Leadership thoughts

Dear friends and colleagues,

While the COVID-19 pandemic eclipsed 2020 as a celebration of the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife and the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth, I am forever optimistic about the impact we have on the health of the world’s populations. As I reflect on the past year, I am so proud of and inspired by our profession. Nurses have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic and made tremendous sacrifices to help bring this crisis under control. They have continued to work tirelessly day after day, often putting themselves and their families at risk. According to the most recent Gallup poll, nurses ranked as the most ethical and honest profession for the 19th year in a row. The public is now more aware than ever of the critical role nurses play in the health of a nation. Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have watched as our faculty and students stepped up to new challenges daily and developed innovative ways to continue our mission. The work has been physically, mentally and emotionally challenging. Our Class of 2020 stepped into a world that no graduate before them had experienced in the last century. 

While the pandemic brought our focus to the needs at home, it also brought to light the value of a global education and our shared connectivity. It has stimulated meaningful conversations about the deep inequities in our society and elsewhere. These conversations will continue well beyond the pandemic and lead us into a world that is more inclusive, diverse and equitable. 

We are in a unique position to make a difference locally and globally. We have an opportunity to emerge from this crisis as a stronger profession, creating a more equitable health care system and closing the gaps that have existed for generations. The world needs nurses now more than ever.


Jody R. Lori, Ph.D., CNM, FACNM, FAAN
Professor and Associate Dean, U-M School of Nursing
Director, PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center