University of Virginia School of Nursing

Listen to the chat with our dean

Dean Dorrie Fontaine held a live phonecast with UVA School of Nursing alumni on Wednesday, September 7, 2016.  The result was a candid and wide-ranging discussion with topics ranging from mindfulness and interprofessional education to CNLs and leadership.  This phonecast is sponsored by the School of Nursing Alumni Association in celebration of the organization’s centennial anniversary in 2016.


KELLY MCCASKILL: Hi, there. This is Kelly McCaskill. Welcome to the UVA School of Nursing Alumni phone cast. Dean Dorrie Fontaine will begin in just a moment. Please stick with us while we dial in all of our nursing alumni.

I'll just keep talking as we wait on those folks to join us. And at any time, you can press zero to ask a question. It won't interrupt our call, but you'll be put into a queue to ask your question live to Dean Fontaine.

If you get disconnected, just visit the UVA School of Nursing website under "alumni" for the toll-free number.

I'll also be asking a couple of polling questions throughout, and we'll give you an option to press one, two, or three for your answers.

We're so glad to have all of you all. I'm watching to see how many people are joining us now. And so glad that our numbers are climbing, and glad you all are taking some time out of your day to hear the state of the School of Nursing.

We are reminding you, this is going to take just a minute, because we are dialing 8,000 alumni right now. And I can tell we've already left over 700 messages, if you can believe it. And it's a very exciting thing we're trying out here today.

This is all thanks to the School of Nursing Alumni Association, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

Again, for those who are just joining us, this is Kelly McCaskill, with the UVA School of Nursing Alumni phone cast. Thanks for joining us.

We'll get underway in just a couple of moments, and at any time, you can press zero to ask a question. It won't interrupt our call, but you'll be put into a queue to ask your question live.

I'll also be asking a few polling questions as we go through as Dean Fontaine talks.

Our toll-free number to dial in, if you get disconnected or want to hop off and call us back, is 1-844-845-9544. Again, the toll-free number to join us, again, is 844-854-9544.

We are almost ready, almost finished dialing our 8,000 alumni. And again, this is the UVA School of Nursing Alumni phone cast. Welcome to all of you who are just joining us.

And just stick with us another couple of moments. OK, thank you all for joining us. We are so happy to have all of you on the call with us with UVA School of Nursing Dean Dorrie Fontaine.

And just before I turn the call over to Dean Fontaine to give you an update on the school and answer your questions, I'd like to acknowledge the UVA School of Nursing Alumni Association for sponsoring this call in honor of the centennial anniversary of the organization.

Our Alumni Council volunteers hear from Dean Fontaine in person each year at their fall meeting, and they wanted to make sure their fellow alumni had the opportunity to do the same.

Throughout the call, I will remind everyone that you can press zero to ask a question at any time. It won't interrupt our call, but you'll be put into a queue to ask your question live.

And again, if you get disconnected or need to hang up but want to rejoin, you can dial our toll free number 844-845-9544. Just to make sure you all know this is, indeed, live, I will stumble.

But for now, I'm pleased to turn the call over to Dean Fontaine.

DEAN DORRIE FONTAINE: Wonderful. Well, good afternoon, everyone, all my alums. And thank you for joining us on the phone today.

As Kelly said, every academic year, I invite all the faculty and staff to come and listen to the State of the School address in McLeod Hall Auditorium. I'm sure many of you remember McLeod Hall.

So I'd like to share a little bit of that information with you today. And since some of the statistics and figures are going to be in our fall alumni magazine, I'm really looking forward to hearing from all of you about what you want to learn more about.

So to get started, you really can be very proud, as I am to be the Dean, but you can be very proud to say you've earned a degree from the University of Virginia.

So let me mention a few things. We are, right now, the top 3% of nursing schools in the country. And I don't know if you realize, there's over 700 schools of nursing now. We have the number two clinical nurse leader program in the country, the number seven psych mental health nurse practitioner program, number 18 for our doctor of nursing practice, and number 20 for our family nurse practitioner program. And again, that's out of 700, or over, schools of nursing in the United States, which is pretty stunning.

We also have four national presidents, the American Nurses Association President, Pam Cipriano, is on our faculty, the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, Clareen Wiencek, is a faculty member, Emily Drake is the new president coming up for the AWHONN Women's and Neonatal Nursing Association, and then, Mary Gibson is going to take on the helm of the American History of Nursing Association. So it's pretty stunning to have four national presidents.

We also have 38 Fellows in national academies. We also have received over $17 million in funding from the NIH since 2010.

Most stunning, I believe though, is our first year applications, which are up 18% in the last two years. We've had over 900 applications for 67 slots in the first year. Eight out of 10 of our incoming BSN students have graduated in the top 10% of their high school class.

And to put this in context, when I first got here, following Dean Jeanette Lancaster in 2008, we had a little over 400 applications. Now, we're at 900, if you can believe it. So our students are really the very best of the best.

Now, I'm going to let Kelly ask a question.

KELLY MCCASKILL: I'm going to go ahead and ask one of our polling questions here. Much of that information is new this year to many of you.

I am going to remind all of you all first to press zero if you'd like to ask a question. And I'm going to kick us off by asking all of you a question. You'll press one, two, or three, and I'll get to that in a sec.

How well does the alumni magazine, Virginia Nursing Legacy keep you informed about what is happening at the School of Nursing?

I'm going to go ahead and start the question. Press one for very well. OK, for number two. Excuse me, dial two for OK, and three for not very well at all.

And I'll give that just a moment and let people respond. Thank you for responding, all of you out there. And again, if you have any questions, just dial zero.

OK, and I'm going to stop the question there and let Dean Fontaine pick back up where she was. Thank you all for answering.

DEAN DORRIE FONTAINE: Thank you. So let's talk about what we do when our students enter a program at the School of Nursing. There are really three aspects, that I think distinguish the UVA nursing graduate in many different ways.

First of all is the resiliency initiative, compassionate care. We want our students, a signature of their being at UVA is to be a compassionate resilient nurse. So I wanted to talk a little bit about that.

Also, our interprofessional education initiative, which we call ASPIRE. I'll share a little bit about the great strides we're making there, training nurses and physicians together.

And then finally, talk a little bit about inclusion and diversity for our school.

So first, educating compassionate and resilient caregivers, we have emphasized this since 2008 when I arrived, talking about what it means to have a healthy work and learning environment here.

We have just hired a former clinical nurse leader alum, Tim Cunningham. He graduated in '08 as one of our first clinical nurse leaders. He then went on, a pediatric nurse. He actually went to Africa and helped staff the Ebola crisis over there, all while he was a doctoral student at Columbia University. And we've brought him back and he is the Assistant Director of our compassionate care initiative.

And this is an initiative to really look at how we can prevent caregiver burnout. 37% of new nurses want to quit their job in that first year. And so we don't want our precious University of Virginia graduates to go into the workforce not feeling prepared.

So we've done a number of things with some help of our generous supporters and donors. We are sponsoring a Public Radio series on NPR called "Resilient Nurses," hosted by Humankind's David Freudberg. And you can listen, they're up to the third and fourth podcast now. And you can certainly listen to that by just clicking it on our website.

So we do want our students to understand how to take care of themselves-- it's not a selfish thing to do-- so that they can better care for others.

We offer meditation, yoga, art, reflective writing classes, five days a week here. We've built a mindfulness classroom. We have a resilience room over in McLeod, which many of you remember.

We open this up to faculty, staff, clinicians at the health system, and really, anyone in our community. We have engineering students, biology professors, that take part in all of what we are very proud to offer for our School of Nursing.

In fact, last year more than a third of our students, 288, participated in retreats on mindfulness or really what it means to pay attention to your body and others at Morven Farm.

2,400 people have participated in 349 events in the last few years, all sponsored by School of Nursing compassionate care initiative.

And we're going to start a lecture series, actually starting next week. It will feature talks, movies, discussions, and other activities so that we can really make sure that our graduates know what it is to have a meaningful life and really be a Virginia nurse.

So I'm going to stop there, and have Kelly go ahead and ask another question.

KELLY MCCASKILL: Great, thank you. Our next question to respond to again, by dialing one or two. Is resilience a pertinent factor in your working environment? Dial one for yes or two for no, please. Again, is resilience a pertinent factor in your working environment?

Thank you so much to all of you who are responding now. This is great.

OK, and again, any of you out there can dial zero to ask a question and one of our screeners will pick you up.

Thank you. I'm going to stop the question now. Thank you all for responding.

And turn it back to Dean Fontaine to talk a little bit about interprofessional education here.

DEAN DORRIE FONTAINE: So thank you, Kelly. So our next area to mention is how proud we are to really provide interprofessional education opportunities for our students, and we've been doing that for a number of years.

This is where our nursing students learn right alongside our physician colleagues and other clinicians. So if you graduated in the 1990s or 2000s, and I'm quite sure some of you did, you probably recall Tina Brashers. She has taught, I think, over 6,000 of our alums. I'm sure some of you who are on the call.

And I'm sad to report that she's going to retire next year, but I want to just tell you that her 20-year legacy has really, really improved our school and the graduates.

She, Dr. Brashers, she partners with the School of Medicine and the health system, and together, they formed ASPIRE, which is our interprofessional center. And you can, again, check on that on our website as well.

So what we do in this group is to really do hands-on learning, side by side with colleagues from across the School of Medicine and other areas.

We have had federal and foundation grants, millions and millions of dollars. We are now a Train the Trainer site for the United States with only three other schools under Tina's leadership.

We have partnered with the University of Washington, as well as Missouri, to train the next generation of faculty who are going to be teaching our students.

Some of you may have read about our Room of Errors exercise. It brought together nurses, docs, pharmacists, and other therapists and they had seven minutes to identify, pre-planted, there were 30 errors in a room. And they did it much, much better together than apart as a research study.

And it really drives home the Institute of Medicine's call and mandate, really, that we should be training each other together. Everybody's going to be in the sandbox together the minute they graduate, so let's start doing that now.

And what we found is that health care providers who work in a team, in a healthy team, are less stressed, more compassionate, and more resilient.

So you can see that all the activities that we're doing are really heading towards producing a graduate, medicine and nursing, who can really have a meaningful successful life and frankly, take care of all of us and those you love.

OK, so I'm going to turn it to Kelly again for another question. Thank you.

KELLY MCCASKILL: We have a live question. Right now I am going to ask Robin in Boston to ask her question. Robin are you there?

ROBIN: Hi, yes, this is Robin.


KELLY MCCASKILL: Are you there still?

DEAN DORRIE FONTAINE: I can see Robin's question here. And while everyone's listening, or she can pipe in again. It says that she's interested in mindfulness in primary care setting with children.

So I think that's a wonderful, wonderful question. And here, at the University of Virginia, we have some experts in elementary education using mindfulness. One of the professors in our Curry School, Tish Jennings, has just written a book about mindfulness in schools. And I would imagine that that would have great application to a primary care setting with children.

We are also teaching our students. We have four different courses right now, Introduction to mindfulness, mindfulness and meditation, and there are many of our students who are interested in pediatrics and going into primary care, certainly, as family nurse practitioners. And I believe that they would have a pretty wonderful background or foundation to take this out into the community.

So thank you, Robin, for that question. I'm sorry that we didn't get to hear the rest of your voice.

KELLY MCCASKILL: Right, thank you. And I hope Robin's able to connect again.

Again, if anyone dials in and wants to leave a voicemail at the end of the call if we don't get to you or you had something else you want to add, you can do that, again, by dialing zero, OK?

I'm going to ask-- we have another question waiting from Kathleen Ford in St. Petersburg, Florida. So I'm going to go ahead and let her come online and pose a question. Here we go. Kathleen, are you there?

KATHLEEN FORD: Yes thank you so much. Dean, I was wondering if we have any data yet on how the compassionate and caring and resiliency program has actually impacted the burnout rate?

DEAN DORRIE FONTAINE: That's a wonderful question that's actually the Holy Grail. It's going to be what we're going to focus on in the coming months and years. Actually, I presented this to the Board of Visitors of the University, and they were very intrigued by this as well.

And so while we only have anecdotal data right now for our own graduates, we know absolutely that it's making a difference. And right now, along with my team, we're planning to do some experiments to show that it, indeed, really changes and makes a difference, whether it's in burnout rates or retention rates.

About 30% to 40% of our graduates, actually, in the first few years, do stay right here at the University of Virginia Medical system. And so that would be a real natural experiment that we could do.

We are also working with a foundation to look at enrolling 100 nurses from the community here, and some have had resilience training and some not, and to really do fMRI and really look at their brain after a six-month program to really see what changes can ensue there.

So stay tuned. This foundation, we should be hearing about their funding soon.

So thank you very much, Kathleen.

KELLY MCCASKILL: Thank you, Kathleen.

And the rest of you, anybody out there, you can dial zero to ask a question of Dean Fontaine, just like Kathleen just did. And again, you'll be picked up by one of our screeners, one of the other folks, to help be put in the queue, OK? Again, dial zero to dial in.

I'm going to ask one more polling question right now before I let Dean Fontaine come back on the line to talk more.

Would you like to learn more about the compassionate care initiative at the School of Nursing and their upcoming events and how to incorporate mindfulness into your own practice and for your own practice, your work environment?

I'm going to go ahead and start the question. Dial one for yes, and dial two for no. Thank you.

Thank you all for responding. We've got some responses coming in, so I'll let this stay open for just another minute.

Thank you all for responding. And again, please feel free to dial zero to ask your question live. Thank you so much.

All right, I'm going to stop that question and turn it back over to Dean Fontaine to start up again. Thank you.

DEAN DORRIE FONTAINE: So we've talked a little bit about the compassionate care resiliency initiative. Then I mentioned about our interprofessional education, which is really changing the face of what we're doing here.

And the last thing I'd like to talk about is how we really are hoping to have everyone welcome at our School of Nursing, and this is our inclusion and diversity initiative.

40% of our incoming bachelor of science class identify as a racial or ethnic minority, which is way up this year. 5% are male. I know that still sounds a little low. In the whole nation, I think it's something like a little less than 6% of men are nurses. In our graduate program, we have significantly more, up to 20%, in some of the programs.

But we really are looking to diversify our student body, as well as the faculty, to help us look much more like the population that we serve. And it goes beyond just talking about numbers. We really know that you can only reduce health inequities, improve care, with a bigger view of health care providers and engaging across difference and understanding what that is all about with great humility.

So we've hired a wonderful leader. We recruited her from University of California San Francisco. She's an Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion. Her name is Susan Kools, K-O-O-L-S, and you can read about her on our website as well.

She has developed this IDEA initiative, which stands for inclusion, diversity, excellence, achievement, IDEA. And it's a four-pronged approach where we ask questions.

Who gets to work and study here, for example. And this is how we can go ahead and look at, well, who are we hiring? And just so you can be aware, last recruiting season, we hired 80% diverse faculty. Now that does include men, but we also hired our very first Hispanic faculty. We have hired several African-Americans, Asian faculty, and in fact, the President and the Provost of the University have a big initiative with all the retirements to really look at how we are replenishing, refreshing, reinvigorating, the faculty. And so they are touting us as a school that has really helped to do that with our hires.

And it really helped to have someone like Susan Kools be part of our search committee, be looking at our own admission committees, looking at the questions we ask. It really has made a big difference.

Then once people are here, we ask questions like, well, what is it like to be here? And are we a welcoming community? What does our curriculum look like? Do we have rich, inclusive examples in all our courses?

And so this, I think-- stay tuned, because we're going to be talking a lot more about this, and we really believe that we can be a model, a model for not only UVA, but for the country right now in how we're looking at inclusion and diversity here in Charlottesville, Virginia.

In fact, all the schools, the other 10 deans from every school had to submit a diversity plan, just in the last month, to the President. And they really were very struck by our plan and they announced it at one of the dean's meetings with the Provost. And I had all these other deans coming up to me, well, would you send me your plan?

And so I think we're really on a wonderful roll here for the University, and I'm very proud of what we can be doing to ensure equitable health care for all citizens.

So I'm going to let Kelly ask another question.

KELLY MCCASKILL: Well, first, I'm actually going to ask someone who graduated under Dean Fontaine's tenure, Haley Schlottmann, who is now in Cincinnati, Ohio. She would like to ask a question. So Haley, Haley are you there?

HALEY: Hi, yeah, I'm here. Hi.

KELLY MCCASKILL: OK, Haley, you're live.

HALEY: Hi, so I was just wondering if Dean Fontaine could repeat the title of the book that she mentioned about mindfulness in schools.

I'm currently in a family nurse practitioner program, and at the program I'm enrolled in there's not a big focus on mindfulness. So I would like to translate my undergraduate focus in resiliency to my own practice in the future as a family nurse practitioner.

DEAN DORRIE FONTAINE: That's wonderful, Haley. I really remember you so well. You were the one that, when you were a fourth year, you blogged for the Wall Street Journal on how to get a job. Do you remember that?

HALEY: Yeah, of course, yeah.

DEAN DORRIE FONTAINE: I'm so happy to hear you're in a FNP program. Congratulations.

I don't have the name of the book, but Tish Jennings, Patricia Jennings, J-E-N-N-I-N-G-S. She's at the Curry School of Education. I should know the name of the book. I sent it to my sister for Christmas, who's a school nurse with 800 second to fifth graders.

But if you just Google Tish Jennings, UVA, Curry School, the book will pop right up. It came out last year, and it's a bestseller. It's an amazing book. So thank you, and I'm glad you're doing well.

HALEY: Thanks.

KELLY MCCASKILL: Thank you, Haley.

For all of you out there, if you're interested in that, we can certainly, if you'd like to follow up, let us know. Haley, we can look that up, as well, and send it to you. So thank you.

Other questions, at any time, again, dial zero to get in the queue. Thank you.

I'm going to ask another polling question here. And that is would you like to learn more about volunteer opportunities for alumni in the coming year? Dial one for yes, dial two for no, and three for maybe in the future, please. Thanks very much for participating.

Again, it's would you like to learn more about volunteer opportunities for alumni in the coming year? One for yes, two for no, and three for maybe in the future.

We know sometimes this year might not be the best year, but maybe a little later it'll be good timing. And this is across the country. We know we have people from across the country joining us today.

Thanks very much for participating. Again, dial zero to ask a question and you'll be live, just like Haley and Kathleen have been. Thank you.

OK, I'm going to stop that question now, and turn it back over to Dean Fontaine.

DEAN DORRIE FONTAINE: OK, well, I see that Danielle has asked us a question.

KELLY MCCASKILL: You want to do that one? Sure, sure. OK, Danielle, let me pull you into the call.


KELLY MCCASKILL: Are you there? Are you there, Danielle?

DANIELLE FREE: Yes, I'm here.

KELLY MCCASKILL: There you are. OK, you're live.

DANIELLE FREE: Hi, Dorrie, this is Danielle Free. I was in class of 2009 and would like to know how you see mental health screening and treatment being incorporated into nursing care and how do we, as nurses, help facilitate that movement?

DEAN DORRIE FONTAINE: Certainly, behavioral health, mental health issues are getting incredible attention more and more, and we certainly have some amazing faculty that are integrating throughout our curriculum at the undergraduate level.

And then we also have a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner program, where we are encouraging, certainly, more and more people to take advantage of that. In fact, we hope to be partnering with BCU as well. And so I'm really, really happy to see the question.

We really understand that mental health is probably-- mental health needs are throughout the community of patients and families that our students take care of. And so we have to ensure that we have the faculty that are able to do this.

One of the areas that we have some real strength in happens to be in screening for domestic violence and intimate partner violence. In fact, the magazine, our Legacy is going to feature that very tough situation, but how we're making a difference in screening that. So I really appreciate the question, Danielle, and I hope you're doing well.

DANIELLE FREE: Great, yes. Thank you.

KELLY MCCASKILL: Thank you, Danielle. OK, we will go to Sarah Aldridge, here in Charlottesville, OK? All right, let's see, Sarah. Sarah, are you there?

SARAH ALDRIDGE: I am here, thank you. Hi, Dr. Fontaine.


SARAH ALDRIDGE: How are you, today?


SARAH ALDRIDGE: Good. I'm so glad you're having this conference. And my question has to do with online programs for the master's and doctorate programs through our School of Nursing, in particular, what are the plans for expansion, especially in regards to psych and mental health classes and master's programs?

DEAN DORRIE FONTAINE: Wonderful, well, my understanding is that we have a pretty amazing doctor of nursing practice program that's executive format. So that would be where you come to Charlottesville once a month and everything's online in between, and that's very, very popular.

We have 119 doctoral students right now, PhD and DNP, and so you can probably do psych mental health through that. So I would encourage you.

I've been looking at our numbers of master's psych mental health, and I would say we have some capacity. And again, VCU, Virginia Commonwealth, is also looking to partner with us and working together to offer core courses and specialty courses because there's a huge need in the state of Virginia, but frankly, it's nationwide, the need for psych mental health. So I would encourage you to call us. And Edie Barbero is head of that psychiatric program, and she would love to talk to you more.

SARAH ALDRIDGE: OK, thank you so much.


KELLY MCCASKILL: Thank you, Sarah. OK, now, let's see. We have another question coming up here from Patricia in Vienna, class of 1966. Patricia, let's see, are you-- hopefully, she'll be on the line in just a moment.

PATRICIA: Yes, I'm on the line.

KELLY MCCASKILL: Are you there? Oh, terrific. Hello, how are you?

PATRICIA: Good, thank you.

KELLY MCCASKILL: Good, you are live.

PATRICIA: OK, I just would like to know if you have any records of how many of your nurses, or our nurses, went into emergency nursing.

DEAN DORRIE FONTAINE: Wow, yeah, what a great question. I can tell you that one of my favorite students from last year, Jane Muir, is now in our ER.

We would have to look back and see. Certainly, we had a wonderful emergency nursing critical care program that Ann Taylor ran back in the early 70s. And so we would have individuals that were probably part of that program. Now, they would be graduate level, clinical specialists, but I'm really glad that you're asking. My specialty is trauma critical care nursing for over 40 years.

PATRICIA: Yeah, well, I've been for about 50. I just retired, recently.

DEAN DORRIE FONTAINE: I see that. Yeah, 1966. Congratulations, congratulations. And we do have nurses, probably all over the country, that have a specialty in emergency. And it's one of our sought after places when our young students graduate now. So thank you for asking the question. Good luck to you.

PATRICIA: Thank you.

KELLY MCCASKILL: Yes and, Patricia, happy 50th reunion to you. We hope you'll come and see in June for your 50th.

PATRICIA: Well, thank you.

KELLY MCCASKILL: Thank you, take care. OK, We have a great question about our CNL program from Drew Kim in Seattle, Washington. Let's see, Drew are you there?

DREW: Hi, yes, hi.

KELLY MCCASKILL: Thank you. You're live now.

DREW: OK, I am a CNL graduate from 2014, and I'm really passionate about CNLs. And I'm on the West Coast now in Seattle. And I'm still having a hard time in becoming a CNL in the hospital. And I was wondering what the plan is to help integrate CNLs into the hospital setting.

DEAN DORRIE FONTAINE: Yeah, no, that's a great question. The Veterans Administration, VA Hospitals, are the one place that absolutely has job descriptions for clinical nurse leaders and how they can really come out and manage populations of patients.

Every hospital seems to be different. I spent time at UCSF on the West Coast, and I know there, there were hospitals that were very much hiring CNLs and others that weren't.

Right here in Charlottesville, there's not a specific job description at UVA health system. But what happens is these clinical nurse leaders get in on the ground level and identify systems, problems, and issues, and just manage to climb the ladder through their unit. And we've got them as directors now, and really running the place, to be honest, in many settings.

So the clinical nurse leader, as the American Association of Colleges of Nursing have initiated it, almost a decade ago now, I think it has been a little slower to catch on in hospitals with a designated role. But the training that you had, I think, you could use in any setting to really make an amazing difference, especially in safety and quality, and move up the career ladder that way.

I hope you'll stay in touch with us and keep in contact with the clinical nurse leaders that have come before you, because they're all doing some pretty amazing work.

DREW: Thank you, Dorrie Fontaine.


KELLY MCCASKILL: Thank you, Drew. OK, and now we have a question coming from someone well-known to us. This is Judy Bilicki Hi, Judy.

JUDY BILICKI: Hey, how are you?

KELLY MCCASKILL: I'm good. How are you? Judy is the President of our School of Nursing Alumni Association. Thank you, Judy.

JUDY BILICKI: No, thank you. Thank you for setting this call up. I'm happy to hear so many people participating. But I actually have a question. Out of our current graduating students, how many actually graduate and have a job in place at graduation?

DEAN DORRIE FONTAINE: Well, that's a great question because, depending on where you are, we're in another nursing shortage, believe it or not.

Right now, our data was that about 82%, which is awesome, had a job before graduation, before final exercises and 93% afterwards. And about 66%, 2/3, stay in Virginia. And we have a mandate from the state legislature to have about 2/3 of our students be in state. And so that's pretty interesting that some of them are staying in state, which is good.

But we know that our graduates are very sought after and they can go wherever. So probably the School of Nursing and perhaps, the business or engineering school are really top of the list for getting jobs, and we might be absolutely the top. So thank you for that.

The University of Virginia signature of a nursing graduate is pretty sought after, as you can imagine. And the good news is that this particular year, we have something like almost 95% have passed the NCLEX on the first try, which is really awesome and something that you would expect from a top school in nursing. So thank you, Judy.

JUDY BILICKI: Well, thank you.

KELLY MCCASKILL: Thanks, Judy. I want to be respectful of everyone's time. I want to be respectful of everyone's time and want to make sure Dean Fontaine has time for a couple of last words for us.

And if you have any questions, again, please dial zero. We do have a few more minutes to take another call or two. And I will also throw out another polling question in a moment.

DEAN DORRIE FONTAINE: Well, I just want to thank everyone. I'm looking at these numbers, thousands of people. It's really amazing to be able to talk to you live, and I really appreciate your support in the past and in the future. And please stay tuned for some pretty wonderful events that we're going to be having, not only here in Charlottesville but that you can link into, whether it's our continuing education programs for the future. We're now an approved site for continuing education for nursing. I know our alums are often asking about that. And we would just like to stay in touch with you in any way.

So again, I'm going to just say thank you for calling in. You probably can get my email address pretty easily off our website, and I'm happy to respond to you in any way that I can. Again, we're very proud of our 11,000 alums and appreciate all of you being on the call today. Thank you. Now, I think Kelly has another question.

KELLY MCCASKILL: Follow up on a couple things, first, again, if you have any last questions, dial zero and we can always, if we don't get to the question today, we will be sure to follow up and provide you with an opportunity to leave a voicemail at the end of the call.

This next polling question is would you like to speak with anyone on our alumni relations development team about anything you've heard today?

We've had some questions about compassionate care. You've heard about interprofessional education, as well as our diversity initiative. So if you'd like to hear back, I would like to ask you to press one for yes and two for no and three for not now, maybe later.

Please feel free to let us know if you'd like to hear back from us. We'll be glad to reach out to you after the call.

And thank you. Thank you all very much, again, as Dean Fontaine said for joining us and spending time with us today. I know everybody is busy.

We do have a couple more questions to get to. I'm going to ask Rachel, Rachel Marzano, in Ellicott City, who graduated in 2002. Let's see, Rachel. Rachel, are you here?


KELLY MCCASKILL: Hi, you're live.

RACHEL MARZANO: Hi, thanks for this phone conference. I work in a surgical ICU in University of Maryland Hospital and I've been really inspired by all the work that you guys are doing with the compassionate care and resiliency. And I was curious if there's any motion to make almost like a toolkit that alumni or any nurse who had found your information online could use to bring that information to their workplace?

DEAN DORRIE FONTAINE: Thanks, Rachel, for that question. And yes, I think it's a wonderful idea. Part of our partnering with NPR on the resilient nurse series is that actually is part of what we're planning and what we're going to continue doing for the future.

But I think, as we go through our learnings here, the things we're offering and what we're doing, we certainly would love to do something like that. We've also written a paper called "Prioritizing Clinician Well-Being." Susan Bauer-Wu, who was the Director of Compassionate Care until she left a few months ago to be the President of Mind and Life and work with the Dalai Lama.

You can check that paper because there are certainly resources in there. And I think you're inspiring me to think about how we can get the word out even more globally. So thank you so very much.

I used to work at University of Maryland too, 15 years shock trauma in Baltimore. Thank you, Rachel. Thank you very much.

KELLY MCCASKILL: Thank you. OK, OK, thank you. Thank you so much to all of you. I know that there are many more questions that are coming up. We will give you, again, an opportunity to leave a voicemail and we will be glad to respond to you later. And respond to all of you who responded positively or in various ways to our polling questions today.

We've been on the phone for about 40 minutes today and we're so happy that so many of you have stayed with us. Actually, we have one last question here. One question that I think we have time for. I'm getting the signal that we have time for one more.

So I'm going to ask Deborah from VCU, Deborah, are you there?


KELLY MCCASKILL: Hi, you're live.

DEBORAH BARKSDALE: Oh, hi, Dean Fontaine. Deborah Barksdale. It's really not a question. I just really want to commend you for your commitment to diversity.

It's so important that we have a diverse workforce and a workforce that reflects the population of people that we have to care for. So I just wanted to say kudos and thank you.

DEAN DORRIE FONTAINE: Well, that's a fabulous way to end, Deborah. And do give your Dean, Jean Giddens, my best regards. She's lucky to have you there as the Associate Dean. But thank you so much. It's a great way to end with that comment.

KELLY MCCASKILL: Thank you, Deborah. Hope we'll see you at an event sometime soon.

OK, I think that is-- again, I know that there are other questions that are out there and we will be glad to respond to all of you a little later. And again, look forward to following up with all of you as we go through this information.

I am so sorry. Not so sorry. If you're still with us, hang on. I have another question. Again, we're right on the line of letting people go. Please feel free to stick around if you can.

Let's see we have a question coming from Nancy in Midlothian. Nancy, are you there?

NANCY: Yes, good afternoon and thank you for this opportunity.

KELLY MCCASKILL: Yes, thank you.

NANCY: I'm from the class of '70, and one of my classmates, who wasn't able to dial in today asked me to ask, when we were in school, we had to go up on the hill to take an elective. And she took commerce.

And her question is, we had leadership at the School of Nursing. And she's wondering what kind of programs help with the management side when the nurses move into management position, which is really knowing how to budget in that role as a manager.

DEAN DORRIE FONTAINE: Sure. No, that's a great question. And we are, with our new curriculum, we're up to the fourth year. So we've moved our first years all the way through a new curriculum. And there's a wonderful leadership course, and it does cover not only safety and quality, but also financing health care and what it really means to be on the ground.

So I really appreciate that question. And then just finally, to say, we also have a new program, leadership partners in health care management. We're training docs and nurses together, from our health system, as well as in Richmond and the region Carilion, Bons Secours, other health systems, are joining to send teams, dyads, docs and nurses who run a unit, nurse manager, medical director, to learn in the same room, in a weekend format, to learn about communication, budget, finance, conflict management, culture of safety, and other topics.

So I'm right with you. We really need to prepare the next generation and frankly, people often don't get as much and certainly they don't train together. So we know that's a signature of what our school can do.

So thank you so very much. I'm sure that's the last question. People have to go back to work or finish their lunch maybe. But I just wanted to thank those of you who stayed with us.

KELLY MCCASKILL: Yes, thank you all so much, and again, a big thank you to the School of Nursing Alumni Association for sponsoring this call. This has been a terrific treat for all of us, and I hope all of you out there have enjoyed it as well.

We will look forward, again, to following up with you very soon. I'm going to end the event here, and those of you who still have questions out there, please feel free to leave a voicemail for us.

Again, thank you all very much. Take care.