UAMS Names Claudia Barone to Lead College of Nursing
Linda Hodges Retiring After 17 years as Dean

By todd

LITTLE ROCK – Claudia Barone, Ed.D., R.N., has been named dean of the College of Nursing at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) to replace Dean Linda Hodges, Ed.D., who will retire in October.

Barone, of Little Rock, associate dean for academic administration in the College of Nursing, was selected following a national search. She will take over for Hodges on Oct. 16. Hodges, after 17 years at the helm, will remain in a faculty position through the end of December to allow a smooth transition.
“We were excited to find that some of the best candidates for this important position are right here at UAMS,” Chancellor I. Dodd Wilson, M.D., said Thursday. “That’s a credit to Dr. Hodges, who has recruited and mentored some of the best faculty in the nation. Dr. Barone brings outstanding credentials and experience to this job. Equally as important, she brings a can-do spirit in the face of a critical nursing shortage.”

Barone, 44, came to UAMS in 1988 and has been an associate dean for four years. She is also specialty coordinator for the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP) Program, clinical associate professor and tobacco cessation provider education coordinator for the College of Public Health.

“I am honored to be named dean of the UAMS College of Nursing which has an incredibly talented faculty and staff and a very strongly committed student body,” Barone said. “I am humbled to follow Dean Hodges who has done an outstanding job of leading the College. She and the deans before her have worked very hard to move the college forward. Thanks to them the college has a strong national reputation.”

Barone said the future will demand increasing enrollment levels at the college. As dean she also will work to increase National Institutes of Health research funding and improve on the college’s already respectable NIH ranking. An associate dean for research will be recruited to help with that effort. 

“All of this is going to be accomplished in the context of a national nursing shortage, a national nursing faculty shortage and more competitive funding for research programs in nursing, so we have some challenging times ahead of us,” she said.

In addition to her duties in the College of Nursing, Barone works as a registered nurse at UAMS Medical Center and will continue to do so as dean, she said.

“One of my points of emphasis will be to forge an even stronger collaborative relationship with UAMS Medical Center and to strengthen and work with the Department of Nursing on issues where we have common interests,” she said. “I think that’s a critical piece with the expanded hospital opening in two years.”

Barone received her bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1983 from Russell Sage College in Troy, N.Y., her master’s in nursing in 1988 from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., and doctorate in education in 1996 from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She is also a legal nurse consultant (L.N.C.) and certified procedural coder (C.P.C.).

She serves on many professional boards, volunteers in the community and has won numerous awards, including the UAMS College of Nursing’s Outstanding Graduate Faculty Member in May 2006, and Faculty of the Year in 2004 and 2005.

Barone will become the college’s seventh dean in its 54-year history.

UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a medical center, six centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has about 2,320 students and 690 medical residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 9,300 employees, including nearly 1,000 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. UAMS and its affiliates have an economic impact in Arkansas of $4.5 billion a year. For more information, visit