Simpson University Appoints New Dean of Nursing

REDDING, Calif.—Simpson University is pleased to announce the appointment of Misty Smith as the new dean of the Betty M. Dean School of Nursing.

Smith, who has taught and served in administrative roles in the university’s nursing program since 2013, was selected after a nationwide search.

Smith is pursuing her Ph.D. in Nursing Education through the University of Northern Colorado, where her focus is on the professional role development of nurse educators. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the Research College of Nursing in Kansas City and her Master of Science in Nursing from South University in West Palm Beach, Fla. Her practice experiences have been with adult patient populations, specifically caring for those with metabolic and nephrotic conditions.

“Dean Smith has an outstanding record as a professor, a firm grasp of the professional standards in the field, and a compelling vision for helping the School of Nursing continue to soar, all of which has earned her the respect and devotion of her students and peers,” said Dr. Dale Simmons, provost.

Smith becomes the third dean of the School of Nursing since the university began offering a four-year bachelor of science in nursing degree in 2011.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to build upon the strong foundation on which this nursing program has been built,” Smith said. “The need for bachelor-prepared nurses is great, and the Betty M. Dean School of Nursing administration and faculty are committed to helping our students grow spiritually and professionally for success in their professional roles.”


Misty Smith, newly appointed dean of the Betty M. Dean School of Nursing at Simpson University, talks to KRCR-TV reporter Colton Chaivez in December about how the nursing program prepares students well for careers in healthcare.

Jan Dinkel served as the university’s first dean of the School of Nursing. After 30 years as dean of the nursing program at Shasta College in Redding, Dinkel came out of retirement to help Simpson grow its nursing programs, which also included an RN-to-BSN adult studies track, started in 2007. The nursing department became a School of Nursing in 2012, and the university broke ground on a Science and Nursing Center in 2013.

Dean Kristie Stephens oversaw a time of growth during which the School of Nursing gained national accreditation with the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, grew to include a second yearly cohort, integrated the RN-BSN program, sent nursing students on medical mission tripsexpanded the simulation lab, and earned continued approval by the California Board of Registered Nursing.

The Science and Nursing Center opened in fall 2014, and the School of Nursing was named in 2016 in honor of Dr. Betty M. Dean, a former nurse, retired president of the Butte-Glenn Community College District, and a longtime Simpson University trustee.

The Betty M. Dean School of Nursing is listed as one of the best nursing schools in the country and No. 8 in California in RNCareers’ annual ranking, which looks at first-time NCLEX passing rates, accreditation, program offerings, and more.

The School of Nursing has graduated more than 205 four-year bachelor of science in nursing students since the BSN program began in 2011. More than 175 students have graduated from Simpson’s RN-BSN program. These graduates are making an impact in healthcare around the world.

“I am excited for the future of this program and the opportunity to serve in this leadership role,” Smith said.

Learn more about the Betty M. Dean School of Nursing at


Simpson University, founded in 1921, moved to Redding 30 years ago and will celebrate its centennial in 2021. In addition to offering 25 majors in its traditional undergraduate program, the university has graduated more than 4,000 North State adults from its ASPIRE degree-completion program, and nearly 3,000 from its School of Education. It has a No. 8-ranked School of Nursing, a seminary, and master’s programs in counseling psychology and organizational leadership. Simpson University is recognized nationally by Colleges of Distinction.

Simpson has new athletics programs in track and field, swimming and diving, women’s wrestling, and men’s volleyball, as well as a bass fishing team. The university is also working to better serve transfer students from community colleges through its commitment to Associate Degree for Transfer agreements, and it is offering new scholarships.

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