Welcome from the Interim Dean

New Chair Photo

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Ellmer School of Nursing at Old Dominion University. The profession of nursing has evolved substantially over the past 200 years and is considered one of the most rewarding and well-respected disciplines in health care. Professional nurses work autonomously and as critical members of interdisciplinary health care teams to promote health and well-being in individuals and communities through clinical practice, education and research. As patient advocates, nurses play a primary role in ensuring quality and safety, promoting patients' understanding of their condition and treatment plans, protecting patients' rights, advancing knowledge and health policy, and supporting critical decision-making.

Since 1986, the faculty and staff of the Ellmer School of Nursing at ODU have provided students, alumni, members of the community and other key stakeholders with opportunities to reach their greatest potential. Through top-ranked academic programs, state-of-the-art simulation experiences, robust programs of research, world-renowned and award-winning faculty, and an unprecedented commitment to student success and satisfaction, the School is well-positioned for continued growth and enhanced impact.

We are home to over 375 undergraduate and 290 graduate students. Our competitive undergraduate programs offer high-quality didactic and hands-on instruction alongside a close community of faculty and clinical partners who share our interests. Our graduate programs engage our students, largely through distance learning, in advancing their professional practices as nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, clinical nurse specialists, nurse midwives and nurse executives. Graduates of our programs enter the workforce as competent, confident nursing professionals with a focus on patient safety and access to high quality, cost-effective care.

We value the diversity of those we serve and are prepared to meet the needs of today's global society and workforce. We must be able to appreciate, work with and learn from those with cultures and backgrounds different from our own. We strive to continuously develop our inclusive culture; a culture that inspires us to widen our perspectives, speak with kindness, and actively seek understanding. Inclusive environments empower all of us to grow and make valued contributions.

I wish to sincerely thank our students, alumni, faculty and staff, clinical and industry partners, our colleagues here at ODU, and other key stakeholders. Your support strengthens our team. We strive to keep you informed and engaged so you remain loyal supporters and our greatest ambassadors. Our excellent reputation is the result of your generosity and hard work.

I invite you to learn more about the positive impact the Ellmer School of Nursing at ODU is making on our community and beyond. We welcome you to join us as a student seeking a world-class education, as a faculty member searching for professional growth, or as a partner interested in promoting the health and well-being of others. My door is always open.


Suzanne Marie Wright, PhD, CRNA
Interim Dean