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Alumni Newsletters

Healthy Times - Fall 2005

Message from the Dean

Dear Alumni,

The start of the 2005-2006 academic year has been one of change and integration into the McNichols Campus.  Summer at the College does not slow down, with year-round students (nurse anesthesia, physician assistant, and the accelerated second degree nursing program). We started a new group of students in the accelerated program in May, and graduated another group in August. There is certainly a strong demand for our health professions programs, and our enrollment is strong in the College this fall, with more than 1,000 students. Our student numbers include: 750 nursing (undergrad and grad), 100 physician assistant students, 70 nurse anesthesia students, and 80 health services administration (undergrad and grad).  We also started three new BSN completion cohorts with Henry Ford Hospital, St. Mary’s Health Care in Grand Rapids, and the DMC at Sinai Grace Hospital. A new initiative for the graduate nursing program in health systems management was the addition of two certificate programs in outcomes performance management and leadership. As in previous years, the College is still the second largest college in the University after Liberal Arts and Education.

We also welcomed several new faculty to the College of Health Professions: Dr. Joyce Conley joined the McAuley School of Nursing and serves as the project director for the McAuley Health Center grant; Deborah Tierney joined the undergraduate nursing faculty; Nutrena Tate and Zorica Klein also joined the MSON and teach in the pre-licensure and accelerated programs; Karen Burritt and Kristine Herrington joined the faculty in Grand Rapids to teach in the pre-licensure and BSN completion programs. We are delighted that these colleagues have joined us in a time of expanding enrollments in our programs.

We are also happy to report outcomes of several successful accreditation visits and decisions. The McAuley School of Nursing is now officially fully accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission for another eight years, and with the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education for five years (this was an initial visit by this organization). The Nurse Anesthesia program also received continuing accreditation for 10 years from the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. Currently, the health services administration program is preparing for initial accreditation for the graduate program in fall 2006.

I am pleased to announce that we are planning a new initiative in the College for the 2006-2007 academic year: a 5-year accelerated physician assistant program. There is an increased demand for physician assistants with tremendous growth opportunities in this field. This program will combine both an undergraduate degree with a master’s degree in five years and will be the only one in the state of Michigan. This program is being done in partnership with the Department of Biology in the College of Engineering and Science. Please see the special article in this newsletter regarding this exciting new program.

While we are enjoying tremendously our new facilities on this campus, we continue to be grateful for all the support and investment we have received from health systems, foundations, and donors for our building and scholarship support for students. We know that these new opportunities could not have happened without the generous investment and support of many of you. We thank you for your strong support for the programs in the College that prepare excellent practitioners, administrators and leaders that truly make a difference in our community. The graduates who are practicing and working in the community are joining a strong tradition of excellence established by all of you.

Suzanne Mellon
Dean, College of Health Professions
McAuley School of Nursing