Jul 26, 2022 RWJBarnabas Health Executive Earns Inaugural Global Leadership Certificate From National Council of State Boards of Nursing

Mary Beth Russell, PhD, MA, RN, NPD-BC, NEA-BC, FNAP, is One of 32 Scholars Worldwide to Complete New Distinguished Nursing Leadership Program

Mary Beth Russell, PhD, MA, RN, NPD-BC, NEA-BC, FNAPWest Orange, NJ, July 26, 2022 – RWJBarnabas Health is proud to announce that Mary Beth Russell, PhD, MA, RN, NPD-BC, NEA-BC, FNAP, has received a first-of-its-kind leadership certificate from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Dr. Russell, who serves as Vice President of The Center for Professional Development, Innovation and Research at RWJBarnabas Health, was one of 32 scholars worldwide in the inaugural graduating class of NCSBN’s International Center for Regulatory Scholarship (ICRS) Advanced Leadership Institute.

“Dr. Russell embodies servant leadership and has devoted her career to the advancement of nurses across our health system,” said Nancy Holecek, MAS, MHA, BSN,RN, Executive Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, RWJBarnabas Health. “I could not be more proud of her significant accomplishment, which will help us continue to set the standard for excellence in nursing care as one of the most influential programs in the state.”

As part of ICRS’s mission to cultivate future nursing leaders and policymakers, the Advanced Leadership Institute certificate program is designed to enrich and inspire nursing regulators, health policy leaders and other professionals who are entrusted with patient safety.

“Nursing is a fundamental component of patient care, one that requires constant innovation and dedicated leadership,” said Dr. Russell. “I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to learn alongside this impressive group and will continue applying these best practices to our protocols and policies at RWJBarnabas Health.”

An experienced health care executive, Dr. Russell has expertise in creating and sustaining change through professional development using multidimensional methods and evidence-based practice. In her work for RWJBarnabas Health, she has been integral to the creation and implementation of programs such as clinical simulation, leadership development and clinical residencies on a system level. She leads current educational initiatives, training programs using interdisciplinary collaboration, as well as the development and execution of clinical continuing education programs. She also oversees the launch of new products, nursing orientations, competency programs and nursing research.

Dr. Russell holds a B.S. in Nursing from Rutgers University, a M.S. in Nursing Education from NYU, and a Ph.D. in Education from Seton Hall University with a focus in Cultural Sensitivity. She is Nurse Executive, Advanced and Nursing Professional Development Board Certified, as well as a certificate holder in Just Culture. Additionally, Dr. Russell has been a member of the New Jersey Board of Nursing in an educator position since 2017.

About RWJBarnabas Health

RWJBarnabas Health is the largest, most comprehensive academic health care system in New Jersey, with a service area covering eight counties with five million people. The system includes twelve acute care hospitals – Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, Community Medical Center in Toms River, Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, Jersey City Medical Center in Jersey City, Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus in Lakewood, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset in Somerville, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton in Hamilton, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Rahway in Rahway and Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth, three acute care children’s hospitals, Children’s Specialized Hospital with a network of outpatient pediatric rehabilitation centers, a freestanding 100-bed behavioral health center, two trauma centers, a satellite emergency department, ambulatory care centers, geriatric centers, the state’s largest behavioral health network, comprehensive home care and hospice programs, fitness and wellness centers, retail pharmacy services, affiliated medical groups, multi-site imaging centers and two accountable care organizations.

RWJBarnabas Health is among New Jersey’s largest private employers – with more than 38,000 employees and 9,000 physicians – and routinely captures national awards for outstanding quality and safety. RWJBarnabas Health launched an affiliation with Rutgers University to create New Jersey’s largest academic health care system. The collaboration aligns RWJBarnabas Health with Rutgers' education, research and clinical activities, including those at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey – the state's only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center – and Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care. For more information, visit rwjbh.org.


Empowering and supporting nursing regulators across the world in their mandate to protect the public, NCSBN is an independent, not-for-profit organization. As a global leader in regulatory excellence, NCSBN champions regulatory solutions to borderless health care delivery, agile regulatory systems and nurses practicing to the full scope of their education, experience and expertise. A world leader in test development and administration, NCSBN’s NCLEX® Exams are internationally recognized as the preeminent nursing examinations.

NCSBN’s membership is comprised of the nursing regulatory bodies (NRBs) in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and four U.S. territories. There are three exam user members and 27 associate members that are either NRBs or empowered regulatory authorities from other countries or territories.

Carrie Cristello