A message from College of Nursing Dean Jill Guttormson

Dear College of Nursing community,

I hope everyone is having a great start to their summer! It’s a busy one for the College of Nursing; we are moving everything out of Clark Hall and into David A. Straz, Jr., Hall, our new home. That process will continue through the summer so we can be ready to welcome students on Aug. 26. I invite you to visit the building once it’s open and look forward to the official dedication ceremony in October. 

Straz Hall will allow us to expand the number of students we admit to the college, which is necessary to alleviate the nursing shortage both locally and nationwide. Thanks to a generous alumni scholarship gift, more of those students than ever will be coming from rural areas. In this newsletter, you will read about the challenges faced by rural health systems and how they shape future nurses from those locales. This issue is personal for me; I grew up in the small town of Mellen, Wisconsin, and have directly observed how much rural nurses accomplish without a lot of resources. Providing opportunities to young people from those towns is one of the best ways to address this issue. 

You’ll also read about the impact-oriented research going on in the college. Our DNP students’ practice change projects are some of my favorites. These advanced practice nurses identify issues in their own health care systems and propose practical solutions to improve patient outcomes. Many of their projects have been successfully and sustainably implemented at health care institutions around the Milwaukee area with great success. 

We believe that good research should involve as many of our stakeholders as possible, which is why Dr. Sylvia Peña’s work to establish student placements in a community health clinic on Milwaukee’s south side is so exciting. Nursing undergraduates help treat a diverse patient population in this clinic with the help of a bilingual instructor, and Dr. Peña will evaluate the outcomes of this collaboration. Our best work happens when we align faculty, students and patients. This is a prime example. 

As the College of Nursing enters a new era, I find myself immensely thankful. Thankful for the great home that Clark Hall was to generations of students and faculty. Thankful for the new building that will allow us to deepen our impact. And, most of all, thankful for the people that make our college great no matter where we are. 
Jill Guttormson 
Dean of the College of Nursing