Q&A with Dean Hurn

Q&A with Dean HurnThe rollout of the U-M School of Nursing “We Dare” branding was one of the first major initiatives you implemented in 2020. Why was it such a priority for you to start the new year?

Dean Patricia Hurn: There are more than 900 nursing schools in the country, so for the U-M School of Nursing to attract the diverse and talented students, faculty and staff necessary to sustain the level of excellence we have worked very hard to achieve, it was clear to me that we needed to develop unified branding. Prospective nursing students have more educational choices than ever before, so it’s imperative for us to have branding that effectively communicates our core messaging. In addition to distinguishing ourselves within a very competitive nursing school community, the branding gives our existing community something they can identify with and believe in. I think “We Dare” is something that everyone can identify with in some way.

“We Dare” is the central theme of the new branding. How do you think that will connect people to our school?

PH: Daring comes in many forms. It’s taking risks, challenging the status quo and pushing the boundaries of what is possible. It’s calm in the face of adversity, perseverance through failure and selflessness in the pursuit of excellence. For each person and in each moment, daring may look different. At the U-M School of Nursing, we dare every day, using our knowledge, skills, innovation and compassion to advance the public good and prepare nurses who will reinvent health care. I think if we can be a place where people come to pursue their unique form of daring, people will want to connect with us in a very authentic and meaningful way.

How do you hope someone may take the message of “We Dare” and practically incorporate it into their work as a student or faculty member?

PH: I hope people will use it as a vehicle to support and pursue work that is important to them. For example, if there is someone interested in health disparities within the African American community, I would hope that person would use the brand — for their education, their research and their clinical care — as a way to say they “dare” to confront something as complex as health disparities. All of us want the U-M School of Nursing to be a collection of individuals, but we also want to have a common purpose and identity. In a world that seems very fractured right now, it doesn’t hurt to have something that we share in common. I think that will be extremely helpful as we continue to build a strong, value-driven culture.

Learn more about "We Dare" at https://nursing.umich.edu/wedare.