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NJBIZ Names GCU Nursing Dean a “Healthcare Hero”

Dr. Teri Wurmser portrait

Georgian Court University is pleased to announce that Dr. Teri Wurmser, Dean of the Hackensack Meridian Health School of Nursing and Wellness at Georgian Court University, has been selected as one of the 2022 NJBIZ Healthcare Heroes honorees.

Wurmser, a Registered Nurse and a resident of Middletown, is one of seven people selected to be honored in the “Health Care Professional” category. The HealthCare Heroes program was created to recognize excellence, promote innovation, and honor the efforts of individuals and organizations making a significant impact on the quality of health care in New Jersey.

“I am very grateful and honored by this award, but I am here because of the support of all the good people and mentors that I work with,” said Wurmser. “My goal has always been to support nursing; it is a fabulous profession that offers so many opportunities. The work that I do is focused on elevating the nursing profession so that our students and staff can be the very best that they can be,” added Wurmser.

“Dean Wurmser has been an outstanding member of the GCU family for years and is deserving of this recognition on many levels,” said Dr. Joseph R. Marbach, President of Georgian Court University. “Caring is in the forefront of everything she does. She is deeply committed to creating a positive learning environment, mentoring nursing students, conducting research to improve the lives of overstressed nurses, and promoting public health. Dean Wurmser is already a ‘hero’ to us, and we are proud that her accomplishments are being recognized by NJBIZ.”

Wurmser was instrumental in creating the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at GCU and fostering the relationships that made the Hackensack Meridian Health School of Nursing and Wellness at GCU a reality. Under her guidance, the school has grown from 25 students at its inception to more than 350, has added an accelerated BSN tract, and will add a Master’s program this fall. She was named the School’s inaugural Dean in 2020 and served as Chair of the Nursing School for 11 years.

In addition to her position at GCU, Wurmser serves as Vice President of Nursing Research and Academic Affairs for Hackensack Meridian Health and is the Creator and current Director of the Ann May Center for Nursing and Allied Health in Wall, N.J. The Center promotes excellence in nursing and allied health through education and research.

Her research focuses on the nursing workforce and environment addressing issues such as supervisor roles, stress, safety, job satisfaction, mentoring and simulation in healthcare. Her most recent work involves the pandemic looking at nurses’ experiences and their perception of staffing. She has received numerous grants and awards for her research and has been published in a number of peer-reviewed journals including the Journal of Nursing, Nursing Leader, Journal of Nursing Management, and Nursing Economics. Wurmser holds a Ph.D. in Nursing Research and a BSN in Nursing from Adelphi University, and earned a Master’s in Public Health from Columbia University.

After nearly 50 years in the profession, Wurmser said there is no other career path she would have chosen. “I wanted to do something meaningful with my life. When I first started working as a critical care nurse, I didn’t want to even take a vacation. I loved being in the action, taking care of patients and solving problems. I still do.”

NJBIZ will formally recognize all honorees during a Healthcare Heroes breakfast awards ceremony at 9 a.m., August 10, 2022 at The Palace at Somerset Park, Somerset, N.J.

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About Georgian Court University

Georgian Court University is a leading regional university that provides a transformative education, preparing students for ethical leadership and service in the Catholic Mercy tradition. Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is Central and South Jersey’s only Catholic university. The university has a strong liberal arts core and a historic special concern for women.

As a forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, GCU is known for expanding possibility for more than 1,900 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 35+ undergraduate majors and 10+ graduate programs. The GCU Lions compete in 16 NCAA Division II sports in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). In 2020, GCU was named a Best Value College by and a Best Bang for the Buck (Northeast) by Washington Monthly. High student retention and graduation rates make GCU a Top Performer on Social Mobility on U.S. News & World Reports rankings, and in 2024, GCU was named one of the best Online Master’s Colleges in New Jersey.

The main campus is in Lakewood, New Jersey, on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, also serves students through its Center for Professional Studies, and at other locations, including GCU at Brookdale, and through multiple online degree and certificate programs.