Dear Friends, Colleagues and Community Members,
Celebrating 50 Years of Stony Brook Nursing this past year in the midst of a global pandemic is a testimony to what makes the School of Nursing a national leader in achieving our educational, research and service missions. Celebrating this milestone in the history of the School of Nursing coincided with several important benchmarks. The year 2020 was designated as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife by the World Health Organization; it was the 200th Anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale; and the 25th anniversary of the School of Nursing Midwifery program. Most recently it also marked the release of the report on the “Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity” from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM). It continues to chart the path of nursing and builds on the previous report, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.”
Collectively, alumni, students and faculty all joined forces for more than a year to provide critical assistance to Long Islanders and New Yorkers in the Greater New York region who were facing health care challenges at Stony Brook University Hospital and elsewhere by working on COVID units and continuing clinical experiences for undergraduate students on non-COVID units. They also staffed vaccine sites to now deliver over 600,000 vaccinations using both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines that were released for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and have since received full FDA approval. What is more than apparent is that as a community of students, alumni, scholars and practitioners we are dedicated and responsible professional nurses who worked in earnest to fulfill our social contract with the public we serve. And our staff support has been exceptional—they have supported us to address every challenge and overcome every hurdle as we shifted to more remote operations. All the stories and news this year about the selfless dedication of nurses continue to be inspiring to our patients and community members who have supported and cheered these dedicated efforts with gratitude.
Our 50th Anniversary Seminar series over the past year showcased the outstanding expertise of national nurse leaders who graduated from Stony Brook University, addressed contemporary societal needs and celebrated historic contributions of 50 years of nurse leadership. Topics included: addressing COVID-19 challenges; nurse practitioner-led rapid response teams; PTSD lessons from women military veterans and how this can be used to support frontline nurses; looking into the future of midwifery; challenges of Chief Nursing Officers during COVID; how nurses can guide individuals who have vaccine hesitancy; standing up Pop-Up units to rapidly expand hospital capacity; sharing research findings on heart failure to advance patient care; strategies for aging in place; deans’ challenges during COVID; and a tribute and celebration of 50 years of pioneering educational efforts in the School of Nursing.
Today the achievements of the School of Nursing stand on the shoulders of over 11,000 alumni. These nurse pioneer nurse leaders reside in all 50 states and in 23 foreign countries around the globe. The generosity of our alumni, friends and benefactors who donate to the School of Nursing with scholarships and awards creates a vital source of support that helps fill the chasm from wholly insufficient state support. We acknowledge all members of the Stony Brook University School of Nursing community—those who walk the halls today, those who reside near and far and those who have gone before us—and acknowledge their unwavering efforts to create the recognition that the School of Nursing enjoys and has achieved as a national force in nursing education, research and practice.
The year 2020 was also marked with numerous other achievements. Our undergraduate NCLEX pass rate was 98.1%. US News and World Report ranked our Online Master’s in Nursing Program #9 and our Online Master’s in Nursing Program for Veterans #4. Further, we have five faculty members who are either a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN), the American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM) or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). Our undergraduate student members of the Stony Brook Student Nurse Association won five national awards from the National Student Nurses’ Association. This past year for the first time, one of our doctoral students received a first-place poster award from the Eastern Nursing Research Society. And faculty continued to engage in grant-supported activity targeted at tick-borne diseases, behavioral health and neurodevelopmental disabilities. Clinical efforts are directed at acute, community and residential settings that span and include the insured and the uninsured. Thus, the ongoing contributions of faculty, alumni and students contribute to the important work that is recommended in both reports from the NASEM to advance nursing and achieve health equity.
We have much to celebrate—even during a pandemic. We invite you to Save the Date and join us in our long-awaited and eagerly anticipated Gala event that we have planned on May 5, 2022, to celebrate 50 Years of Stony Brook Nursing. Please join us as we celebrate our accomplishments and launch the next 50 years of Stony Brook Nursing into the future!
Annette B. Wysocki, PhD, RN, FAAN, FNYAM
Dean and Professor, Stony Brook School of Nursing