University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston School of Nursing Dean Deborah J. Jones, PhD, MSN, RN, has appointed faculty member Elizabeth (Liz) Petitt, DNP, APRN, to a new role as Director of the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Program.

Petitt is currently an assistant professor in the nursing school's Department of Graduate Studies. She succeeds Maureen Wilder, DNP, RN, who is retiring after 40 years of service at UTMB.

Petitt will lead a program ranked by U.S. News and World Report at #17 out of 173 graduate nursing schools in its 2021 survey of Best Online Master's in Nursing Programs. UTMB School of Nursing also is listed at #14 in Best Online Family Nurse Practitioner Master's Programs and #6 in Best Online Master's in Nursing Programs for Veterans (up from #10 the previous year).

Drs. Wilder and Petitt will work closely to facilitate a smooth transition, said Dean Deborah J. Jones. Dr. Petitt's background, experience, passion, and enthusiasm will be great assets as a leader for our MSN Program.

Petitt has worked at UTMB for 30 years, 29 of those in health care and nursing. She is an alumna of UTMB, having earned both her MSN (2008) and BSN (1999) degrees from the School of Nursing. She earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she was named the outstanding DNP student in her class in 2018.

Petitt's clinical expertise is as a Dermatology Nurse Practitioner. Her research interests include skin cancer prevention and sun protective behaviors, as well as health promotion and disease prevention. As a faculty member, Petitt is engaged in creating dermatology content, lectures, skills, case studies, and test items within the MSN curriculum. She will continue to teach and lead our seven different MSN tracks.