Health care is facing a serious crisis. As you will read in this issue (and have probably personally experienced yourselves throughout your careers), the nursing profession is experiencing a shortage that only stands to get worse. As the general population ages and develops more complex health issues and the need for more nurses, our nursing workforce is also aging. One million nurses will be entering retirement age over the next 10 years. Beyond the workforce, we are also experiencing a shortage of nursing faculty to teach and prepare the next generation. You will read all about these concerns in this issue’s cover story, and you will also read about how the University of Florida College of Nursing is combating these shortages.
At UF, our administration understands how vital nurses are to health care. As you have read in The Gator Nurse over the last year, we have been very fortunate to increase our faculty numbers. These new faculty positions were funded by the Faculty 500 initiative, which aims to enhance teaching and research and to position the university to continue to be one of the very best universities in the nation.
Last year, we added nine new faculty positions, and this year we are hiring an additional 13 faculty members. These nurses are assisting in confronting the shortage by teaching the next generation of nurses, the nurses who will rise up to meet the challenge of an aging population and workforce. So far, 11 of the 13 positions this year have been filled. We introduced four of the new faculty, including two new instructors at the Jacksonville campus, in our spring issue. This issue, we introduce you to three nursing scholars who joined us this summer. Stay tuned this fall to help us welcome the remaining faculty.
These new faculty will be instrumental in assisting with the final implementation phase of the transformed undergraduate curriculum that was rolled out for our juniors last fall. As we continue to excel in research, rankings and education, these new members are joining an established faculty at the College of Nursing who are known internationally in the nursing field and throughout other disciplines. I am so proud of the work being done at YOUR College of Nursing. Since the spring, our faculty have received numerous grants and awards, as well as discovered best practices for some of our most vulnerable populations . We hope you enjoy reading about these achievements throughout these pages.
Now that you are familiar with everything happening at the College of Nursing, I hope to have the opportunity to learn more about you! I encourage you to join us at the college’s annual Alumni Reunion, taking place Sept. 21 before the Gators take on Tennessee in The Swamp. Our annual pre-game tailgate is certainly one you don’t want to miss! And if you can’t attend in person, please inform us of any news or achievements through the online form.
Looking forward to seeing you this fall!
Go Gator Nurses!
Anna M. McDaniel, PhD, RN, FAAN
Dean and the Linda Harman Aiken Professor