Welcome to The Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing

Dean’s Message

Barbara Ake, PhD, MSN, RN, ANEFBarbara Ake, EdD
Interim Dean, School of Nursing

Welcome to the Charles R. Drew University, Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing! Your time here promises to be exciting, challenging and a wonderful catapult to careers in Nursing.

Our university is a private, non-profit student centered university that seeks to educate health professionals who will be prepared to meet the health care needs for the nation and citizens of the world. Our staff and faculty are committed to the development of diverse health professionals dedicated to social justice and health equity for underserved populations. Our graduates provide evidenced based nursing care with dignity, respect and compassion. We continually seek to learn from each other by valuing and respecting the diversity of the hundreds of students from many countries, cultures, perspectives, and experiences in healthcare and health behaviors. For additional information, feel free to contact me at Email: barbaraake@cdrewu.edu

Biography Dr. Barbara Ake

Introduction: I have a history of being called upon numerous times in my career to work with prominent egos, eliminate roadblocks and find common ground ensuring the realization of a new strategic vision. I am very experienced with all the issues involved in the leadership of academic health programs. The tried and true philosophy that I will employ in these positions is borrowed from the physician creed “First Due No Harm.” During my tenure, however brief, I shall seek to exploit the strengths of each college component in order to keep the Programs moving smartly forward. In reviewing my resume and working with me, you will see that this is kind of my specialty. One thing I have learned in my many challenging leadership roles is that change is a constant...and one can embrace it or become embittered by it. In each new challenge I have undertaken (and there have been many), I have always been able to build collegiality—only after building trust. Trust is only built by listening, learning and leading. This trust building will lay the foundation for the new permanent positions. I am experienced in nursing and allied health across the USA. I was at the helm at Aultman College as Chief Learning Officer and Founding Dean when we transitioned the 100 year old hospital nursing diploma program to a fully accredited educational institution and laid the foundation for its’ current Bachelors and Masters programs. I am very familiar with the multiple Boards of Nursing, Boards of Regents, and the numerous accreditation agencies (program and college). I currently possess a multi-state nursing license that would enable me to rapidly transition to support the needs of an institution.

Sampling of Skills and Experiences:

  • At Valencia College, in two years under my leadership, the School of Nursing:

    • Increased enrollment in the associated degree program from 360 students per year to 940.
      Developed and deployed an RN to BSN program
    • Adding 460 students to the College of Nursing or 1400 in total.
    • The first (milestone) BSN graduation for the college was December (2019).
    • Undertook the new CCNE accreditation process and gained initial accreditation (5 years).
    • Folded an additional 500 nutrition and public health majors into the SON.
    • During this time we were able to increase NCLEX pass rates from 90% to 98%.
  • As Healthcare Campus Provost at Florida Eastern University:
    • We were able to increase annualized student enrollment in Health Sciences from 300 to 3,000 students.
      Expand offerings from one to four physical campuses and create the college’s first on-line campus.
      During this period, 36 healthcare accreditations were attempted and 36 accreditations were achieved.
  • As Chief Learning Officer in San Juan College:
    I was tasked by the College Board to restructure (consolidate) the entire college into “five distinct schools” and start an early college high-school. All of these efforts were highly successful and flourish today.
  • At San Jacinto College:
    Health Sciences and Natural Sciences were consolidated into one new college. This involved over 400 faculty and staff, planning for and erecting a new 400,000 square foot building to house the college and rescuing the Nursing program from a pending Texas BON closure.

    • To fore-stalling the closure, we were able to regain the confidence of the BON by increasing our RN NCLEX pass rate from 47% to 92%.

I make these points to demonstrate that: I know about program management and the implementation of change. I know about healthcare education, and I know how to help the educational institutions during periods of important transition. In fact, I look forward to the challenge!