2020 Press Roundup: Expert Faculty, COVID Response, Diversity Award

Artistic concept of 2020 with stethoscope
Artistic concept of 2020 with stethoscope

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2020 brought challenges to our nurses in a way we couldn’t have imagined. At Marymount, our willing, expert nurse faculty rose up to share knowledge across prominent nursing websites, engaging on topics related to and affected by the pandemic. We talked about the need for a more diverse nursing workforce, discussed specific nursing specialties, empowered nurses to remain passionate about their patients, and helped nurses prepare for 2021.

Here’s a roundup of those stories, highlighting some of our top nursing faculty.

COVID-related issues

Nursing School Adjustments

One of the big questions of 2020 was how to continue to educate the nursing population remotely. Nurse.org interviewed Kevin Cummings BSN, MS, RN, Nursing Program Manager & Adjunct Faculty Member at Marymount. His insight was featured in the blog post, “3 Professors Reveal How Nursing Schools Are Adapting to COVID-19,” by Leona Werezak BSN, MN, RN, published October 13, 2020.  

From establishing “pods” for safe learning to reduced sizes of clinical groups, Cummings talked about how Marymount successfully transitioned its educational environment to enable nurses to continue learning in a safe way. He discussed online simulation modalities, supported by the Virginia Board of Nursing, and reported there was a positive response by the students. 

Marymount’s online degree programs - including the newly launched Distance Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (ABSN), Online MSN to Doctor of Nursing Practice (Post-Master’s) Program (MSN to DNP) and Post Master’s Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate (PMC-FNP) have given nurses additional options to consider.

Read the full article.

Nursing Clinicals During COVID

Cody LeglerSimilarly, EveryNurse.org wanted to inform nursing students about transformational changes occurring during COVID and how they’d affect their learning experiences.

Marymount’s Dr. Cody Legler, an Adjunct Nursing Professor, Innovative Models Course (for Master’s & DNP students), contributed an article that answers questions many nursing students had about student clinicals and how they might be altered in the face of the pandemic.

In his article, “The Changing Model of Nursing Student Clinicals” published on October 25, 2020, Dr. Legler talks about everything from protocol and processes to PPE, and he highlights keeping communication high and remaining flexible as key points.

Read the full article.

Close-up of nurse practitioner wearing gloves and handling a face mask

Compassion Fatigue During COVID

Dr. Legler appeared in a second article in 2020, this time lending his expert knowledge on the topics of compassion and trust. Emphasizing that nurses think about their patients long after their work day is finished, he called out compassion fatigue, which is likely increasing during COVID, and recommended tools for coping with it. 

“As has been seen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses continue to be at the bedside with great resilience, dedication and flexibility,” Dr. Legler states in the article, “The Power of Passionate Care” on allnurses.com.

The article, published October 7, 2020 and written by Erica McNary, sheds light on the importance of the nursing role as nurses “are usually the first caregiver a patient sees upon admission, the caregiver patients encounter most during their hospital stay, and the last caregiver a patient sees at discharge.”

Read the full article.

How Nurses Can Support Patients During COVID

In the October 12, 2020 blog, “Providing Parental Support and Communication Strategies to Children about COVID-19” posted on Minority Nurse’s website and written by Dr. Maryann Valcourt, Assistant Professor of Nursing at the College of Health and Education, readers learn how nurse practitioners can communicate effectively to children and encourage their parents to do the same, regarding the pandemic.

Dr. Valcourt recommends applying the palliative care principles when talking to children about COVID-19. “Palliative care principles of communication are grounded in honesty and trust, self-compassion, safety, sensitivity and intuition, connection, preparedness, community building, death as part of life cycles, and legacy. In this model, children are given accurate information delivered in a way that is sensitive to the maturity, developmental level of the child, family environment, and the influence of external factors such as social media.”

Dr. Valcourt goes on to say that the palliative care communication model is “child-centered, supportive of the changes the child is experiencing, and responsive to the child’s needs.”

Read the full article.

Diverse Student Population Designation

Arlington, Virginia’s local WDVM News shared a story November 23, 2020 that lauded Marymount University as a Hispanic-serving institution.

The story quotes Dr. Michelle Zalesky, a postdoctoral teaching fellow at Marymount, and opens with the statistic that the university’s Hispanic population “makes up over 25 percent of the undergraduate student body.”

This makes Marymount University the first higher education institution in the Commonwealth of Virginia to be designated as a Hispanic-serving institution, the report states. Dr. Zalesky teaches an on-campus course called The American Dream.

Read the full article.

Psych Nurse vs. Psych Nurse Practitioner

As healthcare providers anticipate patient needs in the midst of unprecedented times, many are turning to the psychiatric-mental health field to see how they can help.

The Gypsy Nurse website featured an August 18, 2020 post that recognizes the need for psychiatric care and compares a career as a Psych Nurse to a Psych Nurse Practitioner position. This piece, written by Susan Sinclair, leans into the knowledge of Dr. Veronica Doran, Assistant Professor of Nursing at the College of Health and Education, Marymount University, who describes the roles and responsibilities of each.

Dr. Doran states in the article that she “would love to see more psych NPs working in collaboration with primary care offices, nutritionists/dieticians, and other medical specialties because we can look at the whole patient and provide care that extends beyond medication management.” 

Read the full article.


Looking Ahead to 2021

Registered Nursing’s website blog post, compiled by Janine Kelbach, RNC-OB, includes interviews with 25 nurse leaders at various universities who talk about what nursing school might look like in 2021. Will nurses continue to see a major shift in learning?

Marymount University’s Maureen Moriarty, Associate Professor of Nursing, shares her knowledge about on-ground vs. virtual technology learning platforms for nursing students.

She talks about some of the innovative teaching strategies Marymount employed in 2020 to keep nursing students engaged.

Read the full article.

Marymount’s Online Nursing Degree Programs

Marymount University offers a variety of online nursing degree programs, all taught by expert nurse faculty who will support and mentor you throughout your educational journey. Our online nursing programs include:

Read more about Marymount’s online nursing programs to take the next step in your nursing career.


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