Nurses First! Campaign
|In recognition of the 100th anniversary of American nurses Rose Kaplan and Rachel Landy's mission to Palestine, members of HWZOA Nurses Councils recommit their support for the Henrietta Szold-Hadassah Hebrew University School of Nursing Clinical Master's Nursing Program. |
One hundred years ago, in an effort to better understand the public health needs of the people and the land, Hadassah raised its first dollars and sent two nurses, Rose Kaplan and Rachel Landy, to Jerusalem to assess the deplorable health conditions there. It was with that very first practical Zionist action that Hadassah laid, not only the foundation for Israel's modern healthcare infrastructure, but paved the way for professional nursing education in the Middle East.
In 1918, Hadassah opened the Henrietta Szold–Hadassah Hebrew University School of Nursing, Palestine's first school for women. The first class of 22 nurses graduated in 1921 and, since then, over 2,500 graduates have shaped the field of nursing in Israel. In 1975, Hadassah launched the first traditional Baccalaureate Program in Nursing in Israel, and in 2000 pioneered a master's degree in clinical nursing, the first of its kind in Israel. All of these achievements were financially supported by Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America.
HWZOA, from its founding in 1912, always looked to practical Zionism," says Nancy Falchuk, a nurse, co-founder of Hadassah's National Center for Nurses Councils and 24th National President of Hadassah.
"Generations before us had the wisdom to send nurses to assess firsthand the public health challenges in Palestine. Over the years, we, Hadassah in America, have been leaders and role models for creating the infrastructures to address these challenges. We have been ahead of the curve when it comes to nursing," Falchuk continues. "We opened a school of nursing in Jerusalem before there was a State of Israel. Later, the Hadassah National leadership convinced all that the educated nurse, the professional nurse, was what a modern healthcare system demanded and we raised the money to make that happen."
Hadassah's National Center for Nurses Councils was established in 1990 by Nancy Falchuk and Rachel Albert and is the first, and still the only, organization of Jewish/Zionist nurses in the United States. Its mission is to support and enhance the nursing profession in the United States and Israel by forming an international partnership with nurses at Hadassah in Israel. "Today, there are over 5,500 nurses on our contact list and over the past few years alone, we have raised over $7 million to support Nursing at Hadassah, including the original $3.6 million for the Clinical Master's Program," says Dianne Gottlieb, current co-chair, who serves along with Rita Lourie.
Over 126 students have completed this Master's program with specialties in the areas of gerontology/geriatrics, oncology, care of the acute/chronic complicated patient with a soon to be added specialty in Women's Health. "These graduates each have the potential to provide high level, evidenced based, advanced nursing care to over 10 patients a day, over 1,200 patients a day combined and over 400,000 patients a year," states Miri Rom, Dean of the Henrietta Szold- Hadassah Hebrew University School of Nursing.
At the National Hadassah meetings in Baltimore last July, Nurses Advisory Board members honored the 100th anniversary of Rose Kaplan and Rachel Landy and pledged their continued commitment to this Clinical Master's Program. The same enthusiasm infused those attending the Nurses Councils Continuing Education Conference at the University of Maryland School of Nursing, where Council chairs Dianne Gottlieb and Rita Lourie officially launched this national campaign, reaching out to nurses across the country to renew their support of advanced nursing education.
This conference was also an opportunity for HWZOA to acknowledge the critical role that the University of Maryland School of Nursing and its former dean, Dr. Barbara Heller, played in the creation of the Clinical Master's Program, including the development of its curriculum. The Master's Program needs $700,000 for 2013-2014. More than $89,000 was raised in Baltimore alone!
"We must raise the funds to continue this program," urged Dianne Gottlieb. "We must continue to prepare nurse leaders to take on the challenges of global healthcare by providing them with the proper credentials through education and experience. It is consistent with HWZOA's mission to be a leader in healing, teaching and research. As an advanced registered nurse practitioner and certified nurse-midwife, I know firsthand the value of this type of education and we need to do everything we can to provide this opportunity to our colleagues at Hadassah in Israel."
Pennie Sessler Branden, a Connecticut nurse educator, and Barbara Sabin, an emergency and trauma nurse--current co-chairs of Hadassah's Nurses Advisory Board-- shared their thoughts about the significance of the master's program in nursing and the crucial role of nurses in the United States in sustaining this program. "Before the state of Israel decided it needed higher education for nurses, the Hadassah Nurses Council saw the need," recalls Sessler Branden. "It was a first in Israel, possibly a first in the Middle East. It moved us forward exponentially in nursing education." "The advancement of nursing is essential, says Sabin, because nurses see the whole person. "We, in the United States, realize how important nursing is," she says. "Hadassah Medical Organization would not survive without its nurses. Our hospitals can have the best physicians in the world, but we need high quality, educated nurses to care for the patients."
"This milestone is a continuation of our 100-year history of tapping into the power of American, Zionist, Jewish women," says Falchuk, "and for connecting us to Israel and to Israelis. The nurses at HMO are leaders in Israeli nursing clinical care and education. We are so proud of all they have achieved and know our American Hadassah nurses will support us as we do more."
To support the Clinical Masters Program at the Henrietta Szold-Hadassah Hebrew University School of Nursing, donate online at www.hadassah.org/nurses or contact Dianne Gottlieb firstname.lastname@example.org or Rita Lourie email@example.com, co-chairs, Hadassah National Center for Nurses Councils.