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Message from the Director of Strategic Initiatives, February 2019

mary dickow




Hello OADN Members!


I am pleased to communicate with you for the first time in my role as Director of Strategic Initiatives. I am excited about this new role for myself and for the organization. As a member of the leadership team you will hear more from me over the coming months as I work with Donna Meyer and Bryan Hoffman on several key strategy areas including: leadership, interprofessional education and academic progression.

For those of you whose paths I have not crossed in the past I have been a staunch nurse advocate and champion for the profession for over 25 years. While not a nurse myself I have had an amazing role model in my mother “my first nurse” and pride myself in the fact that many of my family members are nurses. On the leadership front I have worked with a variety of leadership development programs including serving as deputy director for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellows program and with physician and pharmacy leadership programs at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). Those experiences have provided a rich set of skills and knowledge base that I bring to OADN and look forward to developing additional opportunities for our members.

As part of my focus on interprofessional education I will represent OADN on The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education. I attended my first meeting in November 2018 and look forward to continued service with the forum. My background working with interprofessional change agent programs while at UCSF and my current role as faculty with the Masters of Science in Health Administration and Interprofessional Leadership will contribute what I can offer our organization moving forward.

I deeply value education pathways and throughout my career have supported seamless progression from associate degree nursing to BSN and beyond. This is reflected in my ongoing work with HealthImpact (California’s nursing workforce center) and through the Campaign for Action on the Future of Nursing with the California Action Coalition. I served as a member of the program team for the California Academic Progression in Nursing program and was actively involved at the national level coaching academic/practice partnerships in other states. I am thrilled to collaborate with Tina Lear, Program Director for the National Education Progression in Nursing collaborative and appreciate the significant contribution the OADN Foundation has made towards these efforts.

For many years I have served as a mentor for students in a variety of settings. As someone who did not have a traditional education pathway I understand that no two journeys are the same. I was a late bloomer who attended community college in my 40s followed by a bachelors degree in 2005 and a masters degree in pubic administration in 2007. I also benefited from significant mentor relationships throughout my education and career without which I would not be where I am today. As a way to pay that forward I serve as a mentor to share the gift of wisdom with students both inside and outside the nursing profession. To that end I was named as an honorary Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and most recently named President of the Chin Family Institute of Nursing Board of Directors at California State University, Los Angeles. In that role, I am proud to contribute to the advancement of nursing education, advocacy and leadership with an emphasis on caring for diverse and underserved urban populations.

As the new Director of Strategic Initiatives I look forward to working with you, our executive team and the OADN Board of Directors as we move into 2019 and beyond. It is an honor and privilege to serve with my colleagues to advance the mission of our organization and to be a part of vital efforts regarding the future of our nation’s nursing workforce.


All my best,


Mary Dickow, MPA, FAAN

Director of Strategic Initiatives

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