New Dean Talks About Future of University of Rochester's School of Nursing
The University of Rochester has a new dean leading the college's School of Nursing. She brings with her three decades of experience.
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Kathy Rideout began her career in Pittsburgh. She moved to Rochester in the late 80s, and since then has worked at Strong and as a faculty member of the School of Nursing.
Earlier this week, she was named dean of the school where she's spent almost 30 years.
"We're committed that our students when they graduate have the highest quality education. They know what the issues are going forward, they know what the demands are going to be for them and they are well prepared."
The University of Rochester ended its traditional four-year nursing program in 2000, Rideout explained, because other schools in the area were offering the same programs at a lower cost. Leaders instead focused on other areas like nurse practitioner, leadership, and masters programs.
One of the most sought after courses at the School of Nursing is the Accelerated Program for Non-Nurses. They are professionals in others fields who undergo 12 months of intensive studies to become nurses. In previous years attorneys, Wall Street executives, architects, even priests have graduated from it.
"We admit about 60 students every semester. We have about 300-400 applications each semester for those 60 slots," Rideout said.
Rideout says with those programs, the school is ready for what she expects will be changes ahead in health care.
"We're walking into an era of health care reform where payment issues are going to change. We’re going to be looking at much more ambulatory care services provided, population-based health care and our students need to have those skills to provide that type care."
As Rideout worries about the paperwork, she also worries about her patients. She still works as a pediatric ostomy nurse practitioner at Strong.
"It's because it's something I love, something I've always done, and it keeps me grounded in what our field is all about," said Rideout. "I think it's important as a nurse to always know what's going on in the nursing field and have that front line connection with patients, families and nurses that are at the bedside. Clinical questions for research start at the bedside."
Rideout says that research is one part of what she's focused on as she thinks about the future of the School of Nursing. She's also working to get more nurses their Bachelor's degrees through the university's hybrid program that includes courses online.
"We've worked very hard this year. We have a nice strategic plan in place and we're ready to move even further ahead."