Dean’s Message

Dear Alumni, Colleagues and Supporters,

Dean Linda Norman

Photo by Daniel Dubois

As dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing (VUSN), I have the opportunity to make a lot of announcements and speeches. I speak at Commencement and pinning ceremonies; address prospective students at our fall and spring open houses; talk at receptions for alumni, students and visitors; deliver remarks to alumni at Reunion; and present information about the school to faculty, staff, students and friends. But this spring I had the opportunity to make what might just be the most exciting announcement about the School of Nursing in the past decade: I was able to announce that we are starting construction on a new $23.6 million building expansion.

That new building has been a long time coming. Plans for an expansion of VUSN were first proposed under Dean Colleen Conway-Welch but put on hold when the Great Recession hit in 2008. The need for the expansion only continued to grow with increased student enrollment, new technological requirements, commitment to providing unified and enhanced student services, increased number of research-active faculty and teaching faculty, and so on. Late last year, Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos and the Vanderbilt Board of Trust agreed that the time was right to start a new building and they approved the expansion plans.

You can read the details here in Vanderbilt Nurse, and you may be sure that I’ll talk more about the construction in the months ahead. We are all very excited about the building and what it will mean to the school. I hope you are, too.

Shortly before we unveiled our building plans, U.S. News & World Report announced its 2018 Best Graduate Schools rankings. VUSN again made an excellent showing. Our DNP program ranked as No. 11 and our MSN program ranked No. 15 out of all programs in the U.S. Two of our specialties, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, now rank as the No. 2 programs in their specialties out of all the graduate nursing programs in the country. We are so proud of them and of the rankings for all our specialty programs, which are based on assessments from other nursing schools. We—and you—know the quality of our nursing education, but it is very satisfying to see peer nursing institutions recognize it as well.

This issue’s cover article explores the model that VUSN and Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) have established for opening and operating nurse-managed health care clinics. Although the first clinics VUSN established were geared to meet the needs of specific low-income neighborhoods, today VUSN/VUMC clinics also serve the general population, businesses and pregnant women—and that’s just a start. As you’ll read in the article, VUMC plans to partner with the School of Nursing to add up to 10 more nurse-managed clinics in the next three years.

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