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Greetings from the Dean

This year marks the 50th anniversary of nursing education at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth Houston) – a wonderful opportunity to reflect on where we have been, celebrate what we have achieved, and challenge ourselves to continue improving health care quality and equity for patients now and in the future. 

We grew from 98 undergraduate students in August 1972 to more than 1,600 students currently enrolled in a variety of programs designed to meet them where they are on their nursing journeys and help get them where they want to go to address the heath care needs of our diverse communities. Today, our BSN, MSN, and DNP programs maintain high rankings in the annual U.S. News and World Report listings. We just opened enrollment in our new BSN to PhD program, and our rankings among nursing schools that receive funding from the National Institutes of Health is on the rise. 

From our school’s inception, our location within the Texas Medical Center (TMC) has placed our students and our graduates at an epicenter of health care education, practice, and discovery. Now, the future is at our doorstep with the 37-acre TMC3 campus under development. Our nurse scientists are eager to collaborate with colleagues throughout UTHealth Houston, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and other TMC institutions – as well as industry partners – to translate discoveries into solutions that improve health care for all. 

Among other features in this issue of Cizik Nursing, you will read about the foundational role our researchers are playing in the new Texas Developmental Center for AIDS Research, the opening of our new clinic space with improved access and convenience, the inaugural Jane and Robert Cizik Lecture, a DNP student committed to improving water safety for children on the autism spectrum, an alumna who champions travel health nursing as a specialty, and a retired nursing supervisor whose estate gift commitment will endow a scholarship to help future students. 

We also fondly remember three retired faculty members who passed away recently. I am humbled to follow in their footsteps, grateful for their many contributions to advancing nursing science and education, and excited for the opportunity to work with an exceptional team as we begin the next 50 years of nursing excellence at Cizik School of Nursing.

Diane Santa Maria, DrPH, RN, PHNA-BC, FSAHM, FAAN
The Jane and Robert Cizik Distinguished Chair
Huffington Foundation Endowed Chair in Nursing Education Leadership