Notes from the Dean's Desk

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Dean Marino

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Name: Marie Ann Marino, EdD, RN, FAAN
Position: Dean and Professor, Jefferson College of Nursing

Things I Know

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.

JCN’s Class of 2020 saw the second half of their final academic year suddenly dissolve into a haze of shuttered dorms and virtual learning, then took their diplomas and headed onto the front battle lines of an historic health crisis. The Class of 2021 entered the final round of their nursing education almost certain to find that battleground still waiting when they graduate.   

We are working hard to prepare the next generation of nurses for the challenges they’ll face, however the future unfolds. Within the boundaries imposed by the pandemic, JCN will continue to serve our communities through our transformative research, quality clinical care and other innovative work, while refining plans to expand those contributions in the years ahead. 

Jefferson Nursing students with masks and visors

All of us in the Jefferson community and beyond must continue doing our part to help control the spread of the virus – wearing a mask, maintaining distance from others, avoiding large crowds and staying as healthy as possible through exercise, proper nutrition and other sound habits.

We can help control our destiny in other ways, as well – relying on the values that have always gotten us through past years. Getting a flu shot, celebrating the upcoming holidays in a manner that’s as close as possible to years before, and looking out for our neighbors. When a safe, effective vaccine for COVID-19 is ready – get it as soon as you can. I know that I will!

Amidst America’s social and political strife, we need to do our civic duty. Vote. Speak up about what is right and wrong in our community, state and nation – and take actions to help resolve differences and bring people together in a sense of common purpose. 

Nurses, and nursing students, should lead by example. Members of our profession have always been among the first to step forward when society needed them in times of mass illness, war, terrorism and natural disaster. That’s a key reason why Americans, year in and year out, cite nursing among the most trusted professions.

Nurses rely on long-standing principles and values (courtesy nursinganswers.net):

  • Altruism – our ability to be selfless, dedicated to the welfare of others. In the nursing profession, the nurse delivers compassionate care for patients but practices self-care as well.
  • Autonomy – protecting our patients’ right to informed consent. Patients are given the facts about a condition and advised on the available healing options plus any underlying repercussions.
  • Human Dignity – because we recognize that all our patients are equal, deserving the same treatment regardless of any external factors.
  • Integrity – with all nurses conforming to the principles of acting honestly, fairly and ethically while sticking to their role of caring for the needy.
  • Social Justice – addressing the social determinants of health, as it is critically important to improving health and reducing health disparities.

Above all, nurses are resilient. In any time, they devote long hours to their patients, often under trying conditions, and return to work the next day ready to do even more. The pandemic has taxed that resiliency to its limits, yet nurses continue to meet the challenge – and JCN will assure that the next generation of nurses is similarly prepared and dedicated. 

With steady determination, we stand ready.