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State of the College Chronicles UH College of Nursing, 2015-2020

March 16, 2021

Supporters of the University of Houston College of Nursing joined faculty and staff for the first State of the College. During the virtual event, Professor and Founding Dean Kathryn Tart chronicled the accomplishments of the UH College of Nursing from 2015 to 2020.

Screenshot of virtual event on the online Zoom platform featuring faculty and staff from the College of Nursing

Among the participants were UH Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Paula Myrick Short, and Associate Vice President and Chief Operating Officers for UH at Sugar Land/UH at Katy Jay Neal.

“The state of the College is strong,” Tart said. The College has been on a steady track of growth in students, faculty and programs since it became the 17th UH college in 2015. The College of Nursing is housed at the UH at Sugar Land instructional site.

Tart cited an increase in faculty (12 in 2015/20 in 2020) whose research and scholarship now includes more than 40 publications and presentations, and more than $846,000 in grant funding.

In the last five years, the college has grown its program offerings to include three tracks for students seeking a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), including the Traditional BSN, which debuted in 2019 at the UH at Katy instructional site. In addition to three tracks of graduate programs with emphases in administration, education and family nurse practitioner, the college announced its new Doctor of Nursing Practice, which is accepting applications for its first cohort in fall 2021 (pending SACS-COC approval).

For the last five years, students taking the NCLEX-RN certification and family nurse practitioner national certification have boasted 100% first time pass rates, and, as of 2020, a 100% employment rate.

Compliation of images of nurses in  personal protective equipment under the text "2020-2021 Year of the Nurse"

The year 2020 was designated the Year of the Nurse by the World Health Organization to celebrate the 200th birthday of Florence Nightingale. Tart said the pandemic presented many challenges to the college from moving most instruction to online formats to finding ways for students to secure required clinical hours before they graduate. She worked with the college’s clinical affiliates to arrange an innovative program where the students became hospital employees.

“Our clinical partners needed student nurses so that they could support the hospital nurses,” she said. “The students gained valuable experience, they got paid and every student graduated on time.”

The teams of faculty, staff, students and alumni also volunteered more than 230 hours in one week at the Rosenberg Annex Clinic and the Smart Financial Centre (a mass vaccination site). Their efforts included initial assessments, signing in clients, helping with organizing supplies, providing health education about the vaccine and administering the vaccines.

Other accomplishments Tart cited:

  • Increase in clinical affiliations to 115
  • A nurse managed telehealth clinic
  • Inaugural Nursing Alumni Board
  • National Diversity Awards (2015-2019) from INSIGHT into Diversity magazine
  • 1st pre-nursing students enrolled for 2020 cohort
  • 1st cohort of traditional BSN students enrolled 2019 for UH at Katy
  • Completion of a strategic plan that included a goal to create a Doctor of Nursing Practice program
  • Ranked #2 nursing program in Texas 2021 (registerednursing.org)

“It takes a lot to grow a college,” Tart said. “There is still so much work to be done to keep up with the demand for nurses and the goal to be clinical experts and nurse leaders.”