May 2021

Pandemic Lessons Learned, UMSON Forges Forward

May 5, 2021    |  

Breaking ground for a new way forward.

That was the theme of the 2021 State of the University of Maryland School of Nursing, encapsulating “our exceptional efforts as a school and as a team during this pandemic,” said Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN, the Bill and Joanne Conway Dean of the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON), during the pre-recorded address.

“This is the first time we have held a virtual State of the School, but given the past 13 months, this is not the first virtual event for any of us,” Kirschling said.

During the address, she focused on all that the school has accomplished and what its faculty, staff, and students have learned during the past year, then commented on how the school can harness this to shape its path forward. The 2020 State of the School address was canceled in spring 2020 at the height of the pandemic.

“Ceremonies for breaking ground, or turning the first sod, are centuries old and span cultures,” Kirschling explained. “The symbolism of a groundbreaking is especially apt this spring, as we cautiously emerge from more than a year defined by the pandemic of COVID-19. It has been a time that we could not have imagined.”

Throughout the pandemic, “we have continually broken new ground,” she said.

Overcoming challenges related to responding to the pandemic, both in clinical and virtual classroom settings, was the result of the hard work and resilience of UMSON’s faculty, staff, and students. Looking ahead, she noted five key areas on which the school will focus to forge new pathways to excellence:

  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Living in, and contributing to, the global world
  • Discovering and applying new knowledge
  • Accelerating adoption of new ways of teaching and learning
  • Future leadership of nursing

View a digital version of the State of the School PDF program, which includes honors, awards, and accomplishments for April 2019-March 2021.