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Sutter Health SMU-Special Assistant to the Dean for Clinical Affairs in Oakland, California

Position Overview:

Who we are: Samuel Merritt University graduates improve health outcomes and reduce disparities for all members of our communities. We have spent more than a century preparing outstanding healthcare professionals through immersive learning and community engagement, and are deeply committed to transforming healthcare through diversity and inclusion. At the School of Nursing, we are at the forefront of educational innovation in theory and practice to prepare highly competent professional nursing leaders who are engaged in the advancement of nursing practice and the improvement of health for diverse populations/peoples. Our mission is to prepare highly skilled nurse clinicians and nurse leaders who promote health and well-being across diverse populations and communities, recognize the importance of Social Determinants of Health, and practice with compassion, kindness, and respect.

Join a team of dedicated educators: Our faculty are known for their passion for growing the nursing vocation. With this passion, we strive to awaken curiosity in our students and instill lifelong learning. Congruent with our values, we work hard to inspire service and leadership in our students. The position combines teaching, scholarship and service. We define teaching as creating environments that facilitate student learning and the attainment of expected outcomes at the course and program levels. Faculty has ownership for the development, implementation, evaluation and revision of the curricula within the School of Nursing which are designed to prepare graduates to provide nursing care in a dynamic health care environment. Service implies the use of academic and professional expertise to serve the University, the nursing profession and the community. Service consists of meaningful activities that promote the image, mission or strategic priorities of the University, the well-being of relevant individuals or groups among the community of interest or the professional growth of faculty. Scholarship reflects activities resulting in the production, reorganization/refinement, dissemination or creation of works that advance knowledge in nursing.

Position Summary: The Special Assistant is a faculty position with 100% release time for administrative duties, subject to change based on School of Nursing’s needs.

The Special Assistant negotiates with C-level leadership of clinical agencies in Northern California to establish systems, policies, and procedures for nursing clinical sites. The Special Assistant will monitor, evaluate, and report on quality and appropriateness of clinical partnerships. This position reports to the Dean.

Major Areas of responsibilities include but not limited to:

Administration (100%)

  • Serves as primary liaison to Sutter Health on all issues regarding placement of prelicensure, FNP, Case Management, and RN to BSN students.

  • Identifies and secures corporate-level clinical agreements for students in on-ground, hybrid, and on-line nursing programs with emphasis on pre-licensure and undergraduates. Specific geographic regions, types of practices, and prioritization will be determined by the School of Nursing Management Team.

  • Establishes systems for communication and decision-making with the school’s community of interest regarding clinical arrangements and placements.

  • Ensures the SoN has a clearly defined outreach plan for clinical agencies to avoid duplication of efforts.

  • Monitors and triages SMU and agency compliance with contract requirements

  • Serves as primary negotiator between SMU and agencies (including Sutter Health) in establishing agreements for faculty and student onboarding

  • Liaises with Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs regarding clinical affairs issues affecting non-nursing SMU programs.

  • Establishes systems and processes related to selection, use, user training, and fees for affiliation software programs

  • Negotiates mechanisms for agency staff joint appointments as faculty

  • Negotiates with chief nurse executives to improve the student experience across the trajectory from student to employee

  • Plans and participates in clinical coordination forums, summit events, and conferences as appropriate to prepare and assess clinical program effectiveness.

  • Manages school-wide prelicensure clinical planning


Minimum Qualifications & Requirements

Education & Experience

  • Master’s required; Nursing degree preferred but will consider other disciplines with relevant experience. Doctoral degree, preferred

  • Minimum of three years of experience full time teaching in baccalaureate or higher degree nursing programs, preferred

  • Minimum of three years of experience in administration/ management of baccalaureate or higher degree nursing programs, preferred

  • Unencumbered California registered nurse license or eligible for licensure in California as applicable

  • Marketing experience is a bonus


  • Planning, management, and leadership skills

  • Proficient in basic office software applications, including but not limited to Microsoft Office preferred

  • Supervisory and personnel management skills

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills

  • Excellent interpersonal relationships

  • Function effectively as a member of a team and independently

  • Create and sustain a culture of respect, cooperation, and innovation among faculty and students


  • Read, analyze, and interpret relevant professional materials, journals, and government regulations as they pertain to student fieldwork

  • Interact with a wide variety of healthcare professionals and organizations

  • Travel extensively throughout northern California

The University has an institution-wide commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. We strive to build a welcoming and supportive campus environment, and acknowledge that diversity is an educational imperative to achieve excellence.

Organization: Samuel Merritt University

Employee Status: Regular

Benefits: Yes

Position Status: Exempt

Union: No

Job Shift: Day

Shift Hours: 8 Hour Shift

Days of the Week Scheduled: Monday-Friday

Weekend Requirements: Other

Schedule: Full Time

Hrs Per 2wk Pay Period: 80

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, registered domestic partner status, sex, gender, gender identity or expression, ancestry, national origin (including possession of a driver's license issued to individuals who did not present proof of authorized presence in the U.S.), age, medical condition, physical or mental disability, military or protected veteran status, political affiliation, pregnancy or perceived pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or related medical condition, genetic information or any other characteristic made unlawful by local, state, or federal law, ordinance or regulation. External hires must pass a background check/drug screening. Qualified applicants with arrest and/or conviction records will be considered for employment in a manner consistent with Federal, state, and local laws, including but not limited to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance.