New Jersey’s loss is Oregon’s gain. Susan Bakewell-Sachs has announced she will step down in June from her roles as director of the New Jersey Nursing Initiative and interim provost of The College of New Jersey to become dean of nursing at the Oregon Health and Science University, in Portland.Bakewell-Sachs has led the nursing initiative, a joint program between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce Foundation, since its inception in 2009. The program works to get more nurses educated at a post-baccalaureate level in order to replenish the state’s quickly aging nursing faculty.
“I don’t believe NJNI would be where it is today, as successful with out her leadership,” said Dana Egreczky, senior vice president for workforce development at the New Jersey Chamber. “We are very proud of her work, and we are very pleased she was able to stay with us during this period of time and help us launch this very successful program.”
During Bakewell-Sachs’ time as head of the program, 61 nurses have pursued or completed master’s or doctoral degrees in nursing. Egreczky said the state needs highly skilled nurses to provide high quality care at lower costs — a business priority — and Bakewell-Sachs’ influence helped move the project forward.
NJNI has been authorized to continue through 2016 by RWJF, and Egreczky said the position has already been advertised.
“We know there are a lot of good candidates out there, so we expect the transition to be seamless,” Egreczky said. “Susan has already volunteered to long-distance help the new person be brought up to speed quickly. We’re very confident the program will go on and be successful in the future.”
Bakewell-Sachs previously served as the dean of the school of nursing at TCNJ before taking over the interim provost role in September 2011.