Convocation Speaker

Rita V. Smith, DNP, RN

Rita SmithDr. Rita Smith, Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer has been a transformation leader at Jersey City Medical Center- RWJBH since 2004.  In this position, Dr. Smith has developed a Department of Nursing that focuses on best current evidence based practice, collaborative relationships with all providers, patient centered, family focused care, and community involvement in planning and evaluating care.  Implementation of the Nursing Differentiated Practice Program, incorporating all aspects of professional nursing development and commitment to community involvement by nurses has served as a foundation for continuous growth of the nursing staff.   The success of these endeavors was recognized by Magnet Hospital designation in 2008 and re-designation in 2014.  As Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services, Dr. Smith’s leadership influence extends beyond the department of Nursing to include integration and development of all clinical support services.

Prior to joining Jersey City Medical Center, Dr. Smith held leadership positions in nursing and other clinical services at several hospitals in New Jersey and New York.

Dr. Smith has dedicated her career to professional development of nurses and improving outcomes for patients across the continuum of care.  Dr. Smith’s doctoral capstone project explored the need for community based care in Jersey City and proposed an advanced practice nurse model of care to meet the primary care needs of the population in the Greenville section of Jersey City. 

Dr. Smith holds a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from Rutgers University, a Master’s degree in Public Administration from New York University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Kean University.

Dr. Smith has published articles on pain management and lectured extensively on nursing leadership, nursing finance, Magnet and Evidence-Based Practice.

Dr. Smith serves as an advisory board member of NJCU School of Professional Studies and Nursing.  She has served on curriculum development committees for Rutgers School of Nursing, St. Peter’s College School of Nursing, and is an active member of the Organization of Nurse Leaders in New Jersey.  As a member of this organization, she serves as co-chair of the Advocacy Committee, which is charged to influence and have a measurable impact on healthcare policy in New Jersey. Dr. Smith also serves as a board member of the organization. 

Dr. Smith was a founding member and remains very active in the N.J. Council of Magnet Organizations (NJCOMO).  She serves on the Board and currently serves as President of the organization.



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