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2022 NFAR Award Spotlight Series: Sara Cano

In early 2022, the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) announced the Maryland Nurse Faculty Annual Recognition Awards (NFAR), recognizing faculty for their contributions to nursing education and service to Maryland nursing students.

Each of the award recipients is nominated by their Dean or Director of Nursing and receives $10,000.

Dr. Sara Cano, PhD, RN, MSN Ed, BSN, is Professor and Chair of the Nursing Program at College of Southern Maryland, and an NFAR recipient in 2022. Dr. Cano shared some thoughts with us on her experience as a nurse educator below:


What is your proudest accomplishment as an educator?

My proudest accomplishment as an educator is being considered a 'mentor' by a nursing student.

Mentoring is close to my heart as I believe that setting an example by our words and actions identifies a role model for future nurses to emulate.

Caring is at the center of our profession. It is what set Florence Nightingale in motion to advocate for the soldiers in the Crimean War. She cared about their well-being and advocated for their recovery by introducing principles of ventilation, rest, sunshine, and clean environment. She did so by setting an example and echoing how a nurse can advocate for those she cared for. She became an example and role model for others to follow and further our profession.

That is my goal as an educator: to set an example and be a role model of what signifies being a nurse.

Being referred to as a mentor, puts in display specific characteristics; empowerment, encouragement, guidance in developing core values, psychomotor and affective skills, as well as developing interpersonally. All of these are important in nursing. The nursing student acknowledgment that I am displaying these characteristics, makes me feel proud to be called a mentor.

To me it means that what I do makes a difference. What we do as educators matters.

I believe that the faculty-student relationship sets the tone for the development of a nurse by ways of role modeling and mentoring. The faculty-student relationship was my chosen topic for my dissertation. The results of that small study showed that this relationship impacts their professional development and further establishment of a mentoring relationship expands on that development.

I am proud as an educator to be called a mentor.

Thank you to Dr. Cano for your continued contributions to nursing education in Maryland and congratulations on this well-deserved recognition!

Stay tuned as we continue our 2022 NFAR awardees spotlight series. You can find the full list of 2022 awardees here:

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