Portrait of Dean Hurn School of Nursing - We Dare

Patricia D. Hurn, Ph.D., RN, FAAN

Dean and Professor
School of Nursing

When I first heard this story, I knew I had to share it with dedicated individuals like you who care deeply about nurses. The story began when Assistant Professor Sue Anne Bell, Ph.D., RN, FNP-BC, FAAN, vividly remembered the first few minutes of her first shift on the disaster team. Her phone buzzed telling her to go to a patient’s room because of worsening symptoms. Summoned for her expertise, Dr. Bell was helping those stuck in the middle of our first nationwide quarantines in over 50 years. As some of the first known American patients affected by COVID-19, they were stranded and needed guidance. Dr. Bell recalled walking toward the room thinking, “Am I really doing this? Am I really going in and exposing myself to this unknown?”

She stepped into the room, well prepared after years of nursing education — including a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan School of Nursing — combined with experience providing care in the aftermath of disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires. But she had never experienced a moment like this. Dr. Bell quickly realized the patient was just as wary of her — dressed head to toe in daunting protective gear with only eyes peering out from a mask and face shield. She learned that her patient was a grandmother. In the face of so much uncertainty, the woman was kind, friendly and brave. “The patient needed help, and I was there to care for her.”

This story unfolded in the early days of COVID-19 arriving on our doorsteps. As the United States grappled with extraordinary circumstances, Dr. Bell deployed three times across the country. Initially, she helped stranded cruise ship passengers just like her earliest patient. Next, Dr. Bell helped lead the development of a field hospital for the University of Michigan Medical Center, planned in case of excess capacity conditions. Finally, she traveled to skilled nursing homes, where her team made an immediate and urgently needed difference.

“Most of us go into nursing because we have an overarching desire to help people,” she said, reflecting on this time. At the University of Michigan School of Nursing, we recognize that Dr. Sue Anne Bell and our network of more than 13,000 alumni share an exceptional drive to make a difference. These amazing alumni, along with our determined faculty, staff and students, all dared to lead the way from the start of the pandemic. We gratefully recognize the excellence, resourcefulness and integrity of our School of Nursing community, comprised of those who remain unwavering in their dedication to caring for people who need them most, even when that need grows immensely.

At the School of Nursing, admissions interest is soaring, which means a rising need for steadfast donor support. Aspiring students see the vital role nurses play and seek to make a difference too, just like Dr. Bell. Prospective students also value campus diversity and our commitment to health equity and inclusion. Gifts remain essential to giving the U-M School of Nursing the flexibility needed for an ever-changing health care landscape. The recent past has shown that our ability to quickly pivot while maintaining high standards is a hallmark of the excellence expected from the U-M School of Nursing.

Our communities must have highly prepared nurses, nurse scientists and nursing educators to provide the care, answers and instruction we need. What can we do to make sure those future nursing leaders have the resources they need to succeed? Yearly donor support to our annual fund, scholarships, research funds and programs combine to create an exceptional learning environment at the University of Michigan. Our dedicated supporters declare no obstacle will keep our hardworking nursing students from earning their degrees, our nurse scientists from asking the challenging questions and our programs from advancing the public good.

Why do our supporters feel so strongly about the School of Nursing? Experiences here shape the character and leadership of our graduates. This school leaves an indelible influence on everyone who becomes part of its community. Our alumni are forever Michigan nurses, wherever life takes them.

Why does this school make such an impact? Our alumni frequently remark on the rigor and depth of their nursing education, led by our incredible faculty. Graduates say their experiences prepared them to become leaders who excel at anticipating whatever comes next. Over generations, the reputation of our alumni opens doors to fantastic opportunities for our students.

The fierce pride felt by our alumni remains strong as ever. Every single day, people just like you make a gift to support the School of Nursing. For our community of dedicated supporters, and for patients around the world, the University of Michigan School of Nursing must remain a beacon of excellence and leadership.

I ask you to make a gift today to join with all those who have stood firmly by our school for decades and for the people who, at this moment, are burying their noses in biochemistry textbooks, quizzing classmates on pharmacology, poring over data or preparing a lecture on health disparities, all because they want to make a difference for you, your family and your communities. I invite you to make a difference for nursing today.

Best regards, 

Patricia Hurn Signature

Patricia D. Hurn, Ph.D., RN, FAAN
Dean and Professor of Nursing

P.S. The future of health care has shifted dramatically. Nursing needs you more than ever. Make a gift to the U-M School of Nursing and help us shape the future of health for all.

She stepped into the room, well prepared after years of nursing education — including a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan School of Nursing — combined with experience providing care in the aftermath of disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires. But she had never experienced a moment like this. Dr. Bell quickly realized the patient was just as wary of her — dressed head to toe in daunting protective gear with only eyes peering out from a mask and face shield. She learned that her patient was a grandmother. In the face of so much uncertainty, the woman was kind, friendly and brave. “The patient needed help, and I was there to care for her.”

This story unfolded in the early days of COVID-19 arriving on our doorsteps. As the United States grappled with extraordinary circumstances, Dr. Bell deployed three times across the country. Initially, she helped stranded cruise ship passengers just like her earliest patient. Next, Dr. Bell helped lead the development of a field hospital for the University of Michigan Medical Center, planned in case of excess capacity conditions. Finally, she traveled to skilled nursing homes, where her team made an immediate and urgently needed difference.

“Most of us go into nursing because we have an overarching desire to help people,” she said, reflecting on this time. At the University of Michigan School of Nursing, we recognize that Dr. Sue Anne Bell and our network of more than 13,000 alumni share an exceptional drive to make a difference. These amazing alumni, along with our determined faculty, staff and students, all dared to lead the way from the start of the pandemic. We gratefully recognize the excellence, resourcefulness and integrity of our School of Nursing community, comprised of those who remain unwavering in their dedication to caring for people who need them most, even when that need grows immensely.

At the School of Nursing, admissions interest is soaring, which means a rising need for steadfast donor support. Aspiring students see the vital role nurses play and seek to make a difference too, just like Dr. Bell. Prospective students also value campus diversity and our commitment to health equity and inclusion. Gifts remain essential to giving the U-M School of Nursing the flexibility needed for an ever-changing health care landscape. The recent past has shown that our ability to quickly pivot while maintaining high standards is a hallmark of the excellence expected from the U-M School of Nursing.

Our communities must have highly prepared nurses, nurse scientists and nursing educators to provide the care, answers and instruction we need. What can we do to make sure those future nursing leaders have the resources they need to succeed? Yearly donor support to our annual fund, scholarships, research funds and programs combine to create an exceptional learning environment at the University of Michigan. Our dedicated supporters declare no obstacle will keep our hardworking nursing students from earning their degrees, our nurse scientists from asking the challenging questions and our programs from advancing the public good.

Why do our supporters feel so strongly about the School of Nursing? Experiences here shape the character and leadership of our graduates. This school leaves an indelible influence on everyone who becomes part of its community. Our alumni are forever Michigan nurses, wherever life takes them.

Why does this school make such an impact? Our alumni frequently remark on the rigor and depth of their nursing education, led by our incredible faculty. Graduates say their experiences prepared them to become leaders who excel at anticipating whatever comes next. Over generations, the reputation of our alumni opens doors to fantastic opportunities for our students.

The fierce pride felt by our alumni remains strong as ever. Every single day, people just like you make a gift to support the School of Nursing. For our community of dedicated supporters, and for patients around the world, the University of Michigan School of Nursing must remain a beacon of excellence and leadership.

I ask you to make a gift today to join with all those who have stood firmly by our school for decades and for the people who, at this moment, are burying their noses in biochemistry textbooks, quizzing classmates on pharmacology, poring over data or preparing a lecture on health disparities, all because they want to make a difference for you, your family and your communities. I invite you to make a difference for nursing today.

Best regards, 

Patricia Hurn Signature

Patricia D. Hurn, Ph.D., RN, FAAN
Dean and Professor of Nursing

P.S. The future of health care has shifted dramatically. Nursing needs you more than ever. Make a gift to the U-M School of Nursing and help us shape the future of health for all.

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