Iowa Nurses Continue to Lead the Way

Editorial By: Dayna Ballantyne | May 5th, 2014

Every year at this time, National Nurses Week gives us an opportunity to extend our gratitude, in ways large and small, to the nursing professionals in our lives. We do this by honoring the nurses who have cared for us and those we love, and the pioneers of the field whose tireless work built the profession. The week also gives us a chance to gaze aspiringly to the future of nursing. In my position as the director of development for the University of Iowa College of Nursing, I’m reminded every day of how bright that future is.

Health care is an ever-evolving field. From classroom education to technology, clinical programs, and research, the UI College of Nursing is working on many fronts to not only respond to change, but to answer it with innovation. This commitment is not new. For 110 years, nursing at Iowa has been a leader in advancing the nursing profession and educating tomorrow’s nursing professionals. According to U.S.News & World Report, five UI College of Nursing graduate programs currently rank within the top 15 nationally, and students at all levels benefit from the best in hands-on education.

To continue this legacy, the college has renewed and expanded its commitment to developing innovative academic programs and learning experiences, supporting centers of research, and preparing “Iowa Nurses” to become future health-care leaders in our state, our nation, and around the world. We’re joined in this commitment by generous alumni and friends, whose gifts help us continue to deliver on our promise of first-rate nursing education, service, research, and care.

Recently, the college received a gift commitment from UI alumni Suzanne and William Ammerman that will facilitate the purchase of a new birthing simulator for the Nursing Clinical Education Center. This cutting-edge educational tool for inter-professional training will help prepare students and clinical teams to respond to emergencies requiring rapid response, technical skills, teamwork, and communication. The Ammermans are passionately committed to ensuring that UI nursing students have access to the tools they need to respond to health care changes, and their philanthropy is an extension of that commitment. The Ammermans’ gift—and contributions from countless other supporters—bolsters the outstanding research and preparation being done in the UI College of Nursing, and puts the best resources at the fingertips of tomorrow’s nursing leaders, thus continuing to drive improved patient care.

Another area of excellence within the UI College of Nursing is geriatric care, which is evidenced through the work of the nationally recognized UI Hartford/Csomay Center for Geriatric Nursing Excellence. With older adults comprising the fastest-growing segment of the nation’s population—and with Iowa ranked fourth in the nation for the largest proportion of people aged 75 and older, and second for people aged 85 and older—it is more crucial now than ever before that today’s nursing educators and researchers improve care for aging-related issues. From managing diabetes to addressing caregiver depression and improving the quality of life of persons with dementia, the center is providing and implementing evidence-based interventions.

Well-prepared nurses are the key to better outcomes for patients, from infants to the elderly. With the help of our many supporters, the University of Iowa College of Nursing will ensure that “Iowa Nurses” remain the touchstone for critical-thinking skills, clinical decision-making abilities, innovation, and professional nursing values and ethics. For information about how private support helps the UI College of Nursing continue to prepare the nurses of tomorrow and improve patient outcomes, visit www.uifoundation.org/nursing.