaching assistant at the University of Arizona. She rose through the ranks at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff as an assistant, associate and full professor and chair of the Department of Nursing from 1989 through 1998 before moving to UMass to serve as dean of the School of Nursing in 1998.
Her experiences at Northern Arizona University gave her a broad background and knowledge of working with underserved populations, similar to the Health Science Center’s mission in South Texas. “While I was at Northern Arizona University I spent a lot of time working with the Native American Indian population ― the Navahos and Hopis ― to provide educational opportunities and health services on the reservations,” Dean Breslin said. “Part of that work was to establish a strong baccalaureate program in nursing. I also worked within the community to develop health services for the underserved.”
She also has supervised the development of nursing programs offered through distance learning. Distance learning gives students who work while going to school or who live in remote places the flexibility and opportunity to earn their degrees online. The Health Science Center offers online degree programs and continues to develop and refine the process.
Dean Breslin received her bachelor’s degree in 1977 from Northern Arizona University. In 1978, she earned her women’s health care practitioner certification from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. She received her master’s degree in maternal-newborn nursing in 1983 from the University of Arizona in Tucson and her Ph.D. in nursing in 1992 from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver.
Service and honors
Among her professional activities, Dean Breslin is a fellow of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and serves as treasurer on the board of directors of the Association of American Colleges of Nursing. Before moving to Texas, she was a board member and academic practice co-chair for the Massachusetts Organization of Nurse Executives. She has been recognized as a Distinguished Practitioner in Nursing by the National Academies of Practice.
Dean Breslin is co-editor of Women’s Health Nursing ― Toward Evidence-Based Practice, a book published in 2003 by the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric & Neonatal Nurses. She also has conducted research on a variety of topics including women’s reproductive issues, nursing clinical practice, violence as it is presented in nursing curricula and drug addiction in the nursing profession.
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is the leading research institution in South Texas and one of the major health sciences universities in the world. With an operating budget of $576 million, the Health Science Center is the chief catalyst for the $15.3 billion biosciences and health care sector in San Antonio’s economy. The Health Science Center has had an estimated $35 billion impact on the region since inception and has expanded to seven campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. More than 23,000 graduates (physicians, dentists, nurses, scientists and allied health professionals) serve in their fields, including many in Texas. Health Science Center faculty are international leaders in cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, aging, stroke prevention, kidney disease, orthopaedics, research imaging, transplant surgery, psychiatry and clinical neurosciences, pain management, genetics, nursing, allied health, dentistry and many other fields. For more information, visit www.uthscsa.edu.