The Next 100 Years: The Future of Nursing

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

College of Nursing & Professional Disciplines


I had the recent pleasure of spending a day with Clarice Smoker, RN of Poplar Montana. Clarice works for the School Based Health Centers of the Fort Peck Tribes Health Promotion/Disease Prevention Wellness Program. The goal of this program is to "promote a healthy lifestyle and improve the health of students, teachers, staff and their families." This program serves the public schools of Brockton, Frazer, Poplar and Wolf Point. As you can see from the picture, Clarice is a young professional nurse excited to meet the health promotion needs of her community. She represents the next 100 years of nursing in Montana. She has a vision for community based nursing services that reclaims the long established work of the first public health nurses who lived and worked in their communities bringing advice and instruction on how to stay healthy and the new demand for nursing to be out in the community as opposed to only in acute care settings.

I spent the day touring three of the school based clinics working with Clarice as she screened children, worked with staff at the school, advised parents, promoted positive health habits, and genuinely served as an open and caring nurse interacting positively with the community. She gave me her ideas about holistic health for her students including teaching lifestyle basics such as making good choices in budgeting as well as exercise, eating and growing local foods. Clarice described a trip that she organized for students in her community to learn about suicide prevention which included traveling out of state which many students had not done before. The plan is to have these students serve as mentors to others to prevent teen suicide. Clarice is excited to impact her community in a positive way and also is active in "growing" the next generation of nurses to be culturally competent care givers as she assists with the MSU nursing students clinical with the Fort Peck Wellness Center.

There are many other nurses like Clarice who will bring Montana nursing into the next 100 years of quality nursing services. The cover photo features nursing students and recently I have had the opportunity to visit three of the nursing programs where I have met with nursing students, their faculty and their nursing preceptors. I have been especially impressed with the working nurses in Montana who have taken the time to help raise the next generation of nurses by serving as preceptors. A big thank you for your service!

Please take time to make a nomination for the 2014 MT CAHN Outstanding Nurse, Nursing Student and Nurse Champion Awards being sought by Feb 7, 2014. You can send those nominations to See the accompanying article in a call for nominations.

Happy 100 years of Montana Nursing! 1913 to 2013. Let's all get involved in the next 100 years to advance health and lead change.