| Paulette Seymour-Route, PhD, RN
Graduate School of Nursing Dean Paulette Seymour-Route, PhD, RN, received the Mary B. Conceison Award for Excellence in Nursing Leadership, presented by the Organization of Nurse Leaders Massachusetts & Rhode Island at its annual meeting on Monday, June 4. The award is presented annually to a nursing leader who exemplifies the ideals of Mary B. Conceison, who was known for her advocacy in promoting nursing as a profession and her role in forming the Organization of Nurse Leaders.
Citing her many pivotal leadership roles in nursing and the impact she has had on the field of nursing in Massachusetts, Chancellor Michael F. Collins said, “Paulette embodies the values this award celebrates and I heartily congratulate her on this well deserved honor. She is a remarkable role model for nurse leaders, with a wealth of diversified experiences and impressive skill sets that have enabled her to assume leadership positions across the academic health sciences center continuum—from clinical wards to hospital administration and from dean’s office to clinical system board.”
“I had the pleasure of knowing Mary B. Concesion early in my career,” said Dr. Seymour-Route. “I am humbled and honored to be recognized by my peers for this award. Promoting nursing as a profession is important because it leads to the real goal—great care for all the patients we serve, as individual nurses and in partnership with other health care disciplines. I know Mary would agree.”
Seymour-Route, who is also a professor of nursing and a member of the UMass Memorial Health Care Board of Trustees, was appointed dean of the GSN in 2006 after serving a year as interim dean. Immediately prior to that, she was chief nursing officer and senior vice president for UMass Memorial Medical Center and served as associate dean for practice for the GSN.
Among her many professional affiliations, Seymour-Route was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of the American Academy on Communication in Healthcare and has been an active member of the Organization of Nurse Leaders–Massachusetts and Rhode Island for more than 20 years, including eight years on the ONL board where she served terms as president elect and president (a first for an academic nurse leader). She served as the chair of the ONL research committee, and is currently co-chair of the ONL academic practice integration committee. She is also an active member of the Massachusetts Association of Colleges of Nursing.
Throughout her career, Seymour Route has been a tireless advocate for interprofessional communication and education and often speaks at regional and national conferences on the topic. She has been influential in increasing interprofessional opportunities between the GSN and School of Medicine, as reflected in both school curriculums. She is one of two faculty members leading a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Partners Investing in Nursing’s future grant, aimed at creating a Regional Collaborative for Interprofessional Education.
Because of her experience having served as both a CNO and a dean, Seymour-Route has had a unique and profound impact on the future of nursing in Massachusetts. She has been involved in the Nurse of the Future Initiative since its inception and participates as a member of the Massachusetts Nursing Leadership Coalition bringing stakeholders together from academics, practice, regulatory and business arenas with the Department of Higher Ed. This partnership was instrumental in Massachusetts achieving designation as an Action Coalition to carry out the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine to help ensure high-quality, patient-centered health care.
In addition to her professional accomplishments, Seymour-Route is active in her local community and volunteers with Special Olympics of Massachusetts.