As I review this special research issue of Johns Hopkins Nursing, I am reminded again and again of the special legacy the School of Nursing and Hopkins nurses share in bringing nursing knowledge to their communities and to the world.
Since the 1889 founding of the Johns Hopkins Hospital Training School for Nurses—through the 1984 opening of the School of Nursing as a degree-granting division of Johns Hopkins University—and now in today’s exciting environment of Big Team Science, the Hopkins Nurse creates and fuels that legacy by always asking: “Why?”
When combined with our traditions of selective excellence and critical thinking, asking that “why” question produces a synergy; a synergy that for more than a quarter century has fostered and driven a continuous outpouring of opportunities and breakthroughs in nursing education and research at Hopkins and by Hopkins nurses.
Today at the School of Nursing, we are key players in Big Team Science (“So-Long to ‘Silo’ Science,” p. 24). We devise and lead campus-wide, interdisciplinary approaches to delivering community-public health services to at-risk urban and ethnic populations (“Closing the Gaps,” p. 26). And we continue to ask questions (“Second Opinion,” p. 3). Here we explore the roots and causes of abuse and lead the nation in the new field of forensic nursing and research, while at the same time determining interventions that ensure family and individual care (“Wounded Hearts, Broken Lives,” p. 30). And throughout our work and our programs, we shape the future leaders for nursing education and research (“Sharing the Air,” p. 36).
Since 2004, these successes have been led and supported through the goals of the School of Nursing 2004-2007 Strategic Plan: 1) To enhance excellence in research, teaching, and practice; 2) To cultivate an environment that embodies the School of Nursing values of excellence, respect, diversity, integrity, and accountability; 3) To position Johns Hopkins Nursing as a global leader in nursing and health care; 4) To achieve planned growth that is strategically driven, innovative, and financially sound.
These four simple statements are our guiding principles and the metrics by which we measure our success. At a recent meeting of the school leadership, we again asked the “why” question; this time about our strategic goals: “Why change what works?” In response, we determined that these goals can and should continue to shape and drive our achievements into 2009—the year of our 25th anniversary—and into the next decade.
By staying focused on these goals, our trajectory of success will continue. We will enhance our environment of excellence and scholarship through new initiatives aimed at faculty development; live our values each day and instill those principles in a new generation of nurse leaders; plan our growth and add to our physical space, faculty, and enrollment with a new building addition; and continue to deliver the leading brand of Hopkins community-public health nursing from local to global destinations.
Our strategy and our deliberate focus on these four goals will ensure our legacy and create new and exciting milestones in the long history of Hopkins Nursing.
Martha N. Hill, PhD, RN ’64, FAAN