Alliance Will Catalyze New Teaching, Research, and Practice Models
Seeking new synergies through interdisciplinary health research
and education as urged by the prestigious Institute of Medicine
(IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences, New York University announced
in March that its Division of Nursing, currently in the Steinhardt
School of Education, will become a new College of Nursing within
the NYU College of Dentistry, effective September 1, 2005.
Both Nursing and Dentistry will continue to pursue robust independent
academic agendas while also taking advantage of exciting opportunities
to collaborate, form alliances, and further improve health care
NYU President John Sexton said, "One of NYU's distinctive characteristics
is our openness to innovation. As a community, we look toward the
future rather than dwell on the past. The future of health care
lies in new interdisciplinary directions in education, research,
and patient care.
"Today's action vastly increases the opportunities for each field
-- dentistry and nursing -- to engage in interdisciplinary learning
and scholarship. The nursing and dental programs provided by New
York University are among the finest in the nation. They share a
deep commitment to academic quality, clinical excellence, and research
innovation. Moreover, they have delivered compassionate health care
to needy patients in the region for a combined period of more than
200 years. We look forward to providing patients in our world-renowned
dental clinics with the option to visit top-notch nurse practitioners,
working in collaboration with physicians and dentists, to foster
earlier diagnosis and treatment of the many chronic health conditions
that plague Americans."
The College of Dentistry, founded in 1865, is the largest and third
oldest dental school in the nation. Although it is known for great
clinical programs, it also has one of the largest and most rapidly
growing research programs in the country. It is very influential
in shaping the nature of dental practice worldwide with unique programs
in the areas of oral cancer, tissue engineering, dental implants,
and catastrophe preparedness.
The Division of Nursing, founded in the Steinhardt School in 1932,
is one of the nation's most highly respected nursing programs, offering
undergraduate, masters, doctoral, and postdoctoral programs. Its
nationally renowned faculty guide 13 advanced-practice nursing specialties
and lead one of the country's oldest and most selective doctoral
In joining, the two programs will combine forces to promote five
key competencies that the IOM has declared essential for healthcare
professionals in the 21st century: providing patient-centered care;
working in interdisciplinary teams; employing evidence-based practice;
applying quality improvement, and using informatics.
Dean Alfano said, "For many years, the IOM has called for health
professional schools to stop educating students in 'silos' when
patients expect them to work in collaborative teams in clinical
practice. This innovation by NYU is a giant step in that direction.
Even more importantly, this combination places NYU in an ideal position
to research the many evolving links between oral health and general
health. Specifically, the partnership of the two disciplines offers
a great opportunity for research collaborations in such areas as
pain control; the emerging role of oral infection in systemic conditions
including premature birth, diabetes, lung infection and heart disease;
and the increasing use of saliva in non-invasive tests of both oral
and general health."
Dr. Terry Fulmer, who has been appointed Dean of the new College
of Nursing, said, "This move affords a particular opportunity for
the growth and development of nursing, a field that has made enormous
progress in advancing clinical care and health research. We anticipate
that nursing and dentistry will inform each other in a way that
has not been developed in the past, and patients will have the opportunity
to obtain additional primary health care while receiving their dental
care. Strong research collaborations will quickly evolve."
Dean Alfano added, "The faculty and students of the College of
Nursing will build outreach programs with NYU's Steinhardt School
of Education to foster improved health care for New York's school
children, and to help Steinhardt complete the critical 'health pillar'
in its unique multiple pillars concept of educational excellence."
To achieve these important goals, and to help address the troublesome
shortage of nurses in New York and elsewhere, Deans Alfano and Fulmer
intend to expand the nursing program significantly in the future.