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A Message From Dean Willis

Dean Danny WillisDear School of Nursing alumni,

Greetings! I hope this edition of the newsletter finds you well. I am very pleased and honored to be serving as the new dean of the Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing at Saint Louis University at this most unusual time in higher education. I arrived in St. Louis in June 2020 from Madison, Wis., and began officially in my position on July 1, 2020. I have been welcomed with open arms and am thankful each day for all the wonderful people I have met, and those I have yet to meet. The Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing is a very special place, with an excellent history of educating nurses for humanistic and knowledge-based scientific caring and healing. 

The United States nursing profession has faced many challenges throughout the COVID-19 pandemic over the past nine months. The resilience, perseverance and knowledgeable, compassionate care of nurses throughout the nation and the world are certainly commendable, as any one of you can attest. Nurses, along with other health care professionals, have been at the forefront of the world’s consciousness during a time of great suffering in one of the world’s most fierce health challenges. As I reflect back on 2020, I am reminded of how apropos it was that the World Health Assembly designated 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife! What a fitting year!

The Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing has met our challenges with COVID-19 head-on. Every day, I witness a ‘can-do/we’ve got this’ spirit, thoughtful deliberations, solution-oriented problem solving, concrete action steps, and care, safety and compassion for our communities of interest. We provided a nursing education in the Jesuit and Catholic intellectual tradition while implementing adjustments as needed to ensure the safety, health and well-being of our community. 

Our nursing faculty and students have been true leaders offering COVID testing and flu vaccinations, as well as continuing with other clinical nursing education in various practice settings. Our clinical partnerships have remained strong. We are continuing to move forward our nursing research with ground-breaking, significant research, some of which is funded by the National Institutes of Health. 

All in all, we rallied, as nurses always do! We made it through the entire fall semester. We are not only educating good nurses, we are also focused on being fiscally responsible as part of our overall focus on the health of the Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing. We have many successes to boot, as you will see in this edition of the newsletter. 

Please review the wonderful stories of success showcased in this edition. Every day I look at our students, faculty, staff and alumni and feel amazed and blessed by so many uplifting contributions. I hope you feel the same!

Sincerely, 

Dean Willis' signature

Danny G. Willis, DNS, RN, PMHCNS-BC, CNE, FAAN
Dean and Professor
Saint Louis University, Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing