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Nursing Restructures to Reflect Broader Scope of Program and Profession

Effective this fall semester, the University of Central Florida College of Nursing [1] is now organized by program focus instead of degree. The college, which educates the most newly licensed baccalaureate prepared nurses in the state, has changed its internal structure from undergraduate and graduate departments to the Department of Nursing Systems and Department of Nursing Practice. The new organization more accurately reflects the broad scope of the college’s programs and the profession.

“Throughout our nearly four-decade long history [2], program offerings, faculty interests and students’ needs have continually evolved to meet national demand and the ever-changing health care environment,” said Mary Lou Sole, dean of the College of Nursing. “As nurses today, we are impacting health care not only as caregivers at the bedside but as leaders, scientists and educators.”

“While the new structure may take time to adjust to and become familiar with, our faculty and administration are doing everything we can to ensure a smooth transition for everyone,” added Sole.

The Department of Nursing Systems focuses on programs that educate individuals for greater leadership responsibilities within a health care system. The Department of Nursing Practice includes programs that focus on direct nursing care roles across patient groups. Undergraduate and graduate programs are located within the new departments as follows:

Maureen M. Covelli, PhD, RN [3], has been appointed chair of the Department of Nursing Practice. Covelli has been at the college since 1989. She previously served as associate dean for undergraduate affairs and is an associate professor whose research interests include cardiovascular and metabolic disease.

Joellen Edwards, PhD, RN, FAAN [4], is serving as interim chair of the Department of Nursing Systems while the college undergoes a national search for the position [5]. The Hugh F. and Jeannette G. McKean Endowed Chair in Nursing, Edwards is a nationally known expert on health policy and rural health with a special interest in women’s health issues.