By Toni Cardarella
June 3, 2014
Nearly 70 University of Kansas School of Nursing new and returning doctoral students gathered on campus this week for a required week-long intensive to kick off their academic year.
This is the first time students in the school's Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program, which has most of the school's doctoral students, were required to take the course. In previous years, the week-long requirement applied only to Ph.D. nursing students.
Cynthia Teel, associate dean of graduate programs at the KU School of Nursing, says the change was made so all doctoral students could get the chance to realize the benefits of the course.
"This intensive provides students this first week with the opportunity to not only learn about their own degree but also to learn about their partners in research, about scholarship and professionalism," she says.
At the end of the first day's sessions, students gathered for a reception in the KU School of Nursing atrium to meet faculty and each other, and for an official welcome from Karen Miller, executive vice chancellor of academic affairs at KU Medical Center and dean of the KU School of Nursing.
"Congratulations on making this important decision to take the next step in your professional careers," she said. "We are very excited you're here. You are our next generation of nursing leaders."
The students are joining about 3,200 other students this year at KU Medical Center, she said, including those in the School of Medicine, the School of Health Professions and about 700 students at the KU School of Nursing.
"And like you they are moving forward; they're successful, and really, really smart," she said. "So on your darkest days during this adventure, remember you're really, really smart."
Miller told the students their lives will definitely be different after this week, particularly the way they will look at the world, as well as the increased demands placed on them and higher expectations they will require of themselves.
"It will be difficult but we are here to help with that. We know how," the dean said, pointing to the estimated 6,000 School of Nursing successful graduates who can be found around the world in every professional level and setting.