Message from the Dean
Turning 40 never looked or felt better for our School of Nursing!
In forty years, the School of Nursing has grown from an associate degree program that began in 1974 with classes in the Omer Carmichael Elementary School on the corner of Muhammad Ali Boulevard and Hancock Street, to a school located in the heart of the Health Sciences Center.
Experiencing its highest enrollment of 1309 pre-nursing, BSN, MSN and PhD students during Fall semester 2013, the school is almost busting at its seams on the three floors of the K building located on Floyd Street and Abraham Flexner Way. The school boasts four state-of-the art high fidelity simulation suites, a 159 seat auditorium with the capability to broadcast classes two ways in real time delivery, a well-staffed Research Office and individual faculty offices.
As a faculty, 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 the number through our PhD program that began in 2005. Our faculty continue to respond to this challenge which will prepare more nurse faculty and nurse scientists who discover new knowledge through their research.
Faculty also are designing a curriculum for the practice doctorate or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) that many nurse practitioners will use to apply evidence to their practice. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) The Future of Nursing report challenges schools to double the number of doctoral prepared nurses by 2020. We continue to step up to these challenges.
Research remains an integral part of our school and university. Faculty conduct studies about aging with hope and transcendence, use of simulation to decrease home hazards for health care workers, use of social media for adolescent post-partum depression, and physiologic growth of neonates’ response to massage therapy, to name but a few areas.
The school also is a leader in interprofessional education, a highly contemporary and much needed approach for effective health care education, practice and research. Working in tandem with the School of Dentistry faculty, SON faculty received a $1.1 million grant from the US Department of Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA). These monies 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.
Our faculty and students are also improving end of life care through interprofessional research and education funded by a National Cancer Institute (NCI) grant that prepares nurses, physicians, social workers and chaplains in palliative care, hoping to balance a difficult transition with care.
Global outreach is another hallmark of our school with students and faculty engaged in study abroad programs and research in Africa, China, Croatia, Haiti, Ireland, Philippines, and Scotland.
We pride ourselves in community outreach, as our faculty and students engage in more than 14,000 service learning hours around metropolitan Louisville to help meet the health care needs of many underserved.
Our MSN prepared nurse practitioners in adult gerontology, adult acute care, family, women’s health and neonatal nursing are becoming key health care providers in light of the aging baby boomer population, offering more affordable and accessible health care.
In our 40 year history, we are experiencing our largest upper division baccalaureate class with 473 students. These students are enrolled in our traditional first degree and accelerated second degree BSN program in Louisville and our BSN extension program in Owensboro. Others complete the RN-BSN program that is 100% online. 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 for Kentucky, a state with only 30% BSN prepared nurses, according to the Kentucky Board of Nursing.
What we do at the School of Nursing is impressive both in quantity and quality and has high impact locally, statewide, nationally and globally. Therefore, I encourage you to join the school’s faculty, staff, students and 3500 alumni around the world in 2014 as we celebrate 40 years of growth, excellence and the hope of a limitless future!
For more information about 40th anniversary events and activities go to www.louisville.edu/nursing
Dr. Marcia J. Hern, EdD, CNS, RN
Dean and Professor