Dear Alumni, Colleagues and Supporters,
We have had a very busy and successful several months and are off to a very strong start to the 2014-2015 academic year. In May more than 100 MSN, DNP and PhD students participated in Vanderbilt’s Commencement and our Academic Hooding Ceremonies. In early August 350 students completed their MSN, DNP or post-master’s programs of study and received their Vanderbilt nursing pin. Concurrently, 150 of our students completed the PreSpecialty level and took the NCLEX exam.
During three consecutive weeks in August, we welcomed over 450 new incoming students via our multiple entry options into each of our programs. Meanwhile, we have about 500 continuing students progressing toward their academic goals. VUSN is one of the largest Master of Nursing programs in the country, and we are vital to the health care industry by preparing advanced practice nurses and nurse scientists to meet the needs of the people. While we have a large student population, our goal is to nurture and develop each of these students as they prepare for their future roles.
VUSN continues to attract people interested in the MSN, DNP and PhD programs from across the country. In early October we welcomed 300 prospective students and guests who spent the day learning more about our academic programs as part of our fall Open House. Also, we hosted Reunion events for alumni returning to campus, including those celebrating their 50th anniversary of VUSN graduation. In response to requests from the alumni, there were continuing education sessions included in the reunion events.
We are in the process of developing a comprehensive strategic plan to map the future direction of VUSN. This endeavor began with an all-day faculty retreat in the late summer with 181 faculty representing those engaged in academics, research and practice. We will continue to meet as a collective faculty and in small groups during this academic year to develop a plan that will outline the contribution that VUSN will make to VU, VUMC and needs of the health care system at large.
We have significantly increased the investments in faculty research and scholarship. You will see some selected faculty publications and presentations that are making an important impact in nursing and health care inside this magazine. Additionally, we increased the number of research active tenure track faculty. We instituted a Scholarly Practice Program to provide a support system for non-tenure track faculty to be able to develop a sustained scholarship trajectory, with six faculty beginning their projects in August 2014. We designed this program to showcase the role that advanced practice nursing faculty can have by conducting meaningful and effective clinical nursing projects that improve health. Our goal is to enhance the recognition of VUSN as a center of clinical nursing excellence at national and international levels in nursing research and scholarly work.
I hope you read more about all of these items in the pages of this issue of Nurse magazine. Wherever you are based geographically and in your life pursuits, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing is your home and your resource.
Linda Norman, DSN, RN, FAAN
Valere Potter Menefee Professor of Nursing
Dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing