As I travel throughout the nation and globe, so many of our terrific alumni tell me that degrees from our college are priceless and create a foundation for a lifetime of phenomenal career success and impact in transforming health and transforming lives. A clear differentiator of a degree from Ohio State is that we teach our students to LIVE WELL: to Lead, Innovate, Vision, Execute and to be Wellness-focused, Evidence-based, Life-long learners and Lights for the world, locally to globally.
In the latest edition of Transformationsmagazine, you will read about the impact of just a few of our more than 12,000 amazing alumni who are innovative leaders, making a tremendous positive impact on education, research, healthcare and evidence-based clinical practice. Another clear differentiator of an Ohio State degree is the Buckeye passion that is instilled in every one of our students—along with a real appreciation for an unparalleled education. That education comes with an obligation to pay forward what they learned here to make a tremendous positive difference in peoples’ health and lives, no matter where they land in the world.
Recently I returned from a trip to Honduras where alumna Angie Overholt and her husband Larry, along with Emeritus Professor Kathy Stone, have been transforming the health and lives of Honduran people for 16 years. We had over 20 of our nurse practitioner and baccalaureate students as well as pharmacy students with us to deliver care to hundreds of people who would not otherwise receive it.
I was so proud of our students and faculty mentors—they were not only comprehensive in their assessments, accurate in their diagnoses, and evidence-based in their management, but were so caring and respectful of the Honduran people. When you go to a country like Honduras and see the extreme poverty in which the people live, you come back with an even greater appreciation for what we have here. Although we are so blessed to live in the U.S., we also have poverty and food insecurity right here that need to be tackled on a daily basis.
I have the wonderful opportunity to be part of our terrific team who teaches the Health Athlete course, a workshop that we conduct at Ohio State in partnership with Johnson & Johnson’s Human Performance Institute. Being fully immersed in the course reminded me once again that we need to keep our own wellness a top priority if we hope to be at our best in helping others to engage in healthy lifestyle behaviors. When we get on a plane, we are instructed to place the oxygen mask on ourselves first before we place it on our children. Similarly, if we do not prioritize wellness for ourselves on a daily basis, we will not be at our best to help others lead healthier lives.
In order to improve the healthy lifestyle behaviors in our nursing and other health science students, we launched a new innovative wellness onboarding program that you will also read about in this edition of Transformations.
I have been incredibly excited about our tremendous rise in the recent U.S. News and World Report rankings. The College of Nursing has moved from No. 32 to No. 6 for our online graduate nursing program and from No. 32 to No. 22 for our traditional graduate nursing program, which places us in the top five percent of graduate nursing programs in the U.S. In addition, the university’s undergraduate online programs, including the college’s RN to BSN option, are ranked No. 6 in the country. This improvement provides evidence on the value of a degree from our awesome college.
Although rankings are an important indicator of the quality of academic programs, it is the difference in real world outcomes that our graduates make that is most important. Our graduates are doing just that—making a huge positive impact in transforming health and transforming lives for people throughout the nation and globe. Go Bucks!
Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk, PhD, RN, CPNP/PMHNP, FNAP, FAAN
Associate Vice President for Health Promotion
University Chief Wellness Officer
Dean, College of Nursing