OBU has appointed Dr. Robbie Henson as dean of the University’s College of Nursing. Henson has served as interim dean since August 2019 and is the Lawrence C. and Marion V. Harris Chair of Nursing. Her duties as dean will begin immediately.
Henson earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at OBU and a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Texas at Arlington. She then earned a Ph.D. in Nursing from the University of Colorado. Her dissertation was titled, “A Grounded Theory Study of Nurse/Client Mutuality in Health Care Planning.”
Henson has many years of nursing education experience. She previously served at the University of Texas Arlington/Tarrant County Hospital District in a joint appointment as an undergraduate faculty/clinical nurse specialist. She has also worked as an adjunct graduate nursing faculty member at Southern Nazarene University. Since joining the faculty at OBU in 1991, she has served as professor of nursing, team leader for the CCNE Accreditation visit to the OBU College of Nursing, graduate program coordinator, associate dean for academic programming and interim dean.
Henson has clinical experience in a wide range of specialties including adult medical-surgical, intensive care, home health, psychiatric-mental health and maternal-newborn nursing. She is currently teaching in both the undergraduate and graduate programs in the College of Nursing. She has received recognition from the National League of Nursing as a Certified Academic Nurse Educator.
She has received numerous honors and awards throughout her career, including Oklahoma Nurse Educator of the Year by the Oklahoma Nurses’ Association. She received OBU’s Promising Teacher Award in 1996. She was also selected as the Senior Class Outstanding Faculty Member for the School of Nursing at the University of Texas at Arlington and was a Piper Professor Award Nominee for Excellence in Teaching, also at UT-Arlington.
Her primary research focus is on nurses' roles in facilitating self and family care through mutual goal setting. She has also completed research related to retention of nurses in the acute care setting. She has published articles on such subjects as introducing new technology, the concept of mutuality, and consumerism and quality management. She has practiced professionally in health care agencies in the Shawnee area as well as in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Fort Worth, Texas. She is an active member at First Baptist Church, Shawnee.
Dr. Susan DeWoody, provost, is excited for Henson’s selection to lead the College of Nursing.
“After conducting a national search for dean, it was confirmed to us that Dr. Henson was a standout candidate. Dr. Henson’s steadfast leadership and wealth of experience in nursing education equips her well to lead the OBU College of Nursing forward. I am confident with her promotion to dean that she will continue to serve our students, faculty and community with excellence.”
Dr. Heath Thomas, OBU president, is excited for the College of Nursing’s future under Henson’s leadership.
“I am thrilled with the appointment of Dr. Robbie Henson as dean of the College of Nursing. Her academic and administrative background, combined with her genuine care for students and faculty, make her an exceptional choice. The future is extraordinarily bright in the College of Nursing, and we anticipate our best days under Dr. Henson’s leadership.”
Henson is humbled and excited for the opportunity to serve the College of Nursing faculty, staff and students as dean.
“It is a great and humbling honor to be asked to lead the College of Nursing at OBU. When I sat in class as a student on this campus years ago, I would not have anticipated ever serving as dean for this school – the first baccalaureate program of nursing in the state of Oklahoma. While I have many years of experience as both a nurse and an educator, I am keenly aware that this work is the Lord’s and that I am the vessel He has chosen to work through.
“What an excellent time in our history it is. We have a superb faculty and staff, and our facilities are stellar. There will be great days to come.”
For more information about the College of Nursing at OBU, visit www.okbu.edu/nursing.
With its campus located in Shawnee, OBU offers 10 bachelor’s degrees with 88 fields of study and five master’s degree programs. The Christian liberal arts university has an overall enrollment of 1,868, with students from 37 states and 40 other countries. OBU has been rated as one of the top 10 regional colleges in the West by U.S. News and World Report for 28 consecutive years and Oklahoma’s highest rated regional college in the U.S. News rankings for 25 consecutive years. OBU is one of three universities in Oklahoma and the only private Oklahoma university listed on Great Value College’s rankings of 50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest. The Wall Street Journal ranks OBU second in the nation for student engagement among all U.S. colleges and universities. Forbes.com consistently ranks OBU as a top university in Oklahoma and the Princeton Review has named OBU one of the best colleges and universities in the western United States for 15 consecutive years.