Commissioner – Dr. Mary Lou Rusin

Dr. Mary Lou Rusin

Mary Lou Rusin, EdD, RN, ANEF

Dr. Mary Lou Rusin has been a Professor and the Chairperson of the Nursing Department at Daemen College (Amherst, New York) since 1987. She has been at Daemen College since the nursing program’s inception in 1979, and has also served as the Associate Dean of the College. At the State University of New York at Buffalo, Dr. Rusin received a BS degree in Nursing, a MS in Child Health Nursing with a school nurse practitioner post-masters certificate, and an EdD in Curriculum Planning and Supervision. Prior to working at Daemen College, Dr. Rusin was a clinical associate at SUNY Buffalo, and a member of the nursing faculty at Niagara University.

During Dr. Rusin’s leadership as Nursing Department Chair, the department has grown both in scope and size. The Nursing department has evolved from offering a RN to BS degree program, to adding an innovative “partner program” pre-licensure option in collaboration with three western New York community colleges, as well as four graduate nursing degree programs. The Nursing Department has also been a leader in the College in distance learning initiatives, resulting in improved accessibility to higher education for nurses residing in geographically remote areas of New York State and Pennsylvania, as well as Canada. Dr. Rusin has also secured financial aid and scholarship funding for nurses engaged in advancing their educational credentials. Her enthusiasm for professional nursing has made her a sought after speaker at nursing recruitment events and leadership seminars.

Dr. Rusin has served as a program evaluator and team leader for the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) since 1997, and has been a member of the ACEN Evaluation Review Panel for baccalaureate and higher degree programs. Also active in the National League for Nursing, Dr. Rusin was a member of the Task Group on Excellence in Nursing Education, and has served as a consultant for the Centers of Excellence program. She has done research, presented nationally, and written in the areas of ergogenic drug abuse, RN to baccalaureate nursing education, specialized accreditation, leadership, and college and university organizational structure. Dr. Rusin has done extensive consulting in the areas of curriculum planning, evaluation, and accreditation. She has served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Daemen College, as a board member of District I, New York State Nurses Association, and currently, is a member of the Quality Committee of the Board of Kaleida Health, the largest health care system in western New York State, encompassing five hospitals, numerous community healthcare centers, long-term care facilities, behavioral health programs and the Visiting Nursing Association.

Dr. Rusin has received numerous awards including induction into Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society – Pi Zeta Chapter where she also serves as treasurer. She is a recipient of the Erie Community College Advisory Council Appreciation Award, and was awarded the Ruth T. McGrorey Leadership Award for the New York State Nurses Association, District I. In May 2008, Dr. Rusin was recognized as a member of the “Health Care Top 50” by Business First