New nursing dept. chair outlines goals

By: Carley Milligan, Editor-in-Chief

Towson’s new nursing department chairperson, former Johns Hopkins faculty member Hayley Mark, says she aims to improve exam pass rates and grow clinical partnerships over the course of her time at TU.

“I’m really glad to be here,” she said. “I think it’s a really vibrant place with a lot of new things happening.”

Mark’s goals include stabilizing NCLEX pass rates. The NCLEX is the exam students must take in order to become a registered nurse.

According to Mark, Towson has had inconsistent pass rates in the past years.

By strengthening partnerships with local hospitals and, potentially, public health agencies, Mark said students might better find work or internships at these firms and then have jobs there after graduation.

“It’s really kind of a win-win because students have this almost guaranteed job, and then the hospitals have these people who have worked in their organizations for some time,” Mark said. “[Towson has] those programs now but there is no real structure for it, which I think we could really form something much more significant.”

Mark, who started in her new position Feb. 16, comes to Towson after 12 years with Johns Hopkins’ School of Nursing, where she most recently acted as director of the school’s baccalaureate program.

“This was a great opportunity to learn more leadership skills, which when I started to be the administrator for the baccalaureate program at Hopkins I just loved that, so this was an opportunity to kind of grow those skills even more,” Mark said.

Mark also said that she was interested in working within a different system, with different students, at an institution that can provide its students with a more affordable education.

She wanted to be at a university that was committed to helping the state, like Towson, which has the second-largest bachelor’s nursing program in the University System of Maryland.

“One of the reasons I was really excited to come here was to produce nurses for the state of Maryland,” Mark said.

While she is not teaching this semester, Mark said she is looking forward to returning to the classroom in the coming semesters.

Mark said she has really enjoyed her new position at Towson. She said at Hopkins, she was surrounded by “graduate students and nurses and physicians,” but here she really gets “the feel of a campus,” which she’s “really enjoying.”

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