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A Message from Dean Lisa Kitko

What an honor it is to serve as Dean of this wonderful school! Whether you are advancing your practice as a clinical nurse, pursuing a career change to nursing, researching ways to improve health care, or interested in educating future nurse leaders, the University of Rochester School of Nursing offers unique opportunities to grow personally and professionally.

Dean Lisa Kitko

Our school’s vision is to "lead the national agenda in transforming the discipline of nursing through innovative education, practice, and research to improve the health and well-being of individuals and communities."

Following in the firm footsteps of five exceptional deans who preceded me, my role is to nurture the outstanding talents of our students, faculty, and staff to continue collective progress toward this vision and make our school ever better.

Four compass points guiding us on this journey are equity, inclusion, innovation, and interprofessional collaboration.

Achieving health equity is a central objective of our Medical Center’s Equity and Anti-Racism Action Plan. It is also the lens through which the School of Nursing is growing our research and practice missions.

We consistently rank in the top 30 for research funding from the National Institutes of Health; our school intends to climb in those rankings by aligning our school’s research strengths with equity priorities set by the National Institute for Nursing Research at NIH, including social determinants of health and health promotion. Our research discoveries and the continued growth of our clinical programs will enable our school to address health inequities right here in Rochester, and improve the well-being of the patients we serve.

Inclusion is a guiding philosophy of the UR School of Nursing; we are proud that our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion has been recognized for six consecutive years with the Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award. However, we are not standing still. The School of Nursing is committed to increasing diversity among faculty, staff, and students, a commitment that starts in the Dean’s office and spreads throughout our welcoming culture.

The School of Nursing has a long history of innovations in the classroom, including experiential learning. This is the most effective way to prepare nurses for success in the clinical environment, and I am proud to say confidently that no school of nursing surpasses Rochester in opportunities for hands-on learning.

Our recently completed expansion and renovation project gives students access to the most advanced simulation labs and student-centered learning spaces available anywhere. We are literally across the street from the University of Rochester Medical Center, where our students work with expert clinicians and experienced care teams in virtually every specialty area. These highly accessible, high-impact environments prepare our graduates to solve complex problems and make critical decisions that improve care for their patients.

That innovative spirit extends to our school’s clinical mission, where nurses drive wellness initiatives that bring preventive care to traditionally underserved communities. Additionally, data from the UR Medicine Employee Wellness program— which now reaches more than 50,000 people — show a real impact on improving health outcomes such as promoting healthy behavior change and reducing disease risk.

Sharing a campus with the entire University of Rochester, including its Medical Center, creates an environment where collaboration across professions and academic disciplines is the norm rather than the exception. These collaborations – through shared education and research cores, joint academic programs, and clinical partnerships – provide innovative educational opportunities that are as unique and varied as the interests of our students.

The COVID pandemic has exposed inequities in our health systems, and exacerbated workforce shortages that make this an exceptionally challenging time to work in the health professions. Our school has responded by teaching self-care and encouraging work-life balance, which will enable our students to sustain rewarding career as nursing professionals.

The pandemic also reminded the world how critically valuable nurses are to providing patient care, which opens the door to unprecedented opportunities. If you are drawn to a career in any aspect of nursing, you will find the University of Rochester School of Nursing offers an inclusive, innovative, and inspiring place to achieve your dreams.


Lisa Kitko, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN
Dean, University of Rochester School of Nursing
Independence Chair of Nursing Education
Vice President, URMC
Professor of Nursing and Geriatric Medicine

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