Patricia M. Davidson
PhD, MEd, RN, FAAN
Dean, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing
A Commitment to Leadership
We are at an unprecedented time in our history as educators, as nurses, as members of our community and our world, and as leaders. The Year 2020 opened with great promise as the World Health Organization launched the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. It also brought the first-ever State of the World’s Nursing report, highlighting the intense need to commit more resources to the growth and continued excellence of our profession. And COVID-19 forced us to pivot and re-evaluate what the future would look like regarding modes of teaching, researching, and communicating, and new business models to ensure financial strength.
The coming years will feature thoughtful and strategic evaluation on a global level and should bring at every degree a sharp assessment of how nurses, physicians, and medical teams are built, nurtured, and protected. They will bring a continued development of technology that allows medical care and planning via mobile conferencing and telehealth, based in part on successes and failures of living and working under COVID-19 restrictions in a real-world, real-time laboratory. And they must bring a continued expansion and appreciation of nursing as we get back to doing what we do best—not just saving lives today but making life better for future generations.
For its part, JHSON will remain focused on being nimble, as the dangers of being unprepared become more obvious each day in such an interconnected world. JHSON will innovate, as this new technology allows game-changing programs such as the anti-violence DOVE, the aging-in-place vehicle CAPABLE, the anti-HIV program REACH, and ever more such efforts far greater access to the underserved. We will continue to adapt curricula within our Master’s, Doctor of Nursing Practice, and PhD programs, increasing online offerings and vastly expanding simulation training, as nurses realize opportunities to take a greater role in all areas of health care. We will leverage partnerships with nursing colleagues but also those in engineering, business, medicine, and public health in Baltimore and beyond. We will harness our growing technological expertise to educate and send into the world ever more highly skilled nurses prepared to provide care to the very top of their licenses, anywhere in the world.
JHSON will do so in an expanded space—a new wing of the existing Pinkard Building—designed as a hub for innovation and a magnet for the type of interprofessional collaboration that will draw the best students and faculty. And we will succeed while holding fast to our beliefs and moral compass. We must continue our efforts to make diversity and inclusion a top priority and strive for measurable and sustainable progress in teaching, practice, and daily interactions with each other.
With every challenge comes an opportunity. And so we will continue to build a nursing workforce that can withstand the ever-increasing demands for care as world populations live longer with increasing chronic health issues. This will come against a backdrop of constantly shifting political winds and ever-more-challenging economics, while we keep an ear to the ground for signs of the next great crisis here or halfway around the planet.
It is, once again, a time for bold leadership.