Mission and vision: A legacy of service

Founded in 1956, the Orvis School of Nursing (OSN) at the University Of Nevada, Reno, is the oldest school of nursing in the state and committed to serving the healthcare needs of the people of Nevada through excellence in teaching, research and service.

Inspired by values of caring, compassion, and inclusion, the mission of the Orvis School of Nursing is to prepare the next generation of nurse leaders to promote the health and wellbeing of diverse populations in Nevada, the nation, and the world through excellence in nursing education, discovery, and engagement.  The Orvis School of Nursing's vision is to educate and inspire current and future nurses to be providers and change agents improving the health and wellbeing of our society; to encourage and support research and innovation; to focus on the challenges of a rapidly changing and culturally diverse health care environment.

The school fulfills this mission and vision through four core themes and supporting goals:


Prepare diverse nursing graduates to improve health outcomes through high-quality undergraduate and graduate programs.  

Goal 1: Provide exceptional undergraduate and graduate programs taught by diverse and qualified faculty committed to student success and professional preparation.

  • Full reaccreditation of all programs by CCNE in April 2021
  • Formalize OSN Faculty Mentorship program to support ongoing academic and professional development at all levels by 4/21
  • Provide and develop high-quality graduate programs taught by diverse research-active faculty.
  • Increase the number of research-active faculty
  • Ongoing needs assessment for faculty and staff
  • Explore the possibility of developing a Ph.D. or DNP/Ph.D. program

Goal 2: Recruit a high-achieving, inclusive student body committed to ongoing academic and professional development.

  • Identify resources to support holistic undergraduate admission process
  • Expand outreach within and outside of the university community
  • Provide education about

Goal 3: Offer flexible choices in instructional delivery formats to meet the changing needs of undergraduate and graduate students.

  • Increase remote course delivery for undergraduate students by Fall 2022

Goal 4: Prepare students for personal and professional success by providing a broad evidence-based education with an emphasis on health promotion and self-care.

  • Ongoing evaluation of curriculum revisions according to the AACN essentials
  • Develop formal relationships and activities with the student resource center
  • Incorporate personal health and wellness content throughout the curriculum

Goal 5: Provide rich clinical experiences that allow students to develop higher-level clinical reasoning skills that translate knowledge into practice.

  • Develop targeted high-fidelity simulations for each level
  • Working with clinical agencies to optimize clinical opportunities


Lead in generating and disseminating nursing knowledge through the utilization of ongoing research and collaboration with industry partners.

Goal 1: Contribute to the University's Carnegie R1 status through excellence in research quality and value.

  • Implement the role of Associate Dean of Research and Innovation by 2022

Goal 2: Identify targeted research areas for continuous investment and growth.

  • Emphasize the relevancy of targeted research areas of excellence
  • Develop the following research areas of excellence:
    • health determinants science (aging, ethnic minority/vulnerable population health, and biobehavioral & biopsychosocial research)
    • nursing leadership
    • data & systems science (informatics, health technologies, digital health, and data elements)
    • precision science (prediction of symptom susceptibility, disease occurrence & progression, and clinical innovation)

Goal 3: Build a robust infrastructure to establish OSN's position as the leader in nursing research and innovation.

  • Expand faculty mentorship and research development under the guidance of the Associate Dean of Research and Innovation
  • Collaborate with researchers outside the OSN on research projects
  • Strengthen research-focused infrastructure (UNR & OSN) including policies, regulations, technology, human capital, and funding

Goal 4: Recruit and retain a diversity of research faculty, scholars, staff, and students.

  • Recruit, retain, recognize and promote world-class research faculty and staff at OSN
  • Elevate OSN student scholarship in all degree levels

Goal 5: Diversify research showcase and funding sources.

  • Increase philanthropic support by maintaining strong relationships with OSN alumni and donors
  • Foster partnerships with other NSHE institutes for collaborative funding and resources
  • Explore and expand traditional funding sources

Goal 6: Continue to advance research effort through interprofessional collaboration.

  • Ozmen Institute for Global Studies
  • Nevada State Office of Rural Health (UNR SOM)


Strengthen the social, economic, and environmental wellbeing of people by engaging Nevada citizens, communities and healthcare agencies.

Goal 1: Engage and work with government, community, and industry leaders to explore current issues and trends in local and global health.

  • Develop and adopt a unified concept and vision for the OSN's public engagement
  • Appoint a "community partner representative" to coordinate community partnerships both locally and across the state
  • Develop additional diverse clinical sites to accommodate a growing program
  • Create global health partnerships and placement opportunities for students at both the undergraduate and graduate level
  • Create the OSN Nursing Advisory Board consisting of Dean and community leaders
  • Continue to engage OSN alumni in OSN activities within and outside of University

Goal 2: Expand existing programs by developing innovative nursing education strategies to meet the diverse needs of Nevada.

  • Develop interprofessional outreach program with Community Health Sciences, Social Work, and Medicine
  • Grow undergraduate programs to accommodate more qualified students
  • Strengthen the simulation program to allow for increased program sizes

Goal 3: Disseminate information and services on current issues of health, wellness, and best practices to improve the health of our community and the world.

  • Mae Orvis Healthcare Symposium
  • Implement the role of Communication and Marketing Specialist

Goal 4: Create a national reputation for the Orvis School of Nursing and the University of Nevada, Reno through community engagement, formal/informal presentations and events, and additional related activities.

  • Support nursing faculty and students' presence of projects through increased funding
  • Develop a funding stream to support the Annual Mae Orvis Healthcare Symposium
  • Assume more community leadership positions in organizations
  • Regional chapters of nursing organizations
  • Strengthen Alumni relations
  • Develop relationships with national and international organizations


Promote a diverse and inclusive community through recruitment, programs, and outreach.  

Goal 1: Recognize and promote the core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion and increase investment in and commitment to the diversity of the student body, faculty, and staff.

  • Leverage faculty and staff to increase awareness of commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion at student recruitment events
  • Assess current initiatives to identify opportunities for recruitment
  • Create a holistic program that addresses financial and mentorship opportunities to support recruitment and retention
  • Increase endowments and grants to support and retain students from underrepresented populations by financially

Goal 2: Integrate values of diversity, equity, and inclusion into core processes

  • Include representation from the OSN Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee on faculty and staff searches and Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion on faculty searches
  • Increase research and publication collaboration between faculty and staff with two or three collaboration initiatives
  • Add diversity, equity, and inclusion components to staff and faculty annual performance reviews
  • Revisit School's values to ensure its alignment with a commitment to diversity
  • Increase access to interest groups for distant faculty and students
  • Integrate diversity into the curriculum throughout the undergraduate and graduate courses
  • Recruit and retain diverse faculty and staff

Goal 3: Ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion are evident in education, research, scholarship, practice, and service activities.

  • Implement an OSN Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion CommitteeEstablish a designated funding source for the OSN Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee
  • Create an annual event focused on diversity, inclusion, and equity for all OSN stakeholders
  • Revise all course syllabi to include teaching strategies and pedagogies that are inclusive of diverse populations
  • Establish annual research award honoring those who advance diverse scholarship
  • Use faculty relationships to expand service and facilitate other learning opportunities that engage diverse populations in underserved and underrepresented communities
  • Apply for diversity federal grants and funding
  • Actively participate in the University of Nevada, Reno Cultural Diversity Summit held annually
  • Hold the title of one of the most diverse universities by U.S. News & World Report
  • Provide abroad learning experiences for nursing students

Goal 4: Provide support to neurodiverse students, faculty, and staff.

  • Collaborate with DRC
  • Establish regular meetings and dialogue
  • Educate faculty and students of services provided

Goal 5: Establish internal and external collaborative interprofessional relationships that support diversity, equity, and inclusion.

  • Collaborate with other departments and schools within the University
  • Collaborate with healthcare institutions and organizations
  • Collaborate with professional nursing organizations

The planning process

The Orvis School of Nursing's Strategic Plan serves as a guide for School's development and responds to a requirement of the University of Nevada, Reno, and the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents. The plan has been developed with input from students, faculty, staff, and community partners. Additionally, the plan draws from the University's Strategic Plan 2015 – 2021. The final draft was submitted to the Dean for approval and presentation to the University and community. Read more from the Dean

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