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Message From the College of Nursing Dean: Summer 2024

Christine M. Kennedy, PhD, RN, FAAN

Dear Friends,

I am delighted to share exciting news from the Rush College of Nursing. Our students, faculty, staff, and alumni continue to reach new professional and academic heights.

In April, the annual U.S. News & World Report 2024 Best Graduate School rankings were released. Rush again claimed a top spot, reinforcing our national reputation for excellence in nursing education. All five of our ranked Doctor of Nursing Practice tracks are among the Top 3 nationwide, and Rush holds the No. 1 position among nursing programs in Illinois.

Our College of Nursing achieved top-three rankings in the following categories:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner (No. 2)
  • Adult Gerontology, Primary Care (No. 2)
  • Psychiatric Mental Health (No. 2)
  • DNP Leadership (No. 3)
  • Adult Gerontology, Acute Care (No. 3)

In another testament to our educational excellence, our GEM students achieved a 100% pass rate on the NCLEX.

April also saw us celebrating Earth Day with a Q&A session featuring Heide Cygan, DNP, RN, PHNA-BC, associate professor, and Linda O’Kelley, MS, RNC-NIC, a student in the PhD in Nursing Science program. They discussed their perspectives on the roles of nurses in education, research, and advocacy in the face of climate change.

During Black Maternal Health Week, Drs. Yasmin Cavenagh, DNP, MPH, RN, assistant professor, and Jennifer Rousseau, DNP, WHNP-BC, CNE, associate professor, highlighted the need for advances in Black maternal health. Both are involved in the Family Connects program, a collaborative partnership with the Chicago Department of Public Health, that provides new mothers and babies with in-home or virtual nursing care a few weeks after birth.

We also celebrated Nurses Week, honoring the outstanding and transformative impact nurses have on health care. Hear celebrations from our students, staff, and faculty.

Finally, I want to recognize the more than 400 nurses who graduated at our 52nd Commencement ceremony. We heard inspiring words from our student speaker, Leah Hoeniges, MPH, who earned her Master of Science in Nursing, and university marshal, Barbara Swanson, PhD. The passion, dedication, and excellence of our future nursing leaders inspire us all. I wish all of our graduates the best in their future endeavors and encourage them to stay connected through the Nursing Alumni Association.

Thank you,

Christine M. Kennedy, PhD, RN, FAAN
John L. and Helen Kellogg Dean, College of Nursing
Provost, Interim and Vice President