Message from the Dean
Greetings from the School of Nursing!
As a school, we remain highly responsive to both local and national factors. Out of 3 million nurses nationally, less than 1% have a doctorate in nursing or related field. Our school is working to increase that number through our PhD program. Since our program’s inception in 2005, we have graduated 6 new PhD graduates and have another 23 in the program. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) The Future of Nursing report challenges schools to double the number of doctoral prepared nurses by 2020. Our faculty continue to respond to this challenge which will prepare more nurse faculty and nurse scientists through their research discoveries.
The school also is becoming a leader in interprofessional education, a highly contemporary and much needed approach for effective health care education. Working in tandem with the School of Dentistry faculty, Dr. Whitney Nash, a SON faculty and others recently received a $1.1 million grant from the US Department of Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA). These monies will support the development of interprofessional education with adult and family nurse practitioner master’s students and dental students. In turn, they will improve practice by interprofessional communication and collaboration to identify and manage oral-systemic diseases, particularly for the underserved.
Dr. Carla Hermann, along with two SON faculty, continues interprofessional education and research through a National Cancer Institute (NCI) grant that prepares nurses, physicians, social workers and chaplains in palliative care. Such education makes difficult end-of-life situations more manageable with greater empathy.
In our 38 year history, we have never had a larger entering class of baccalaureate students. This Fall semester, the School admitted 88 upper division students to the baccalaureate program, a program that has become increasingly competitive for admission. Through these students, we align with the IOM Report on the Future of Nursing recommendation of advancing from a 50% to 80% BSN workforce by 2020. This shift is especially critical in a state like Kentucky that lags behind with only 29% BSN prepared nurses per the Kentucky Board of Nursing.
What we do at the School of Nursing has high impact locally, statewide and nationally. It really is happening here!
Dr. Marcia J. Hern, EdD, CNS, RN
Dean and Professor