Sean Clarke


Sean Clarke Headshot

Sean Clarke


Ursula Springer Professor in Nursing Leadership
Executive Vice Dean

1 212 998 5264

Sean Clarke's additional information

Sean Clarke, RN, PhD, FAAN, is the executive vice dean and a professor at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing. His research focuses on quality and safety issues in acute care hospitals, workforce issues, occupational safety of nurses, and the influences of economic and political factors on healthcare delivery and the nursing profession. He is perhaps best known for research on nurse staffing in hospitals and surveys of nurse working conditions. He has authored or co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed articles and 30 book chapters. Clarke has been a principal investigator on projects supported by the National Institute of Nursing Research, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and has served as a co-investigator on grants totaling over $10 million over the course of his career. In addition to teaching nursing, health policy, and research at the baccalaureate through doctoral levels, he also supervises PhD and postdoctoral research trainees and maintains a program of research with colleagues from a number of countries. 

Clarke has been a member of a variety of panels and boards related to health research and healthcare quality. He has had extensive involvement in peer review of research articles and grants and served on editorial boards of a number of scientific and professional journals in nursing and health services research. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and currently holds affiliate faculty appointments at the Université de Montréal and the University of Hong Kong.

Prior to joining the faculty at NYU Meyers, he was a professor and associate dean in the Undergraduate Program at the Connell School of Nursing, Boston College, from 20142018. He was also on faculty at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing for seven years, held an endowed chair in cardiovascular nursing at the University of Toronto, and was an endowed chair directing a special donor-funded set of projects intended to advance collaboration between the School of Nursing and its affiliated teaching hospitals at McGill University. He also co-directed nursing health services and workforce research groups in Philadelphia and Toronto and has been a consultant to clinicians, leaders, and professional associations on issues related to nursing and patient safety for almost two decades in Canada, the United States, and internationally. 

Clarke completed his basic clinical and research training in nursing at McGill University, in Montreal, Canada, and pursued a nurse practitioner education and a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. He holds BA and BS degrees from the University of Ottawa and Carleton University, in his hometown of Ottawa, Canada.

PhD - McGill University School of Nursing
MS - McGill University School of Nursing
BA - Carleton University
BS - University of Ottawa

Nursing workforce
Adult health
Nursing administration
Health Policy

Faculty Honors Awards

Creative Teaching Award, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto (2011)
Dean’s Award for Undergraduate Teaching, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (2007)
Junior Faculty Research Award, Biobehavioral and Health Sciences Division School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania (2006)
Fellow, American Academy of Nursing (2006)
Class of 1965 25th Reunion Term Chair, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing [for enduring contributions to undergraduate education] (2006)
American Academy of Nursing Media Award for coverage of Aiken, Clarke et al., JAMA, October 23/30, 2002 (2003)
Article of the Year, Academy Health [Academy for Health Services Research and Health Policy] for Aiken, Clarke et al., JAMA, October 23/30, 2002 (2003)
American Academy of Nursing Media Award for coverage of Aiken, Clarke, et al. Health Affairs, 2001 (2002)
Induction into Sigma Theta Tau, Xi Chapter (1999)


Educators’ Perceptions of the Development of Clinical Judgment of Direct-Entry Students and Experienced RNs Enrolled in NP Programs

Lavoie, P., & Clarke, S. P. (2022). Journal of Nursing Regulation, 12(4), 4-15. 10.1016/S2155-8256(22)00011-4
Background: Nurse practitioner (NP) education was originally reserved for experienced nurses, but it has gradually opened to nurses with little to no clinical experience at the registered nurse (RN) level as well as to non-nurses. The existence of multiple paths to NP training and practice raises questions about the role of generalist RN experience in learning clinical decision-making and other aspects of the NP role. Purpose: To describe educators’ perceptions of the role of prior nursing experience in the development of clinical judgment during NP graduate education. Methods: In this qualitative descriptive study, 27 NP faculty from four universities participated in individual interviews. Transcripts were analyzed using a thematic approach. Results: According to participants, previous nursing experience—or any relevant experience—can either be helpful or detrimental in the development of NP students’ clinical judgment. Three themes were generated: variations in students’ baseline knowledge and skills, different frames of reference to grasp new content and skills, and challenges related to professional identity. In addition, participants described factors that they believe can affect the impact of different types of experience. Conclusion: Students with and without prior nursing experience face distinct challenges in learning NP-level clinical decision-making and judgment, but they reach similar end-of-program competence. Educators are confronted with contradictions between generally held wisdom, their professional socialization, and first-hand observations regarding the role of experience (inside and outside nursing) in preparing students to become NPs.

Evaluating Policy

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Nurses' experience of handoffs on four Canadian medical and surgical units: A shared accountability for knowing and safeguarding the patient

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Top priorities for the next decade of nursing health services research

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Nurses’ judgments of patient risk of deterioration at change-of-shift handoff: Agreement between nurses and comparison with early warning scores

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Nursing handoffs and clinical judgments regarding patient risk of deterioration: A mixed-methods study

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Association of State-Level Restrictions in Nurse Practitioner Scope of Practice With the Quality of Primary Care Provided to Medicare Beneficiaries

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Debriefing approaches for high-fidelity simulations and outcomes related to clinical judgment in baccalaureate nursing students

Lavoie, P., Pepin, J., Cossette, S., & Clarke, S. P. (2019). Collegian, 26(5), 514-521. 10.1016/j.colegn.2019.01.001
Simulation followed by debriefing is increasingly common in clinical nursing education. Yet, limited studies have compared approaches to debriefing—the portion of simulations where participants re-examine and make sense of their experience. In this study, 120 baccalaureate nursing students in Quebec were randomized to receive one of two types of debriefing (self-assessment with Plus-Delta vs. guided reflection using a structured tool with REsPoND) after each of four simulations (a hemorrhage scenario, two sepsis scenarios, and a trauma simulation) during which their situation awareness was measured as a proxy for their clinical judgment. Unexpectedly, situation awareness scores showed little to no consistency across students or simulations and no clear improvements over time were noted, which rendered the comparison of the debriefing approaches across scenarios problematic. However, when comparing the two iterations of the sepsis scenario, students who participated in a reflective debriefing showed greater improvement in their recognition of abnormalities in patient vital signs and level of consciousness than students whose debriefing involved self-assessment.

Acceptability and feasibility of recruitment and data collection in a field study of hospital nurses' handoffs using mobile devices

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Adding unregulated nursing support workers to ward staffing: Exploration of a natural experiment

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