Alumna endows professorship in the UF College of Nursing
University of Florida College of Nursing alumna Linda Aiken, Ph.D., R.N., has committed $1 million to endow the Linda Harman Aiken professorship to support excellence in nursing research at the college.
Aiken is the director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research, the Claire M. Fagin Leadership Professor of Nursing and a professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. She conducts research on the health care workforce and quality of health care in the U.S. and globally, and is the author of more than 300 scientific papers.
Aiken has directed studies of the impact of nursing on patient outcomes in more than 30 countries. Her seminal research demonstrating the impact of adequate nurse staffing on improving patient outcomes is widely used as a basis for managerial and policy decision-making. Aiken received her bachelor’s degree and master’s degrees in nursing from UF. She credits her education at UF for helping launch her successful career in nursing and policy research.
“My education at the UF College of Nursing was the very best, and my career was very much shaped by the vision of the future of nursing practice, education and research I was exposed to at UF, particularly by Dean Dorothy Smith,” Aiken said. “I learned the importance of thinking big, challenging the status quo and always using a patient care lens to guide my research and my career. I want to give back to UF to help the college excel in nursing research, and, by doing so, improve outcomes of health care and prepare the next generation of nurses for national leadership roles in health care.”
Aiken, who was mentored by founding dean Dorothy Smith, was instrumental in assisting the college in starting the Dorothy M. Smith Leadership Conference and in establishing the Dorothy M. Smith endowed chair. She served on the UF College of Nursing’s Florida Tomorrow Campaign Advisory Board and has recently been selected to serve on the UF Foundation’s national board.
“Like Dorothy Smith, Dr. Aiken is a true visionary and pioneer for the nursing profession,” said Anna McDaniel, Ph.D., R.N., dean of the UF College of Nursing. “Her contributions are endless and span the world. We are grateful for her generosity and her insightful gift, and we are so fortunate to call Dr. Aiken a Gator nurse.”
In February, Aiken was presented with a special Legacy Award by the UF College of Nursing in recognition of her commitment to the college, the University of Florida and the nursing profession.
“It is an honor and a privilege to be able to invest in the UF College of Nursing, a national leader in nursing and health care innovation,” Aiken said. “I hope my gift commemorating the important contributions of the college will motivate other alumni to make similar gifts to benefit new generations of nurse leaders.”