1st Annual Nightingale Gala


Media Contact:

Deborah Elliott, Executive Director, Center for Nursing/Foundation of New York State Nurses, DElliott@fnysn.org, 518-456-7858, x129



Philanthropists Barbara and Donald Jonas

to receive Center for Nursing’s Inaugural Nightingale Award


Nightingale and Driscoll Awards will be presented

at the Center’s 40th Anniversary Gala, September 26, 2015




Albany, NY, September 23, 2015 – In addition to the prestigious Driscoll Award, the Center for Nursing/Foundation of New York State Nurses will present its first annual Nightingale Award on September 26, 2015 in Albany. Donald and Barbara Jonas, founders of New York City-based Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare, will receive the Nightingale award and Barbara Zittel, former Executive Secretary to the New York State Board for Nursing, will be honored with the Driscoll Award. The awards will be presented at the Center’s 40th Anniversary Gala, which is expected to draw about 300 attendees representing the nursing profession statewide.


The Nightingale Award will be given annually to a person or organization whose actions mirror the legacy and accomplishments of Florence Nightingale: leader, mentor, educator, researcher, a woman before her time, organizer, developer, bold in the face of adversity, and passionate about nursing and patient care.


“We are so proud to present this first Nightingale Award to Donald and Barbara Jonas, who have made a tremendous difference in supporting and advancing the nursing profession,” said Joan Madden Wilson, MA, RN, President of the Foundation of New York State Nurses Board of Trustees. “Donald and Barbara took their love of art and turned it into a visionary program that is helping nurses become the kinds of leaders that healthcare needs today and into the future.”


“As the Jonas Center looks forward to its 10th anniversary year, we are humbled and honored to receive the first Nightingale Award,” said Donald Jonas. “The Jonas Center began as a simple idea to care for those who care for us, and to help champion a profession that we believed was under-recognized and under-funded. Today, we are very proud of our Jonas Nurse Scholars and Alumni and anticipate a new decade of expansion and partnership to support the nurses of tomorrow.”


With $44 million in funds from the sale of artwork collected over a lifetime, in 2006, Barbara and Donald Jonas established the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence, now known as the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare. The Jonas Center seeks to improve healthcare through nursing scholarship, leadership and innovation, primarily by providing scholarships to doctoral-level nursing candidates, with the goal of having these highly educated nurses help reduce the nursing shortage by becoming nursing faculty and improve veteran’s healthcare by specializing in that field. The Jonas Center is on track to provide support to 1,000 nurse scholars nationwide by 2016.


Named for the Foundation’s first executive director, the Driscoll Award is given annually to an individual who stands out through his or her dedication in supporting the Foundation and its mission to increase public knowledge of the nursing profession and the arts and sciences on which human health depends.



“As we celebrate our 40th anniversary and lay the groundwork for supporting and developing the nursing profession for the next 40 years, we are delighted to honor Barbara Zittel, who has been a good friend to the Center for Nursing and a tireless advocate and leader for the profession,” said Joan Madden Wilson, President of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. “Barbara’s sustained contributions, service and advocacy have made a significant impact on nursing and her dedication epitomizes the values that Veronica M. Driscoll stood for.”

Visit the website next week for photos of event!

Dr. Deborah Chyun and Dr. Marilyn Hammer Recognized for their Research

              The Center for Nursing Research recognizes                                     Deborah Chyun, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN                                       and Marilyn Hammer, PhD, DC, RN


                        Deborah Chyun, Distinguished Nurse Researcher recipient and Joan Madden Wilson, President, Foundation Board of Trustees

Marilyn Hammer, PhD, DC, RN

Miss America contestant talks about nursing

The Miss America 2016 pageant is seeing a number of different talents such as dancing, singing, and playing the piano. It’s rather rare to see a completely different talent in the pageant competitions, but Kelley Johnson aka Miss Colorado, did have one unlike any others on Sunday night. She got on stage in scrubs with a stethoscope around her neck and told of her passion for being a nurse and even of one particular Alzheimer’s patient named Joe.

 Watch the video here