Dean’s Message

Dear Alumni, Colleagues and Supporters,

Photo by John Russell

The academic calendar is a continuous cycle of open houses, new student orientations, faculty summits, pinning ceremonies and graduation.  In between those events, the School is literally bubbling with activity.

Hundreds of students are coming on campus for block learning sessions each semester. On campus, students are holding impromptu study groups in every possible open space in Godchaux and Frist Halls.  Guest speakers are presenting special sessions. Students and faculty are speed-walking to classes, and students are participating in various clinical placements.

While VUSN operates like a well-oiled machine, we need to pause and take a long, hard look at our School to determine strategic direction.

Are there ways we can enhance our academic programs?  Are we meeting the needs of the health care delivery system?  Are we making a difference in our community? Are there things we are not doing that we should be doing?

We want to know the answers to those questions, therefore we have launched a strategic planning process this year. We will follow specific guidelines to fact-find and gather information, and work as a faculty, staff and student body to develop a methodical and strategic approach that will take us through the next five years.  We are certain that this process will only make the school stronger and more focused going forward.  We will report back to you once we have the complete information to share, and if you have thoughts, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy reading this issue of Nurse magazine.  True to our mission of practice, teaching, research and informatics, we have something in this issue for everyone to enjoy.  We delve deeper into The Clinic at Mercury Courts, designed to bring quality health care to hard-to-reach underserved, transient individuals in Middle Tennessee.

We showcase three of our preceptors, just a few of the hundreds who make it possible to give our students meaningful clinical experiences.  And, we highlight the Associate Degree in the Science of Nursing (ASN) to MSN program, so you can better understand the program’s foundation and teaching philosophy.

We have so much news to share and hope you enjoy staying connected in this way.


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