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Azita Emami PhD, MSN, BSN, RN, FAAN

The Robert G. and Jean A. Reid Executive Dean of Nursing

I earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the renowned Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, where I grew up after emigrating from Iran. I went on to gain a master’s degree in international health care from Karolinska and the Red Cross College of Nursing; a nursing education degree with a teaching certification and a doctorate in medical sciences from Karolinska.

My academic leadership experience spans two countries and 25 years, including positions as the Dean of the College of Nursing at Seattle University, Head of the Division of Nursing in the Department of Neurobiology Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, and Academic Leader in the Division of Elder Care in the Department of Nursing at the Karolinska Institutet.

My research has resulted in more than 70 publications in peer-reviewed journals nationally and internationally. This body of work reflects my research interests in cross-cultural care, elder care, the development of cultural competence, and specific diseases and conditions. I maintain an active research schedule and has collaborated in projects around the world including at the University of California, San Francisco; University of Sheffield, U.K.; Universidad de Chile, Chile; and the University of Alberta, Canada.

I am currently involved in research projects that are extending our knowledge of how music can help diminish agitation and other unwanted behaviors in people with dementia, while improving quality of life for them and their caregivers. Dementia is one of the great unsolved healthcare challenges. Research shows that music is something that reaches and touches people with dementia, even when speech and other cognitive faculties are lost.

In my role as executive dean, I have emphasized the increasingly global nature of nursing and the importance of educating nurses to deliver care in a wide variety of culturally and economically diverse settings. I am a proud recipient of the UW Women’s Center’s Women of Courage award.


What do you love about the UW School of Nursing?

The UW School of Nursing is a place of great intellectual excitement. New knowledge that will change lives around the world is being created here. Nurses who will be policymakers, clinicians, researchers, educators and independent practitioners are pursuing their studies here. Nurses who are doing cutting edge research are doing their work here. Faculty who excel in the education of nurse-leaders are teaching the next generation of nurses. There is a strong sense of cooperation, collaboration, and dedication that enhances everything we do. Students and faculty support one another, to everyone’s benefit. All of this carries forward a legacy of excellence that is part of the UW School of Nursing’s DNA.


Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Informatics

Research Areas

  • Lifespan Health
Picture of  Azita Emami
Main: 206-221-2472

University of Washington School of Nursing
Box 357260
Seattle, WA 98195

Office: T-301