Mount professor, alumna earn awards for excellence in nursing

May 16, 2017

A longtime Mount Saint Mary College professor and an illustrious alumna were recently honored for their work in the field of nursing.

Priscilla Sagar, professor of nursing at the Mount, recently received the R. Louis McManus Medal from her alma mater, Columbia University Teachers College. It is the most prestigious recognition for nursing awarded by the university.

Sagar’s philosophy is embodied in her two seminal books: “Transcultural Nursing Education Strategies” and “Transcultural Nursing Theory and Models: Application in Nursing Education, Practice, and Administration.” Evolving national demographics and a changing global economy have dramatically increased the need for culturally competent nurses. Sagar’s books are a boon to nurses looking to increase their cultural effectiveness at any stage of their careers.

She is a frequently sought consultant in the area of promoting cultural competence, which has become an accreditation criterion in both education and healthcare delivery. She is a longtime leader of the Transcultural Nursing Society and is currently director of the Society’s Transcultural Scholars Group.

Mount alumna Ashley Griswold ’14, a registered nurse at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New London, Conn., was recently honored with the DAISY Award for extraordinary nursing.

She was nominated in light of her special care and compassion for a patient battling cancer.

Griswold had cared for the patient many times over the course of his illness. His final hospital stay early this year lasted seven weeks, and Griswold was a constant with the patient and his family during this time.

As a speaker of the man’s native language, Griswold was able to make communication easier between the hospital and the patient. She also helped facilitate the patient’s final wish: to be home to be with his family when he passed away.

Griswold joins Jessica Matuszewski Verblaauw ’12, an oncology certified Registered Nurse at Orange Regional Medical Center, as the second Mount alumna to be honored with the DAISY Award in as many years. Verblaauw earned the award in the summer of 2016 for her selfless and dedicated care of a patient with lung cancer.

The Mount is committed to its mission of educating excellent healthcare professionals who will go on to lead and serve in their own communities. Working with about 40 hospitals and clinics, the Mount’s nationally accredited four-year nursing degree program boasts a high NCLEX-RN passage rate that consistently exceeds the state average. Nearly 45 percent of incoming freshmen at the college aim for careers in healthcare.