Susan Hassmiller joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 1997 and serves as the 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 marginalized and under-resourced populations,” Sue is helping to assure that RWJF's commitments in nursing have a broad and lasting national impact.
In partnership with AARP, Sue 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 national initiative strives to implement the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. Sue served as the report’s study director. She is also the senior scholar in residence and adviser on nursing to the President of the National Academy of Medicine, where she is helping to lead a second Future of Nursing Study, released in May 2021. She is co-director emeritus of the Future of Nursing Scholars program, a PhD scholarship program meant to build the leadership capacity of nurse educators and researchers.
Previously, Sue 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 oversaw other national and international primary care initiatives. She also has worked in public health settings at the local and state levels and taught community health nursing at the University of Nebraska and George Mason University in Virginia.
Sue 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 a member of the National Nursing Committee, the senior advisor for Nursing and Health, and serves on the board of the Eastern North Carolina region. She has been involved in Red Cross disaster relief efforts in the United States and abroad throughout her career.
Sue is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, and sits on other advisory committees and boards, including the Hackensack Meridian Health System, UnitedHealth, Carrier Clinic, and NursesEverywhere.
Sue received a PhD in Nursing Administration and Health Policy from George Mason University, 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, four honorary doctoral degrees, and has received the distinguished alumna award for all the schools of nursing from which she graduated. Most notably, Sue 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.
Sue lives in Cary, North Carolina, and enjoys hiking and traveling. She has two adult children and two grandchildren.