My dear MCN family and friends,

What to say in a time like this? Where do I even begin?

I don’t need to say that we are living through unprecedented times—you all know that. Globally, we are facing something the likes of which we have never seen before—a pandemic that will have far-reaching health, environmental, and economic consequences. I am sure I am not alone in wondering what the world will look like on the other end of this.

But even in the darkness, there is light.

I am reminded in this moment why I chose to dedicate my life to nursing. My heart, forever with the hundreds of thousands of nurses and healthcare workers on the frontlines of this pandemic, is filled with pride at that choice. I am reminded of the history of nursing, and of the critical role nurses play in keeping our communities and families safe. That role—caretaker, protector—is one we play not just today, but have played for more than a century.

I am reminded in this moment of how thankful I am to be surrounded each day by colleagues who work tirelessly to prepare the next generation of nursing heroes. How proud I am every time I get to watch those young nurses walk out of our storied doors and begin to change the world. And of how grateful I am that in times of crisis, those same nurses—daughters, sons, partners, parents—put aside their own well-being and run to the front lines.

As we continue to navigate the chaos presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the one thing we know for certain is that there will be more challenges. We have seen those challenges manifest in many ways already for all of us who play a role in protecting our communities: the lack of PPE for nurses, the lack of ventilators and beds for healthcare facilities, the shift to online-only formats for nursing educators. But I also know that together, we will come through this.

To MCN’s current and incoming students, I give you my word that as we navigate these challenging times the college will continue to do what it has done for the last 100 years: provide you with the highest quality and safest learning experiences while preparing you to be the best possible nurse you can be.

And to all of the nurses on the frontlines—MCN alum or not—, know that you are in our hearts.

We are with you.


Judy Neubrander

Dean, Mennonite College of Nursing

Judy Neubrander, Dean, Mennonite College of Nursing at Illinois State UniversityAbout this column

In today’s fast-paced environment, it is often easy to get so deep in the “doing” of something that we forget to take a moment to pause, step back, and reflect on what we have accomplished. Going forward, each month this column will reflect on the great work and progress this College is making, not only promoting health but also in shaping the future of health care. Stay tuned!

Judy Neubrander

Dean, Mennonite College of Nursing

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