Baylor Nursing School Dean Returning To Classroom, Research

Jan. 28, 2011
News Photo 5039Dr. Judy Wright Lott

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Dr. Judy Wright Lott, who has served as dean of Baylor University's Louise Herrington School of Nursing since 2002, has announced that she is stepping down from her administrative post, effective Feb. 1, to return to full-time teaching and research.

Dr. Elizabeth Davis, executive vice president and provost at Baylor, will appoint an interim dean of the nursing school while the university conducts a national search for a new dean.

A nationally recognized expert in skin science and a veteran neonatal nurse, Lott joined the Baylor faculty as professor of nursing in 2001 from the University of Cincinnati, where she directed the neonatal nursing program. She was appointed interim dean of Baylor's nursing school in summer 2002, and following a national search, was appointed dean in December 2002. She succeeded Dr. Phyllis Karns, who retired after 15 years as dean.

"I came to Baylor to be a part of the NNP faculty, largely because of Baylor's 2012 strategic vision, and somehow I wound up as dean," Lott said. "Provost Elizabeth Davis has just now begun to lead a process to develop a new strategic vision for Baylor. Although this may seem sudden, it is appropriate at this time that a new dean is selected at the start of the new strategic planning process. In this manner, the LHSON can continue to grow and help Baylor to achieve the exciting new goals that will be developed as part of the new strategic planning process.

"Due to the hard work of our wonderful faculty and students, the constant encouragement of our friends and supporters, and the leadership of President Ken Starr and Provost Elizabeth Davis, the LHSON is in an excellent position to attract an outstanding Christian nursing leader to help us achieve even greater success," Lott said.

"Baylor University is grateful to Dr. Lott for her outstanding leadership and faithful service as dean of the Louise Herrington School of Nursing," Davis said. "When Judy joined the university faculty, she brought with her an exemplary record of teaching and research, and as dean, was a passionate advocate for the integration of faith and learning at the nursing school. Judy will work closely with the interim dean this semester to help ensure a seamless transition and a continued record of success. During a well-deserved sabbatical, Dr. Lott will begin some exciting new research projects that are certain to continue to elevate the prominence of the Louise Herrington School of Nursing. We will feel the impact of Dean Lott's contribution and leadership for years to come."

Davis pointed out that during Lott's tenure as dean, Baylor's nursing school achieved numerous successes, including:

    • increased enrollment
    • new academic programs, such as the nurse midwifery doctorate in nursing practice (NM/DNP) and an accelerated nursing program (FastBacc)
    • new facilities, such as the Barnabas Success Center, and the addition of high-tech teaching tools, such as high-fidelity patient simulators
    • nationally ranked graduation and pass rates on licensure examinations
    • the development of various medical mission teams which provided care to underserved populations around the world
    • a rare 10-year accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Lott earned nursing degrees from Valdosta State University and Troy State University. She received her doctor of science degree in nursing from the University of Alabama-Birmingham, where her dissertation research focused on the effects of blood sampling from umbilical artery catheters on cerebral blood flow velocity in pre-term infants. Before joining the Baylor nursing faculty in the summer of 2001, Lott taught at the University of Cincinnati and in the University of Florida College of Nursing neonatal nursing program. During this time, she accumulated more than 20 years of neonatal nursing experience.

Lott oversaw a national research project on newborn skin care practices from 1999-2001 as a member of the Skin Science Project Team for the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses and the National Association of Neonatal Nurses. She is an editor or author of several textbooks, including Comprehensive Neonatal Nursing and Neonatal Infections: Assessment, Diagnosis and Management. She also served as co-editor of the clinical journal Newborn & Infant Nursing Reviews. In 2006, Lott presented an invited paper on the severe shortage of nurses worldwide at the Oxford Roundtable, an annual conference at Oxford University that brings together a panel of global experts to tackle a wide range of issues.

In 2003, Lott was inducted as a Fellow into the American Academy Of Nursing. In 2006, she was named a Woman of Distinction by the Baylor Women's Council of Dallas, and in September 2010, was honored as one of 60 visionary leaders in nursing and health care by her alma mater, the UAB School of Nursing.

"Judy Lott is a person who has the genuine heart of a servant," said Baylor Law School Dean Brad Toben, who serves with Lott on the Council of Deans at Baylor. "Through her work in nursing and in the academy, she has touched countless lives in service. She is a paradigm of the sort of commitment and sensitivity, lived through a life of faith, that the health professions exemplify at their best."

More than 650 undergraduate and graduate students are enrolled in Baylor's nursing program. Pre-nursing students attend classes on Baylor's Waco campus for two years before completing upper-level and graduate program classes at the Louise Herrington School of Nursing on the Baylor University Medical Center campus in Dallas.

In the 100 years since the Louise Herrington School of Nursing opened, more than 5,300 graduates have gone on to pursue successful nursing careers around the world, with at least 500 graduates serving on the mission field.

The Baylor School of Nursing was established in 1909 as a diploma program within Baylor Hospital in Dallas, which is now Baylor University Medical Center, and in 1950 became one of the six degree-granting schools of Baylor University. The first bachelor of science in nursing degrees were awarded in 1954, establishing the school as one of the oldest baccalaureate nursing programs in the United States.

In November 1999, the School was renamed the Louise Herrington School of Nursing after Louise Herrington Ornelas, a 1992 Baylor Alumna Honoris Causa, made a $13 million endowment gift to the school.

The School of Nursing offers a bachelor of science in nursing degree and a master of science in nursing degrees in advanced neonatal nursing, nursing administration and management, and family nurse practitioner programs, which are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The School also offers a nurse midwifery doctorate in nursing practice (NM/DNP). Nearly 100 percent of Baylor School of Nursing graduates who seek employment upon graduation find a position within one month and most are employed upon graduation.

Media contact: Lori Fogleman, director of media communications, (254) 710-6275

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