Jacqueline Nichols: Life is a journey, not a destination

Jacqueline Nichols has 46 years in nursing. “It’s a career and a way of life,” says the retired Lt. Col U.S. Army Nurse who with Masters in Health Care Administration and Nursing and Post-Masters Family Nurse Practitioner is chair of the Nursing Department at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC). “My godmother, a nurse in the U.S. sent me my first nursing kit,” Professor Nichols remembers. At 12, the young Jacqueline emigrated from Panama to join her mother in Brooklyn.

Professor Nichols credits her mother’s influence on her career choice. “My mother worked for over 20 years as a nurse’s aide in the newborn nursery,” she says. “She’s my role model and has always been supportive.”

As the executive officer for the BMCC Nursing Department, she oversees the day-to-day operations, administers department policies, and supervises faculty and staff. She teaches in the maternal — newborn course, and the capstone course entitled “Nursing Today and Tomorrow.”

Among her professional responsibilities, Professor Nichols represents the department at The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. She joined the BMCC nursing faculty 16 years ago.

She is particularly proud of a graduate nurse externship program she has implemented in collaboration with Woodhull Hospital. Each semester, 15 AN graduates, enrolled in RN to BSN programs, participate in a preceptor mentorship program where they receive clinical experience to validate their skills and competency leading to getting jobs.

Professor Nichols is active in numerous community service and outreach programs. She served 24 years as a reserve army officer in a number of assignments that involved medical training and support.

She tells her students, “Take advantage of all opportunities — all coaches and mentors. Life is a journey not a destination.”

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