Robyn Stremler appointed dean of Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing

Professor Stremler is internationally recognized for her research in infant and adolescent sleep

(photo by Rebecca Biason)

Professor Robyn Stremler, a renowned nursing researcher, will become the next dean of the University of Toronto’s Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing following an extensive international search.

Stremler, who is currently the acting dean for the faculty, will serve a five-year term that begins May 15, 2024 and extends until June 30, 2029.

“As a Bloomberg Nursing alumni and faculty member, I am honoured to serve as dean and I am extremely proud to be a part of such a diverse community of students, faculty, staff and alumni who consistently strive for excellence and innovation in nursing research, education and practice,” says Stremler. “We are the top-ranked school of nursing in Canada, and I look forward to seeing our growth and progress ahead as we continue to inspire and educate future nurse leaders.”

Stremler will be replacing former dean Linda Johnston, who completed a 10-year term and led the faculty through many developments including the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Johnston was committed to initiatives that supported the values of the faculty including the creation of the Doctor of Nursing program and the establishment of the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Indigenous Reconciliation Committee.   

“I want to thank Linda Johnston for her immense contributions to Bloomberg Nursing in her time as dean,” says Stremler. “Her leadership and advocacy has positioned the faculty for continued success and elevated its reputation as a leading academic and research institution.”

An adjunct scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children, Stremler is an accomplished clinician and researcher who is internationally recognized for her ground-breaking research in infant and adolescent sleep.

Her research program, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), focuses on improvements in pediatric and adolescent sleep quality and sleep promotion using digital and wearable technological interventions. Some of her recent research includes a team grant with the Sleep Research Consortium to examine sleep equity and intersectional theoretical frameworks to optimize sleep health for all Canadians.

For her distinguished scholarly contributions, Stremler has earned prestigious fellowships from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the American Academy of Nursing, and awards for leadership in research excellence from the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation and Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, among others.

“I am delighted that Professor Stremler has been named as the new dean of the Lawrence Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing,” said Trevor Young, U of T's vice-president and provost. “Professor Stremler is a dedicated clinician and researcher who is passionate about the nursing profession and about providing our students with the skills and resources they need. A committed educator and mentor, she has been an active leader in the faculty since 2015, and has been a tremendous force in supporting the professional development of students at all levels, as well as front-line nurses.”

Stremler served as director of the PhD program at Bloomberg Nursing from 2015 to 2018, and in 2023 served as the associate dean, academic. She is credited for being intentional and committed to the betterment of nursing education through curriculum improvements and collaboration with key partners in nursing education including the Toronto Academic Health Science Network (TAHSN). Her ability to build strong relationships with students across undergraduate and graduate programs has been deemed instrumental to sustaining a strong sense of community and focus on equity.

Bloomberg Nursing is home to leading nurse scientists and has graduated more than 11,000 alumni at the top of their fields, many of whom actively work with partners from around the world to improve quality of life and treatment options for populations across the life span.

Stremler’s appointment as dean comes at a time when the nursing profession is undergoing significant change as it tackles challenges of retention, recruitment and equitable access to health care.

Stremler says she’s looking forward to expanding the faculty’s investment in future nurse leaders who will improve health care and health systems worldwide. “Bloomberg Nursing has always been a leader in cutting-edge research and innovation exploring the relevant healthcare challenges of our time, which includes our ability to sustain a healthy and engaged nursing workforce,” she says.

“Our commitment to nursing excellence will continue to be centered around the dismantling of barriers to equitable access to care, and an evidence-based approach to ensuring the voices of nurses are at the forefront of health system change.”

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