Rutgers professor receives Nurse of the Year award from March of Dimes

November 25, 2020

Tracy R. Vitale (DNP, RNC-OB, C-EFM, NE-BC), an assistant professor at Rutgers School of Nursing, has received a 2020 Nurse of the Year Award from the March of Dimes, New Jersey chapter, in recognition of her outstanding contributions to nursing education.  

Each year, the March of Dimes salutes extraordinary nurses for their service in various nursing roles. For 2020, the New Jersey chapter reviewed more than 250 nominations to select 80 finalists in 14 award categories. One winner was chosen per category and award recipients were announced during a virtual celebration held November 11. In addition to Vitale, four of the recipients are Rutgers School of Nursing alumni.

“Congratulations to Dr. Vitale and all of the March of Dimes awardees,” said Linda Flynn (PhD, RN, FAAN), dean and professor at the School of Nursing. “This recognition underscores the excellence in action demonstrated by Rutgers nurses.”

Vitale, who received the award in the Educator-Academia category, is the specialty director for Doctor of Nursing Practice project courses and final DNP projects at the School of Nursing. All DNP students must complete a final project that applies their new skills to creating and testing an evidence-based solution to a clinical problem.

At the School of Nursing, Vitale launched an introduction to the DNP project program for first-year doctoral students and developed a first-of-its-kind DNP project boot camp. She is co-author of the text, The DNP Project Workbook: A Step-by-Step Process for Success.

Vitale earned her DNP (’16) from Rutgers School of Nursing. Additional alumni who received 2020 Nurse of the Year awards are:

  • Stephanie Ferguson (BS ’10), adjunct professor at Rutgers School of Nursing and a clinical nurse educator at RWJBarnabas Health, recognized in the Adult Health category.
  • Rebecca Graboso, (MSN ’05; DNP ’11), vice president of nursing and chief nursing officer at Riverview Medical Center, honored in the Nurse Leader category.
  • Kathleen Neville (BS ’82), associate dean for graduate studies and research at Seton Hall College of Nursing, selected for the Nursing Research, Evidence-Based Practice & Informatics category.
  • Rose Marie Ranuro (post-graduated ’86), director of clinical services at Valley Health System, honored in the Post-Acute Care category.