Dr. Johnnie Sue Cooper Wijewardane manages patient quality and safety at the Children's Hospital at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. A family nurse practitioner since 2001, her work as a clinician spans occupational health, primary care, college health, and long-term care. Wijewardane served as the Inaugural Dean for Radford University School of Nursing holding the rank of Full Professor with Tenure and Graduate Faculty. She previously served the University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Nursing as Professor with Graduate appointment and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. She served as Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Graduate Nursing at Mississippi University for Women (MUW) where she led the MSN-FNP and DNP programs. She developed a new DNP program at MUW and facilitated a collaborative NP residency program with a local rural hospital that is now nationally accredited and sustained entirely by the hospital. Wijewardane works with nursing leadership groups to ensure lawmakers and regulatory committees have accurate nursing policy information. She implemented “DNP Day at the Capitol” for MUW DNP students, and was awarded the 2014 AANP State Award for Excellence.
Wijewardane developed and tested an instrument for testing parental self-efficacy to influence child health behavior. The instrument, the Cooper Parental Self-Efficacy Scale -- Child Health Behaviors (CPSS-CHB) was used in a student DNP project under her direction.
Wijewardane's expertise spans nursing academic leadership, education and graduate curriculum design with over a decade of experience in nurse practitioner education. She presents at state and national venues and on topics including nursing leadership, long-term care topics, and design thinking in healthcare and nursing. Dr. Wijewardane earned her BSN, MSN, and PhD from the University of Mississippi Medical Center, earned post graduate credit in Applied Statistics from Texas A&M University. She holds a certificate in Design Thinking from the Artis College of Visual and Performing Arts at Radford University where she is pursuing an MFA in Design Thinking.
She co-founded and co-owns the 1817 Group, LLC with her husband where they provide technology and healthcare related consulting, design, and design thinking.