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Emory nursing school, Carter Center appoint position in global mental health nursing, workforce development
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Melanie Kieve
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Aparna Kumar

The Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and The Carter Center’s Mental Health Program have appointed psychiatric mental health nurse educator and researcher Aparna Kumar, PhD, MPH, CRNP, to a joint faculty position focused on enhancing global mental health nursing and workforce development.

Kumar will be an associate clinical professor, teaching psychiatric mental health nursing courses, mentoring students, and providing nurse education expertise to The Carter Center’s behavioral health workforce development activities in low- and middle-income countries. Activities will include developing curricula for mental health nursing certifications, providing targeted assistance to nursing schools, coordinating use of the Project ECHO online learning platform to build a psychiatric mental health practice community in Africa, and leading research on the effectiveness of workforce development initiatives.

Kumar comes to this position from Thomas Jefferson University, where she was director of its psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner program. She has also served as a psychiatric nurse practitioner in hospital and private practice settings, a pre- and post-doctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, a research assistant for the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research, and a rapid health assessment consultant for the World Health Organization.

She holds PhD, MSN and BSN degrees from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, an MPH from the University of Malawi College of Medicine, an MA from Columbia University, and a BA from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

“With expertise as a nurse educator in psychiatric/mental health workforce development and as an implementation scientist, Dr. Kumar is uniquely prepared for this first joint appointment between The Carter Center and Emory School of Nursing,” says Eve Byrd, DNP, MPH, director of The Carter Center’s Mental Health Program. “Her academic and research expertise, coupled with her experience living and working in international settings, will serve her well as she helps bolster The Carter Center and Emory School of Nursing’s work in global mental health.”

Emory School of Nursing Dean Linda McCauley, PhD, RN, FAAN, FRCN, says Kumar’s appointment is timely and vital. "Mental health care is needed now more than ever, and its reach must be as wide as possible," McCauley says. "We are thrilled to enter this partnership with The Carter Center and bring someone of Dr. Kumar’s caliber into this role, which will no doubt make a difference in the mental health of individuals, families and communities.” 

About the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing  

As one of the nation's top nursing schools, the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University is committed to educating visionary nurse leaders and scholars. Home to the No. 1 master's, No. 3 BSN, and No. 6 DNP programs nationwide, the school has been recognized as a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League of Nursing. The school offers undergraduate, master’s, doctoral and non-degree programs, bringing together cutting-edge resources, distinguished faculty, top clinical experiences, and access to leading health care partners to shape the future of nursing and impact the world's health and well-being. Learn more at

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