Dorrie K. Fontaine

A passion for critical care nursing underlies the distinguished career of Dorrie K. Fontaine, RN, PhD, FAAN, as clinician, scholar, researcher, educator and professional leader. Since coming to the University of Virginia School of Nursing as Sadie Heath Cabaniss Professor of Nursing and Dean, Dr. Fontaine has implemented Appreciative Inquiry methodology as the basis for the School’s strategic planning and launched an interdisciplinary process to create a transformational model to provide compassionate end-of-life care across the health care spectrum.  

Standing in My Power: Becoming a Fearless Dean


The serpentine wall was built by Thomas Jefferson at the University of Virginia nearly two hundred years ago. Only one brick thick, it takes its resilience from the curvature of the wall, needing only one brick sitting beside and supporting one another. Resilience is essential for health care providers as well.