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Outstanding faculty and the quality students they attract are the biggest asset of OHSU School of Nursing. Attracting, encouraging and rewarding faculty is at the heart of endowed professorship funds and is one of the top priorities of the school. Professorships are a lasting tribute to the values and beliefs of their donors. Professorships may be established for a specific program and named for an honoree of the donors' choosing, thus creating an enduring, highly visible connection between the individual for whom the endowment is named and the ongoing accomplishments of the school. Professorships are becoming an integral part of schools of nursing throughout the country for many reasons. First, there has been unprecedented global leadership in the area of research in the United States over the past few decades and research conducted by nurses and about nursing has been a part of these major advances. The dramatic increase in the quantity and quality of nursing research supports the increasing need for professorships. Second, as the level of public awareness of nursing education and professional practice increases through advancements in public support for nursing, an accompanying increase in private funding is occurring. In addition, many schools are enhancing their development efforts, thus increasing private funding to support their academic missions. The number of recorded professorships/chairs has increased from 20 in 1984 to 167 in the first half of 1999. All of these points illustrate the importance of nursing research and the role that professorships play in regards to it.
Why are Professorships important?
Benefits to the School
OHSU is nationally recognized as a leading research enterprise. Qualities of this type of enterprise are a supportive culture, strong mentoring, educational programs to ensure a research workforce, and an infrastructure and funding mechanism to support that research. Professorships help create this important cultural setting that is essential in ensuring that the contributions of nursing research are made to the health of the public. Endowed professorships are the most meaningful awards presented to faculty. They allow the School of Nursing to attract and retain the most talented and visionary scientists, which ensures the future quality and reputation of OHSU School of Nursing. Professorships enable the school to make a financial commitment to the holder and his or her area of research, thus creating an environment in which excellent work and creative discovery can occur. Furthermore, professorships attract the best young investigators in the field who benefit from working with senior scientists and thus build the research and educational base. Often following the appointment of professorships are additional grants and funding and the creation of centers for research. This expands the quality-driven environment that is the essence of the OHSU School of Nursing. The research that is conducted has an impact both locally and globally by improving nursing health care practices. Furthermore, teaching from such a research base results in professional graduates who are capable of using scientific knowledge in their practices and contributing to new knowledge.Benefits to the Donor
Endowed professorships create a unique tie between the School and a donor that enables donors to share in the OHSU School of Nursing's milestones in advancing the nursing profession and improving the health of our communities. And because of their honorary nature and permanence, professorships establish meaningful emotional rewards through continued generations of a family. As well, professorships support faculty who are considered leaders in their field, thus creating an environment of high-quality, scientific vision and prestige that is shared by the donor, the holder and the School. The distinguished professor's work is often documented in national publications, news broadcasts and lectures, thus providing national visibility and recognition for the researcher, the School and the donor.