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Message From College of Nursing Dean Christine M. Kennedy, PhD, RN, FAAN

Message From College of Nursing Dean Christine M. Kennedy, PhD, RN, FAAN

Dear Friends,

As we all take the time to celebrate our successes and reflect on the growth of the past year, I want to take this opportunity to highlight the students, faculty, staff and alumni of RUSH College of Nursing.

Many of us had the chance to gather for the first time in several years at the RUSH All Alumni Weekend to celebrate 50 years of RUSH University advancing educational excellence. The weekend was filled with conversations about the future of health care and the important role nurses will play; panel discussions on nursing research and the education of the next generation of leaders; praise for our students and one another; and a convivial spirit I’m certain we all missed.

We released the latest edition of our Nursing That Transforms magazine, which highlights our work to advance health equity; support our community; redefine what discovery, science and scholarship mean in nursing; and provide the next generation of nurses with an exceptional education that will ensure they can transform health care.

Our outstanding faculty and students have been recognized for their impact, including:

  • Masako Mayahara, PhD, RN, and Shannon Halloway, PhD, RN, FAHA, were inducted as fellows of the American Academy of Nursing. They join the ranks of nearly 50 current and former faculty who have received this honor.
  • RUSH University College of Nursing and CommunityHealth received the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s Exemplary Academic-Practice Partnership award. This important recognition highlights RUSH’s commitment to advancing care for residents in Chicago’s historically underserved communities.
  • Janice Phillips, PhD, RN, CENP, FAAN, was selected by the National Black Nurses Association to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of exemplary leadership and dedication to nursing practice, academia and service. She also received the SAGE Award at the annual Power of Nursing Leadership conference. Phillips is the director of nursing research and health equity at RUSH University Medical Center and an associate professor at the College of Nursing.
  • Barbara Swanson, PhD, RN, FAAN, was named associate dean for research. In this role, she directs emerging and ongoing research across the College. Swanson previously served as director of the PhD program and was acting dean in 2019.
  • Yvonne Tumbali, DNP, APRN, ACNP-BC, and Alex K. Smith, DNP ’23, CEN, CCRN, shared their stories of perseverance and dedication during Nurse Practitioner Week and were a hit on social media.
  • Student and faculty leaders from the RUSH Men in Nursing program attended the annual American Association for Men in Nursing, or AAMN, conference in Orlando, Florida this fall. AAMN was founded by inaugural RUSH College of Nursing dean, Luther Christman, PhD, RN, FAAN, and has been an influential community for men in the profession.

In September, I was named interim provost and vice president of RUSH University, while continuing as dean of the College of Nursing. In this role, I am responsible for coordinating and overseeing the University vice provosts’ offices, advancing our health equity and teaching mission, and working to integrate our students and faculty across Rush University System for Health. It has been as honor to work alongside Larry Goodman, MD, interim president of RUSH University.

Thanks to the ongoing support from our alumni, faculty, students, staff and stakeholders, 2022 has been a wonderful year for RUSH College of Nursing. Without your unwavering commitment, none of these successes would have been possible. I hope you will stay connected with us. Thank you again for your enduring support, and I wish you a joyous and healthy 2023.

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