Nursing News 2020 Report University of Rochester School of Nursing

As we look forward to new beginnings, let’s remember the events that made 2020 one of the most memorable years in the University of Rochester School of Nursing’s history.


COVID-19 Response

No one could predict the extent to which the coronavirus would disrupt our lives. As quickly as the pandemic started, UR School of Nursing faculty and staff mobilized to meet each unprecedented challenge with innovation and resilience to continue educating the nursing workforce.

Historic Year for Loretta Ford

It was a year filled with milestones and achievements for nursing legend Loretta Ford, EdD, RN, PNP, NP-C, CRNP, FAAN, FAANP!

Turning 100

The co-creator of the nurse practitioner role celebrated her 100th birthday on Dec. 28. The school collected more than 200 cards filled with birthday wishes and greetings for the former nursing dean to open on the big day.

Loretta Ford Centennial Scholarship Fund

In recognition of her 100th birthday, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners® announced the Loretta Ford Centennial Scholarship fund, which will award educational grants to current registered nurses (RNs) for the purpose of pursuing a NP education. Read More

Surgeon General’s Medallion

Ford was also honored with the Surgeon General’s Medallion. The Medallion is the highest honor granted to a civilian by the Public Health Service and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps for actions of exceptional achievement to the cause of public health and medicine. Read More

Named One of Florida’s Women of the Century

In August, USA Today named Ford one of Florida’s most influential women of the century for her work as a renowned nursing leader. Read More

Illustrated by Michael Osadciw

Year of the Nurse and Midwife

The World Health Organization designated 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, which could not come at a more opportune time. This year showed how heroic and critical nurses are to our health care system. Each month, different nurses from hospitals affiliated with the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) shared their stories in the Year of the Nurse and Midwife newsroom.

Calls for Racial Justice

To stand against systemic racism and violence against people of color, UR School of Nursing’s Dean Kathy Rideout, EdD, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, faculty, staff, and students took part in URMC’s #URWhiteCoatsforBlackLives demonstration and the Rochester Black Nurses Association’s “No Nurses Left Behind” event in Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park.


Leaving a Legacy: Harriet Kitzman, PhD, RN, FAAN

Nurse, researcher, professor, mentor, and dear friend Harriet Kitzman, PhD, RN, FAAN, died on Mar. 11 at the age of 82 from a long-term illness. Kitzman’s lifetime of pediatric research is a testament to her dedication to health care and inspires others to pursue their passions in research. Read More

$3.6M NIH Grant Funds Roybal Center for Social Ties and Aging Research (STAR)

The Roybal Center for Social Ties and Aging Research (STAR), a joint initiative between the UR School of Nursing and Department of Psychiatry, received a $3.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The STAR Center, co-directed by Kathi Heffner, PhD, fosters collaboration among researchers to find new and innovative ways to promote social connectedness and the overall health of older adults caring for a loved one with dementia. Read More


Employee Wellness Team Honored with Meliora Award

The UR Medicine Employee Wellness was one of the recipients of the 2020 Meliora Award. The award, presented by the University of Rochester, recognizes staff members whose work performance and dedication embody the University’s motto, Meliora. Read More

Tantillo Book Examines Role of Relationships in Eating Disorder Recovery

Professor of Clinical Nursing Mary Tantillo, PhD, PMHCNS-BC, FAED, CGP, co-wrote a book titled, Multifamily Therapy Group for Young Adults with Anorexia Nervosa: Reconnecting for Recovery. The book examines a multifamily therapy approach called “reconnecting for recovery,” which is designed to help young adults and their family members learn the emotional and relational skills required to work collaboratively in recovery. Read More

UR Researchers Defend Employee Wellness Program

Lisa Norsen, PhD, RN, ACNP-BC, Renu Singh, MS, and Irena Pesis-Katz, PhD, published a letter to the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) in defense of the UR Employee Wellness program after another study claimed wellness programs are not effective in improving employee’s health. Norsen, Singh, and Pesis-Katz provided evidence from the five-year study that proved a significant reduction in risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in employees enrolled in the UR Medicine Employee Wellness program. Read More


Top 25 School in NIH Funding

The survey of NIH research grant funding ranked the UR School of Nursing in the top 25 of nursing schools for the fourth time in the last five years, and ninth time in the past 12 years. Read More

Climb in U.S. News and World Report

The school made a nine-spot jump to No. 26 in the highly anticipated 2021 Best Graduate Schools master’s program rankings produced by U. S. News and World Report. The school’s doctor of nursing practice program ranked No. 40. Read More

Fourth Consecutive Year Recognized for Diversity

The UR School of Nursing was among 46 schools honored with the Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. Read More


Faculty Members First to Earn Wilson Professorship

Kathi Heffner, PhD, and Feng (Vankee) Lin, PhD, RN, were the first UR School of Nursing faculty members and first female recipients of the Marie C. Wilson and Joseph C. Wilson Professorship. Read More

Blaakman, Rotondo Elected Distinguished Fellows of National Academies of Practice

In recognition of their outstanding professional achievements and contributions to the field of nursing, Lydia Rotondo, DNP, RN, CNS, FNAP, and Susan Blaakman, PhD, RN, PMHNP-BC, FNAP, were formally inducted as Distinguished Fellows into the prestigious National Academies of Practice in Nursing. Read More

Hopkins Honored with E.P. Curtis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

The University of Rochester’s chose Patrick Hopkins, DNP, APRN, C-PNP, NNP-BC as the recipient of the Edward Peck Curtis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. The award recognizes a record of distinguished teaching and a demonstrated readiness to help less experienced faculty colleagues or teaching assistants master their craft. Read More


5th Annual 2020 DNP Summit

The fifth annual virtual DNP Summit titled, “DNPs Leading and Caring in Crisis,” proved a great success with over 100 attendees over the three-day event in October. The event’s speakers Sharon Dudley-Brown, PhD, FNP-BC, FAAN, FAANP, Kate Valcin, DNP, RN, CCRN-K, NEA-BC, CNL, and April Kapu, DNP, RN, ACNP-BC, FAANP, all presented their ideas on how to lead and care during times of crisis, like the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More

Helen Wood Hall Building Expansion

Coming in May 2022, three floors will be added to the UR School of Nursing’s Loretta C. Ford Education Wing. The $15 million project will provide new expanded experiential learning spaces to meet the needs of the continued projected growth of both undergraduate and graduate students. Watch time-lapse footage, view renderings, and read about the updates at the Helen Wood Hall Expansion blog.