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University of Maryland School of Nursing's Wiseman Receives Outstanding Pathfinder Award

October 10, 2017

Nursing chair instrumental in providing Maryland with more highly educated nurses.

Baltimore, Md. – Rebecca Wiseman, PhD ’93, RN, associate professor and chair of the University of Maryland School of Nursing’s program at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG), was awarded the Maryland Nurses Association’s (MNA) Outstanding Pathfinder Award at the association’s 114th Annual Convention last week.

MNA’s Outstanding Pathfinder Award is presented to an MNA member who has demonstrated excellence and creative leadership that fosters the development of the nursing profession. Award recipients have pioneered in nursing innovation or have developed creative approaches to further nursing’s agenda. Wiseman has been instrumental in helping Maryland answer the call of the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) 2010 Future of Nursing report that nurses should achieve higher education through seamless academic progression.

In collaboration with work groups from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Maryland Action Coalition, and the Nurse Support Program II, funded by the Health Services Cost Review Commission and administered by Maryland Higher Education Commission, Wiseman spearheaded a review of the state’s RN articulation model, which creates a pathway to facilitate Maryland nurses’ ability to advance their education from community college-granted associate degree to baccalaureate nursing program.

“I am extremely honored to receive this award. In order to realize the goal of 80 percent of nurses being prepared at the baccalaureate or higher level of education, we need to develop opportunities for seamless academic progression,” Wiseman said. “The revision of the Maryland Articulation Model is one important step in advancing creative and thoughtful approaches to help students move through various avenues in their pursuit of their baccalaureate degree.  Research has demonstrated time and time again that patient outcomes are better when baccalaureate prepared nurses are providing care.”

Wiseman worked to revise the Maryland Education Articulation Plan, which provides guidelines for colleges and universities as they develop continuous academic progression programs for associate degree nurses. Through these efforts, Wiseman has been a trailblazer in aiming to achieve the IOM recommendation that 80 percent of the nurse workforce be educated at the baccalaureate level or higher by 2020.

“We congratulate Dr. Wiseman on this significant honor and are thrilled that she has been recognized by the MNA for her efforts to create a streamlined process by which nurses can continue their education,” said UMSON Dean Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN. “This award is a testament to her ability to create a sense of collegiality, collaboration, and shared purpose to bring institutions together to ensure opportunities for nurses throughout the state to advance their knowledge and skills.”

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The University of Maryland School of Nursing, founded in 1889, is one of the oldest and largest nursing schools in the nation and is ranked among the top 10 nursing schools in the United States. Enrolling more than 1,900 students in its baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs, the School develops leaders who shape the profession of nursing and impact the health care environment.