Sharon Stanley, PhD, RN, RS, FAAN

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  • 2011 Alumni
    Sharon Stanley

Circleville, OH

PhD, RN, RS, FAAN and COL (ret), US Army

Senior Consultant, American Red Cross, NHQ, Office of Nursing & Health

President, Association of Public Health Nurses (APHN)


Dr. Stanley has served over 35 years in public health at local, state and national levels.  For the last 15 years, she has worked in disaster preparedness, response and recovery in several senior leadership roles.  She is an Army veteran with 34 years of military service.


Chief Nurse of the American Red Cross 2009 - 2013, Sharon provided health leadership and strategic direction for the American Red Cross and 15,000 Red Cross nurses nationwide. As a senior health policy and planning leader, she partnered nationally to implement health-related strategies within the Red Cross vision and mission and its various business lines: Service to Armed Forces, Preparedness Health and Safety Services, and Disaster Services.  Sharon was instrumental in the 2011 change that enabled nurses to provide care consistent with their education and training in disaster services after a 25-year limitation of nursing practice. She continues to work as a senior level volunteer.


Before joining the Red Cross, Sharon was the program director for the Ohio Center for Public Health Preparedness in the College of Public Health at Ohio State University.  There, she co-developed and directed a nationwide, competency-based training program for public health nurses in disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. Other past public health positions include Chief of Disaster Planning, Ohio Department of Health; Associate Professor of Community Health, Capital University; and Health Commissioner for both Ross and Pickaway Counties in Ohio. 


COL (ret) Stanley served 34 years in the Army Nurse Corps, 12 years on active duty. She was the first nurse commander of multiple units.  Her Brigade Command during Operation Iraqi Freedom provided leadership for a three-state regional medical group.  Her command inventory included Combat Support Hospitals, Forward Surgical Teams, Combat Stress Units, Veterinary Detachments, and CBRNE components.  Sharon graduated from the Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Resident Class 2003 (Masters of Strategic Studies).  She holds The Surgeon General’s “A” proficiency designator and is an Order of Military Medical Merit member.


Sharon’s graduate degrees include:  MA in Security Studies (Homeland Security and Defense) from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA (2008), PhD from The Ohio State University in Health Education (1989), and MS in Community Health Nursing from Wright State University (1983).


She is a 2013 recipient of the International Red Cross Florence Nightingale Medal and an Executive Nurse Fellow 2011 – 2014 with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  She was inducted as a Fellow into the American Academy of Nursing in October 2013 and into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame in November 2013.


She and her husband, Mark, have three sons:  Ben (Adrienne), Nick (Mary-Beth), and Joel.  Her greatest joys include the five Stanley grandchildren.