Dean’s Message

Dear Alumni, Colleagues and Supporters,

new deanFall 2015 at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing began with welcoming a new group of MSN, DNP and PhD students. We have been busy orienting the students and integrating them with our returning students. We have 821 nursing students this year—625 enrolled in the MSN program, 165 in the DNP program, and 31 in the PhD program, a very robust and energetic group of students. VUSN remains one of the largest professional schools on the Vanderbilt campus. We are poised to provide exceptionally well educated advanced practice nurses and nurse scientists who will be instrumental in improving and changing the health care system of the future. Please also note on page 24 of this issue of Vanderbilt Nurse the outstanding new faculty that have joined us this year.

In this issue you will also learn of the widespread contributions that the PreSpecialty level students made to several agencies in Nashville. There were many other projects that the 140 students were engaged in designing and implementing.  Unfortunately, we could only highlight a few. We are very proud of not only the activities that the students conducted to improve the health status of the community, but also the integration of action research and evidenced-based practice in their work. They demonstrated the value that the educational activities of School of Nursing brings to the community. Nursing education is a value added attribute to every community where it is located.

VUSN is very happy to be engaged as a partner with the new freestanding birth center operated by a joint venture with VUMC and Baby+Company. It is particularly rewarding that Baby+Company is led by one of our own nurse-midwifery graduates. We have a history of encouraging our students and graduates to be entrepreneurial, and Cara Osborne is certainly an outstanding example of such ability.

On the other end of the age spectrum, this issue contains a description of one of research projects from a VUSN faculty member who is engaged in the Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence. Dr. Cathy Maxwell’s research on trauma care of the geriatric population focuses on the specific needs of elders. This research is unique as most of the trauma literature is focused on the pediatric and young- to middle-adult population.

We have started this academic year with enormous momentum and look forward to the results it will bring to nursing and health care delivery. Please review the VUSN website regularly to learn about the activities, accomplishments and upcoming events.


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