A long-time UCF professor and administrator has been named dean of the University of Central Florida’s College of Nursing after a national search for the position.

Mary Lou Sole, who has served as the college’s interim dean since 2013, starts in her new role on July 1.

Sole joined UCF in 1991 as a visiting associate professor in the former School of Nursing at both the Orlando and Cocoa campuses. Since then, she has served as the graduate program coordinator and the school’s interim director. She later became the College of Nursing’s interim dean and the Orlando Health Endowed Chair in Nursing.

“UCF’s College of Nursing is well-respected in our community, our graduates are in high demand, and our faculty are outstanding and dedicated,” Sole said. “My vision is to build on our existing strengths to foster the development of new educational programs and research for the College so that we are known beyond Florida as a leader in simulation technology and healthcare systems management.”

During her tenure as UCF’s interim dean, Sole has advanced the college’s teaching and research-related capabilities in simulation, virtual-reality applications, professional partnerships with hospitals and healthcare providers in the community, and interdisciplinary collaboration across the university.

Her current research is funded by a $2.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health and focuses on preventing complications for mechanically ventilated patients. Additionally, she holds an appointment as a Clinical Scientist in the Center for Nursing Research at Orlando Health and is certified as a critical care clinical nurse specialist.

As dean, Sole says she will “refine our programs to include interprofessional education” and “make team learning across disciplines a reality” to best prepare graduates for the ever-changing healthcare environment.

“Dr. Mary Lou Sole’s long-standing commitment to UCF’s College of Nursing, her nationally recognized scholarship, and her energy and vision for student success and research make her an outstanding member of our UCF Knights family,” said A. Dale Whittaker, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Prior to coming to UCF, Sole was a faculty member at the University of Texas Health Science Center School of Nursing at San Antonio, and a clinical nurse specialist at Santa Rosa Hospital. Sole earned her Ph.D. in Adult Health from the University of Texas at Austin, her master’s degree in nursing from The Ohio State University and her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Ohio University. Her initial preparation as a nurse was through a diploma program at the Ohio Valley General Hospital School of Nursing in Wheeling, W.Va.