AS WE APPROACH THE SCHOOL’S 70TH BIRTHDAY AND UCLA’S CENTENNIAL IN 2019, IT IS A GOOD TIME TO CONTEMPLATE THE FUTURE OF NURSING AND THINK ABOUT HOW BEST TO SUPPORT FUTURE GENERATIONS OF SCHOLARS AND LEADERS.
Last month, our faculty began creating a new strategic plan to promote academic excellence, to expand our scholarship and to advance community engagement on local, national and global levels.I was excited to kick off the meeting with a discussion of the state of the school and the profession because, for both, the outlook is bright!
This issue of Re is focused on health initiatives at UCLA and the School of Nursing—not just for patients, but for our students, faculty and staff. The American Nurses Association has declared 2017 as the Year of the Healthy Nurse in recognition of the importance of the wellbeing of our 3.6 million Registered Nurses. We are fortunate that UCLA is committed to a healthy environment, both on campus and in our health system. In 2013, UCLA launched the innovative Healthy Campus Initiative which is now being adopted at all ten of our University of California campuses. This initiative provides a critical backdrop to our own efforts at the School of Nursing to promote a healthy environment. I was honored to lead the implementation of the tobacco-free policy which was part of this effort. I am thrilled about the efforts of an ambitious and inspirational group of students in the School of Nursing who created ‘Wellness In Nursing’. They hope that other schools across campus (and other nursing schools across the country) will form like-minded groups that prioritize physical, mental and emotional wellbeing along with their educational pursuits. Thanks to their efforts, Benny, a pet therapy dog, made an appearance during finals exam week and gave us all a boost!
We are very fortunate to have a world-class, Magnet-designated, academic health center right across the street. UCLA Health Chief Nurse Executive, Karen Grimley, Ph.D., is involved at our School as both an Assistant Dean and a member of our advisory board. She is spearheading efforts to support the health and wellbeing of nurses in clinical practice. This benefits our students as they experience firsthand a positive environment that supports nurses and patient care.
I hope you are as moved as I am by Family Nurse Practitioner student Zenith Rahman’s story. She shares a heartfelt description of her desire and challenges in becoming a nurse and her quest to become an advanced practice nurse so that she could better care for low-income patients. She reminds us all of the expanded opportunities available to nurses with advanced education that will allow them to make a difference.
This issue also highlights some of the amazing work of our distinguished alumni who have provided leadership to the profession. Our alumni and other generous donors continue to contribute to the school’s success, including needed scholarships for our worthy students (like Zenith), support for the teaching enterprise and support for our scholarship to transform nursing practice and advance health and health care.
I am privileged to work with so many amazing students, faculty, staff and a vast alumni network. They have supported my transition in becoming the seventh dean and are all part of our efforts to create a bright future in which nursing science, care and leadership will result in quality health and health care for all. Their commitment to the school and to the nursing profession inspires me every day.
- Dean Linda Sarna