You’ll see nurses in emergency rooms providing treatment to a child with a gunshot wound—and hope to that child’s family. You’ll see them in clinics in underserved rural areas and crowded metropolises, ensuring a high and consistent standard of care for individuals of all backgrounds and circumstances. You’ll see them ask compassionate questions that will help patients better understand their own health, and forestall a medical crisis just around the corner. In most clinical settings, you’ll see them more than any other health care provider.
The College of Nursing at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus is a springboard for the education of these nurses, and a wellspring for the state-of-the-art research that elevates the quality of care they practice—in areas ranging from mental health to gerontology, from obesity to obstetrics.
This is no time to take nurses—or the CU College of Nursing—for granted. Our health increasingly relies on an
educated population of nurses. But escalating demand for health services combined with a shortage of trained nurses has created a looming crisis. By 2020, it is expected that Colorado will have more than 47,000 nursing positions to fill—with fewer than 33,000 trained nurses to fill them, a shortage of over 30 percent.
Meanwhile, an aging population and greater economic, demographic and geographic disparity challenge the health care profession, and increase the need for quality nurses who can harness advances in science and practice toward best use. The Affordable Care Act is likely to usher new populations toward managed care, with nurses—who can deliver as much as 80 percent of services a primary care physician would provide, and 90 percent of pediatric care services—shouldering a heavy proportion of that load. In this fast-evolving landscape, the CU College of Nursing will play a fundamental role. We have ambitious goals that will improve our ability to serve the health of populations throughout Colorado and beyond. Your support can help us make it happen.
THE COLLEGE OF NURSING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO
ISN’T FOR THE AVERAGE. THEN AGAIN, NEITHER IS OUR CALLING.
DEAN SARAH THOMPSON, PHD, RN, FAAN, BRINGS TO THE COLLEGE A WEALTH
OF LEADERSHIP AND CLINICAL CARE EXPERIENCE, AS WELL AS CONSIDERABLE
RESEARCH ACCOMPLISHMENTS. She was previously professor and associate dean at
the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing and has taught at all levels in nursing, as well as practiced intensive care and hospice nursing. An American Academy of Nursing fellow, Thompson completed an NIH-funded study on end-of-life outcomes for nursing
COLLEGE OF NURSING
A Long Track Record of Leadership
For more than 115 years, the CU College of Nursing has established a legacy of innovation and early adoption—underscored by a reliable and widely recognized foundation of high quality. The master’s program ranks among the top 20 in the U.S., with 16 fellows of the American Academy of Nursing among its faculty, and U.S. News
and World Report ranks its pediatric nurse practitioner program
among the top five.
CU College of Nursing hallmarks have included:
• Establishment of the nation’s first nurse practitioner program (in 1965) and one of the West’s oldest research
• Caring Science, an international movement advocating for a holistic, culturally sensitive approach to health started by former College of Nursing Dean Jean Watson, and now a component of the practice of many major health institutions
• Pioneering use of informatics, the mining of data and technology for use in both classrooms and practice • Colorado’s first hospital-based water birth delivery program utilizing nurse midwives
• Community engagement, with students and faculty treating underserved populations throughout Colorado’s urban and rural communities
• A leading adopter of the Robert Wood Johnson
Foundation’s Quality and Safety in Education for Nurses (QSEN) initiative
• Interdisciplinary collaboration, with a weekly time block in which doctors, nurses, and other students learn together
These are the sorts of innovations that inspired one online nursing education resource to recently rank the college 7th among U.S. nursing schools for cutting-edge practices. Yet accolades alone don’t tell the full story of the College of Nursing.
That story can be summed up in the voice of a terminally ill patient who told her nurse “You give me hope,” the voice of the elderly gentleman who told his nurse, “No health care provider has ever treated me with such respect.” Such heartfelt comments inspire our students to make personal connections and develop a compassionate perspective that delivers hope and conveys respect to every patient they touch.
IN CONTRAST TO DIDACTIC
LECTURES AND CLINICAL
STUDENTS LEARNING IN
CONTEXT—providing a way for them to make sense of their clinical experience and bridge theory, practice, and research.
It is a model that Sara Horton-Deutsch, the Jean Watson Endowed Chair in Caring Science at CU, believes in. “A cancer unit is an obvious place where Jean’s work is embodied—a meditative approach of being in the moment with another person, being responsive, and being fully present,” Horton-Deutsch says. “It requires attention, intention and presence.”
OUR STRATEGIC PRIORITIES
Support for Programs and Outreach
Our outstanding location on the Anschutz Medical Campus and partnerships with communities throughout Colorado help the CU College of Nursing maximize its impact. We are adjacent to two major hospitals (University of Colorado Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Colorado) that each have achieved “magnet” credentials based on the educational attainments, application of research and low turnover of nurses—as well as the strong patient outcomes that follow. A third hospital, operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs, will open on campus in the coming years.
Our beyond-campus collaborations make health care more accessible for the underserved (see above for one example of this at our Sheridan clinic) and ensure our student body is
diverse and highly qualified (for example, our Integrated Nursing Pathway partnership with Community College of Aurora and Community College of Denver).
Yet despite Colorado’s reputation for health and fitness, it has distinctive needs when it comes to health care resources and access. The state’s rural communities face a significant shortage of health care providers, with some patients needing to travel more than a hundred miles round trip for an office visit. The state’s infant mortality rate is high, and Colorado ranks 48th in the nation in inpatient psychiatric beds.
Donor support can help get our nurses into community settings not reached before, and will enable us to deploy technology (such as mobile clinics and telehealth) to overcome geographic barriers affordably— for institution and patient alike.
HAVING LAUNCHED AS A SCHOOL-BASED CLINIC 20 YEARS AGO, THE LEADERS OF THE
NURSE-MANAGED SHERIDAN CLINIC BEGAN TO RECOGNIZE THAT THE FAMILIES OF THE
CHILDREN THEY WERE SEEING NEEDED CARE AS WELL. Now, the clinic has grown to serve 1,700patients with over 3,700 visits annually. “Our No. 1 differentiator is spending more time with our patients,” explains Executive Director Erica Schwartz, whose team spends an average of 55 minutes per patient emphasizing quality of life, health coaching and motivational interviews.
The clinic serves many geriatric and Latino patients who need access to quality health care and would not otherwise receive it. But the clinic has outgrown its current home. Donor support can help it expand its space and services further.
OUR STRATEGIC PRIORITIES
Support for Nursing Research
The standard of medical care—and the longevity of our lives—has vastly increased over the last century. An essential catalyst for these trends has been academic health sciences research. CU College of Nursing faculty and students have played key roles generating research that improves patient outcomes and our health care system as a whole.
A broad range of questions prompt College of Nursing scholars to action. How can our nurses improve the efficiency, effectiveness and value of nurses? What new technologies and practice guidelines can help us reduce health disparities among our most vulnerable citizens? Can we help citizens manage their own symptoms better, outside the reach of clinical settings? The questions are as important as they are diverse.
The College can play a still-greater role in expanding productive research in key areas of research strength—which include biobehavioral systems, informatics, pediatric nursing, rural health and geriatric health. Your support for our research will accelerate its progress from bench to bedside, and allow patients to benefit from these efforts sooner.
Priorities for donor support at the CU College of Nursing include: • The Colorado Collaborative for Nursing Research,
currently in the planning phase, that will be a hub not only for outstanding scholarship, but also for hospital partnerships that will take this research beyond medical labs and journals, and into Colorado’s care settings for improved patient outcomes • Canines Providing Assistance to Wounded Warriors
(C-PAWW), whose interdisciplinary research, education
and practice protocols help active military and veteran populations achieve better well-being through canine interventions and companionship
• Endowed Chairs and Other Faculty Support that will help CU recruit and retain the best scholars and practitioners in the field
HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN AND PROMOTE
PHYSICAL FUNCTION DURING THE AGING
PROCESS? That’s a focus of the research ofCatherine Jankowski, PhD, FACSM, who assesses physical function in older adults—
gathering information through exercise intervention studies and the responses of muscular or skeletal systems to exercise. “The importance of a lifetime of physical activity is so evident,” Jankowski says. “Nurse practitioners can help convey the value of exercise to all types of people.”
With a doctorate in kinesiology, Jankowski came to Colorado in 1999 as a geriatric medicine fellow in the CU School of Medicine—but recently joined the CU College of Nursing faculty, taking advantage of relationships across a variety of schools and departments. “Now that I’m in the College of Nursing, I can engage students at many levels,” she says.
Canines Providing Assistance to Wounded Warriors (C-PAWW)
OUR STRATEGIC PRIORITIES
Support for Students
The CU College of Nursing’s thousand-strong student body takes advantage of a full range of academic programs, from baccalaureate to doctoral degrees in both nursing practice (DNP) and research scholarship (PhD). Students also participate in valuable partnerships such as a dual masters/doctorate program with the Colorado School of Public Health.
We receive ten times more applications from aspiring nurses than we are currently able to accept for CU College of Nursing admission. While we are proud that our students represent the cream of the crop, we need to educate far more of these promising applicants. Community demand for nurses far outstrips the supply, and with the average nurse exceeding age 50, the need is increasingly urgent. We aim to grow education levels for aspiring nurses across the board. Our goals include increasing the number of RN-to-BS students by 80 percent—thereby increasing the competencies and variety of settings these nurses can practice in—and expanding the doctoral programs to increase the faculty pool and replenish retiring nursing faculty. We seek to build on early successes offering nursing education online (U.S. News & World Report ranks our online graduate programs 10th in the nation), and overcome geographic barriers to preparing new nurses. And we hope to offer more scholarships to increase our nursing students’ aggregate talent and demographic breadth, and enable more individuals to pursue this noble career path with less fear of crippling debt.
DENVER NATIVE AND RECENT CU COLLEGE OF
(BS ’13) GOT HOOKED ON LABOR and delivery themoment she stepped onto the high-risk floor to support a pregnant mom who had been through the most horrible night of her life. When she got to hold her baby, she says, “it was amazing.”
“Studying labor and delivery, I was astonished at how little I knew,” Schlueter says. “If I don’t know it, then the layperson absolutely doesn’t know it.”
As a recent CU Student Nursing Association president, she played a key role in opening up the nursing world to students and promoting activities that build campus community. “I just try to lead by example,” says Schlueter, who also has served as a peer mentor and volunteered with Children’s Hospital, among other activities. Ultimately, she will use her
nursing and leadership skills to bring a healthy next generation into the world.
OUR STRATEGIC PRIORITIES
Support for Facilities
The CU College of Nursing is fortunate to be sited at a modern medical campus with facilities that, unlike many peer schools, do not need extensive infrastructure improvements or retrofitting to be up to par. But though the Anschutz Medical Campus is barely a decade old, the state of Colorado has added nearly a million residents since then—and is projected to add more than 2 million more by 2030.
We need to continue to grow our footprint to be able to keep up with Colorado’s skyrocketing growth, and fill the nursing gap referred to earlier. Parallel growth in teaching space, labs and student spaces will increase our capacity to generate forward-looking research, and improve the campus experience for developing nurses.
By supporting infrastructure growth, you can help us increase our capacity and knock down one of the most significant barriers to educating more nurses.
HALF OF THE U.S. POPULATION IS AFFECTED BY MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES AT SOME
POINT. Yet only 2 percent of students specialize inpsychiatric nursing. “We’ve got to change how we do business,” asserts Professor Michael Rice, PhD, newly appointed holder of the Endowed Chair in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing. “I’m trying to put together the tools, technology and structure that makes CU a mecca for psychiatric mental health nursing not just for five to 10 years, but forever.”
We hope to increase participation to enable classes of 60 psychiatric nurse practitioner students to study together at a time, so that we can train the nurse leaders who will be the real heroes in addressing the mental health issues of tomorrow.
For more information on the many ways you can make a gift:
Anschutz Medical Campus Office of Development