“She was a real professional, but more importantly, she was a person of genuine compassion. She cared about people, their health, their joys and the pain of their spirit. No one escaped her attention; no one failed to receive her active concern. She was busy with all humanity who moved about her regardless of the station in life.”
— Bill Friday,former UNC System President
President Friday used these words to describe Elizabeth Kemble, the UNC School of Nursing’s founding dean, and each time I read them, I am struck by how perfectly the description captures what makes Carolina Nursing — and indeed the character of each Carolina Nurse we graduate — distinct.
Professional. Expert. Compassionate. Attentive. Active. Busy with humanity — all of it. Yes, that about covers it.
The School of Nursing at Carolina was established in 1950 to solve a problem for North Carolina. The state found itself desperately short of the number and quality of health care providers needed to care for its citizens.
To meet that need, the School pioneered the first baccalaureate nursing program in the state, followed quickly by the first master’s, then the first Ph.D. Firsts on behalf of patients and the profession quickly became tradition at Carolina Nursing, and problem-solving wove its way into our ethos.
Today, decades on from the early pioneering days, our shared vision for the UNC School of Nursing is to be what we have been: firstin nursing. First in seeing and addressing the needs of patients and caregivers, first in identifying better practices and systems of care, first in advancing the knowledge that leads to improved lives, first in pursuing and providing quality education that leads and enriches the profession.
We know from experience that where Carolina Nursing and its graduates lead, improvement follows. And it is this improvement — in systems, in practice, in education, in health, in the lives of people near and far — that informs and inspires our vision.
In turn, our vision informs and inspires our activities. To be first, the School of Nursing is actively engaged in fostering an inclusive environment for the very best faculty, staff and students to do their very best work in, and one that embraces decisions with a strategic mindset. We are working to upgrade our facilities and integrate our technologies to meet and exceed future demands. And we are transforming our curriculum, forging new educational pathways, and advancing research and scholarship.
We have made it our goal to retain and recruit a brilliant, collaborative and diverse faculty that will have the highest caliber resources, facilities, colleagues and technology to enjoy purposeful and long careers at Carolina — careers that are thriving, fulfilling and creative.
And we have determined that our students will learn in an atmosphere of great intellectual energy and will have every tool needed, and opportunity available, to achieve their best for the profession and the populations they will serve.
At Carolina Nursing, we develop exceptional nurse leaders who advance health care to improve lives.
We drive the state of nursing science and translate our discoveries into better practice and systems of care.
We serve the needs of our neighbors and export our expertise to nurse educators, scientists and practitioners around the globe.
We promote the profession of nursing for the greater good.
In all these ways, Carolina Nursing is uniquely positioned to be First in Nursing and is distinctly empowered to advance health for all.