University of Scranton Nursing Department Named In Honor of ‘Consummate Nursing Professional’

12/15/10

         The University of Scranton has named its nursing department the Mary Eileen McGurrin, R.N., M.S.N., Department of Nursing at a private ceremony held recently on campus. A native of Clarks Summit, McGurrin dedicated her life to serving others through her profession as a nurse. She passed away from a malignant brain tumor in 1995 at the age of 39.

         “The naming of the Mary Eileen McGurrin, R.N., M.S.N., Department of Nursing was made possible through a generous gift from Dr. Bernard Hyland of The University of Scranton’s class of 1947,” said Patrick Leahy, executive vice president at The University of Scranton. “Dr. Hyland’s magnanimous support to Scranton through naming gifts for Hyland Hall, in grateful memory of his mother and father, the naming gift for McGurrin Hall, in loving memory of Mary Eileen, and now for the naming gift for the Nursing Department, make him our most generous physician alumnus.”

         Mary Eileen Patricia McGurrin was one of triplets born to John and Kathleen McGurrin on June 29, 1956, her mother’s birthday. Her four siblings were present at the dedication, including the remaining set of triplets John McGurrin, M.D., and Mark McGurrin, M.D., her younger sister Maureen O’Hara, and her older brother Timothy McGurrin, D.M.D., who spoke at the dedication.

         “Mary Eileen personified the qualities and traits which The University of Scranton Department of Nursing strives to instill in its students,” said Dr. Timothy McGurrin. “She worked full-time days and attended graduate school classes at night, all the while taking anti-seizure medications, which tended to rob her of her energy … What dedication and perseverance she possessed - the consummate nursing professional.”

         A graduate of Our Lady of Peace School and Abington Heights High School, Ms. McGurrin pursued a career in nursing like her mother, who is also an R.N.

         “Our mom and dad always wanted the best for their children. They encouraged Mary Eileen to seek a baccalaureate degree in nursing. At that time (1974), one could not attain a B.S.N. locally,” said Dr. Timothy McGurrin. “Mary Eileen spent rewarding preclinical years at The University of Scranton prior to admission at Thomas Jefferson University School of Nursing in Philadelphia.”

         After earning a bachelor’s degree from Thomas Jefferson University, Ms. McGurrin pursued further training and began working in Critical Cardiac Care Unit at Lankenau Hospital in Philadelphia.

         According to Dr. Timothy McGurrin, when her illness required her to make changes in the type of nursing care she performed, “Mary Eileen joined the nursing staff at Wills Eye Hospital (Philadelphia) to continue to be of service to others.” At the same time, she reenrolled in Thomas Jefferson University and earned a master’s degree in rehabilitation nursing.  He said their parents often reminded them “to choose to do something in life in which you can do good for others. Mary Eileen surely fulfilled that ideal.”

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