Fond farewell to a nurse educator

After years in the United States, Marilyn Parker’s lilting accent still gives away her Jamaican roots. She was barely out of her teens when her mother sent her youngest child and only girl off to England so she could get a good education, grow up financially self-sufficient and do well.

Another continent and several decades later, Marilyn Parker had become a nurse with a doctorate degree in education, and now preparing to launch another part of her life’s adventure. Dr. Parker, a Brooklyn resident, is leaving her position as associate dean of Phillips Beth Israel School of Nursing in Manhattan after 19 years devoted to educating the generations of nurses who will hopefully follow in her footsteps.

“Her influence on Phillips Beth Israel’s highly successful and much-sought after nurse education program at Phillips Beth Israel School of Nursing is immeasurable,” said Janet Mackin, RN, EdD, dean of Phillips Beth Israel. “She has left indelible tell-tale prints on the school’s curriculum.”

“Let’s ask Marilyn,” was an often heard remark by staff members who respected and trusted her opinion. “She is the epitomé of a nurse leader and educator, and has been a mentor and a friend,” remarked Program Chair and Associate Professor Lynn Rubenstein, MA, RN-BC, at the special tribute during graduation of the Class of 2011.

A very congenial and warm-hearted person, Dr. Parker has been the recipient of Beth Israel’s Heart Award for outstanding performance, dedication and commitment to patient care.

Last year, she was named Nurse of the Year by the Caribbean Nurses Association of New York (CANA). Nominated by the Jamaica Nurses Group of New York, Dr. Parker was recognized at the Caribbean Nursing Organization Biennial Convention in Aruba as a role model, and for her professionalism, community service, and long-standing commitment to nursing education. She was the first president of CANA and one of the original organizers of the Caribbean Nurses Organization.

While Dr. Parker is uncertain what path she will pursue next, for sure, she will be greatly missed by the faculty, students and friends of Phillips Beth Israel.

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