New Endowed Chair Will Advance Research and Care

President Jay Hartzell and Dean Alexa Stuifbergen are joined by Ascension Seton leadership at Tower.

Published: November 6, 2020 | Updated: March 9, 2021

Supporting nursing education and research is paramount during this critical time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now more than ever, academic-practice partnerships have become key to advancing effective health care. Toward this end, The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing received a gift from Ascension Seton that will create the sort of mechanism by which academic research and clinical practice can work together to improve the lives of communities across the nation.

The Ascension Seton gift will permanently endow a faculty chair and fund a new full-time position that will strengthen the School of Nursing’s leadership in research and enhance nursing programs.

“During the pandemic, many people have come to recognize how important skilled nurses are to improving health care,” said Alexa Stuifbergen, dean of the School of Nursing. “The Ascension Seton Chair in Clinical Nursing Research will assist nurses practicing in clinical settings and expand and strengthen the school’s relationship with a key clinical partner at this serious time in our nation’s history.”

The evolving U.S. health care system has called for major changes for nurses employed in clinical settings. Generating new knowledge is essential to the care of patients and working successfully with busy nurses requires an experienced researcher who can address researchable clinical questions, major health care issues and patient care.

“We are excited to partner with the School of Nursing through this Endowed Chair of Nursing Research,” said Steven Brockman-Weber, chief nursing officer at Ascension Texas. “The endowed chair will strengthen nursing education, science and research for both the School of Nursing and Ascension Texas. Additionally, this endowment will build a stronger foundation to enhance the prestige of nursing locally and nationally as we advance the practice of nursing science and improve the health of the patients, families and communities we serve.”

Ascension Seton has a long history of support for the UT Austin School of Nursing, including provision of funding for the RN-BSN program and scholarships for students with financial need, development of research competencies in nursing staff, and making placements available for students requiring clinical experience.

"As the demand for nurses continues to grow, we are proud to work alongside the University of Texas at Austin with a common goal to further nursing research and programs,” said Andy Davis, president and CEO of Ascension Texas. “The Endowed Chair of Nursing Research will greatly benefit the esteemed vocation of nursing in Central Texas, and we look forward to a strong future working together to provide high quality care.”

“We are deeply appreciative of this landmark gift that will be used to support an experienced faculty member who can work with our clinical partners to promote new collaborations and facilitate research that influences public policy and improves health care,” Stuifbergen said. “The establishment of the endowed chair will allow us to recruit an outstanding researcher to lead research efforts in practice settings, which is crucial to successful patient outcomes.”

Nov. 6, 2020