Celebrating the ‘educated spirit’ of nurses

(March 2019) A message from Dean Connie White Delaney.

March 21, 2019

Connie Delaney

Dear Friends,

This year, 2019, marks the 110th anniversary of an event that would forever change nursing education and the nursing profession. Richard Olding Beard, chair of the physiology program at the University of Minnesota, is credited with leading University of Minnesota efforts to birth nursing into institutions of higher learning with the Board of Regents approval to establish our nursing program in 1909.

In the years that followed, Beard passionately advocated for the advancement of nursing believing that educating nurses, rather than training them in hospital-based apprenticeship programs as was the practice, would help society recognize the worth of human life, conserve human health and provide for social justice. His pioneering advocacy for lifting up the nursing profession was expressed in writings and speeches in which he espoused for “educating the spirit”
of nurses.

We continue to celebrate the “educated spirit” of nurses to drive us 110 years later. Our historic milestone will be celebrated on Wednesday, May 1 and we welcome retired Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho as our featured speaker. A recipient of an honorary degree from the school in 2014, Lt. Gen. Horoho was the first woman and first Nurse Corps Officer to hold the appointment of U.S. Army Surgeon General and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Medical Command. She is currently CEO of OptumServe, which supports the health needs of federal agencies serving military members and their families, veterans and Medicare recipients. You can read more about our May 1 event at McNamara Alumni Center in this issue.

In this issue we invite you to celebrate impactful examples of how the School of Nursing continues to lead 110 years after its historic founding. Our cover story examines how the school has taken a leadership position in educating students, staff and communities about planetary health and the role of nurses in dealing with the health impacts of human-caused disruptions to Earth’s natural systems. You’ll read about the leadership of Diane Treat-Jacobson and team in changing how peripheral artery disease (PAD) is treated along with a story on the physiology lab that has helped our faculty advance PAD research, efforts to slow the progression of dementia and more. The vital role of school nurses is front and center in the story about Nathan Grumdahl, a school nurse we’re proud to call an alum. This issue also examines how our acclaimed Nursing Collaboratory, a partnership with University of Minnesota Health Fairview, is shaping the creation of a new practice, care delivery model.

We invite you to enjoy reading Minnesota Nursing and look forward to your thoughts and comments. Our commitment to leading the way will continue to drive us into the future.

Connie Delaney signature

Connie White Delaney
Professor and Dean

Categories: From the Dean