May 11, 1927 - January 7, 2021
Dr. Mary Louis Moses, a founding member of Texas Organization for Associate Degree Nursing (TOADN) and the National Organization for Advancement of Associate Degree Nursing (NOAADN) passed away on January 7, 2021 in Sherman, Texas.
Dr. Moses was born on May 11, 1927. At age 17 she became U.S. Army Nursing Cadet during World War II where she would fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a nurse. She then went on to work as a Surgery and Labor & Delivery nurse at Wilson N. Jones hospital, where she became nursing educator. She then developed the Vocational Nursing Program, Associate Degree Nursing Program, Emergency Medical Services, Dental Assisting, and Radiology Technician Programs at Grayson College. During her time at Grayson College, she not only served as the Director of Nursing, but as the Dean of Health Sciences, and after her retirement as a member of the Board of Trustees. Dr. Moses continued to advocate for advanced education up to her last breath, and was extremely proud of Grayson College’s ability to offer ADN graduates and local RN’s the ability to obtain a post licensure bachelor’s degree in nursing. In 2019, the Health Sciences Center at Grayson College was renamed the Mary Moses Center for Health Sciences in honor of Dr. Moses and her incredible accomplishments at the college and in attendance were hundreds of individuals whose lives Mary had touched in a multitude of ways.
Dr. Moses had a passion for healthcare, nursing education, and more importantly, Associate Degree Nursing Education. From the very beginning, she was a staunch advocate for Associate Degree Nursing being the entry level for professional nursing. In 1978 the American Nurses Association adopted three resolutions, one of which was to ensure the distinction of two distinct categories of nursing practice (professional and technical) by 1980; and by 1985 the implementation of the baccalaureate degree nursing as the entry into practice. On American Airlines flight 545 in April 1984 Dr. Moses, Mary Hardy and Naomi Brack were returning from a meeting of the Council of Associate Degree Nursing Programs in Washington, D.C. Their discussion centered on the fact that for almost thirty years, Associate Degree Nurses had been successfully passing the same entrance exam as bachelor’s degree graduates; Associate Degree nursing programs were beginning to make a dent in the massive shortage of Registered Nurses nation-wide; and being able to complete this degree at the community college level was opening up a career choice to millions who would never be able to attend a four-year university. Immediately after returning home, these three champions for nursing education began making plans for an organization that would establish a communications network for meeting Associate Degree Nursing program needs and to establish an avenue for information sharing between programs. In June 1984, thirty-five of the thirty-nine Texas Associate Degree Nursing programs sent representatives to a meeting in Dallas and the Texas Organization for Associate Degree Nursing was formed. Immediately, members began recruiting administration from ADN programs across the country and on October 17, 1985 in Dallas, Texas the National Organization for Advancement of Associate Degree Nursing (NOAADN) was organized. Thirty states and over two-hundred participants attended that first official meeting of NOAADN, under the leadership of Naomi Brack.
Joanna Barnes, former Dean of Health Sciences and co-worker says “When reflecting on the personality and accomplishments of individuals, we often hear the term, “one of a kind.” This certainly fits Dr. Mary L. Moses and her stellar and dedicated accomplishments in her 92 years on this earth. If Mary was your friend, she was your friend for life. If you crossed Mary, she raised that eyebrow in the menacing way only Mary could, then she talked out the situation with you, and generally you left the room, a friend for life.” Vice President for Instruction at Grayson College, Dr. Dava Washburn, states…”While I was not lucky enough to work with Dr. Moses while she was the Dean or a GC trustee, it is an honor to work at
GC surrounded by those who she influenced tremendously either as a mentor, educator, or friend. During my six years at Grayson, I have heard numerous stories revolving Dr. Moses and all are filled with illustrations of her spirit, independence, determination, humor, and love for her profession…..a true female pioneer and one that many of us have established as “our bar.”
Dr. Moses leaves behind a legacy of dedication to faculty, staff, students, and seeing the success and growth of community colleges, and the advancement of the nursing profession.