Dear Gator Nurses,
As another summer is drawing to a close, I hope you have taken time to soak up the warmth of the sun, celebrate the Memorial and Independence Day festivities with family or friends and just let life slow down a bit. Many of us have been able to visit other parts of the country or world, and while I am always thankful to experience the excitement and beauty of new places, I am also glad to safely return home.
On Sept. 21, we will have an opportunity to return “home” to the UF College of Nursing as we celebrate Gator Nursing Alumni Reunion. It is a wonderful chance to reconnect with friends, make new friends, watch the Tennessee football game, and enjoy the silent auction and a meal together in the air-conditioned comfort of the Harrell Medical Education Building — just next door to the College of Nursing’s building on the Gainesville campus. Please mark this date on your calendar and register online if you haven’t already. Gator football tickets are available for purchase along with your registration — so don’t delay! We have more than $10,500 worth of gifts, memorabilia, jewelry and experiences to auction and want you to share in this exciting weekend. Your Alumni Council is working hard to make this a fun-filled event for your whole family.
This spring, we had 178 students graduate as Gator Nurses with either their BSN, PhD or DNP degrees. As I participated in some of the graduation and pinning activities, my heart was full of pride for these wonderful nurses who are so excited and ready to contribute to the nursing profession. While our health care system is truly in a state of flux, the skills and dedication these nurses will bring to a wide variety of health challenges makes me confident that our UF College of Nursing graduates are prepared to help advance and improve patient care wherever they choose to work. They will also go forward with the ongoing support of the College of Nursing faculty and alumni in the years ahead.
I always love to hear the amazing stories of what our Gator Nursing graduates are doing and look forward to regional Gator Nursing events and the annual Alumni Reunion events, where we can all reconnect. If you have never attended a “Gator Nurse Gathering” in your area, I highly encourage you to do so. I am willing to bet there are Gator Nurses living and working nearby most of us who would love to hear what you are doing in your job or volunteer capacity.
Our College of Nursing continues to grow with an additional three new faculty recently joining this summer — with more on the way! We are thrilled to welcome these nursing leaders as they join the rest of the faculty members who are committed to helping the UF College of Nursing reach new academic and research heights. As I have read about the new research findings published in this issue and heard about the additional grants awarded to our nursing researchers, I am so proud of the leadership of Dean McDaniel and her faculty. Our programs, research and clinical models are helping to solve many of nursing’s biggest challenges. Let’s continue to work with each other and support our College of Nursing as they educate students to CARE, LEAD, INSPIRE in the future.
Hope to see you in Gainesville at the Alumni Reunion on Sept. 21 to celebrate our many accomplishments!
Go Gator Nurses!
Peggy Rodebush, RN, MSN