A Message From the College of Nursing Dean: Winter 2021

Thursday, December 16, 2021
Christine M. Kennedy, RN, PhD, FAAN

Many of us take the opportunity at this time of year to reflect on all that has transpired during the last 12 months. For me, this evokes a profound sense of pride and gratitude for the tenacity of the faculty, staff, students and supporters of the College of Nursing in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis. Together we have remained steadfast in our commitments to excellence, engagement and health equity and achieved innumerable accomplishments that position the College of Nursing as a premier institution of nursing education. I would like to take a moment to celebrate just a handful of the milestones the College of Nursing has achieved this year.

Through our robust network of sites in the Faculty Practice program, our nurses have been ever-present in the communities hardest hit by the pandemic, conducting 43,000 PCR and antibody tests. As the vaccine rollout went into full swing and the delta variant began to surge, the connections our faculty practices nurses had in the community provided an invaluable tool in combating vaccine hesitancy and misinformation. Today more than 8,000 vaccines and boosters have been given to protect some of Chicago’s most vulnerable residents. Especially salient was the work done in regards to COVID-related isolation in which more than 800 individuals experiencing homelessness were cared for by faculty practice nurses.

Many of the faculty and staff across the College of Nursing were recognized for their impact in the field. A few such accolades include:

Students and graduates of the College of Nursing also continue to thrive, making an impact on the community and their paths after graduation:

  • Gustavo Morfin Valencia, a neonatal nurse practitioner student, focuses on improving the treatment of diaper dermatitis for infants in the neonatal intensive care unit
  • 100% of the graduates of the Generalist Entry Master’s program passed the NCLEX exam in the third quarter of this year

Each and every accomplishment mentioned here helps contribute to the successes of the College of Nursing. They also serve to propel our college as we look to the future. When I came to Rush in November 2020, I was eager to identify and elucidate the priority areas to define a clear path forward. As I forecasted in my last message to you, there has been an ongoing effort to synthesize the mission, vision and strategic priorities of the College of Nursing. Through months of rigorous examination and reflection, we have developed our new mission and vision statements and our three strategic priorities. These will be our north star, guiding the decisions we make and the goals we establish:

  • Strategic priorities:
    1. Drive Health Equity
    2. Be the National Leader in Practice-Based Scholarship
    3. Create a World-Class Culture
  • Mission: The mission of Rush University College of Nursing is to integrate nursing practice, scholarship and education through the diverse communities we serve and to boldly lead health care transformation to ensure health equity across the continuum of care.
  • Vision: Our vision is to lead nursing practice scholarship while driving health equity.

None of the accomplishments I shared with you today would be possible without the unwavering commitment of the College of Nursing’s faculty, staff, students, alumni and supporters. Our legacy at Rush was built through more than a century of serving the Chicago community, and despite the challenges we’ve faced, our future looks brighter than ever. I invite you to stay connected with us and share your thoughts at any time. Thank you again for your dedicated support of the College of Nursing.

Christine M. Kennedy, RN, PhD, FAAN
John L. and Helen Kellogg Dean of Nursing