Seton Hall University College of Nursing has a new dean, Marie Foley, Ph.D., R.N., who was appointed in February 2015. Foley's long history with Seton Hall College of Nursing began in 1985, when she first started teaching as a clinical instructor. As she and her husband Bob raised their three daughters, Lauren, Rebecca and Melissa, Foley continued to pursue her education. She holds a B.S. from Fairleigh Dickinson University, an M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from New York University (NYU) and a school nurse certificate from Seton Hall University College of Nursing.
Her teaching experiences include time at Kean University, NYU and The College of Saint Elizabeth. She re-joined Seton Hall University College of Nursing in 2005 as an associate professor and was elected as chair of the graduate department in 2011.
Dean Foley recently sat down to share her visions and thoughts about the College of Nursing:What attracted you to the role of Dean?
I was asked to serve as acting dean in the summer of 2014. My experiences closely mirror Robert Greenleaf's Servant Leadership philosophy. I was not actively pursuing a deanship, but was working closely with our students, faculty and administration in a period of transition. As I continued to work with both internal and external stakeholders, those experiences resulted in a desire to lead. There are so many positive things happening within the College of Nursing and I am excited to work with our team.
What is your vision for the College of Nursing?
We will continue to grow as an exemplary choice for nursing education in the northeastern US. We are implementing inter-professional education (IPE), which is necessary for the futures of not just our nurses, but all of the patients who may receive care. Our partnership with Hackensack UMC, which will culminate in New Jersey's only private medical school, will give our students new opportunities to communicate and interact with other students in healthcare disciplines. The University plans to create a health sciences campus, which will consist of nursing, allied health majors and the medical school. This blueprint should lead to a new model of learning for our students.
What challenges do you see for the College of Nursing?
We are facing a number of challenges and these areas are real opportunities to think creatively. Nationwide, nursing programs have to deal with the shortage of doctorally-prepared faculty and we are no exception. As a private institution, our budget is clearly-defined and that has presented some real challenges for us, including the recruitment of faculty, expansion of our facilities and the acquisition of technology to enhance our curriculum. We have been fortunate to receive funding from private sources to offset some of these costs. This year we purchased SimMom® and SimMan® Essential manikins, along with a birthing bed and an infant warmer - all of which our students will begin to use this academic year.
What are the strengths of the College of Nursing?
As with any academic institution, our faculty are the bedrock of our programs. These individuals work so hard and they absolutely love helping students succeed. Not only do our faculty teach most of the year, they work together to research, implement policy, write grants and mentor our students. Our administration and staff are also foundational; they are the unsung heroes within the College, whether working to secure clinical settings, building relationships or assisting with goals and initiatives.
And, of course, our students are remarkable. These great minds enter Seton Hall and as much as we help prepare them for their chosen profession, they still teach us new things every day and this dialogue is important for our continued growth.
What changes have you made as dean?
We are moving forward every day - there have been both big changes and little changes - all intended to improve the College of Nursing. We have reviewed our B.S.N. curriculum and strengthened topical subject matter. We also revisited our admission criteria and tightened those requirements. Our assistant dean for student success, Elizabeth Hoehn, has spearheaded NCLEX boot camps, which have proven to be valuable resources for new graduates as they prepare for their boards.
In an effort to improve communication, I implemented a Dean's Hour, which is basically an invitation to students to meet with me and discuss any concerns they may have. Thanks to the vision and assistance of Associate Dean Marcia Gardner, we have also developed a new faculty orientation that involves an element of mentoring, which we hope will transform our culture and provide faculty development in the College of nursing.
Name something most people don't know about you.
My husband and I own two sheep.
Best compliment you've ever received.
I inspired a student.