Dr. Joel Hicks named dean of Northwestern State College of Nursing and School of Allied Health

Dr. Joel Hicks has been named dean of the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health at Northwestern State University effective July 1, according to Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Greg Handel. Hicks has served as interim dean since January. The Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System has approved the appointment.

“I am thrilled to have Joel Hicks join us as Dean of the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health,” Handel said. “His experience working in radiologic sciences, with industry partners, and his passion for Healthcare, coupled with his emphasis on training future nurses and allied health professionals, will be an asset to the University. Joel is a consummate professional who is thoughtful and responsive to the students, faculty and staff in CoNSAH.”

Hicks has been interim dean since January. He was director of the School of Allied Health from 2017-2020 and was named assistant dean of the College in 2020.

“The foundation of the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health was laid long ago by outstanding faculty and staff who wished to educate and graduate the best nurses and radiologic technologists in our state and beyond,” said Hicks. “Building on that foundation, we will continue to fulfill the mission of our college and University by providing the highest quality nursing and allied health education to all students.”

In May, Northwestern State’s nurse anesthesia program received full accreditation by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. The College of Nursing and School of Allied Health recently received a $1.9 million grant from The Health Resources and Services Administration Bureau of Health Workforce to help expand the delivery of mental health services in Louisiana.

Hicks joined Northwestern State’s faculty in 2010 after 16 years in the health care field. He earned a certificate in radiologic technology from LSU Health Sciences Center, a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science from Northwestern State, a Master of Science in Radiologic Technology from Midwestern State University and a Doctor of Education in Developmental Education from Grambling State University.

As a member of Northwestern State’s faculty, he has held the Caroline Romine Endowed Professorship for the past four years and was the recipient of the Carolyn Cole Saunders Endowed Professorship for one year. He was principal investigator for a Louisiana Board of Regents grant of $78,894, “Enhancing Student Competencies in Radiologic Science Using Virtual Radiography.” He was represented the College of Nursing and School of Allied Health on NSU’s Faculty Senate from 2010-16, serving as secretary and vice president. He is participating in the UL System’s Management and Leadership Institute and the NSU Leads program.

Hicks makes frequent presentations to national, statewide and regional groups and has had research and book reviews published in national professional journals.


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