College of Nursing celebrates ‘Year of the Nurse’ through land-grant mission

Brooke Killmon
May 05, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- As nations across the globe continue to grapple with the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare providers are rising to the occasion. Of those healthcare providers, nurses in particular find themselves providing direct patient care to some of the most vulnerable members of our population.

In recognition of the skilled and critical work nurses provide to their communities across the globe, especially during challenging times, the World Health Organization has declared 2020 to be “the Year of the Nurse” – a theme that the College of Nursing recognizes and celebrates through its dedication to Penn State’s 21st century land-grant mission.

Although a world-wide nursing shortage and declining enrollment numbers in nursing schools across the country both pose challenges for the U.S. and communities across the globe, the College of Nursing remains dedicated to the education of its students and its mission to give back to the commonwealth of Pennsylvania while enhancing the health and well-being of its citizens and communities.

Penn State was designated Pennsylvania’s only land-grant institution in 1865, with a mission to “promote liberal and practical education” to enrich the commonwealth, with an early focus on agriculture and educating farmers across the state. Today, Penn State’s land-grant mission extends beyond agriculture to also include fields such as community enrichment and entrepreneurial support, sustainability and the environment, and human and public health.

The College of Nursing recognizes that nurses are a critical component of the healthcare industry, often operating independently of other healthcare providers and professionals, and that the ongoing nursing shortage has implications for many communities in Pennsylvania. Nurses provide a level of patient treatment grounded in caregiving with a person-centered approach, and the College of Nursing remains dedicated to conduct research and preparing students to serve the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as skilled healthcare professionals.

These many areas of nursing practice are evident throughout the Penn State College of Nursing, with specialties in geriatrics, sexual health, and many others. With a focus on real-world impact, the faculty and students of the College of Nursing have come together to respond to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic through efforts including research projects that aim to trace the origins of the virus and uncover previously unknown information about this health threat. This new information is particularly important for not only those recovering from the coronavirus, but also for individuals with underlying health conditions and lack of access to up-to-date health care facilities.

With the majority of the Pennsylvania population living in rural areas, the scarcity of access to proper health care facilities helps illustrate why the College of Nursing conducts research and programming centered around healthcare disparities in rural Pennsylvania communities. Through evidence-based guidance on how to protect themselves and others, as well as the development of different research projects, the college has provided rural-dwelling Pennsylvanians with better access to the care they need and offer a more hopeful outlook during the COVID-19 crisis.  

Providing these ever-critical research endeavors and well-educated nurses to the state of Pennsylvania and the world is one way the College of Nursing recognizes Penn State’s 21st century land-grant mission, and the college remains committed to filling the healthcare gap and celebrating nurses across the state and around the world during the Year of the Nurse and beyond.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated May 12, 2020