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Picture of M. Janice NelsonM. Janice Nelson, former Director, and designated Honorary Director of the Center for Nursing at the Foundation of NYS Nurses, Inc., entered into eternal rest on January 1, 2022, at age 93. Affectionately known as Jan, she was a dedicated and highly respected nursing leader.

Born on February 26, 1928, in Buffalo, NY she graduated from the Sacred Heart Academy and entered the Sisters of St. Francis at Stella Niagara, NY in 1945.  She earned her BS in Elementary Education from Daemen College in Buffalo, and later an M.Ed. in Nursing Service Administration and an Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction from Teachers College, Columbia University, in NYC. Afterward, she taught elementary education for approximately 10 years in diocesan schools in New York and South Carolina.

Subsequently, she earned a diploma in nursing from St. Joseph Hospital School of Nursing in Minot, North Dakota, and then served as Director of Nursing at St. Ann’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio for 10 years. After serving on the graduate nursing faculty at the School of Nursing, Adelphi University she became the Assistant Administrator and Director of Nursing at University Hospital, Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, NY, and ultimately became the Founding Dean and Professor of the College of Nursing on that campus.

Active in numerous professional organizations, she served on several community boards; as Chair, NYSNA Committee on Ethical Practice; as President, Nurses Educational Funds, Inc.; the Columbus Ohio Board of Health; and, the NYS Task Force on Life and Law. Always gracious and humble, her extraordinary commitment and contributions to excellence in nursing and health care are recognized by the many honors and awards she received. These include Distinguished Alumni from Sacred Heart Academy and Daemen College; Distinguished Achievement Award in Nursing Education and Charter Membership, Teachers College Nursing Education Alumni Association, Columbia University; Nursing Excellence and Life-Time Achievement Award, Central Counties Professional Nurses Association; and, Driscoll Award, Center for Nursing at the Foundation of New York State Nurses, Inc.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to nursing scholarships in honor and memory of M. Janice Nelson at both the Upstate Foundation, Inc., at SUNY Upstate Medical University, or the Office of Institutional Advancement at Lemoyne College—both located in Syracuse, NY. Contributions may also be made to the Center for Nursing at the Foundation of New York State Nurses, Inc., at 2113 Western Avenue, Guilderland, NY, 12084 or to Nurses Educational Funds, Inc., at 137 Montague Street, Brooklyn, NY, 11201.

At her request, no services were held. Internment took place at St. Mary’s Mausoleum in Dewitt, NY. She asked instead that each of us remember her in our own way. Condolences may be made at the following website,