Welcome to the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing

There is no better time to be a nurse than today, when our communities and our nation are most in need. Loyola nurses are called to make a difference as we face the intersection of dual pandemics: coronavirus and racial inequalities. Our students, faculty, and alumni are on the front lines with patients fighting COVID-19, and they are creating a culture of health by addressing social determinants of health, working to dismantle structural racism, and tackling health inequities.

For more than 85 years, the School of Nursing has been a leader in nursing education. Today, as we build on that tradition, we have launched an Inclusive Excellence initiative to advance the critical role that diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism play in our ability to reach even higher aspirations. We cannot be excellent without being truly inclusive. We will begin this initiative by critically examining student, faculty, and staff recruitment and retention practices, curricula and policies across all our programs, and our scholarship, so that we can determine concrete, measurable steps to improve and integrate inclusive excellence in everything we do.

We are also on the forefront of advanced practice nursing education. As health care in this country has grown increasingly complex, advanced practice nursing education has evolved to meet those needs. Consistent with national recommendations, Loyola Nursing moved its nurse practitioner (NP) and clinical nurse specialist (CNS) education to the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) level.

With these changes comes excitement and opportunity. At Loyola Nursing, we empower relationships to transform lives – the lives of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni and the lives of the patients and communities we serve. Whether you are beginning your nursing journey or considering a graduate degree, I invite you to explore our BSN, MSN, DNP and PhD programs through this newly designed website. Reach out to faculty, program directors, or me to learn more about all that Loyola Nursing will offer you.

I encourage you to apply to a program. Our faculty, students, and alumni hope you will experience, first-hand, the benefits of becoming a Loyola Nurse.

With thanks,

Lorna Finnegan, PhD, RN, FNP, FAAN
Dean and Professor
Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing
Loyola University Chicago

Loyola's deans stay connected with our communities and stakeholders through various channels, such as university events, programming, email, social media, research, the classroom, community collaboration, and more.  In this section of our site, we aim to highlight messages from Dean Lorna Finnegan.  Check here to stay informed and updated.

A moment of justice, a sigh of relief, a lot more to do

April 20, 2021

Dear MNSON Family,

Like many of you, I have been closely following the Derek Chauvin trial and hoping for this afternoon's triple guilty verdict. While it provides some degree of legal justice, the verdict is bittersweet; George Floyd and his family were robbed of his life.

Many of us are feeling emotionally drained and even traumatized as this tragedy was retold throughout the trial.  This retelling was especially re-traumatizing for our Black students, colleagues, peers, friends and neighbors. 

Please take the time and space you need to process the verdict and the heartbreaking events of the past weeks and months. Resources for students are listed here. Students on the Lake Shore Campus can reach out to the Wellness Center and students at the Health Sciences Campus and Downers Grove site can access support through Perspectives, Ltd. For faculty and staff who would like support, resources can be found here. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you need support or additional resources. 

In our nursing profession, "I can't breathe," is an immediate call to action. At the MNSON, we must continue that call to action.  With the formation of the Inclusive Excellence Task force, ongoing search for an Associate Dean for Inclusive Excellence, and the Racial Justice Examen process, we have taken some small steps to address systemic and institutional racism, personal racism, and unconscious bias. We also will begin the work to increase diversity within the nursing profession.

The subject line of this email is taken from the headlines of a CNN story; it captures the work ahead. We can begin to make a difference.  I look forward to working with all of you to create an environment of Inclusive Excellence and anti-racism in the MNSON and beyond.

Stay well — take care of yourself and each other.


Lorna Finnegan, PhD, RN, FNP, FAAN
Dean and Professor
Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing
Loyola University Chicago

Founding Associate Dean for Inclusive Excellence

August 16, 2021

Dear MNSON Community,

I am excited to announce that Dian Squire (PhD ‘15) has joined Loyola Nursing as Associate Professor and Founding Associate Dean for Inclusive Excellence, effective August 1. In this new leadership position, supporting the mission and values of the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, Dr. Squire will lead faculty, staff, students, and alumni in the work of embracing diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and anti-racism as catalysts for excellence that are embedded into all aspects of the School of Nursing.

Dr. Squire joins Loyola from Northern Arizona University, where he was an Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology and Program Coordinator for the Counseling-Student Affairs program. He is also a Senior Research Associate with Rankin and Associates Consulting. For the last 16 years, he has worked in administrative and academic settings, strategically creating progressive, equitable, inclusive, and diverse educational environments and policies.

His research focuses on how intersectional conceptualizations of race and racism inform institutional organization and practice and influence the life potentials of their constituent communities. This program of research is important to the nursing discipline and profession and is consistent with the vision of the Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity, recently published by the National Academy of Medicine.

Dr. Squire has published equity-focused research for the last eight years, which has resulted in 28 peer-reviewed manuscripts published in top tier journals, an edited book volume, and multiple periodical pieces. He has delivered over 50 academic and professional conference presentations and multiple invited talks and keynotes. He has also developed over 50 curricula on DEI, leadership development, human development, organizational theory and change, advising and helping, Native and Indigenous student success, and LGBTQ+ issues in higher education. Dr. Squire has received multiple awards for teaching, research, and DEI work, and he has an extensive record of national, regional, and university service and leadership positions.

“I'm excited by the chance to perform equity work alongside students, staff, faculty, and administrators at a Jesuit Catholic university committed to teaching, research, and personal and intellectual growth with the promise to work toward justice,” says Dr. Squire. “Engaging universities and the public in societal change for the greater good is foundational to all of my administrative work, teaching, service, and personal life.”

Dr. Squire holds a Bachelor of Science in Secondary English Education from Florida State University, a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Maryland College Park, and a PhD in Higher Education from Loyola University Chicago. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Interdisciplinary Research Incubator for the Study of (in)Equality (IRISE) at the University of Denver. He looks forward to returning to Loyola in this new role and continuing his equity work in the School of Nursing.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Dian Squire, founding Associate Dean for Inclusive Excellence, to the Loyola University Chicago community!


Lorna Finnegan, PhD, RN, FNP, FAAN
Dean and Professor
Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing