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Message from the Dean

An update from Sally Maliski, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, Dean of the KU School of Nursing

Sally Maliski
Sally Maliski, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, Dean, University of Kansas School of Nursing


The year 2020 is shaping up to be a monumental one for the field of nursing. It has been officially designated as the Year of the Nurse; it is Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday; and the University of Kansas School of Nursing will be celebrating its 115th anniversary. Our alumni, faculty and students have been pioneers in advancing the profession of nursing and nursing education during our glorious history. KU nurses have led the way in online education, health informatics, simulation and concept-based learning.

But we are always striving to do more. As we face the prospect of nursing and nursing faculty shortages, we at KU are leading the way in the development of innovative programs to address this looming crisis. We are creating pathways to professional nursing by increasing capacity to educate beyond the constraints of “brick-and-mortar” by partnering with community colleges in Kansas. In this unique partnership, we leverage community college strengths for provider of care competencies and use the latest technology to deliver KU faculty-taught courses in leadership, health systems and population health. Our students graduate BSN practice-ready in less time and with less debt.

Our faculty have received HRSA funding to address health provider needs in rural areas. Through these grants we have been able to develop undergraduate course work in rural health and a rural-based interdisciplinary behavioral health program. Now we are developing and implementing a clinical post-doctoral fellowship to enable DNPs to specialize in rural health.

We were very grateful this year to receive $4.2 million donation from Margaret Zimmerman to establish a nursing scholarship endowment. This has enabled us to fund more pre- and post-doctoral scholarship programs. We are proud to have brought in Dr. Teri Kennedy as the Ida Feaster Endowed Professor in Interprofessional Education and Dr. Barbara Polivka as associate professor in research to help lead our school forward research and interprofessional education. And in September of this year, Dr. Jerrihlyn McGee was named KU Medical Center’s vice chancellor for diversity, equity and inclusion.

As you look through this issue of KU Nursing, you will see that leadership has been and continues to be a hallmark of our school in educating the next generation of health care leaders.

Sally Maliski, Ph.D., RN, FAAN
Dean, University of Kansas School of Nursing

KU School of Nursing

University of Kansas Medical Center
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Kansas City, KS 66160