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Dean's Annual Update


I would like to take this opportunity to express how truly grateful I am for your unwavering support of Columbia Nursing during my eight years as dean. I am filled with pride as I look back at all we have achieved together for the school, the profession, and most importantly for our students who dream of a career in nursing.

When I first arrived at the school, it was the students who most impressed me – their passion, intelligence, compassion and single-minded commitment to making their mark in improving healthcare. I feel privileged to know that they will graduate with the most up-to-date evidence-based practice education available today.

Your dedication to the school and the profession has made this possible.

Today, as we carry on Columbia Nursing’s legacy as an innovator in education, research and practice, we are creating a new generation of leaders, clinicians, scientists, and policy makers. We celebrated the graduation of close to 500 students in May from the Master’s Direct Entry (MDE), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), and PhD programs. For the 2018-2019 academic year, we received over 500 applications for our DNP program alone, a 25 percent increase over the previous year. We also awarded over $7 million in scholarships, an amount that will expand to $10 million next year.

One of our recent innovations is reinventing our curriculum with simulation, thanks to the opening of our new building and with it, our state-of-the-art Helene Fuld Health Trust Simulation Center. The Annual Fund’s Building Fund allocation continues to offset capital expenses in our beautiful new facility, while our newer Innovations in Simulation Fund has played an important role in allowing us to raise the level at which we prepare nurses for patient care. By investing in simulation technology and the educational resources to support it, we give our future nurses the tools and the confidence they need to serve their patients.

Later this year, we will hold our first “Innovations in Simulation” summit, bringing experts in clinical simulation education together from all over the world to share best practices so that we can raise the bar of excellence even higher, and find new ways to advance the technology to its fullest potential. Also this year, we launched a comprehensive palliative care program for students of all levels that integrates these basic principles into the curriculum. I am delighted that this program will continue in the 2018-2019 academic year with funding provided through the Annual Fund’s Dean’s Discretionary Fund.

Globally, the breadth of our clinical practicum sites expands every year. We now have 13 clinical sites in 11 countries, including recent additions in India (Bel Air Hospital and Bel Air College of Nursing) and Italy (University of Turin). 48 MDE students experienced life-changing clinical placements across the world this past spring – a record number for the school that was made possible by support from the Annual Fund’s Global Fellows Fund and Dean’s Discretionary Fund. 

Last July, in partnership with Columbia Global Centers | Amman, we held our third and final summit in Jordan, welcoming global leaders in nursing and midwifes from 22 countries to discuss issues impacting researchers and clinicians in Southern/Eastern African and Eastern Mediterranean regions.

On the research front, our recent establishment of joint appointments of our nurse scientists with health systems has increased the research potential of nurses within the clinical environment. The success of these research-practice partnerships has led to LINK—Linking to Improve Nursing Care and Knowledge. It has also led to the Academic-Practice Research Fellowship, a collaboration with NewYork-Presbyterian, that awards clinical nurses with mentoring and other support they need—including a work sabbatical—to pursue research. A year after its launch, LINK is exceeding all expectations, not only for Columbia Nursing and our collaborators, but as a national model. We currently have faculty in joint appointments at Hackensack Meridian Health in New Jersey, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and at NewYork-Presbyterian with more on the way. 

I could not be more proud of Columbia Nursing today and what we have achieved together.   

As we look toward the future, and to ushering in a new dean, Lorraine Frazier, PhD, RN, FAAN, I ask you now to recommit yourself to insuring that, under her guidance, Columbia Nursing will continue to flourish and reach even higher levels of distinction.

Thank you for your engagement, for making my time here at the school incredibly special, and for being such a supportive partner. I hope you will continue to invest in our students, in the school, and in the future of nursing.

Warm Regards,

Bobbie Berkowitz, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN
Dean, Columbia University School of Nursing
Mary O'Neil Mundinger Professor of Nursing
Senior Vice President, Columbia University Irving Medical Center