Massachusetts/Rhode Island


Welcome to the Massachusetts/Rhode Island League for Nursing!

Welcome, MA/RI League for Nursing members.  As President, I would like to share a few words as we embark on 2021.  This is January 2021, and I am reminded of the past 2015 NLN president’s address by University of Texas-Arlington School of Nursing Dean Dr. Anne Bavier.  She shared that January is a time for reflection and opportunity.  The Roman god, Janus, is perhaps the origin of the month’s name.  Janus was the god of new beginnings and endings.  The profile of the Janus was often etched above doors and gates as one is either coming or going.  Let the month of January reflect the past and hope for good fortune in our future.  These vistas will be powered through resilience and collaboration.

Resilience comes from the Latin scientific verb ‘salire’, which means to jump.  The word resilience was first used by philosopher Francis Bacon in 1600’s.  Lord Chancellor of England, Bacon, gained esteem having developed the scientific method upon which much of our nursing science is established today. The Oxford dictionary defines resilience as “ ​the ability of people or things to recover quickly after something unpleasant, such as shock, injury, etc.”.  This definition is readily evidenced in the resilience of nurses responding to the hellish pandemic. Due to a successful 2020 Fall Conference by Dr. Caputi, MARILN was able to contribute $2000 to the Coronavirus Response Fund for Nurses via the American Nurses Foundation.  MARILN thanks all nurses for their service in battling COVID-19 and to the thousands who lost their lives to the virus. 

Nurses, and especially nurse educators, must build and role model resiliency for healthy practice at the bedside or in the classroom. In a recent Organization of Nurse Leaders (ONL-MA) conference, Rose Sherman, nursing professor emeritus at Florida Atlantic University, stated that individual resilience and team resiliency should be nursing competencies. Resiliency becomes easier when we let people in to assist us in our challenges; i.e. to collaborate.

In the heart of the word, collaboration is the word ‘labor.’  The Oxford dictionary defines collaboration as “to work together with somebody in order to produce or achieve something”.  For the past two years, under the wisdom, leadership, and charms of past President Dr. JoAnn Mulready-Shick, MARILN has collaborated widely with regional nursing organizations.  In June 2019, Dr. Mulready-Shick and I met with Dr. Ashley Waddell, Organization of Nurse Leaders – MA and Director, Government Affairs & Educational Programs, to discuss collaboration plans.   As a direct result of that meeting, MARILN provided state testimony for the Nurse Licensure Compact.  This year, The Nurse Licensure Compact is being considered by the MA Health Policy Commission and MA Board of Registration in Nursing (MABORN) for integration in the commonwealth. 

This past spring, as the pandemic ravaged our state, MARILN, ONL, and MA Association of Colleges of Nursing (MACN) collaborated in a grassroots campaign to improve the transition of new nurse graduates into practice.  Preceptor Development modules were created to enhance communication and constructive feedback between recent nurse graduates and their preceptors.  Much of the content was modeled after the NLN’s Guide for Teaching Thinking presented in a 2019 MARILN Spring Conference by Dr. Susan Forneris.  New nurse support groups are available for those looking for their first nursing position and those transitioning into practice.  These can be found:

The workforce collaboration with ONL spawned an article detailing our work in the Massachusetts American Nurse Association (ANA-MA) publication entitled Academic-Practice Collaboration for New Nurse Support: An Innovative Pandemic Development by MARILN Past-President JoAnn Mulready-Shick, President Cheryl Williams, and President-Elect Lisa Thomas. The article can be found here on page 7:

MARILN continues to collaborate with ONL-MA by sponsoring their Annual Nursing Summit in 2020 and soon in 2021.  In 2021, MARILN continues to improve communication and collaborate with MA-BORN and MACN as innovations and challenges abound.

This next year offers many prospects and collaboration opportunities beginning with an exciting Spring Conference on March 26, 2021.  NLN educator Dr. Jone Tiffany will join us remotely to discuss how to integrate technology in the classroom. I cannot think of a more apt topic for today’s classrooms.  Mini workshops are being planned. We are developing a new website and newsletter. MARILN member, Susan Scollins, has graciously assisted us with increasing our social media visibility. In 2020, we trialed our inaugural academic nurse educator mentoring project with Past President Patricia Demers serving as our first mentor; this project is being evaluated and will roll out again soon. Barbara Moloney, Membership Chair, is looking for new members and committee participation.  Carol Femia, the Treasurer, has put forth an exciting budget this year loaded with new opportunities.

I am forever grateful for the relationships, networking, and opportunity within MARILN and how the organization embraces the NLN core values of caring, diversity, inclusion, and excellence. There is much opportunity for resilient souls such as yourself to jump with us and labor in collaboration.  Make 2021 the year you get more involved in MARILN.

I look forward to meeting and working with you.


Cheryl Williams PhD RN CNE NP-C

MA RI League for Nursing President

Associate Professor

Salem State University


MARILN Newsletter - February 2021: Click Here

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