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Dean Villarruel’s January Greeting

The start of a new year is a tremendous time to take stock of the many positive things in one’s life. In my case, I feel especially grateful and proud to be part of the Penn Nursing community – a global network of students, alumni, faculty, staff, partners, and friends that continues to grow stronger, more diverse, and more accomplished with every year that passes. It is my pleasure to wish everyone who is part of this supportive and impactful community all the best for a happy and healthy 2018.

At Penn, this academic year is the “Year of Innovation”, and I can’t think of any theme more fitting for Penn Nursing in particular. This fall, I had the opportunity to host a discussion group for new students on Walter Isaacson’s The Innovators as part of the Penn Reading Project for 2017. As we explored creativity and ingenuity, and the act of making an idea a reality, I was struck by just how deeply embedded innovation is at Penn, and especially at Penn Nursing.

After all, every product and process that touches a patient goes through a nurse. We develop novel ways to advance health and improve health care in this era of health care challenges. We create innovative solutions, improve the innovations of partners, and test innovations to improve health and health care outcomes with a priority on populations of greatest need. Last, but not least, we prepare the next generation of nurse innovators. I am particularly proud of our growing cadre of Presidential Engagement Prize Winners and inspired by their impact and passion.

As we gear up for a return to classes and research here at the School of Nursing, I would be remiss without also thanking all of the incredible nurses who work every day to ensure our health and safety – especially our Penn Nursing alumni who can be found in every corner of the world doing all manner of work. I look forward to working with all of you over the coming months to ensure your futures are bright, careers are rewarding, and that our great School continues to have an impact on improving health!