Today we begin a new and novel academic year at The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing. We are fortunate to have our students back to start the next chapter of their nursing career, especially during a time when the need for nurses is at an all-time high. The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us all to recognize the contributions that nurses in a variety of roles make to protect the health of our communities. We are proud of the dedicated work our alumni, current students, and faculty have put forth in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our goal to create a high quality and safe environment for learning, teaching, and research on campus continues as we focus on our mission to educate and empower the nurse leaders of tomorrow. Despite the unique obstacles that were present during the Spring and Summer semesters, our faculty, staff, and students have maintained a culture of excellence. Some notable accomplishments include:
- Strong first-time pass rates on the NCLEX exam by graduating seniors and AEMSN students completing the Foundation year;
- Outstanding pass rates on national certification exams for advanced practice graduates;
- The launching of a new NIH-funded Institutional National Research Service Award to train PhD students in precision health (M. Kim PI);
- Dr. Danica Sumpter's selection as a Macy Foundation Faculty Scholar;
- Three faculty members, Dr. Ashley Henneghan, Dr. Kavita Radhakrishnan, Dr. Michelle Wright, and five UT Austin alumni were selected as new fellows in the American Academy of Nursing; and
- Dr. Brittany Christiansen received the American Association of Colleges of Nursing 2020-2021 Novice Faculty Excellence in Clinical Teaching Award.
The UT Austin School of Nursing is committed to helping people promote and maintain their health and quality of life. To accomplish this, we must intentionally build an organizational culture that encourages social responsibility. We must do everything we can to enhance the safety of all in our community by following established protocols, including staying home when experiencing symptoms, wearing a mask, social distancing and careful hygiene.
I wish you all good health and success in the year ahead.
Alexa K. Stuifbergen, PhD, RN, FAAN
Laura Lee Blanton Chair in Nursing
James R Dougherty, Jr. Centennial Professor in Nursing