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RMU Professor Earns Pennsylvania Nurse Educator Award 

Pittsburgh -- Carl Ross, a university professor of nursing at Robert Morris University, is the recipient of the 2010 Pennsylvania Nurse Educator Award from the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association.

The award honors educators who, in addition to making contributions to the advancement of nursing education, have demonstrated strength of character, commitment, and competence. The award recognizes faculty who have been role models to peers and others to improve the quality of nursing education; who have made a major improvement or innovation to the teaching/learning process; and who have been active in their communities.

“Dr. Ross has contributed to the advancement of nursing education and demonstrated strength of character, commitment and competence,” said PSNA Chief Executive Office Betsy Snook. “He has earned a place of honor along with more than 290 past PSNA recipients who, as a group, have received recognition beginning in 1954.”

Twice each year, Ross leads a trip of RMU student nurses to Nicaragua, where they provide health care and health education to poor residents of the Managua barrios. This November, Ross will make his 74th trip to Nicaragua, including his previous tenure as a nursing professor at Duquesne University.

Nicaragua Change A Life RMU
Nursing Professor Carl Ross examines a Nicaraguan man while nursing student Lee Folk looks on.

“My first trip to Nicaragua allowed me to see the heart of a man ablaze with a passion for teaching. I watched him cry over his patients. I watched him treat his students with respect. And I watched him touch lives with a compassion that I had never seen in a university professor,” said Lee Folk, who earned his nursing degree from RMU in 2010.

Folk’s two trips to Nicaragua are portrayed in RMU’s recent “Change A Life” advertising campaign. “When I arrived home in the U.S., I knew the type of nurse I wanted to be when I graduated. I wanted to be like Dr. Ross,” said Folk.

Ross has been on the faculty at RMU for six years, and he has also worked previously as a nurse educator at UPMC Shadyside Hospital. Ross was the first recipient of the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching at Robert Morris University. He also is the president of the RMU Faculty Federation.

“I am able to continue my career as a nurse practitioner and still educate students on how to become great nurses. When one of my students touches a patient’s life, I feel like I’m touching that patient’s life through my student. That is the most rewarding part of my job,” said Ross.