Serving as the Warwick Professor and fifth dean of the UK College of Nursing, I could not be more thrilled to share with you what a phenomenal position we hold in the BIG BLUE NATION.
The College is extraordinary because of the distinguished nursing leaders and legends who influenced how strong we are today. In particular, we are most grateful to Dr. Patricia Howard for her outstanding leadership as an interim dean (August 2012-July 2014), Dr. Jane Kirschling for her steadfast forward thinking to expand undergraduate education and establish interprofessional education, and Dr. Carolyn Williams for putting UK on the map with the first Doctor of Nursing Practice Program in the nation. And, we’ll always be grateful for those early pioneers who are no longer with us: Dean Marcia Dake, our first dean (1958-1971), and Dean Marion McKenna, our second dean (1972-1983), whose strength and vision built an incredible foundation of early excellence.
Today we are ranked among the top nursing programs nationwide. The National Institute for Research database reveals we rank No. 15 among all public and private nursing schools and No. 9 among all public schools. With a current research portfolio of over $19 million in funded programs, we are most pleased by the dedication of our talented faculty and staff to advance nursing science, education and practice through interdisciplinary research teams.
With a current enrollment of 1,439 students (519 pre-nursing, 647 undergraduate and 273 graduate), our students benefit from the expertise of approximately 180 full-time and part-time faculty and staff. Our stellar academic programs include a vibrant history of academic rigor and teaching excellence through interactive and innovative learning strategies. Our BSN Program has an outstanding history of achieving 97 to 100 percent pass rates for first-time NCLEX (board exam) takers, as well as preparing graduates to be nurse leaders, advanced practitioners and researchers. Our DNP Program was the first in the country and continues to grow by leaps and bounds to meet the complex health needs of patients, families, communities and health care systems. Our PhD Program was the first in the state and is among the first in the region to discover and disseminate new knowledge that improves the health and wellness of Kentuckians and those beyond state lines.
Now you can see why I am so thrilled and honored to serve as dean of such an extraordinary place. Together – as an engaged, empowered community – we will continue to be stronger and bolder as we leverage opportunities to evolve our innovative programs of study and practice and enhance nursing science.
I hope to have an opportunity to meet you and hear your thoughts, insights and hopes for how we can better help you reach your professional goals. In the meantime, please accept this invitation to learn about my personal and professional life by viewing these video clips.
Be sure to visit our beautiful BIG BLUE NATION so you can see for yourself why it is so exciting to be here!
Best health and wishes always,
Janie Heath, PhD, APRN-BC, FAAN
Dean and Warwick Professor of Nursing