In Memoriam: Mary C. Kamienski

December 4, 2023

November 27, 1939  –  November 29, 2023

Mary C. Kamienski (PhD, APRN, FAEN, FAAN, CEN), a tenured professor and the specialty director of the Family Nurse Practitioner in Emergency Care program at Rutgers School of Nursing passed away on November 29, 2023. She had been a member of the nursing school’s faculty since 2005, where her previous administrative roles included assistant dean for graduate programs and director of continuing education. She had also served on the faculty of Rutgers College of Nursing from 1998 to 2001.

She served as project director on seven large-scale federal grants including the grant that established the FNP in Emergency Care program—one of the first such programs in the nation

Linda Flynn (PhD, RN, FAAN) dean and professor of Rutgers School of Nursing said, “Dr. Kamienski truly was an exemplar in leadership, teaching, and scholarship in the profession of nursing. Since 1988, Mary had been a dear personal friend and colleague. We will miss you Mary – we always will. “

“I knew Mary for over 40 years, first as my student and later as a new faculty member, an administrator, and always a friend,” said Susan Salmond (EdD, RN, FAAN, ANEF), executive vice dean and professor. “Mary loved nursing, she loved her FNP-Emergency program of which she was the founder, and truly loved and cared for her colleagues and students.” 

Over nearly 48 years in nursing, Kamienski built an illustrious legacy of contributions to nursing. She was widely recognized as a trailblazer in the specialty of emergency nursing. She was nationally certified as a family nurse practitioner (FNP) and a family nurse practitioner in emergency care. She was a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and the Academy of Emergency Nursing. In 2011, she was recognized by the national Emergency Nurses Foundation when it established the Dr. Mary C. Kamienski Scholarship Fund for undergraduate and graduate nursing students.

She was an elected member of the Master Educators Guild at Rutgers and received the university’s prestigious Teacher-Scholar Award. Additional honors included the National Emergency Nurses Association Research Award, Lester Lieberman Z. Humanism in Healthcare Award from the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey, New Jersey Health Foundation Excellence in Teaching Award, New Jersey March of Dimes Nurse of the Year Award, and the New Jersey Emergency Nurses Lifetime Award, among many others.

She was a sought-after speaker and the author/co-author of numerous publications, including the popular text, Pharmacology Demystified.

Kamienski was widely known as an excellent educator and compassionate health care provider who went the “extra mile” to advocate for her patients in all aspects of health care. She worked to address her patients’ physical needs as well as their psycho-social needs, referring patients and their families to multi-service agencies as appropriate.

Her passion and commitment to providing “best practice,” holistic health care for her patients made her the consummate role model for the nurse practitioner students she mentored. While leading students in engaging discussions of differential diagnoses and treatment plans, she urged them to view all patients and their unique challenges through a lens of empathy and utmost respect.

Kamienski was a proud graduate of Rutgers College of Nursing, where she earned her MS in Nursing (1988), PhD in Nursing (1997), and Family Nursing Practitioner post-master’s certificate (2002). She earned her BA in Nursing from Kean University (1985) and her AAS in Nursing from County College of Morris (1976).

“It never gets old,” Kamienski was fond of saying as she looked back upon her career. “I am as passionate about nursing as I was the first day that I started.”

View the obituary Par-Troy Funeral Home

Learn about the ENA Foundation Mary C. Kamienski Scholarship Fund