The University’s Board of Trustees has approved the appointment of Kathy Rideout as dean of the School of Nursing.
Rideout, a pediatric nurse practitioner at Golisano Children’s Hospital, has served as associate professor of clinical nursing and in administrative roles at the school over the last 26 years. She was named interim dean in September 2011. Previously she served as the school’s senior associate dean for academic affairs.
“Kathy leads with a dynamic, engaging, and inspiring demeanor that brings out the best in others, fosters interdisciplinary collaboration, and builds cohesive, purposeful partnerships across the Medical Center and within our community,” says Bradford Berk, Medical Center CEO. “Driven by her deep commitment to nursing’s central role in improving health care, and dedicated to the successful progression of students, faculty, and staff, she has had a defining impact on the school and its direction.”
President Joel Seligman says that Rideout has shown her ability to build strong and diverse educational programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, is highly regarded for supporting the development of clinical and research faculty, and is a strong proponent of interprofessional education. Programs such as the school’s Accelerated Programs for Non-Nurses and Doctor of Nursing Practice have flourished under her leadership, drawing students from across the country and around the world. In addition, she has nurtured the development of innovative learning strategies such as hybrid online course programming.
“The school’s academic success is also closely tied to the student support initiatives developed under her guidance that foster positive, lasting faculty-student relationships and develop in students a connection to the school and a commitment to lifelong learning,” says Seligman. “Kathy makes the progression of students a top priority, understanding that today’s nursing students are our future practitioners, professors, researchers, strategists, and leaders with crucial parts to play in an era of health care reform.”
Seligman adds that Rideout “is someone who is universally trusted and universally beloved. We are looking forward to a long and successful tenure with her as dean.”
During her year as interim dean, Rideout navigated the school along its journey to proactively and effectively meet the nursing needs of health care reform and position it as a leader in all areas of education, practice, and research, Berk says.
Specifically, she led the collaborative development of the school’s five-year year strategic plan, to be announced later this fall. Developed in concert with the Medical Center’s strategic plan, the plan builds on the school’s pioneering tradition of unifying nursing education, research, and practice, and charts a course for how the school will grow and innovate to remain at the forefront of nursing education and meet the needs of an evolving health-care system.
Berk says that Rideout is the ideal choice to lead the school “toward achieving its strategic initiatives with momentum and purpose, and elevate it to the national stage as a leader in the way it prepares students, advances the nursing profession, and ultimately improves the provision of patient- and family-centered care across all settings.”
As dean, Rideout will continue to work part time as a pediatric ostomy nurse practitioner, a position that she has maintained while serving as interim dean.
“Kathy cherishes her role of working with children and families,” says Berk. “It’s intrinsic to who she is and further demonstrates the patient-centered focus she brings to preparing the nurses of tomorrow. It’s rare to find an administrator who works so hard to remain at the bedside as she does, and in doing so, she truly embodies the school’s unification model of practice, education, and research.”
As associate dean, Rideout led the development and implementation of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program, which over the last five years, has provided more than $650,000 in funding to support students enrolled in the school’s accelerated programs for non-nurses, which offers an efficient route to a RN license for students with bachelor’s degrees in other fields, and helps create a culturally and socioeconomically diverse nursing pool reflective of the national population.
Seligman also says that Rideout has been committed to providing the resources and facilities necessary to propel the school’s research mission, including the development of research centers of excellence.
A fellow of the National Academies of Practice in Nursing, Rideout also brings her voice to national health-care reform through her participation on the Deans Nursing Policy Coalition which includes the deans of the schools of nursing at Columbia, Vanderbilt, Emory, Duke, and Yale as well as the University of Pennsylvania. The coalition held its first congressional briefing in July, which highlighted the many ways advanced practice nurses can improve the provision of cost-efficient, accessible, quality care.
Rideout, a native of Pittsburgh, earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and her master’s from the University of Pittsburgh in 1983. In 1986, she began work as an advanced pediatric nurse at Strong and joined the School of Nursing faculty, earning her doctorate from the Warner School in 1995. She completed her ostomy nurse specialty training program in 2000.
“Being a nurse is all I ever wanted to be, and is how I first describe myself rather than as an educator or administrator,” Rideout says. “I’m excited to be leading the school now during a challenging yet promising time of evolution, working in close collaboration across the Medical Center, with Nursing Practice, the School of Medicine and Dentistry, our academic centers, and community partners. My greatest source of pride will be in seeing the continual success of our students, faculty, and staff and in helping the school carry out the strategic goals that will put us in the lead in research, practice, and education.”