Fairfield University School of Nursing Assistant Professor Carole A. Pomarico honored with Florence Nightingale Award for Excellence in Nursing


Fairfield University School of Nursing Assistant Professor Carole A. Pomarico, MSN, MA, RN, was recently honored witha Florence Nightingale Award for Excellence in Nursing for her vision and leadership in nursing education.

Pomarico, of Southport, was presented the award by the Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice Care of Southwestern Connecticut. Connecticut's largest state-wide nursing recognition program, the awards aim to focus public attention on the profession, honor achievement, and inspire future nurses.

Pomarico has taught at Fairfield for 35 years. She was named Adult Program Director at Fairfield in 2006, a position that involves recruiting, advising, nurturing and supporting 'non-traditional students.' She has been integral in helping to build the School of Nursing's second-degree, Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN), and part-time programs for adults. Those programs offer nurses the opportunity to further their education, both in the classroom and in clinical settings. Her expertise in teaching second-degree students is considerable, and she is known nationally for her scholarship related to best practices for teaching adults, and in particular, for teaching second-degree students. Her ability to instill in her students an ongoing commitment to and love of the profession of nursing is one of her strengths. "The ability to engage students in the learning process is vital. As educators, we also should nurture individuals, facilitate creativity, encourage humor, foster growth and critical thinking skills, and not be afraid to embrace change."

Jeanne Novotny, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, dean of the School of Nursing, called Pomarico both an outstanding teacher and advocate for students. "She helps each student to recognize his or her strengths and teaches them to use those strengths for personal and professional growth. She role models what it means to be a nurse in her manner and professional image."

Pomarico has led the Student Nurse Association for many years, and she also is the School of Nursing's liaison to the community. She has a proven record of success in encouraging students to take part in professional activities and community service activities, such as Hunger Clean-Up, the American Heart Association Heart Walk, and outreach programs for the elderly and underprivileged children in underserved areas of Fairfield County. She serves on Fairfield's Student Health Advisory Council.

Pomarico found the Nightingale Award ceremony especially moving, because six of her past and present RN to BSN students at Fairfield were honored. They included April Aysseh '03, a graduate of the second degree program and now a pediatric nurse at Greenwich Hospital; and Roann Paligutan '07, a graduate from the RN to BSN program and nurse at Stamford Hospital; as well as the following students who are currently enrolled in the RN to BSN program: Sharon Pettway, a critical care nurse at Bridgeport Hospital; Ellen Stacom, a nurse with Nursing and Home Care, Inc.; Heidi Stellar a clinical educator and nurse at Norwalk Hospital; and Theresa Weber, a nurse at St. Vincent's Medical Center.

Also at the ceremony, Dr. Novotny, on behalf of the School of Nursing, accepted a 2008 Nightingale Nursing Scholarship worth $2,500 that will help a student.

VNA Health Care Inc., VNA of South Central Connecticut, Inc. and VNA of Southeastern Connecticut, Inc. hosted Nightingale Award ceremonies in other parts of the state. This year, in addition to celebrating the many contributions nurses make on a daily basis and distributing thousands of scholarship dollars to nursing students across the state, the galas highlighted the need for increasing the ranks of nursing educators, according to the organizers. The current shortage of nursing school educators has forced nursing schools in the state to turn away qualified applicants. Ultimately, the annual awards are an avenue for shedding a positive light on the role of those in education, and the intangible rewards derived from giving back to the profession.

Bookmark and Share

Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on June 12, 2008

Vol. 40, No. 286