Dean Holzemer

The Dean’s Desk | Thoughts from Rutgers Nursing Leadership

RSON Evolves Amidst National Turmoil

Monday, June 5, 2017

William L. Holzemer, RN, PhD, FAAN
Rutgers University School of Nursing

Even as turmoil and confusion dominates the national and international stages, the Rutgers School of Nursing continues to evolve as a prominent center of excellence in training, research, and service.  It is hard to believe that I am completing my 8th year as Dean. 

It is a privilege to work with so many talented faculty, staff, and students.  Once again, we have secured prominent ratings from U.S. News & World Report among the nation’s nursing schools – including 20th for graduate education.  Our extramural support increased from 2016 to 2017 by 38%, from $37.8 million to $52.2 million.  The school’s Out of Hospital Residency Program is on target to admit the first class of 30 BS graduates next fall.  With the support of the Helene Fuld Foundation, we have brought a career counselor on board to assist new graduates with career planning.

As part of our school’s ongoing commitment to expand service to New Jersey’s population, faculty members are working hard to re-design our undergraduate program to focus on population health and primary care.  We have admitted our last class to the RN-BS program and are exploring opening an RN-MS/DNP program.  Expansion of our undergraduate program on the New Brunswick campus is underway, with the addition of two floors of rented space to accommodate additional students and faculty.  Throughout our facilities, the school is building new classrooms, simulation and health assessment labs, and office space. 

Graduate student enrollment at RSON remains robust, with approximately 110 new students in our Advance Practice/DNP program being added this fall.  We have seen a re-birth of the nurse midwifery program; 10 students will enter that program in the coming academic year.  

To help manage our programs more efficiently and plan to meet future needs, we have appointed Susan Vonnessen-Scanlin, RN, APN (PNP), MBA, Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Vice President for Nursing at Rutgers Health to assist us in planned expansion of the Federally Qualified Health Center and our expanded role in the recently formulated Rutgers Health.   Working with Susan, is Patricia O’Brien-Richardson, PhD, MS. Ed, Interim Chief Executive Officer for Rutgers Community Health Center (FQHC)

Finally, we survived another year of budgeting process, Responsibility Center Management (RCM), during a time of flat state funding and a required 2-2.25% raise for faculty and staff. We have a balanced budget even with reduced state funding due to faculty and staff raises and an increase in the benefit rate.
Wishing you a wonderful summer!   I will have the pleasure of attending the 28th International Nursing Research Conference, Sigma Theta Tau, International, July 27-31, 2017, in Dublin, Ireland, and then travel to Bangkok, Thailand to deliver a lecture at Suan Sunadha Rajabaht University.



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