Rubén Fernández '75 is an impressive and active member of the nursing community who has demonstrated time and time again his love of people and his passion for improving the field of nursing. The chief nursing officer and vice president for patient care services at Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, New Jersey, Fernández has implemented multiple innovative strategies to improve care, including work-design initiatives to empower hospital staff and improve patient safety. He's received numerous awards in recognition of his dedication to the field, including Seton Hall's 1975 Margaret C. Haley Award, Agnes and Rosemary Ludden Award for Innovative Nursing Practice from New York University, the Don Award from the New Jersey Institute for Nursing, the Seton Hall Roll of Honor, the New Jersey State Nurses Association (NJSNA) Lifetime Achievement Award, and the New Jersey State Nurses Association Roll of Honor.
A True Blue member, board member for the College of Nursing dean's advisory council, and the keynote speaker for the college's inaugural white coat ceremony, Fernández has remained an active and valued member of the Seton Hall community. His dedication to the field of nursing and ties to the school recently led to his substantial contribution to the Seton Hall College of Nursing via the George J. Hebert Scholarship fund, which will be used to fund tuition for incoming nursing students. When asked about Fernández, Dr. Marie Foley, Dean of the College of Nursing, mentions his dedication to the school and his impressive nursing career, "He is a distinguished alumnus, current Ph.D. candidate and longtime supporter of the College of Nursing. We are extremely thankful to Rubén for his endowed scholarship."
Fernández's gift was made in memory of George J. Hebert '75, the late executive director of the New Jersey Board of Nursing and a fellow Seton Hall alumnus, remembered by Fernández and the nursing community as not only an exemplary member of the field of nursing, but as a wonderful and caring person. This is the second award to be made in Hebert's name at Seton Hall University, the first being the newly instated George J. Hebert Leadership award, which was presented by Fernández at the 2016 Margaret C. Haley Awards to Muriel Shore '61/Ed.D. '90. "Both Rubén and George have given back to the College of Nursing in many ways throughout the years sharing their time, talent and treasures," said Dean Foley, "We are extremely thankful to both of them for all of their generosity to the college and our students."