When Hyochol Brian Ahn, PhD, MSN, MS-CTS, MS-ECE, APRN, ANP-BC, FAAN begins his tenure as dean, University of Arizona College of Nursing on May 22, he brings with him a rich professional background, a wealth of experience, and a commitment to making the college the best it can be.
Previously, Dean Ahn was a professor and associate dean for research at the Florida State University College of Nursing and founding director of the FSU Brain Science and Symptom Management Center. He has received continuous funding as a principal investigator for the last 12 years and has delivered more than 80 peer-reviewed publications and more than 90 presentations related to areas including biobehavioral neuroscience, health equity and population health and wellness.
“As dean, I hope to work with our faculty, staff, students, and community partners to expand our education and research to the next level of excellence," ~ Hyochol Brian Ahn, PhD, MSN, MS-CTS, MS-ECE, APRN, ANP-BC, FAAN, Dean
Dean Ahn initially trained as a computer engineer, earning his bachelor’s degree in computer engineering at the University of Seoul, South Korea. After coming to the United States in 2002 to complete his master’s degree and then PhD in engineering, he became fascinated by the various engineering needs and approaches that could be applied to nursing science. He decided to pursue a career in nursing when he realized the great potential for combining computer technology with nursing science to directly impact patient health.
Dean Ahn is thrilled about his new role at UArizona Nursing. “We have spectacular faculty, staff, students as well as hospital and community partners,” he says, noting the college’s research impact and recognition on the national stage of nursing education. “I’m very excited about this role, and as dean I would like to expand our education portfolio, increase research impact and recognition, increase community partnerships, expand our hospital partnerships, as well as our build relationships with alumni and our community organizations.”
Asked about his hopes for UArizona Nursing’s future, Dean Ahn says he wants to elevate the college to the maximum level of excellence in education, research, and practice. With the American Nurses Association forecasting that one million new nurses will be needed in the U.S. by 2030, Dean Ahn wants to increase the clinical nursing workforce through the college’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program.
He also sees a need for more advanced degrees in nursing – especially within the nurse practitioner field as well as other levels of nursing leadership – and he hopes to create a focus on nursing engineering. “With my engineering background, I would like to create a nursing engineering program focused on using technological solutions,” he says. “Artificial Intelligence changes almost all of the processes for our education and research. My vision is to incorporate these technologies to better nursing education research, practice and service.”
Thanks to a $9.2M share of in grants awarded by the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) to five Arizona nursing programs, UArizona Nursing is poised to expand its education portfolios in the ways Dean Ahn sees as game-changing. Pointing to several recent National Institute of Health (NIH) and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grants that college faculty have been awarded, Dean Ahn says that our faculty are already operating at a high level. “As dean, I hope to work with our faculty, staff, students, and community partners to expand our education and research to the next level of excellence,” he says.