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Jan Jones-Schenk

Jan Jones-Schenk

Senior Vice President and Executive Dean, College of Health Professions | Western Governors University

Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

Dr. Jan Jones-Schenk serves as Senior Vice President and Executive Dean for Western Governors University’s College of Health Professions.

Areas of Expertise: 

Social & Emotional Learning, Public Speaking, Nursing Education, Health Education, Healthcare, and Nurse Leadership


The Wharton School: Leadership Certificate, Innovation  2018

A. T. Still University: D.H.Sc., Global Health  2013
Applied research in college debt loads for working nurses and how prior college debt affects nurses academic advancement. Completed July 2013.

University of Phoenix: M.N.A., Nursing Administration  1992

Westminster College: B.A., Nursing  1978
Magna Cum Laude
Sterling Scholar in Chemistry
Nursing Student

Social:   TwitterLinkedIn



Jan Jones-Schenk pictured in Washington, DC


Dr. Jones-Schenk is the Senior Vice President with full strategic, operational and academic accountability for the College of Health Professions (CHP). WGU is a competency-based, online university offering master’s and bachelor’s degrees. All nursing degrees are CCNE accredited. She has led the development of an innovative national prelicensure BS in nursing program which graduated its first students in June 2011. The program has been approved by five state boards of nursing and offers a unique clinical partnering system that uses existing clinical capacity differently. WGU nursing programs currently have an enrollment of over 30,000 students making it the largest College of Health Professions in the nation and the only one that is entirely competency-based. Dr. Jones-Schenk is also the executive sponsor for the Accountable Care Learning Collaborative (ACLC), a membership and learning collaborative for organizations focused on Alternative payment and care delivery models in healthcare. This organization provides support and expert guidance for health and healthcare organizational transformation from volume to value. The CHP also recently established the Center for Professional Learning to provide a business unit for its growing portfolio of micro-credentials and other learning opportunities to support workforce reskilling and upskilling. 

Dr. Jones-Schenk is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, a Fellow of the Academy for Associate Degree Nursing, Past President of the American Nurses Credentialing Center Board of Directors, served eight years on the American Nurses Association Board of Directors and nine years as a Trustee for Park City Medical Center, an Intermountain Health Care facility in Park City, UT. She is a past board member for the Association for Leadership Science in Nursing (ALSN) and, the national leadership team for the National Education Progression in Nursing (NEPIN) initiative. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Aquifer, a medical education technology nonprofit company. She is the associate editor for the Leadership Column for the Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing.


  • AlSN: Past Vice President Membership and Leadership succession
  • American Association of Colleges of Nursing : Member Dean
  • American Organization of Nurse Executives: Member
  • American College of Health Care Executives: Member
  • Sigma Theta Tau, Gamma Rho: Chapter Founding Member
  • Accountable Care Learning Collaborative: Member and Executive Sponsor
  • American Association of Colleges of Nursing Government Relations Committee: Member
  • International Journal Review of Administrative Sciences: Peer Reviewer
  • International Journal of Medical Education: Peer Reviewer
  • Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing: Editorial Board Member and Associate Editor for the Leadership Column
  • National League for Nursing: Member
  • American Nurses Association: Member
  • Sigma Theta Tau International: Member

Selected media appearances and articles.

Fresh Page for a Fresh Decade: Leading in 2020

Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 2020-02-01

The beginning of a new decade is a time for reflection and goals. This is a good time to develop a leadership plan that combines the leadership focus for the new year and how to create a culture of fun. Leading is a complex and challenging experience and responsibility, but it can also be fun and rewarding. Aligning new leadership priorities to creating a culture that is engaging and enjoyable could make 2020 a new decade of leadership. 

Nurse Leadership at the Bedside, in the Boardroom, and Beyond!

WGU Texas Blog, 2018-05-01

As we approach National Nurses Week, I feel immense pride in my profession. This year’s theme, Nurses: Inspire, Innovate, Influence, brings to mind many significant nurse leaders, starting with the pioneer of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale, to present-day nurse leaders like Linda Knodel, Dr. Beverly Malone, and Dr. Maggie McClure. These healthcare pioneers challenge each of us to be bold, raise our voices, and take the initiative to help improve patient care.

Resources for current and aspiring nurse leaders

The Night Owl Blog, 2018-04-26

In a previous blog post, we discussed how role models and mentors can be very effective guides on your healthcare leadership journey. It’s wise to identify contemporary healthcare leaders you admire and follow their careers, read their articles, and observe the choices they make. We showcased several nurse leaders who have utilized mentors to build their careers. In this blog post, we’ll identify several organizations that encourage, coach, and train future nurse leaders, and value nurses’ opinions and expertise. These organizations are designed to support and develop leaders from within the nursing community, while positively impacting healthcare outcomes for all.

WGU's Master of Health Leadership Realigned to Support Implementation of ACO and Other Healthcare Initiatives

PR Newswire, 2018-03-08

Western Governors University's (WGU) Master of Health Leadership (MHL) program has been realigned to meet today's health leadership needs, enabling graduates to lead organizations in delivering the right support at the right time. The MHL provides skills and tools in innovative and value-based care delivery, as well as managing change related to Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and other new health initiatives.

College Debt Delays RN Advancement

HealthLeaders, 2017-04-18

Educational debt is a leading factor in nurses' decisions about academic progression, study data shows. Mentoring students about financial matters such as responsible borrowing may help.

Dr. Jan Jones-Schenk Explains How WGU is Revolutionizing RN-BSN Education in The Journal of Professional Nursing

The Night Owl Blog, 2014-03-17

Over one million working registered nurses working in America do not have their B.S. in Nursing degree. WGU's National Director of Nursing, Dr. Jan Jones-Schenk's article in this month's Journal of Professional Nursing describes how WGU's unique model offers another way to provide academic progression for working nurses to decrease that number—a move that will help close a critical gap in America's healthcare system.

Social and Emotional Learning: Why Does It Matter?

The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing
Dr. Jan Jones-Schenk

The evidence is growing that social and emotional skills are better predictors of academic and career success than IQ. The brain, once believed to be hard-wired during childhood, has been found to be neuroplastic throughout the life span. Understanding the elements of social and emotional learning is a critical competency for all educators seeking to foster academic and career success for their students.

Developing Leadership Capacity for Organizations

Journal of Nursing Administration
Dr. Jan Jones-Schenk

In 2011, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Center to Champion Nursing in America set a course to address the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine's Future of Nursing report. In response, the Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN) provided national leadership for advancing nursing academic progression. A new entity, the National Progression in Nursing Education Collaborative, has formed to continue the important work started by APIN.

Fostering Personal Power During Change

The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing
Dr. Jan Jones-Schenk

Managing change is a regular part of the role of professional development leaders. This overview of a model for change management includes the review of a tool leaders can use with their teams for understanding, discussing, and reflecting on change. Kotter's change model emphasizes t he importance of personal empowerment within t he process. Effective change agents recognize the value of diverse teams, different ways of thinking, and the transformative nature of change.

Emotional intelligence: An admission criterion alternative to cumulative grade point averages for prelicensure students

Nurse Education Today
Jan Jones-Schenk, Mary G.Harper

Predicting potential student success is of great interest to nursing educators and academic administrators alike. Cumulative grade point average (CGPA) has traditionally been used to screen nursing program candidates, but CGPA itself has shown to have no statistically significant predictive value and may in fact screen out individuals who possess social intelligence attributes that are essential for success in nursing practice. The purpose of this study is to determine if students whose emotional intelligence characteristics meet or exceed those of successful staff nurses are more likely to be successful in a baccalaureate nursing program.

The Emotional Intelligence Profile of Successful Staff Nurses

The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing
Mary G. Harper, PhD, RN-BC; Jan Jones-Schenk, BSN, MNA, NE-BC

This study investigated the emotional intelligence (EI) profile of successful staff nurses to examine correlations among EI and demographic variables.

How Magnets Attract Nurses: Magnet Status Entices Caregivers-and Its Appeal Continues to Grow

Nursing Management
Jones-Schenk, Jan

Discover the draws of Magnet status, from significantly improved patient outcomes and nurse recruitment and retention to decreased levels of workplace injuries and burn out.

70 Percent Failure Rate: An Imperative for Better Change Rate

The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing
Dr. Jan Jones-Schenk

The McKinsey consulting group reports data that 70% of all change management efforts fail. A 30% success rate is troubling, particularly when considering the associated costs in the form of loss of competitive position, confidence of the workforce in leadership, and quality improvements and anticipated costs reductions. The ADKAR Model offers a contemporary set of tools to more effectively address change.


Center of Excellence in Nursing Education
Recognition of the nursing programs under my leadership at a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education for 2015-2019

Outstanding Leadership by an Individual in the Field of Distance Learning
The USDLA’s 2015 Award for Outstanding Leadership by an Individual in the Field of Distance Learning was presented to Dr. Jan Jones-Schenk, CNO and National Director for WGU’s College of Health Professions.

2012 Utah Dare to Care Award
Organizers of the 18th Annual Honors for Nursing, Utah’s largest nurse recognition event of National Nurses Week, today announced Jan Jones-Schenk, MNA, RN, NE-BC, chief nursing officer, Western Governors University, will receive the event’s highest honor, the Dare to Care Award, when more than 500 nurses and supporters of nursing gather Tuesday, May 8 at 6:00 p.m. at Little America Hotel to celebrate the nursing profession.