connecticut league for nursing award

Council of Deans & Directors Receive Prestigious CLN President’s Award

The Connecticut League for Nursing, Inc. (CLN) has recognized the statewide Council of Deans & Directors, which includes Janice Watts, Associate Dean of Goodwin’s School of Nursing and Health Professions, for their Outstanding Leadership and Vision for Excellence in Nursing Education by presenting them with the 2020 President’s Award. This recognizes a group of volunteers who have contributed significantly through their donation of time, demonstration of commitment to nursing, active participation and engagement in CLN, and commitment to furthering the mission and goals of the organization. 

“The decision to select the 2020 President’s Award was an easy one, stated CLN board president Ann Spenard, DNP, RN-BC, and Chief Clinical Officer at National Health Care Associates. “Never have I seen such a focused, proactive, and determined group, who put students first to ensure that all senior nursing students were in a positive position to meet program outcomes and graduate from their respective programs during this COVID-19 pandemic. The innovation and creativity by the Council to assess, align, and adopt high-quality virtual simulated modalities to augment clinical experiences in such a short, eight-week timeframe was a momentous undertaking.” 

The entire CLN Council of Deans & Directors and the Council leadership co-chairs Meredith Kazer (Fairfield University) and Janice Watts (Goodwin University) and co-vice chairs Rosemarie Baker (St. Vincent’s College at Sacred Heart University) and Nancy Manister (retired, UCONN School of Nursing) were praised for their guidance and facilitation of myriad undertakings.  

Their initiatives included mobilizing collaborative efforts through effective communication at the onset of the pandemic; donating PPE and other needed supplies to Connecticut practice settings; and creating and sharing a prompt response to the National Policy Briefing on how nursing education could capitalize on talents, resources, expertise and the capacity of the Council. Six work groups were developed to address the issues brought about by COVID-19 related to educating nursing students and ensuring a robust nursing workforce for the state.   

As a collaborative group of nurse educators, the CLN Council of Deans & Directors worked quickly and effectively to ensure quality educational experiences throughout the academic year and continually throughout this pandemic.   

Marcia Proto, M.Ed, CAS, Executive Director of CLN shared, “In my over 15 years of leading the CLN, I have never seen a group of nursing leaders with such a strong foundation of trust, collegiality, and shared mission to attack, address, and resolve these critical education challenges to ensure that the State of Connecticut would continue to have a robust and educated nursing workforce pipeline to transition into practice and care for the residents of our state!” 

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