A veteran, Bonnie Jennings completed a career in the Army Nurse Corps, retiring from the military at the rank of Colonel.  She joined the nursing faculty in January 2011.  Dr. Jennings brings her wealth of experiences as a leader, policy-maker, health care executive, administrator, scientist, educator, and clinician to the faculty, students, and staff.  She was recognized as the Army Nurse of the Year in 1990 for her service to the nation.  Dr. Jennings’ research interests focus on quality and patient safety as well as military beneficiaries and the military health system; she has in-depth expertise in qualitative methods.  Her teaching focuses on leadership, quality and patient safety, disseminating research findings, as well as designing, conducting, and analyzing inquiries using qualitative methodologies.  Dr. Jennings is known as an excellent mentor and role model for junior faculty, students, and military nurse researchers.  She not only believes in the importance of developing nurse leaders and scholars, but she also invests time and energy to achieve the goal of leader and scholar development.  During her military career she served in a variety of roles including Army-wide responsibility for all matters related to clinical nursing practice and policy.  Dr. Jennings was also the Director of Quality Management at a major Army medical center where she later served as the Chief Nurse Executive.  She concluded her military career as the Chief of Staff and lead scientist for military health program analyses across the Department of Defense.  Following her retirement from active duty, Dr. Jennings was selected as the 2002-2003 American Academy of Nursing/American Nurses Foundation distinguished nurse scholar at the Institute of Medicine.  In this role, she participated with the IOM staff in writing the report: “Keeping Patients Safe.”  Dr. Jennings completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2010 where she conducted an ethnographic exploration of Turbulence in the Healthcare Setting. Dr. Jennings has authored over 100 publications for peer reviewed health care journals, and is an associate editor for Research in Nursing & Health.  She is also an adjunct Professor at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Dr. Jennings is currently a liaison for the American Academy of Nursing with the National Quality Forum.

Areas of Expertise



Dr. Jennings' teaching methods are very interactive, engaging students in dialogue, discussion, and discovery.  Since 2005, Dr. Jennings has served as faculty for the TriService Nursing Research Program’s Grant Camps, week-long experiences designed to prepare novice researchers for success in writing fundable proposals.  She brings expertise in overall proposal development with an emphasis on writing skills needed to construct a well-written application and expertise in qualitative methods.  A hallmark of the grant camps is the individual student mentoring and continued follow-up to guide students to success.  At Emory, Dr. Jennings teaches about diverse topics such as disseminating research findings—with an emphasis on publishing, qualitative methodologies to students who plan to use qualitative approaches in their research, and quality, patient safety, and leadership in various interdisciplinary courses throughout the health sciences faculty.  She also mentors students and faculty, individually and in groups, to advance their writing skills.  Dr. Jennings spearheaded strategic and operational planning to launch the Health Systems Leadership master’s program at Emory including curriculum development and teaching.  Her teaching experiences during her military career included revising and co-directing a 16-week Critical Care Nursing course affiliated with the graduate nursing program at the University of Texas at Houston.  During each cycle of the course, 15-20 Army nurses acquired a sound foundation in critical care nursing knowledge, skills, and ability.  She was also Director of Nursing Education at a major Army medical center where she was responsible for hospital orientation, continuing education programs, and coordinating clinical experiences for students at local universities.  She has guest lectured at a number of institutions including the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Washington, Indiana University, and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.  Dr. Jennings is a frequently sought speaker at national meetings; her style is regarded as motivational because of her passion for her topic—providing excellent care to patients!