Greetings from Our Dean

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the world has seen nurses and the nursing profession in a new light. The lifesaving and vital work done by advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) was reported in news stories, on the 6 o’clock news and in viral videos and posts. The general public has a new understanding of the importance of APRNs—nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives, nurse leaders, nurse scientists and nurse informaticists—to the nation’s health.

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing (VUSN) welcomes that understanding of nursing—but it is not new to us. For more than 100 years, VUSN has been educating nurses, contributing to science and innovating in nursing practice. The school has a mission to lead in education, evidence-based practice, scholarship, and research so that its students, alumni, faculty and researchers are equipped to provide optimal health care to diverse communities through innovation, inclusion, and compassion.

Each year, VUSN enrolls approximately 1,000 students in its master’s, Post-Master's Certificate, doctor of nursing practice and PhD programs. Students come from around the country to be part of its PreSpecialty program for non-nurses. Nurses who have earned bachelor of science in nursing degrees select one of our 14 nurse-practitioner and nurse-midwifery specialties. Advanced practice nurses choose us for education in new areas of specialty. Vanderbilt School of Nursing is one of the top choices of nurses wishing to earn a doctoral degree.

As part of Vanderbilt University, one of the nation’s most respected research universities, the School of Nursing is committed to excellence and innovation. It has been an innovator in nurse practitioner education since the 1970s, as well as a pioneer in distance learning for nurses in the early days of the internet. It has a vibrant and active research program, with nurse scientists whose discoveries impact patient outcomes and contribute to nursing knowledge. All faculty are encouraged by school leadership to conduct and publish evidence-based scholarship.

School of Nursing faculty are practice-active, so students learn from experts current on best practices and even those who are defining those practices. VUSN’s robust nurse faculty practice network operates in a collaborative relationship with nearby Vanderbilt University Medical Center; the school’s nurse-managed clinics and programs are an integral part of the Medical Center’s patient care system and future growth plans.

If you are someone considering a nursing career for the first time, a registered nurse seeking to become a nurse practitioner or nurse-midwife, an advanced practice nurse interested in expanding to another specialty or a nursing professional who wants to become a doctorally prepared nurse, I invite you to consider Vanderbilt University School of Nursing for your education. If you are a potential faculty or staff member with a drive to educate the next generation of nursing professionals or a nurse scientist interested growing your research program, I encourage you to discover if Vanderbilt might be the right place for you.

The COVID-19 pandemic may be ebbing, but the need for remarkable nurses isn’t. The world needs nurses more than ever. Vanderbilt is committed to helping meet that need now and in the years to come.

Best wishes,

Pamela R. Jeffries, PhD, RN, FAAN, ANEF, FSSH
Dean, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing
Valere Potter Professor of Nursing 
RWJF Nurse Executive Fellow Alumna