In my recent travels to meet with our alumni, nursing peers, and donors, I’ve been struck by an overwhelming concern as to how, given the outcome of our presidential election, two key issues will impact schools of nursing. It’s important to note that these are shared concerns regardless of party affiliation or personal beliefs.
Firstly, will the potential abolishment or changes in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) significantly impact nursing research and practice? I’m working with the Dean’s Nursing Policy Coalition, made up of the top 10 private schools of nursing, to develop a political strategy that tracks policy, informs elected officials, and advocates for the value nursing brings to quality and affordable health care for all.
This group convened about a year ago to work together on policy issues of mutual interest. It’s fortuitous that the group was already fully organized and engaged so we were able to act quickly and have a strong voice in this national conversation and sea change.
The group is also looking at changes to the ACA that have the potential to negatively impact our ability to secure federal research dollars. Thankfully, under the leadership of our Office of Science and Innovation, we are being strategic about our grant submissions and aggressively identifying new areas for funding.
The second concern is surrounding immigration. I want to reiterate that we stand behind the university’s position that we will protect our faculty, students, and staff affected by the Executive Order. We believe that students, scholars, and researchers from all countries should be allowed to conduct their work here with us. Fortunately, unlike some other JHU schools, we are not at high risk in this area since our number of international students and faculty is relatively small.
Having said that, many of our faculty work globally, and we invite a number of international visiting scholars to our school throughout the year. We must insure safe and flexible access if scholarly research and practice are to take place and flourish.
We are watching both issues carefully and will be communicating updates as they become available. I’m confident that we will be able to work through these issues with minimum impact on our school.
So apart from these new and challenging developments, we are focusing on two exciting and transformational initiatives—securing funds for our new building and insuring the successful transition of our academic programs.
Securing New Building Funds—We are actively engaged in a number of discussions with key donors to secure the needed $17 million to break ground for our new $43 million building addition and renovation. We are confident that we can reach this initial threshold, and you can learn more in the next issue of the SON magazine, which features the new building as its cover story.
Successful Transition Academic Programs—We are excited to be graduating out first Master’s Entry into Nursing Practice cohort this May. Dean Emerita Martha Hill, who initiated the move to all graduate programs, will be the graduation speaker. Other program developments include a fall 2017 launch of our DNP Advanced Practice programs and the Post-Master Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certificate; in 2018, the Executive DNP will be more online; and a revised and strengthened MSN/MPH with the Bloomberg School of Public Health for summer 2018.
Whether it’s addressing changes to the Affordable Care Act, immigration, building design, or academic programs, we need to persist in all of our efforts and make things better—locally and globally. This is what Hopkins Nurses do.
As always, I remain honored and humbled to lead our great school. Wishing you and your families a joyful and warm spring. Come visit us soon in Baltimore as the trees are already in bloom in our courtyard.
Patricia M. Davidson
PhD, MEd, RN, FAAN
Dean, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing
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