School of nursing

School Notes: School of Nursing
March/April 2023

Holly Powell Kennedy (interim) |

Former faculty member’s gift will provide scholarships

In 1968, new YSN faculty member Roberta FitzGerald was tapped by then-dean Margaret Arnstein to help organize a radical new program to educate non-nurses in only three years to achieve their RN and MSN degrees. Her feelings of astonishment and honor lasted a lifetime; 55 years later, Roberta is one of the major financial supporters of what is now known as the Graduate Entry Prespecialty in Nursing (GEPN) Program. After a long and varied career in health services, Roberta recently formalized her commitment to support YSN through a seven-figure planned gift to provide scholarships to students entering YSN to become advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). Her endowment and her generosity will last in perpetuity.

Coursera course on planetary health

Associate Dean for Global Affairs & Planetary Health Laron E. Nelson recently spearheaded the launch of YSN’s second-ever Coursera course: Planetary Health for Nurses. Nelson collaborated with the Alliance for Nurses for Health Environments and Healthcare Without Harm to develop the material, which can be used by health professionals to earn contact hours for continuing education. The curriculum centers on nurses and the role they play in mitigating and adapting to current and future health threats from climate change. It was designed to provide nurses with tailored information about climate change–related stressors and how they impact the health of populations and communities around the world. Planetary Health for Nurses provides actionable steps nurses can take to address and prepare for health impacts at the individual level, the health-system level, and the community level. Climate-related health impacts are discussed utilizing the conceptual framework of planetary health. 

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