The World Health Organization has designated 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife. This year marks the 200th birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. Although we celebrate nurses every single day at the UF College of Nursing, now our profession has an entire year, worldwide, dedicated to showing how important our contributions are to health care and to society. This year is also the centennial anniversary of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote in the United States. The year 2020 certainly gives us a lot to celebrate and much for which to be thankful.
We started the year off with a bang at the College of Nursing. In January, we welcomed Dr. Jane Carrington to The Gator Nation and her new role as the Dorothy M. Smith Endowed Chair and co-director of the Florida Blue Center. Dr. Carrington brings a human-centered personality to mentorship and a fresh way of thinking to our informatics and health care quality programs at the College of Nursing. I know you all join me in welcoming our newest leader to the college.
In early February, we also held the biennial Dorothy M. Smith Nursing Leadership Conference. This year’s theme was “Leadership by Design,” and the one-day conference featured leaders and design thinkers from all over UF, the state and the country. I was so excited to see how nurses, interior designers, executive coaches and federal leaders came together to make this conference one of the best yet. Our own founding dean Dorothy Smith would have been proud to see us collaborate to conceptualize what the future of nursing and health care can and should be. I was also proud to recognize five Gator Nursing alumni with Dorothy Smith Nursing Leadership Awards in diverse areas of achievement.
As you read this, we have made progress on the much-anticipated renovations of our Innovation and Learning Laboratory. These exhaustive renovations of our existing space are not only exciting, they are necessary to keep our missions of teaching, research and clinical service at the high level we have come to expect from Gator Nursing. I am looking forward to sharing the more details on the progress in our fall issue of The Gator Nurse. I know our students are looking forward to having a space complete with upgraded technology in simulation, recording and debriefing, and a flexible learning space.
This year promises to be one of significant growth and opportunity at the College of Nursing. Stay tuned for more news of our advancements throughout the coming months, and I hope the Year of the Nurse is productive, energetic and successful for all of you.