A Message from the Dean

A world in crisis has called, and Yale nurses have answered. Yale nurses were on the front lines of the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) pandemic, living our mission to change health for the better, for all people. At Yale School of Nursing (YSN), you are joining an intellectual community that integrates science with practice with an emphasis on public and global health justice, addressing persistent health care disparities in the United States and around the world. Over the last year, states have expanded the scope of practice of advanced practice registered nurses and midwives to address a need that has never been greater.

In an unusually prescient move, the World Health Organization declared 2020 the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, and the corresponding report, State of the World’s Nursing 2020 (https://www.who.int/publications-detail/nursing-report-2020), highlights the worldwide need for nurses and midwives, including from Yale. Nurses are the backbone of every health care system in the world, and our critical functions have become more widely recognized during the pandemic. As nurse scientists and expert clinicians, we can educate patients with authority and live up to the standards of the nation’s most trusted profession. But our work does not stop when the pandemic’s waves recede, and our advanced practice registered nurses (nurse practitioners and midwives) are well positioned to adapt to post-pandemic needs. As the world shifts from emergency response to primary care, health systems will return to the principles of Alma-Ata—health beyond the absence of disease. This outlook ensures that our nurse leaders will incorporate lessons learned into future care.

A YSN education promotes advocacy for underserved populations and rigorous scientific research. Our outstanding faculty, expert staff, and incredible student community, combined with the excellence of our graduates, placed YSN in the number six position of nursing schools in the world this year. Our Graduate Entry Prespecialty in Nursing (GEPN) program combines preparation in basic nursing with advanced preparation in a clinical specialty, attracting students with rich life experience from diverse backgrounds. Several of our Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) specialty tracks are among the most highly rated in the country, positioning graduates to improve care across the lifespan. Our Ph.D. program prepares expert nurse scientists to improve individual and population health. The Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) program enhances the credentials of experienced nurses across the country, giving those students the tools to shape policy and lead health systems using a pioneering degree format. Yale Nursing’s D.N.P. was ranked in the top tier nationally since graduating the very first cohort, and it continues to draw a diverse and accomplished group of nurse leaders.

Our curriculum is forward-thinking, expanding the education of nurses to address stresses stemming from climate change and incipient global health emergencies. Students benefit from our recently expanded clinical simulation facility and flexible educational opportunities through remote learning. Our world-class faculty engage in high-impact research in areas that include self-management of chronic conditions, sleep science, symptom science, palliative care, genomics, maternal-child health, mental health, and global health, among other key areas. Our dedicated staff are highly committed to the school and to our mission. We aim to build a diverse nursing workforce educated in health justice, and we actively work to further inclusion in nursing academia and the health care sector. Students are key members of YSN’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity Action Solutions (IDEAS) Council. Finally, but not least, YSN is part of the singular Yale University ecosystem in which the tools of intellectual discourse, available to every student, can become instruments of powerful change in the world. We are one YSN and one Yale, committed, in the words of the University’s mission statement, “to improving the world today and for future generations.”

Thank you humbly for your engagement in YSN. Our faculty, staff, alumni, and I are thrilled to welcome you to Yale and to West Campus.

Ann Kurth, ’90 M.S.N., Ph.D., M.P.H., C.N.M., FAAN
Dean, Yale School of Nursing
Linda Koch Lorimer Professor of Nursing