Message from the Dean

The World Health Organization has extended the Year of the Nurse and Midwife into 2021. We are hopeful that we will be able to celebrate in person this year. As the number of vaccinated people increases, we should see a drop in COVID cases and a slow return to normal. 2021 is also a special year for the Mount School of Nursing. Fifty years ago, in May 1971, the first Baccalaureate nursing degrees were awarded to 14 young women. Prior to that, 16 students had completed an associate degree course of study. To celebrate the 50th anniversary, we will be sealing a time capsule that will be opened 25 years later, on Florence Nightingale’s birthday in May 2046. It is hard to imagine what nursing and health care will be like then, but I don’t doubt that the values of compassion, empathy and equity will remain a core component of the curriculum. For a history of the School of Nursing, click here.

Although most of our fall semester was focused on providing the best possible substitutes for clinical experiences, our task forces continued to move forward. We have revised the School of Nursing Mission Statement and received college approval for a Psychiatric Mental Health nurse practitioner program. After we receive state approval, we will start both the full psychiatric nurse practitioner track and the post certificate option. Under the guidance of Professor Kathleen Pecoraro and the Administration Committee, we had a very successful nursing faculty development day in December, which focused on best practices of teaching in the time of COVID. Six nursing faculty and one professor from the math department shared their strategies to improve student engagement and student success as we worked virtually. During the winter break many of our students were part of the vaccination teams at Nuvance and Montefiore St Luke’s Cornwall Hospital. So, in spite of difficult times, our School is thriving and we are optimistic for the future.

Yours in nursing,

Susan LaRocco PhD, MBA, RN, FNAP, CNE

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