Frontier Nursing University (FNU) is grateful to each and every one of our community members- faculty, staff, alumni and students for sticking with us, being flexible and adaptable, and trusting us as we navigated a very tumultuous year. 2020, the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife as designated by the World Health Organization, has shown us more than ever the crucial need for nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners, as well as the necessity for diversity, equity and inclusion to create a kinder, more compassionate, and equal world. Below are this year’s highlights- we hope you enjoy!
The reigning theme of the year has been the COVID-19 pandemic. As it came to a head in the United States, we quickly pivoted from our regular in-person gatherings to a virtual capacity including, Clinical Bound, Frontier Bound, Commencement, and more. Though distanced, the Culture of Caring was not lost in the transition. We humbly thank our skilled and compassionate faculty members for being available to students in any way possible as we shifted to more of a world with which we were already familiar. Enjoy this video of our students discussing their experiences at their virtual Bound events.
It is never lost on us how hard our nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners work, but this year made it even more apparent. In response, we created Maintaining a Culture of Caring During Crisis, an overall hub for updates on COVID-19, FNU’s response, and highlighting our brave faculty, staff, and alumni on the front lines of this pandemic. Their stories can all be found here.
With so many in the healthcare community facing the COVID-19 frontlines, University President Dr. Susan Stone provided hope and community in a confusing time by sharing a supportive and reassuring message with the Frontier family. Additionally, as the university worked to transition to a new normal, our nurse-midwifery and nurse practitioner faculty created important resources for self-care strategies, maternity care, and infection control for our front-line workers. All can be found in our Culture of Caring in Crisis playlist on YouTube.
In addition to a global pandemic, racial tension swept the nation this summer, emphasizing the urgency of addressing the inequities that people of color face daily inside and outside of healthcare. President Dr. Susan Stone emphasized our zero tolerance for injustice, cruelty, and racism in a statement to all of the FNU community. The unjust deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and too many more showed that we have a long way to go in eradicating racism and the insidious effects it leaves in its path.
On June 3, 2020, FNU held a moment of silence to honor those whose lives were unjustly ended at the hands of law enforcement.
Social justice was also the backdrop against the 10th annual Diversity Impact Conference, which also went virtual this year. Themed “Year of the Nurse and Midwife 2020: Increasing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion,” this year’s DI conference brought significant attention to the disparities that have become even more prevalent and apparent in the COVID-19 pandemic but still culminated in a weekend of enlightenment and community. Each of our speakers presented compassionate and informative sessions on implicit racial bias, mental health, and more. Thank you to all who participated!
On Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, FNU hosted its annual commencement ceremony virtually. More than 800 nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners gathered to celebrate themselves in a year where it is apparent how vital they are to healthcare. We welcomed keynote speaker Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Rear Admiral (RADM) Sylvia Trent-Adams, Ph.D., RN, FAAN and celebrated the winners of our leadership awards.
FNU Community Accomplishments:
FNU Dean of Nursing Dr. Joan Slager was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Nurses (AAN) in a virtual ceremony on October 31, 2020.
FNU faculty member Dr. Catherine Collins-Fulea was inducted as the new president of the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), succeeding FNU President Dr. Susan Stone. Dr. Collins-Fulea’s honor was announced during ACNM’s 65th Annual Meeting from May 29 – June 2, 2020, along with several other faculty and staff presenting and receiving their honors!
For the third consecutive year, FNU received the 2020 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, honoring our continued commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Programs and Events:
FNU hosted the 6th and 5th annual virtual events for National Midwifery Week and National Nurse Practitioner Week, where faculty members and student panelists presented on a variety of topics, especially relevant to racial bias in healthcare and the COVID-19 pandemic.
FNU also celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Family Nurse Practitioner program.
Thanks again to our outstanding faculty and staff, students and alumni for showing immense compassion and strength throughout this unprecedented year. As we head into 2021, let us not forget all we have accomplished and all that we are capable of. Have a wonderful New Year!