The Building Upon Excellence Dean's Lecture Series: Visioning the Future of Nursing

The Dean’s Lecture Series brings experts, innovators, educators, and leaders in the nursing and health care professions to Duke for symposia on critical topics in the nursing and health care fields. These symposia create opportunities for the DUSON community, along with our colleagues and partners, to engage in national and global conversations about ways to leverage nurses in addressing pressing health and social challenges.


The Building Upon Excellence Dean's Lecture Series will feature symposia on the topics above in the spring 2022 semester and throughout the 2022-23 academic year. We are pleased to invite all members of the DUSON community, including faculty, staff, students, and alumni, as well as our colleagues across campus and in the field of health care, to attend.


The landscape of health care is undergoing significant change. As the largest segment of the health care workforce, so too is the nursing profession. The current healthcare context and delivery systems, including nursing practice, are being shaped by large-scale public health and social determinants of health, such as infectious disease pandemics, widening socioeconomic inequality, political divisions, community violence, migration, and technological advances to name a few.  

In Fall 2021, Dean Vincent Guilamo-Ramos of the Duke University School of Nursing (DUSON) launched the Dean’s Lecture Series as a way to engage DUSON faculty, staff, students, alumni, and the broader nursing and health care communities, in conversations about the role of nurses in the transformation of health care and as leaders in advancing health equity.

As a leading voice in shaping the future of the profession, the series is part of DUSON’s broader commitment to train the next generation of nursing leaders.

Upcoming Speakers

(Event dates and times to come)

Margarita Alegria, Ph.D.

Chief of the Disparities Research Unit at the Massachusetts General Hospital and The Mongan Institute, the Harry G. Lehnert, Jr. and Lucille F. Cyr Lehnert Endowed MGH Research Institute Chair and a Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School

Regina S. Cunningham, PhD, RN, AOCN, FAAN

Chief Executive Officer, Hospital of the University Of Pennsylvania, and Adjunct Professor of Nursing, University Of Pennsylvania School Of Nursing, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Congresswoman Lauren Underwood

U.S. representative from Illinois's 14th congressional district

Lauren Hilgers

Writer and journalist for the New York Times Magazine

Past Lectures

On November 30, 2021, Dr. Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, PhD, MPH, LCSW, RN, ANP-BC, PMHNP-BC, FAAN, Dean of the Duke University School of Nursing and Vice Chancellor for Nursing Affairs at Duke University, addressed the social determinants of health, examining historic large-scale health and socially transformative events that have elevated the profile of nurses in safeguarding the health and well-being of the country.

Presentation followed by Q&A. Read more and view the recording here.

On March 3, 2022, Kody H. Kinsley, North Carolina Secretary of Health and Human Services, addressed “Responding to and Recovering from a Global Pandemic” in the “Building Upon Excellence” Dean’s Lecture Series hosted by Duke University School of Nursing. 

Secretary Kinsley provided an update on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic, its impact on healthcare providers, and outlook for the future. He shared insight about the Department’s strategic priorities, including refreshed emphasis on timely issues including behavioral health, children and families, and a strong and inclusive workforce—and discussed efforts to invest in whole-person health through initiatives including Medicaid Transformation and Healthy Opportunities.

Dr. Peter I. Buerhaus, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, well known for his studies on the nursing and physician workforces in the United States, spoke at DUSON on April 5, 2022 regarding on the strengths that the nursing workforce had developed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the immediate economic impacts of the pandemic on the nursing workforce, the post-pandemic challenges facing nurses and nurse educators, and ways to address those challenges.

View Dr. Buerhaus' presentation on our YouTube channel.

Additional Information

LaWanda McCreary
Interim Assistant Dean, Strategic Communications
Duke University School of Nursing

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