As baby boomers age and the need for more health care providers grows, and as health care reform takes shape, it is increasingly important for schools of nursing to prepare nurses to effectively lead and deliver quality health care.
Top nursing schools thrive by focusing on the ever-changing health care needs of the populations their graduates serve and by collaborating with alumni who play vital roles in front-line health care delivery. The most effective nursing education programs are those in which students, faculty and alumni work together – sharing critical information and observations that often lead to new partnerships and opportunities – to make communities healthier and provide greater access for patients, from primary to critical care.
To this end, the Duke University School of Nursing, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing are bringing together their alumni in the Tampa and Naples areas for luncheons on Jan. 24 and 25, 2012. The goal is to engage in meaningful dialogue about the changing role of nurses in disease prevention and coordination of health care.
“Nurses and nurse educators have an incredible opportunity to address the critical issues that currently face our nation’s health care system,” says Martha N. Hill, Ph.D., R.N., dean of the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. “Medical advancements have changed health care and made nurses more essential than ever before. People are living longer and are living with chronic illnesses that just a few decades ago would have shortened their life span. More and more, nurses and nurse practitioners are the health care professionals caring for these patients.”
“Health care delivery will soon require a much more fundamental and expanded role for nurses than they have now,” says Catherine L. Gilliss, D.N.Sc., R.N., dean of the Duke University School of Nursing. “Nursing education must continue to anticipate these changes to prepare our graduates for the ever changing health care system.”
“Our three schools of nursing are engaging our alumni in these discussions because these nurses are providing key leadership roles in acute and community based care settings,” says Doreen C. Harper, Ph.D., R.N., dean of the UAB School of Nursing. “This collaborative event will be an opportunity to learn more about their alma mater and how together we can provide the highest quality nursing care to patients and families we serve. Our alumni not only impact the care of individuals, families, and populations, but also serve as ambassadors that contribute to the success of each of our schools.”
The deans say they look forward to having their alumni come together to share their experiences as they work together to improve the future of nursing education.