Susan Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN, who joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) in 1997, is presently the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation senior adviser for nursing. In this role, she shapes and leads the Foundation’s nursing strategies in an effort to create a higher quality of care in the United States for people, families and communities. Drawn to the Foundation’s “organizational advocacy for the less fortunate and underserved,” Hassmiller is helping to assure that RWJF's commitments in nursing have a broad and lasting national impact.
In partnership with AARP, Hassmiller directs the Foundation’s Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, which seeks to ensure that everyone in America can live a healthier life, supported by a system in which nurses are essential partners in providing care and promoting health. This 50-state and District of Columbia effort strives to implement the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine’s report on the Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. Hassmiller served as the report’s study director. She is also serving as co-director of the Future of Nursing Scholars program, an initiative that provides scholarships, mentoring and leadership development activities and postdoctoral research funding to build the leadership capacity of nurse educators and researchers.
Previously, Hassmiller served with the Health Resources and Services Administration, where she was the executive director of the U.S. Public Health Service Primary Care Policy Fellowship and worked on other national and international primary care initiatives. She also has worked in public health settings at the local and state level and taught public health nursing at the University of Nebraska and George Mason University in Virginia.
Hassmiller, who has been very involved with the Red Cross in many capacities, was a member of the National Board of Governors for the American Red Cross, serving as chair of the Disaster and Chapter Services Committee and national chair of the 9/11 Recovery Program. She is currently a member of the National Nursing Committee, and is serving as immediate past board chair for the Central New Jersey Red Cross. She has been involved in Red Cross disaster relief efforts in the United States and abroad, including tornadoes in the Midwest, Hurricane Andrew, September 11th, the 2004 Florida hurricanes and Katrina, and the tsunami in Indonesia.
Hassmiller is a member of the Institute of Medicine, a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, a member of the Joint Commission’s National Nurse Advisory Council, Meridian Health System Board of Directors, the Health Resources and Services Administration National Advisory Committee for Nurse Education and Practice, and the CMS National Nurse Steering Committee.
Hassmiller received a PhD in nursing administration and health policy from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., master’s degrees in health education from Florida State University and community health nursing from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Florida State University. She is the recipient of numerous national awards in addition to receiving the distinguished alumna award for all the schools of nursing from which she graduated and two honorary doctoral degrees. Most notably, Hassmiller is the 2009 recipient of the Florence Nightingale Medal, the highest international honor given to a nurse by the International Committee of the Red Cross
Hassmiller lives in Princeton Junction, N.J., and enjoys hiking, dance and long walks with her dog Jake. She has two adult children.