Gail Armstrong, PhD, DNP, ACNS-BC, CNE, FAAN is a Professor and Faculty Development Coordinator at CU College of Nursing. Gail earned a BA in Literature from Bates College, an MA in Literature from Georgetown University, a Nursing Doctorate (ND) Degree from the University of Colorado, an MS in Nursing from the University of Colorado (with an Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist focus), a DNP from the University of Colorado and a PhD in Nursing Science (with a Health Systems focus) from Vanderbilt University.
Gail joined CU Nursing faculty in 2000, and while Gail’s practice was in Med/Surg nursing, she taught in the pre-licensure program, focusing on acute care of the adult patient. Once Gail’s nursing practice shifted to a focus on Quality & Safety, Gail began teaching in the Clinical Nurse Specialist MS Program and PhD (Health Systems) Program. Gail is well known for her excellence in education, as evidenced by her eight teaching awards (One Dean’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching, Two President’s Teaching Awards and Five Chancellor’s Teaching Awards). Additionally, Gail is the first CU Nursing faculty member in more than thirty years to earn the career recognition as a President’s Teaching Scholar (since 1989). Gail has received multiple awards acknowledging her local and national leadership (Dean’s Award for Leadership, and The Linda Cronenwett QSEN Leadership Award), and in 2021 Gail was inducted into the American Academy of Nursing.
Much of Gail’s scholarship focuses on the integration of updated quality and safety content in early pre-licensure curricula. Gail’s scholarly contributions include developing groundbreaking, specific strategies for early and sustained integration of the IOM/NAM competencies into pre-licensure curricula, which challenged decades-old models of curricular progression. As Gail’s practice grew into other areas of quality and safety, her scholarship grew to include high functioning teams in healthcare, Just Culture and Systems Leadership for the DNP-prepared nurse. Gail is the primary editor of Leadership and Systems Improvement for the DNP, a 2020 text that offers leadership and systems improvement content for DNP nursing clinical leaders.
In 2012 Gail was a founding member of the 12-month Certificate Training Program offered by the Institute of Healthcare Quality, Safety and Efficiency at Anschutz Medical Campus. Gail was the only nurse on the original faculty and contributed to much of the course content specific to leadership and leading effective teams.
In 2019 Gail moved to Portland, OR to serve as the Assistant Dean of DNP Program at Oregon Health & Science University. In this capacity, Gail worked to unify six APRN Programs into a unified DNP, where students in all specialties are supported in areas of scholarly writing, evidence-based practice, improvement science and systems leadership.
Gail returned to CU Nursing in 2022 pioneering a new role, Faculty Development Coordinator. In her current work as Faculty Development Coordinator, Gail supports the growth and development of CU Nursing faculty in all phases of their careers.