Commissioner – Dr. Debbie Rahn

Dr. Debbie RahnDebbie Rahn, EdD, MSN, RN

Dr. Debbie Rahn, Director of the Reading Hospital School of Health Sciences (RHSHS), is responsible for the leadership of multiple diploma and certificate programs including nursing (RN), medical imaging (MI), surgical technology (ST), clinical pastoral education (CPE), Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Advanced EMT, and paramedic programs.   Dr. Rahn is a 1978 graduate of RHSHS (Nursing Program).  She received her BSN from Penn State University, and her Master of Science Degree in Nursing (Education) from Villanova University.  Dr. Rahn earned a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership and Management with a focus in Higher Education from Drexel University.  Dr. Rahn has provided leadership at the school to create dual admission programs for the Nursing, MI, and ST Programs whereby students are dually admitted to a local four year university, receive both a diploma from RHSHS and an associate degree from the university at the time of graduation, and then have the opportunity to seamlessly transition into the university’s BSN (nursing) or Bachelors of Health Sciences (MI, ST) programs. The role as Director of a School of Health Sciences requires that Dr. Rahn work with a variety of program accreditation agencies.

Dr. Rahn has held multiple roles in professional and academic settings including staff nurse, Assistant Head Nurse of an inpatient psychiatric setting, Nurse Manager of an inpatient oncology unit, nursing program faculty, curriculum coordinator, director of a nursing program, and her current role as Director of the School of Health Sciences. She was awarded two grants to increase the use of simulation pedagogy in nursing education.

Dr. Rahn has held a variety of leadership roles especially in the areas of ethics, nursing education, and nursing research. Debbie Rahn is a founding member of the Berks Regional Nursing Research Alliance, a grassroots organization representing multiple academic and practice partners, and designed to engage nurses in research and evidence base practices in a geographic area void of a major academic research institution.  Dr. Rahn has a long-standing interest in bio-ethics, and currently serves as the co-chair of the Reading Health System Ethics Committee.  One of Dr. Rahn’s research interest is in the role of nursing teamwork related to patient outcomes including nurse-sensitive patient outcomes. She has presented papers and posters at a variety of local, regional and national conferences, most recently providing a podium presentation at the American Nurses Association (ANA) 2016 Annual Conference: Connecting Quality, Safety, and Staffing to Improve Outcomes.  Her research on Transformational Teamwork has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Nursing Care Quality (JNCQ).

Dr. Rahn is a member of multiple professional organizations and has served the profession on state level committees including Pennsylvania Coalition for the Advancement of Nursing Education (PCANE), Pennsylvania Academic Progression in Nursing (PAPiN), and as co-chair for the Pennsylvania Southeast II Regional Action Coalition, addressing recommendations related to nursing education from the Institute of Medicine’s The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, (IOM, 2011).