Dr. Arlene Lowenstein Named Living Legend

April 14, 2015

Lowenstein Arlene

We are thrilled to announce that Dr. Lowenstein was named a Living Legend for her contributions to the nursing profession!

Dr. Arlene Lowenstein received the Living Legends in Massachusetts Nursing Award from the American Nurses Association Massachusetts at its annual awards dinner on April 10th. This award recognizes a nurse who has made significant lifetime contributions to the profession of nursing in Massachusetts and/or a national or international level. Arlene is a professor in the Nursing program and serves as the Director of the Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study Health Professions Education and Health Professions PhD programs at Simmons.

We asked her a few questions about the award and her nursing career!

What motivated you to become a nurse? And a professor?

Like many nurses, I had an Aunt that was a nurse, and she was my role model at the time. I started in a Diploma Program at the University of Pennsylvania, and in the old days the student nurses ran the hospital, especially for evenings and nights. We could be in charge of the unit, so we were really nurses before we were registered. I did very well in school, so, as a new graduate, was a supervisor and a clinical instructor at Penn. I had always helped younger students, and grew into the role of educator way back then. 

As an Associate Professor on the tenure track in Augusta, GA was when I became serious about research and successfully publishing, as well as teaching. I worked with one of my faculty members who had me write chapters for a book she wrote, and some years later she asked me to take over the book when she retired. I'm now responsible for 4 editions out of the original 6. There, the Dean and the one that followed her were both role models for me, encouraging me in scholarly pursuits. 

Then I came to Simmons, to head up the Health Professions Education Program, and was able to publish more editions of my first book. With my co-author, we are now starting on the 7th edition. While at Simmons, I also published another book for teaching patients, families and communities, with one Simmons faculty and one of my Health Professions Education program graduates.

How does it feel to be recognized with the Living Legends in Massachusetts Nursing Award?

I was totally surprised and so very pleased at being recognized in that way. I'm very proud of my career and what I've been able to contribute to the nursing profession. This award is very special to me because it is from the leaders in the nursing profession from Massachusetts, the state I adopted as my home. I am not retiring as yet, and plan to continue with my work and contributions to nursing and to my students, patients, families and communities.

What would you consider your proudest contribution to the profession of nursing?

My two books, Innovative Teaching Strategies in Nursing and Related Health Professions and Health Education and Health Promotion: Working with Patients, Families and Communities have been able to influence practice for nurses and students across the country, and even internationally. I am also proud of the graduates of the programs I taught in, who have also contributed to nursing and nursing education, and some have won awards on their own.

In addition, at my 25th nursing school reunion, one graduate from a class other than mine who I did not really know or remember, told me that I had been with her when she had her first baby, and she never forgot how I supported her through that experience. Her “baby” was now 21 years old. She still recognized the nursing care from me she received then. That to me is what nursing is all about, and why I am so glad to be in this profession.

What is your favorite class to teach?

I thoroughly enjoy all my classes at Simmons. The online classes I teach have been the joy of learning to me, as I had to learn a new method of teaching. In online teaching, students have to take responsibility for their learning, and I have been very pleased with their progress and learning. I also enjoy working with students in their dissertations and research. They are adding to the scientific evidence in their own professions.

Besides the fun and joy of teaching my graduate students, I also teach first year nursing students about how to read and use a nursing research article. This is the other end of the spectrum of students. It has been a pleasure for me to work with these students to set a foundation of reading and understanding evidence based practice, which they will carry through all their classes and in their professional work as graduates.

Fill in the blank: I love my students because_____

it's exciting to see their learning progress as they go through my classes, but especially because they are learning how to work with their own students to improve the provision of health care. I love my first year students because they are at the beginning of growth in their new professions, and it is so important to give them the tools they can use to continue that growth throughout their lives.

Fill in the blank: I love Simmons because_______

teaching here has opened a new field of online teaching and learning for me, and has motivated me to explore my own teaching to continually improve. For me, Simmons has had a very supportive environment for both faculty and students to encourage their learning and growth in their professions.