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Welcome to the New Academic Year, 2016-2017

A Message from Dean Antonia M. Villarruel

September 2nd, 2016


Welcome to the start of a new school year at Penn Nursing! I hope that each of you had a wonderful and relaxing summer spent with family and friends, and filled with new experiences.

On behalf of the entire Penn Nursing community, let me extend a special welcome to our new BSN (101), BSN Accelerated (90), MSN (66), Post-MSN (50), PhD (9) students, and, new this year, our first DNP (17) students!  We are thrilled to have all of you with us and we look forward to the talent, drive, and intellect you bring to our Penn Nursing community.

Every year is a new start, a new beginning, full of possibilities and discovery. Whether you are a new or returning student, a member of our faculty or staff, alumnus or friend of Penn Nursing, translating innovative research into policy and practice, today and tomorrow, is at the heart of what we do. As faculty, our priority as educators, clinicians, practitioners, researchers, and scientists, is to support our students on their journey of discovery to becoming nurse leaders. In turn, our students, who place among the most exceptional in the world, inspire and challenge us to continue to test the boundaries of nursing education, research, and practice. This synergistic relationship is essential to meeting our mission, and this is what we mean when we say that we are leading to a healthier future—our students are the future of nursing!

Renowned the world over, our faculty are leaders in advancing scholarship and research to deliver solutions that improve health and health care locally and globally. Their collaborative efforts with different schools across the University and beyond have led to broader approaches to learning through critical thinking and local and global engagement. These collaborations have led to new and innovative interdisciplinary degrees and research opportunities, which is what makes Penn Nursing unique among all others and the top ranked School of Nursing in the world. Our innovation and our science has a far-reaching impact leading to better models of care, better policy, and better outcomes for patients, families, and communities around the world.

Supporting all of this, and making it possible, is the tireless work by our staff members in numerous roles throughout the school. From admissions and student services to research and grant support to facilities, technology, and event management—every role has an impact on our success, and every person makes a difference.

Progress in Our Mission

Over the last few months, we have continued to take strides with the future in mind. We introduced new leadership with the appointment of Dr. Rosemary Polomano as Associate Dean for Practice. Dr. Polomano’s rich history and vast body of research at Penn and Penn Nursing ensure that our practice and community engagement focus is strong and responsive to the needs of both the community and the profession. We also welcomed new faculty members, including our first Presidential Professor appointee, Dr. Jose´ Bauermeister, to the school. Dr. Bauermeister is an accomplished researcher, teacher, and community advocate, dedicated to ensuring that the most vulnerable groups have access to prevention and treatment to reduce HIV infection, improved care, and decreased stigma.

Over the summer we initiated our first DNP Nurse Anesthesia program and welcomed our first cohort of DNP Nurse Anesthesia students! As we look to the future, we are continuing to explore other areas where our academic programs can expand to include a DNP option, as well as how we can integrate online courses into various curriculums.

Also a priority over the summer has been the development of our new website, which we are excited to be launching in the next few weeks – more information on that planned launch will be coming soon!

Upcoming Events

Many of our activities have resulted in several important upcoming events to which you are ALL invited and which you will be hearing more about in the weeks to come. These include:

  • School of Nursing Back-to-School Dessert Social, Monday, September 12, 4:00 pm
  • Claire M. Fagin Distinguished Research Award, Wednesday, October 26, 3:00 pm, presented to Dr. Janet Deatrick
  • Family Weekend, October 14-16
  • Homecoming, October 29

Connect on Social Media

As always, please continue to connect with us on social media. Our community continues to grow, enhancing our global presence and fostering connections all over the world. We have several channels, including Twitter (@PennNursing and @PennNursingDean), Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Finally, as we look forward to the year ahead, it’s important to look back and know how far we’ve come together as a school. This year marks an incredible milestone, the 130th anniversary of nursing at Penn. While the profession has changed considerably since 1886, we are all part of a great history of nurses, a legacy of innovators, who over the course of time have changed the very nature of health and health care around the world. As we begin this academic year, remember that you are part of this shared history. Challenge yourself to evaluate how you do things and find the courage to innovate. Find the passion in all that you do. Continue to be leaders, both in thought and action, and continue to represent Penn Nursing with pride and know that Penn Nursing is proud of you.

Wishing you all the best,

Antonia Villarruel