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 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.