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New nursing chair aims to increase study abroad opportunities

September 18, 2019

Susan Caplan

Susan Caplan has been named the chair for the NIU School of Nursing.

Caplan comes to NIU from Rutgers University where she was a professor of nursing. Also, she taught at the University of Southern Maine, and holds a Ph.D. degree in nursing from Yale University, and an M.S. degree in nursing from Pace University.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Caplan lead the School of Nursing because of her leadership skills and research reputation,” said Derryl Block, dean, College of Health and Human Sciences.

In 2018, Caplan was inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN) in recognition of her scholarly work in the area of mental health services for Hispanics. She is also known for her work in cultural competence in education.

Recently, she was awarded a grant to further her research in immigrant mental health services and global mental health from the Fogarty/National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health. Her current project looks at depression management using a mobile app among primary care patients in the Dominican Republic. This research will provide opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations between nursing, public health, visual arts, statistics and foreign language.

Caplan said she is planning to develop a study abroad course in the Dominical Republic about mental health services research.

“There is a growing need for quality mental health services, not only in the Dominican Republic, but much closer to home, and nurses at all levels are on the forefront of many efforts to alleviate our severe shortages in mental health and addiction treatments,” Caplan said. “My research has always focused on overcoming barriers to mental health services and offering innovate methods of community-based services and academic partnerships.”

Caplan’s office is in the School of Nursing. She can be reached at [email protected], 815-753-1231.