Nurses and health care professionals across the country continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. In my Dean’s Message over the summer, we all believed we were rounding the corner and returning to normal, but, unfortunately, we still have a long, uphill battle in front of us. I know our Gator Nurses are exhausted, frustrated and devastated. I want to take this opportunity to say “thank you” for all you are doing on the front lines. We support you and are standing by you.
I am in awe of the nursing student cohorts who have begun and completed their programs throughout this pandemic. Despite the unknowns and the risks, the next generation of Gator Nurses are even more dedicated to joining the workforce and lending a hand. I know you join me in thanking them for their commitment.
As you will read in this issue, this year marks the 20th anniversary of UF Health Archer Family Health Care, or AFHC, the College of Nursing’s nurse-led practice. I am so proud of what has been and continues to be accomplished at AFHC. Read about the practice’s part in achieving health equity in a small, rural, underserved town (page 2). The providers and staff at AFHC are kind, devoted and knowledgeable. Learn more about triple Gator Nurse, Kim Castillo, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, (BSN 2007, MSN 2009, DNP 2020), who is a family nurse practitioner at AFHC (page 18). And don’t forget to watch the video online at gatornurse.nursing.ufl.edu to see what the practice’s 20-year impact has been in the Archer community. In December, I hope you will all join in supporting AFHC through a 20th anniversary fundraising challenge. We look forward to your participation.
In other news, as you would expect, our college faculty, staff, students and alumni have been busy exceeding expectations. We were thrilled to host our fourth annual BSN Convocation with keynote speaker Susan Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN, discussing the Future of Nursing Report (page 12). Dorothy M. Smith Endowed Chair Jane Carrington, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAMIA, led an academic health center-wide “Hack-A-Thon” this fall (page 13). The college was recognized as a Center of Excellence for teaching by the National League for Nursing (page 14). Last but not least, we are grateful for a new scholarship to support PhD students named in honor of Gator Nurse Dr. Gloria Pickar (BSN 1968) (page 20).
We had so many plans for this fall, and I looked forward to finally visiting again with many of you. I hope to be able to connect with you either virtually or in person soon. In
the meantime, thank you for all you are doing throughout these trying times.
Anna M. McDaniel, PhD, RN, FAAN
Dean and the Linda Harman Aiken Professor