Simply put, explains Marie O’Toole, being a nurse means being able to make a tangible difference in peoples’ lives, whether it is bedside in a hospital or a home, or within a larger context, such as a population or community.
“As the largest group of health-care professionals, we really do make a difference,” says O’Toole, senior associate dean of academic and faculty affairs and a professor at the Rutgers School of Nursing–Camden.
In fact, the Rutgers–Camden scholar so believes in the vital role that she serves, she became a nursing educator, in order to share her passion and joy with others aspiring to her discipline.
“So many times, a new student has a stereotypical image of nursing when they enter a program,” says the Haddon Heights resident. “I really enjoy disrupting that stereotype and ensuring that students understand the scope of nursing practice and the unlimited opportunities they have to make a difference.”
O’Toole’s mentoring influence will continue to make an impact in the United States and beyond, as she has been selected for a Fulbright Specialist grant in education at Jordan University of Science and Technology in Irbid, Jordan. In March 2017, she will work with faculty there to explore a joint doctoral program with the Rutgers School of Nursing–Camden.