Dean’s Message

Dear Alumni, Colleagues and Supporters,

We have had an eventful several months at the School of Nursing.  We are delighted that the School advanced four spots to become the No. 11 ranked graduate nursing school among more than 500 schools in the U.S. News and World Report 2016 rankings.  Several of our specialties were also ranked highly.  This news is just one indication of the tremendous work happening here. There are also many positive changes taking place behind the scenes that will better prepare Vanderbilt and the School of Nursing for the future.

This fall, Vanderbilt University Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos announced that the University and clinical areas of the Medical Center will become separate organizations, much like many other leading academic health organizations throughout the country.  The School of Nursing and School of Medicine’s academic programs will organizationally become part of the central University when the process is complete in approximately a year. While there will be two distinct organizations—Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center—we will operate as we have been—together.

VUSN is continuing the process of developing a comprehensive strategic plan to map our future.  In early Spring, our faculty-led work groups with professional facilitators started meeting regularly to delve into these specific areas:

• Academics

• Research/Scholarship

• Interprofessional and institutional partnerships

• Developing a stronger sense of community among our students and alumni

• Educational technology and innovation, and

• Practice areas

Each will also include opportunities to enhance our work with the Medical Center and the University.  We will end with an All-School meeting this June to map our strategic plan and to continue our forward momentum.

We are also developing other mechanisms to better communicate activities at the School more frequently.  In addition to the updates we share on the VUSN website and social media platforms, twice a year we also distribute Scholarly Nurse, which showcases a sampling of our faculty research and scholarly work.  A new online publication, VUSNews debuted in February as a monthly email/bulletin to keep everyone informed about School activities on a regular basis.

I also hope you enjoy this issue of Vanderbilt Nurse, which highlights VUSN’s innovative work with animal-assisted therapy for children receiving chemotherapy, the continued pursuit to find successful lymphedema interventions and a profile of the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program.



Linda Norman, DSN, RN, FAAN
Valere Potter Menefee Professor of Nursing
Dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing