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2022 NFAR Award Spotlight Series: Mary DiBartolo

Updated: Jan 27, 2023

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. Mary DiBartolo, Professor of Nursing at Salisbury University, was an NFAR recipient in 2022. Dr. DiBartolo shared some thoughts with us on her experience as a nurse educator below:


What is the most important thing you’ve learned in your career as an educator?

In my many years of nursing practice, followed by 26+ years teaching in nursing at both the baccalaureate and graduate level, I have learned that you must be flexible.

As an educator, one must adapt teaching approaches to students and their diverse learning styles, as well as generational issues and other environmental factors that arise—more recently, adjustments necessitated by COVID, for example.

Healthcare itself is dynamic and ever-changing, as are the settings where care is delivered. This requires frequent updates to content, as well as the increasing need for more creative teaching techniques to effectively engage students and keep material fresh for both the learner and the teacher.

Changing healthcare needs and technology that have evolved over time can also inspire efforts to educate to patients, families, caregivers and the community at large in more effective and far-reaching ways. Unique opportunities are now available to share knowledge that optimizes health, whether it is developing innovative print materials, using the internet as a platform for learning via massive open online courses, or other outlets such as programs on YouTube or podcasts.

Despite some challenges on the horizon, it is an exciting time to be a nurse educator.

Thank you to Dr. DiBartolo 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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