Valparaiso University Appoints Dean to College of Nursing and Health Professions

rot1Valparaiso University announces Karen Allen, RN, Ph.D., FAAN, will join its faculty as dean of the College of Nursing and Health Professions, effective July 3, 2017. Most recently, Allen has served as professor of nursing at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Mich.

In her role as dean, Allen will be responsible for the strategic leadership, coordination and guidance of the College of Nursing and Health Professions. Allen brings an accomplished record as an expert in substance abuse and addictions treatment.

“All of us at Valpo are so pleased that Dr. Allen will be joining us in her new role as dean of the College of Nursing and Health professions,” said Mark L. Biermann, Ph.D., provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “We are excited by the strengths that she brings with her and her clear commitment to nursing and health professions education.”

Allen served as chair of the nursing department at Andrews University for 17 years. Under her leadership, the department established a doctor of nursing practice program with an emphasis in family nurse practitioner. She served on a variety of committees at Andrews, including the Graduate Committee, the Program Development and Review Committee, the University Strategic Planning Committees and the Diversity Committee.

“I am thrilled to join the community at Valparaiso University and the College of Nursing and Health Professions,” Allen said. “I look forward to working with the talented faculty and staff to build upon the College’s accomplishments and continue its trajectory of growth and innovation.”

Allen has served in various leadership roles, including president of the International Nurses Society on Addiction for four years; member of the board of directors of Adventist Health Systems Sunbelt Corporation for five years; member of the United States Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, Treatment Improvement Protocols Editorial Advisory Board for five years; member of the National Advisory Council for the United States Center for Substance Abuse Prevention for seven years.

Currently she is a member of The American Academy of Nursing, The American Nurses Association, The International Nurses Society on Addictions, Phi Kappa Phi Interdisciplinary Honors Society, and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (Alpha Lambda Chapter).

“Dr. Allen's extensive experience and strong abilities are matched by her winning and approachable demeanor,” Biermann said. “Her alignment with the mission and ethos of Valpo will serve her and the University well in the years to come. We look forward to further growth and innovation in the College under Dr. Allen’s leadership.”

Recently, the College of Nursing and Health professions expanded to offer new health care programs, including health care leadership, physician assistant studies, public health, and health administration. The College also launched a doctor of nursing practice program, becoming the first university in Indiana to offer this degree.

Allen has been an avid researcher throughout her career and was principal researcher/evaluator for “A National Cross-Site Evaluation Study on the Effectiveness of Pregnant and Post-Partum Women and Children’s Substance Abuse Treatment Programs,” funded by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. In addition, she assessed the design and function of evaluation programs implemented in federally funded women and children’s substance abuse/addiction treatment programs across the country.

She is widely published and has authored numerous refereed and non-refereed journal articles, along with books and book chapters. She co-edited the most recent revision of “Scope and Standards of Addictions Nursing,” published by the American Nurses Association, and is currently one of the Associate Editors of the Journal of Addictions Nursing.

She is the recipient of numerous awards throughout her career, including the Andrews University Siegfried H. Horn Excellence in Research and Creative Scholarship Lifetime Achievement Award, the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Center for Substance Abuse Treatment Innovator Award for Women’s Substance Abuse Treatment and the Michigan Nurses Association Carol E. Franck Nursing Leadership Award.

A frequent consultant, Allen has provided curriculum expertise for addictions in many venues, including for the University of Texas School of Nursing.

Allen holds a Ph.D. in nursing sciences from the University of Illinois at Chicago, as well as a master’s in nursing administration and a bachelor’s in nursing from Andrews University. She has also been inducted as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.