Teachers College alumnae Rita Reis Wieczorek and Margaret McClure, both giants in the field of nursing education, have been honored by Nurses Educational Funds Inc. with the creation of scholarships in their name.

NEF is a not-for-profit organization which awards scholarships to registered nurses in graduate nursing programs. The organization, which has operated for more than a century, is the largest, single, private, professionally endorsed source of funds for advanced nursing study.

Wieczorek (M.A. ’75) was recently named NEF’s 2021 Honoree and was recognized with the creation of the Rita Reis Wieczorek Maternal-Infant & Pediatric Scholarship Fund.

The new scholarship is the first created by NEF that specifically focuses on Maternal-Infant and Pediatric Nursing.  

Among her many posts, Wieczorek served as: Director of Education and Continuing Education, Mount Sinai Medical Center; Dean of the College of Nursing, State University of New York Health Science Center, Brooklyn; Professor of Nursing, State University of New York Health Science Center, Brooklyn; and Corporation Director, Education and Standards, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, New York City.

She is the author of A Conceptual Approach to the Nursing of Children: Health Care from Birth Through Adolescence and received the New York State Nurses Association Excellence in Nursing Education award in 1989 and its Honorary Recognition award in 1991.

The Rita Reis Wieczorek Scholarship Fund For Maternal-Infant & Pediatric Nursing

Watch a video of Wieczorek recorded by NEF. 

“Over four decades Dr. Wieczorek has devoted her career to providing the best maternal-infant and pediatric care to her patients as well as teaching the highest standards of care to master’s and doctoral nursing students, motivating them to excel in their care for the well-being of mothers, infants and children,” reads a statement by the NEF on its website.

In November, McClure (M.A. ’65, Ed.D. ’72), former Chief Nursing Officer at New York University’s Langone Medical Center and an American Academy of Nursing “Living Legend,” was recognized by NEF with the establishment of the Margaret L. McClure Scholarship Fund. This award is dedicated to nurses in graduate nursing programs specializing in education, administration, and /or health care policy.

Learn about Teachers College’s Patricia Zirkel Lund Scholarship for Nurse Educators. Lund, who earned her Ed.D. in Nursing Education from TC in 1988), served on the faculty of Mount Saint Mary College, the Columbia University School of Nursing, the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing-CUNY, Western Connecticut State University, and Virginia Commonwealth University. Her specialty area was Parent-Child Nursing.

During the early 1980s, McClure co-led and authored a landmark study of the causes of a nursing shortage in the United States, which addressed the issue of why hospitals were able to attract new nurses but unable to keep them for any length of time. The result was the creation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center of the Magnet Recognition Program, which recognizes health care organizations that provide nursing excellence and disseminates successful nursing practices and strategies.

McClure also is past President of the American Organization of Nurse Executives and Leaders and an NEF Board member emeritus. She retired from the United States Army Nurse Corps Reserve with the rank of colonel. NEF honored her in recognition of the World Health Organization’s International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, celebrating the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.

Nursing Thought Leader: Margaret L. McClure, EdD, RN, FAAN

Watch a video of a talk given by McClure in 2018.

“Dr. McClure has been passionately committed to raising nursing standards throughout her long nursing career,” said a statement on the NEF site. “She has continually been a leading voice for establishing baccalaureate nursing education as the minimum requirement for all registered nurses… Throughout her career as a national nursing leader, Dr. McClure has stressed the significance of preparing nurse leaders for academic, research, administration, and health care policy roles.”