SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — A Seton Hall University College of Nursing faculty member recently won a prestigious award from the local March of Dimes chapter.
College of Nursing Associate Dean Marcia Gardner of South Orange won the Academic Educator Nurse of the Year Award from the New Jersey Chapter of the March of Dimes, a national organization dedicated to promoting healthy pregnancies, preventing birth defects and helping families. Undergraduate Chairwoman Josephine DeVito of Middletown was also a finalist in the Health Educator category.
The annual awards honor outstanding nurses in the region who work on the frontlines of family and newborn health, both in clinical settings and in research. Nurses are nominated by colleagues or patients, and recipients are selected by a panel of health care professionals. The winners received the awards at a ceremony on Nov. 18.
Gardner, who was nominated by former colleague Patricia D. Suplee, is a certified pediatric nurse practitioner and early childhood researcher with interests in special health care needs, developmental disabilities, autism and other early parenting issues.
Suplee called Gardner’s contributions to nursing education “outstanding,” in a release, saying, “She has a vast knowledge base of pediatrics, nursing leadership and conceptual foundations of nursing practice that she continuously shares with her students so they can then be proficient at the bedside when caring for our most vulnerable patients.”
Gardner said, “It is truly an honor to be a teacher and to share my enthusiasm with students and have the opportunity to see them find their own interests and succeed.”
“It is significant that two of our outstanding faculty were recognized by the March of Dimes,” College of Nursing Dean Marie Foley said in the release. “Dr. Gardner and Dr. DeVito are both exceptional educators and we are very lucky to have them here in the College of Nursing.”
“We could not do the work of the March of Dimes without the passion and commitment of our nurses. This is our opportunity to show them how special they truly are,” Allie Hall, central division executive director for the New Jersey Chapter of the March of Dimes, said in a separate release.
More than 196 nurses were nominated in 19 different award categories; there were 115 finalists representing 48 hospitals and health care facilities.
The Nov. 18 event raised more than $90,000 to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.