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Legacy of Leadership

Dean and Professor Judy Beal retires after transforming a nursing program and launching a new college.

After a 35-year career at Simmons, Judy Beal, professor of nursing and dean of the newly formed College of Natural, Behavioral, and Health Sciences (CNBHS), will retire at the close of the academic year. Her career has spanned a remarkable evolution of not only the nursing program at Simmons, but the expansion of the science programs as well as advancements in the teaching methodologies used by CNBHS faculty.

“Dean and Professor Judy Beal’s dedication to teaching and skillful work as dean have influenced the studies of thousands of Simmons students” said President Helen Drinan.

“Since coming to Simmons in 1983, Dr. Judy Beal has innovated our academic practice partnerships and grown our nursing program into the robust program we have today with 479 undergraduate nursing students and 1,164 graduate nursing students in spring 2019, altogether representing 46 states, the District of Columbia, and two territories,” said Simmons President Helen Drinan. “Her dedication to teaching and skillful work as dean have influenced the studies of thousands of Simmons students and benefitted countless patients. Over the decade I have worked with Judy, I have learned that she is the exemplar nurse for nurses, and her focus on the patient inspires us all.”

Beal, who received her BSN from Skidmore College, her MSN from Yale University, and DNSc from Boston University; was charged with leading the CNBHS as the inaugural dean. In her 46-year career, she has been published in over 100 peer-reviewed articles and served in leadership roles for many nursing organizations, including Sigma Theta Tau International, the Massachusetts Association of Colleges of Nursing, the Massachusetts Association of Registered Nurses, and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. She is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and the National Academies of Practice. 

“When I reflect upon my love for Simmons, building and nurturing relationships is a core value for me,” said Beal, “Whether it was with students, staff, faculty, clinical practice leaders, professional communities, or with colleagues, these partnerships have been essential to our success,” said Beal, adding, “I am especially proud of how the CNBHS family has become a strong and cohesive unit with a clear mission to create and sustain a learning community of scientist practitioners.”