Dear Gator Nurses and friends,
At the University of Florida College of Nursing, 2021 was filled with many unknowns, but one thing remained the same: The spirit of Gator Nursing could be seen in how our faculty, staff, students and alumni continued to Care, Lead and Inspire through the most difficult circumstances. Despite the many challenges presented by COVID-19, our college celebrated many accomplishments over the last year:
One year ago, our college opened the Thomas M. and Irene B. Kirbo Innovation and Learning Laboratory at the Iona M. Pettengill Nursing Resource Center, which was exhaustively renovated and reconfigured into a technology-enriched space, featuring high-fidelity and virtual reality clinical simulation, debriefing technology and practical skills labs. The new lab prepares our nursing students and provides opportunities to learn skills, take risks and make mistakes — all in a safe environment.
In August, the college was designated a Center of Excellence by the National League for Nursing, recognizing our role as a national leader in nursing education and teaching. We already knew our faculty are committed to a student-centered learning environment. I am so proud to have this commitment recognized at the national level.
In 2021, our nurse-led practice, UF Health Archer Family Health Care, celebrated its 20th anniversary. Since 2001, our college has been a part of the Archer community, providing primary and mental health care services to the underserved, rural area. Practice Director Denise Schentrup, DNP, APRN, FAANP, and her team go the extra mile. They remain committed to a patient-centered approach when providing care and building better relationships.
We also have several rankings to be proud of! Our Bachelor of Science in Nursing program was ranked No. 1 in Florida and No. 23 nationally — in the top 4% out of 694 nursing programs across the United States — by U.S. News & World Report. This was the first year U.S. News published rankings for BSN degree programs and coincides with the university’s recent designation as a top-five public university. The Doctor of Nursing Practice program remained the top in the state, was the 24th-highest-ranked public program nationally and was ranked No. 36 among all nursing programs. And the College of Nursing now ranks in the top 20 — landing at No. 18 nationally, No. 12 among public colleges of nursing and No. 1 in Florida — for 2020 NIH research funding rankings, according to the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research.
We are looking forward to another successful year in 2022. We have many opportunities for learning and networking coming up, and I hope to be able to connect with many of you this year. The biennial Dorothy M. Smith Nursing Leadership Conference will be held Feb. 18 at the Reitz Union in Gainesville. This free event will feature national experts speaking on the topic of “Artificial Intelligence | Authentic Innovation.” I encourage you to visit the website and consider joining us!
Please know how much I appreciate all of you and are proud of the work you are doing. If you have professional news or achievements to share, please complete our Alumni Update Form. I look forward to hearing from you and wish you all the best in the New Year.
Anna M. McDaniel, PhD, RN, FAAN
Dean and the Linda Harman Aiken Professor
UF College of Nursing