Notes from the Dean's Desk

Hear from Dr. Marie Ann Marino, Dean of the Jefferson College of Nursing to gain insight into the field of nursing and nursing education.


Recent Posts


The education of veterans seeking new careers after service is a major focus here at Jefferson College of Nursing. The College has more than 130 years of experience educating nurses, including alumni who are veterans or service members.


At Jefferson College of Nursing, we’re very proud of our record of helping those already on our team advance to the next level in their careers, leveraging their growing experience and expertise to the benefit of our students and organization.


May 11th brought my fifth commencement as Dean of Jefferson College of Nursing. Looking out at our 615 graduates, I felt great pride in JCN’s role as a leading academic institution for nursing.

Jefferson College of Nursing students at the Jefferson Italy Center

Improved education and healthcare are truly worldwide concerns, and Thomas Jefferson University is assuming an ever-larger role in addressing those global issues with the Jefferson College of Nursing being an integral part of that effort.


Few careers match that of Ernest J. Grant, PhD, RN, FAAN, immediate past president of the American Nurses Association. Over 30-plus years, Dr. Grant has become an internationally recognized burn-care and fire-safety expert.


The unique health and well-being challenges faced by LGBTQ+ communities are a focal point for education, research, and innovation at Jefferson – a point of special pride for me as Dean of Jefferson College of Nursing.

Dean and Professor Marie Marino and EVP & Chief Nursing Executive Kate Fitzpatrick

Nursing leadership – across all settings within academics, healthcare and beyond –demands constant reflection on where we’ve been and how our experiences influence our next steps in life and work.

Professor Miller with Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro

Thanks to the growing presence of our nurse leaders across a range of professional organizations, Jefferson College of Nursing is poised to expand its already-influential role in policymaking.

Fritz Ruccius, Mary Ann McGinley, Marie Marino and Maggie

This Veterans Day is especially poignant for us at Jefferson College of Nursing as we honor one of our most distinguished graduates – a woman whose life of service and sacrifice is a model and inspiration for all of us: Madeline Ullom.

Closeup shot of an unrecognizable pregnant woman holding an ultrasound scan

For 50 years, women facing these challenges in Philadelphia have found help through Maternal Addiction Treatment, Education and Research (MATER), comprehensive substance use treatment with wrap around services and resources to care for women and families in need of healing.

5B Panel

The greatest test of personal and professional dedication comes when our skills and spirits are challenged by seemingly overwhelming conditions. For nurses, severe challenges of that sort have arisen during two frightening pandemics over the past 40 years – first with HIV/AIDS in the 1980s and 1990s, and then with the onslaught of COVID-19 since early 2020.

Nursing Workforce Summit, October 2021

The Jefferson College of Nursing and Jefferson Health now have joined in a collaborative effort to co-create strategies required to provide a full-strength nursing workforce.  

Dr. Linda Cliatt-Wayman

Dr. Linda Cliatt-Wayman lives and works here in Philadelphia. A former high school principal, she grew up in poverty in North Philadelphia but today is a renowned education leader, committed to helping today’s young people realize their full potential and follow the same path out of poverty that has empowered her.

Dr. Linda Cliatt-Wayman

Dr. Linda Cliatt-Wayman lives and works here in Philadelphia. A former high school principal, she grew up in poverty in North Philadelphia but today is a renowned education leader, committed to helping today’s young people realize their full potential and follow the same path out of poverty that has empowered her.


Jefferson College of Nursing will see many exciting developments in this New Year, as we continue building a great academic, clinical practice, and research institution amidst an ever-changing healthcare environment.


In November, JCN was recognized as an Apple Distinguished School – the global technology company’s designation for institutions that demonstrate Apple’s vision for learning with technology. Schools with this distinction are centers of innovation, leadership, and educational excellence.

 Dr. Jemma Ayvazian

This blog focuses on the observations of Jemma Ayvazian, DNP, ANP-BC, AOCNP Director of Nursing Education at U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Academic Affiliations.


Our high hopes at summer’s beginning that the season’s end would bring a back-to-normal environment soon were dashed as COVID-19 cases surged again thanks to the Delta variant and continuing lags in vaccination rates across the country. In-person classes and some other campus activities did return, but other gatherings had to be cancelled or pared-back. Masks again were part of daily attire for everyone while indoors. Uncertainty seemed here to stay.

Tired nurse wearing face mask sits on hospital floor.

The COVID-19 pandemic already is forcing reassessment of how we prepare for and deal with healthcare crises. It’s also an opportunity to address shortcomings in the way we prepare and manage the healthcare workforce — particularly among the nurses at the heart of the system.


The past year’s headlines often have focused on COVID-19 death rates, as hundreds of thousands of Americans succumbed to the deadly plague. But other headlines detailed a separate pandemic that was underway well before this respiratory malady struck – the surge of deadly person-to-person violence, much of it involving firearms.


This winter, as truckloads of new vaccines are pouring into the Philadelphia area and raising hope for bringing the virus under control, the Jefferson community is again rising to the challenge. Approximately 350 JCN students and faculty are volunteering to staff inoculation centers at Jefferson Health facilities across the region.


This Thanksgiving, more than any in recent memory, challenges us to reflect deeply on the true blessings we have encountered over the past year – even amidst the trials many of us are facing. For the faculty, staff, and students at Jefferson College of Nursing – and for the patients looking to us for comfort and inspiration – Maggie has to be near the top of our list. 


Midway through the Fall semester, we’re all still standing.  But our world still moves in an unprecedented direction, raked by a global pandemic, social strife, political turmoil and the occasional natural disasters. A dramatic change of course seems unlikely anytime soon.


The Jefferson College of Nursing's new 44,000 square foot, state-of-the-art Dixon Campus in Horsham is the latest manifestation of JCN’s drive to provide the most modern learning environment and the greatest accessibility to students who are stepping forward to fill a global nursing shortage that has come into even sharper focus with the COVID-19 pandemic. A move to this new campus will allow us to double enrollment in Horsham to 290 students by 2024. 


Assuring that the Jefferson College of Nursing is an active and relevant contributor to the life and wellbeing of the Philadelphia community beyond our campus has been a key focus at JCN. We can’t just be a place to prepare nurses for their work as healers; the college’s mission also involves going to the streets, homes, schools, and places of business where people face myriad physical and mental health challenges and addressing the needs we find.


Perhaps no graduates of the Jefferson College of Nursing have ever walked out of the classroom and into such a challenging environment as the Class of 2020. The COVID-19 global pandemic has thrust nurses and other healthcare professionals into the spotlight, challenging their skills and dedication at levels not seen in decades. Our latest nursing graduates face a trial by fire they surely couldn’t have imagined on their first day in class.


Technology’s role in informing people about COVID-19 while also limiting its spread is an unanticipated application within a trend that already was transforming the healthcare world, from academics to patient engagement and everything in-between. In preparing our students for nursing careers, we at Jefferson know it is critical to orient them for highly technological environments. In both the classroom and on the clinical side, we stress the power of technological skills, in lockstep with medical knowledge, to reshape the world.


Since becoming Dean of the Jefferson College of Nursing almost two years ago, one of my key initiatives has been to grow JCN’s research productivity and profile – for instance, the opioid-use epidemic is a current national challenge and one of JCN’s primary research areas, and Jefferson nurse scientists are exploring a novel intervention to help veterans.


There is a revolution taking place at Jefferson and we are redefining what is humanly possible. The Jefferson College of Nursing is reaching new heights in the areas of academics, research, clinical practice and community engagement.