“When I learned about the induction, I was taken aback,” Joseph said. “It’s such an honor.”
Joseph has had an extensive career in nursing. She began as a staff nurse, and then transitioned to being an instructor at St. Joseph’s School of Nursing. Joseph began instructing part-time at URI in 1973. By 1991, she was associate professor; interim dean by 1995; and in 2001, she was named dean of the College of Nursing. Joseph retired from URI in 2012.
Joseph has many accomplishments to celebrate from her 17 years as dean. Collaborating with College of Nursing faculty, she focused on advanced planning, looking 3 to 5 years ahead. “We set goals for the College, but also for ourselves,” Joseph said. In addition, she helped implement internal upgrades. “For 15 years, the College didn’t have an IT person, which we desperately needed. Now, we do,” she said. More technology upgrades followed. “By the time I left the College, every faculty member had an iPad,” Joseph recalled.
The East Greenwich resident also oversaw the expansion of the Hart Garden, located outside White Hall, which was funded almost entirely by external sources. In addition, a new student lounge, the White Hall Commons, was created on the second floor of White Hall. “It’s a space where students and faculty can work together,” Joseph said. “We needed a place for that.”
Joseph has not slowed down post-retirement. She serves on committees for Miriam Hospital and Lifespan (which encompasses Miriam Hospital, Rhode Island Hospital, Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Bradley Hospital, and Newport Hospital), the latter of which has recently appointed her to their board of trustees. In addition, she has continued her work with the Rhode Island Free Clinic on the board of directors.
“It’s really a labor of love,” she said. “We have grown this organization substantially over the last 14 years. Our goal is to continue serving the working poor of Rhode Island as best we can.”
Joseph says that she is not yet done with her work. “I still have so much to do,” she said. She also credits her colleagues at URI for assisting with many of her accomplishments. “I could never have done it all myself,” she said. “I worked with a wonderful group of people who supported the same goals and ideas that I did. In my opinion, that’s invaluable.”
Joseph earned her undergraduate degree from Rhode Island College and her master’s degree from URI. She then went on to receive her doctor of education degree from Boston University.
The Rhode Island State Nurses Association is the state chapter of the American Nurses Association, and is the authority on nursing practice and professions in the state. The state association began hosting the Nightingale Gala in 2010.
URI Photo by Nora Lewis