Patricia (Pat) Bruckenthal, who began her career as a registered nurse shortly after Stony Brook University Hospital opened in 1981, has been named the new dean of Stony Brook University’s School of Nursing. Appointed by Dr. Hal Paz, executive vice president for Health Sciences at Stony Brook University, and chief executive officer, Stony Brook University Medicine. Bruckenthal becomes dean of the school during a time of expanding academic programs and in its 50th year as a school of nursing.
Bruckenthal is a nationally recognized clinician and academic leader who has devoted her career to improving chronic pain assessment and management, as well as advancing clinical education.
“I am happy to welcome Dr. Bruckenthal to the role of Dean in the School of Nursing. As a nationally recognized clinician and academic leader, I am delighted that she has decided to continue her long career at Stony Brook Medicine in this critical leadership role,” said Dr. Paz. “I look forward to working with her as she positions the school for continued success well into the future.”
As dean of nursing and part of the senior executive management team at Stony Brook University and Stony Brook Medicine, Bruckenthal will be responsible for the school’s academic plan going forward. In her role, she will help strengthen partnerships with the school from within and outside the university, and be a strong advocate for the School of Nursing and the profession of nursing itself.
“I am honored to lead the charge in preparing the next generation of nursing leaders, both at the entry level and advanced-practice levels,” said Bruckenthal. “By 2030, the profession of nursing will look different than it does today, as our nurses will graduate with the advanced leadership skills and abilities to navigate the complexities of care and advance health and health equity across the entire care of continuum. I am energized by the opportunity that lay before me and all our faculty educators and look forward to how our School of Nursing will lead in healthcare transformation.”
The School of Nursing has grown tremendously in the past two decades, adding several undergraduate degree options, online learning, accelerated nursing programs, advanced practice nursing specialties, nursing education for armed forces veterans, and a doctoral program of which Bruckenthal was instrumental in developing the curriculum, serving as chair of the doctoral program.
Bruckenthal explains that by leveraging resources through relationships with Stony Brook Medicine and Stony Brook University, the School of Nursing offers a unique program that prepares nurse scientists to confront today’s pressing health challenges and inspire discoveries to prepare for, prevent or address tomorrow’s challenges.
In addition to her clinical and academic career at Stony Brook, Bruckenthal has sat on several advisory committees to improve outcomes for people with chronic pain, including the Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy, the Department of Defense and Veterans Administration Army Pain Task Force, and the Leadership Advisory Council of the States Pain and Policy Advisory Council. As a nationally recognized expert in pain management, she developed and advised on pain management curricula for the Medical Society of the State of New York and was a member of the Collaborative Education in Substance Use Advisory Council for Harvard Medical School/Department of Global and Continuing Education.
After working as a registered nurse at Stony Brook, Bruckenthal became a clinical instructor in the Department of Neurology in the School of Medicine in 1989 and later joined the School of Nursing as a clinical assistant professor in 1993, where she has held a range of roles over the years. She became chair of the Department of Graduate Studies in Advanced Practice Nursing in 2010, and in 2016 was further promoted as associate dean for Research and Innovation and professor at Stony Brook University School of Nursing. Earlier this year she was named interim dean of the school before her appointment as dean.
Bruckenthal earned her PhD in nursing at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and did her post-doctoral training at the Applied Behavioral Medicine Institute at Stony Brook University, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health. She is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and an advanced diplomat in the American Academy for Integrative Pain Management.
Bruckenthal has served as president of the American Society for Pain Management Nursing and associate editor for Pain Management Nursing. She has been published in two dozen peer-reviewed journals, has authored numerous contributed book chapters and has been an invited speaker at professional conferences in the U.S. and internationally.