From the Dean

Kathy ParkerWhen you are a nurse, there are certain indisputable truths. For example, you must always anticipate what might happen next. You have to constantly be thinking hours and days ahead. At the same time, you must have the skills, know-how and confidence to handle what’s happening right now. Finally, you know that you deliver the best outcomes when you work as part of a team – with your colleagues and with your patients.

Those precepts apply to nursing education as well. I am proud to say that at the University of Rochester School of Nursing, we are always looking down the road, thinking about what the landscape will look like for nurses one year, five years, 10 years from now. We teach critical thinking skills that will enable our students to adapt to and synthesize change and find success in the long term. Yet, we are very much in the moment, making sure that we graduate students who can hit the ground running as clinicians, researchers, teachers and leaders. We make sure they have access to all of the technological applications available today that will allow them to make the most of their time and resources.

We also highly value our role as part of an academic medical center and encourage students to maximize the opportunities this unique status presents them. I began my career at an academic medical center and have never worked at any other kind of facility. I can attest to the fact that learning in an environment where discoveries are made every day and where interdisciplinary collaboration is the norm provides a tremendous advantage. It influences your thinking, your practice and your career.

This issue of NURSING takes a closer look at some of our academic offerings. It examines how the various program directors cultivate their respective areas with foresight and sensitivity. Some have taken long-standing programs and turned them on their heads; others have taken on newer programs and yielded tremendous results. In all cases, their efforts have been driven by feedback and real-life experiences from students, alumni, preceptors and employers. They have taken into consideration what may come as a result of health care reform and changes in licensing standards. Across the board, they are focused on student success.

Being ahead of the curve is not new to us. Rather, the University of Rochester School of Nursing boasts a tradition of being at the forefront of change as it relates to nursing education. It was Dean Emeritus Loretta Ford who helped develop the model of nurse practitioner and set about developing a program that would graduate advanced practice nurses. She was able to anticipate that need. We were one of the first institutions in the nation to offer the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree to master’s-prepared nurses who wanted to take their careers further but retain their clinical concentration, and we were among the first schools to admit health care professionals other than nurses to our PhD program.

The results of innovative thinking are evident as all of our programs have seen enrollment increases. With such growth there are always challenges. Kathy Rideout, associate dean for academic affairs, discusses how we are prepared to address those in a Q&A following the program profiles.

I thank you for your ongoing and generous support of the School and your faith in our vision of nursing education.

Kathy Parker signature

Kathy P. Parker

Multimedia in this Issue:

The accelerated program continues to flourish

apnn slideshow

View a slideshow of the January APNN cohort starting their journey

Miner Library - then and now

miner narrated slideshow

View and listen to a narrated slideshow about the Miner Library.

Reunion 2009

reunion slideshow

View a slideshow of the event.