Dear Members of the Yale Community,
I write to share the bittersweet news that Ann Kurth, dean of the Yale School of Nursing (YSN) and Linda Koch Lorimer Professor of Nursing, has been named the next president of the New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM). She will step down from her second term as dean of YSN at the end of the fall 2022 semester and assume her post at NYAM on January 1, 2023. She will be the first nonphysician to lead the academy in its 175-year history.
In 2015, Dean Kurth brought to Yale extensive leadership experience promoting health care around the world through research, education, and practice. Since then, she has leveraged her expertise to expand YSN’s global reach, enhance the school’s curriculum, and increase access to a nursing education.
Recognizing the need for more advanced practice nurses, nurse scientists, and nurse leaders, Dean Kurth worked with YSN faculty members to develop new educational offerings. The school launched a clinical Doctor of Nursing practice degree and added the pediatric acute care nurse practitioner specialty to the areas master’s students can consider. Students in the master’s program can also now select a concentration in Gender and Sexuality Health Justice to learn about health disparities of LGBTQIA+ patients through a racial and economic justice lens.
Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for access to mental health resources. Aiming to fill this gap and embody its mission of better health for all people, no matter their location, the School of Nursing will launch a fully online master’s program for registered nurses next summer, offering psychiatric mental health as the first specialty. This will ultimately bring much-needed psychiatric care to communities across the country, making YSN a prime example of how innovative educational programs can expand a school’s impact well beyond its campus.
Dean Kurth, along with the deans of the Schools of Medicine and Public Health, co-founded the Yale Institute for Global Health in 2017, creating a focal point for research and education in this area at the university. YSN faculty carry out research in Ghana, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, and Uganda, and through multi-country networks. Currently, seventeen YSN faculty members are affiliated with the institute, as is YSN’s Office of Global Affairs and Planetary Health. Passionate about nursing’s role in addressing climate change and human health crises, Dean Kurth has co-chaired the university’s Sustainability Advisory Council since 2017. She was a member of the climate change task force that helped set a pathway for our carbon-free emission goals.
During her tenure, Dean Kurth has focused on securing significant resources for student fellowships and innovative faculty research that addresses pressing national and global challenges. She led the school in the formation of endowed funds that have created new professorships and established educational degrees and programs. She also oversaw the physical expansion of the YSN building, bringing 10,000 square feet of state-of-the-art simulation facilities to the school.
In 2016, Dean Kurth established the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and worked with faculty and staff to increase the diversity and excellence of the student body. Today, YSN students are the most diverse in the school’s history. The YSN community has also enhanced faculty representation at the school. For example, the governing board of the school now includes both clinical and tenure track faculty members.
As the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world, Dean Kurth served on the university’s Public Health Committee, helping guide COVID-19 policies for the university. She mobilized YSN faculty, staff, students, and alumni to create a pool of volunteers who could help as the surges hit local hospitals. She and the faculty also worked with state and national partners to ensure that educational guidelines could be flexible during the COVID-19 crisis. Nursing students, including those aiming to become advanced practice nurses, can continue in their educational progression, utilize clinical simulation hours appropriately, sit for their boards, and join the health workforce that needs them more than ever.
YSN will celebrate its centennial next fall, and Dean Kurth will be leaving the school in a strong position as it prepares to enter a new century. The YSN community has received increased recognition for all its efforts over the past six years. The school reached its highest national ranking during Dean Kurth’s tenure.
Soon I will form a search advisory committee to help me identify candidates for the next dean of YSN. The committee will seek broad input from YSN faculty, students, staff, and alumni. In addition, I will engage a search firm to assist in this process.
Please join me in thanking Dean Kurth for her exceptional service to YSN and Yale and in wishing her every success as she prepares to take on a groundbreaking new leadership position with NYAM.
Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology