This year, we are continuing with our theme of transformation. The University of Florida is transforming its image and reputation as a Top 10 public institution. In September, the U.S. News & World Report ranking of public universities was released. This list revealed that we rose from No. 9 to No. 8! I know that you all join me in celebrating this accomplishment, and alumni will take pride in their degrees from such a preeminent university.
We are also transforming nursing education, research and clinical practice at the College of Nursing. As you will read in this issue, we are moving ever closer to renovating the Innovation and Learning Laboratory at the Iona M. Pettengill Nursing Resource Center. These renovations will allow our students to practice challenging situations in a safe, structured environment on high-fidelity simulators. We have the vision (read about it starting on page two), but we cannot make these state-of-the-art updates without the support from our generous alumni and friends. If you would like to be involved in this historic change at the College of Nursing, read about the opportunities for sponsoring the renovations and equipment. Any amount makes a difference!
Over the past year, we have had the fortune of hiring nine new nursing faculty members. I am also pleased to share that through the university’s Faculty 500 initiative, the College of Nursing has been granted funding to hire 13 more faculty members! We will be hiring two lecturer positions for our Jacksonville campus, five clinical assistant professors and six teacher scholars/ assistant professors. We will begin searches with the intent to fill all 13 positions by next fall. These new faculty not only provide the resources to help in decreasing the nursing shortage and educating future nurses, but they will also help move UF even closer to the top five by reducing undergraduate class size, which is a metric that is assessed by U.S. News & World Report when determining rankings. Please spread the good news about our college and feel free to visit our website if you or anyone you know might be interested in a position.
This year has been one for the record books, and the future of Gator Nursing is incredibly promising. Throughout the upcoming year, I look forward to introducing the 13 new faculty members and sharing more exciting updates about the accomplishments from our established faculty, many of whom have recently submitted grant applications for research funding. The College of Nursing’s vision — we are driven to transform health through innovative practice, preeminent research and exceptional academic programs — is our guiding principle and words we live by every day.
Wishing all of our Gator Nurses and friends a happy and productive end to 2018 and all the best in 2019.
Dean and the Linda Harman Aiken Professor