Julie Sochalski, RN, PhD

Julie Sochalski, RN, PhD

Associate Professor of Nursing

Nursing Curriculum Director Vingroup-Penn Alliance

College of Health Sciences


As the United States’ former chief nurse, Julie Sochalski has one patient: the U.S. health care system. Her intervention is evidence-based reform to heal that system. From 2010-2013, Dr. Sochalski directed the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Division of Nursing and was its principal advisor for health workforce policy, overseeing a $250 million budget.

An investigator in health systems analysis and health policy, Dr. Sochalski studies gaps in the U.S. health care system and how policy solutions are devised and implemented to fill them. She also studies the impact – intended and unintended – of health policy decisions. She is particularly interested in how nurses and other health care professionals are best deployed to achieve optimal population health.


A career that encompasses health care ethics, financing, and policy gives Dr. Sochalski a healthy regard for interdisciplinary thinking and curiosity. Her research on the health care workforce, currently funded by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, includes studying nurse practitioners, home health services, and nurse-led rehabilitation as avenues to maximize health benefits for the greatest number of patients. Dr. Sochalski’s modus operandi is to continually question how diverse providers practice, with which patients and in what settings, to find new solutions for patients who need care.


  1. Sochalski, J., Melendez-Torres, G.J. (2013). What is a Nurse? “A Missioner of Health”. Academic Medicine, 88, 1616.10.1097IACM.0b013e3182a8ee95
  2. Bettger, J.P.; Sochalski, J.A.; Foust, J.B.; Zubritsky, C.D.; Hirschman, K.B.; Abbott, K.M. & Naylor, M.D. (2012). Measuring nursing care time and tasks in long-term services and supports: on size does not fit all. The Journal of Nursing Research, 20(3), 158-168.
  3. Riegel, B., Lee, C., & Sochalski, J. (2010). Developing an instrument to measure heart failure disease management program intensity and complexity. Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, 3(3), 324-330.
  4. Sochalski, J., Jaarsma, T., Krumholz, H.M., Laramee, A., McMurray, J.J.V., Naylor, M.D., Rich, M.W., Riegel, B., & Stewart, S. (2009). What works in chronic care management? The case of heart failure. Health Affairs, 28(1), 179-189.
  5. Feudtner, J.C., Hexem, K.R., Shabbout, M., Feinstein, J.A., Sochalski, J., & Silber, J.S. (2009). Prediction of pediatric death in the year after hospitalization: a population-level retrospective cohort study. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 12(2), 160-169.
  6. Sales, A., Sharp, N., Li, Y-F., Lowy, E., Greiner, G., Liu, C., Alt-White, A., Rick, C., Sochalski, J., Mitchell, P., Rosentahal, G., Stetler, C., Cournoyer, P. & Needleman, J. (2008). The association between nursing factors and patient mortality in the Veterans Health Administration. Medical Care, 46(9), 938-945.
  7. Konetzka, R.t., Zhu, J., Sochalski, J. & Volpp, K.G. (2008). Managed care and hospital cost containment. Inquiry, 45(1), 98-111.
  8. Friese, C.R., Lake, E.T., Aiken, L.H., Silber, J. & Sochalski, J.A. (2008). Hospital nurse practice environments and outcomes for surgical oncology patients. Health Services Research, 43(4), 1145-1163.
  9. Conway, P.H., Konetzka, R.T., Zhu, J., Volpp, K.G., & Sochalski, J. (2008). Nurse staffing ratios: trends and policy implications for hospitalists and the safety net. Journal of Hospital Medicine, 3(3), 193-199.
  10. Sochalski, J., Konetzka, R.T., Shu, J., & Volpp, K.G. (2008). Will mandated minimum nurse staffing ratios lead to better patient outcomes?. Medical Care, 46(6), 606-613.


  • PhD, University of Michigan, 1988
  • MS, University of Michigan, 1979
  • BS, University of Michigan, 1975