"Nursing used to be very independent work, while now there is more of a teamwork mentality. Nurses need that kind of support from each other."
Nurse, Sex Therapist
Former Professor and Dean Emerita of Adelphi University’s School of Nursing
Jacqueline Rose Hott received her degree from the Bellevue School of Nursing in May of 1946. She graduated on a Friday and the following Monday was made clinical instructor of psychiatric nursing at Bellevue. Her unit consisted of adolescent girls. At Bellevue, Dr. Hott met her husband, Louis R. Hott M.D., a returning Lieutenant Colonel who came to Bellevue for a postwar refresher course. Dr. Hott influenced him to change his area of interest from neurosurgery to psychiatry. They were married in 1947, and between 1949 and 1955, the couple had four children. During the same years, Dr. Hott completed her master’s degree from New York University.
In 1961, Dr. Hott began her doctoral studies at NYU. She was hoping to receive a grant in psychiatric nursing, but was informed there were none left and was advised to go across the hall to parent-child nursing to see if their program had any grants available. In the parent-child department, Dr. Hott met a member of Adelphi’s staff, who told her that the University was looking for parent-child faculty. In 1967, she joined the faculty of Adelphi University’s School of Nursing, where she taught child nursing and nursing research courses.
In 1972, Dr. Hott received her Ph.D. from NYU. Her dissertation studied first-time fathers and their adjustments during the wife’s pregnancy. In 1975, she was chosen to be Adelphi’s commencement speaker, celebrating “The Year of the Woman.” Later that year while on sabbatical, Dr. Hott decided she wanted to study sex therapy. She studied with Dr. Virginia Sadock at the New York Medical College Program in sexual therapy. In 1977, Dr. Hott became a full professor at Adelphi University by early promotion.
Dr. Hott’s first co-sex therapist was the late Ari Falek, M.D. Dr. Hott and her husband also saw patients together. After her husband died of cancer in 1980, Dr. Hott continued to work alone as a consultant in sex therapy for the Family Service Association in Long Island and taught sexuality to interns and residents in Obs-gyn at Nassau University Medical Center. She continues to lecture there today. In 1978, Dr. Hott was elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, and in the 1980s, as a Distinguished Lecturer for Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.
In 1981, Dr. Hott enrolled in the Adelphi University Derner Institute postdoctoral program and became certified in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. She is also certified by the ANA as a clinical specialist in adult psychiatric mental health nursing and is certified in sex therapy by the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASEC). In 1982, Dr. Hott was given the opportunity to head a federally funded research program, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Nursing Association (MARNA). She was the executive director of MARNA for three years.
From 1984 to 1989, Dr. Hott served as Dean of Adelphi’s School of Nursing, and in 1990 she became Dean Emerita. Even with a full time practice of her own, Dr. Hott continued contributing to the field of nursing, giving part time lectures, writing occasional articles, and teaching community groups and patients. Her text, “Notter’s Esssentials of Nursing Research,” which was co-written with her former student, Dr. Wendy C. Budin, has had six editions and has been translated in several languages.
Today Dr. Hott keeps busy with an active practice at her home/office in Great Neck, New York. This April, she will be awarded the Sigma Theta Tau Lifelong Leadership Award at Adelphi.
When and why did you first want to become a nurse?
I was not one of those women who had always wanted to be a nurse. I wanted to be a reporter, and so I was an English major at New Jersey College for Women. Always interested in human behavior, I chose psychology as my minor. I knew nothing about nursing. I was struggling financially at NJC, because living on campus was expensive. The attack on Pearl Harbor started a public relations bonanza of information for nursing, and for me, a way to solve my economic problems in seeking an education. On campus there was information from the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps in the form of pamphlets and posters that encouraged women to “enlist in a proud profession” and join the war effort. The educational bonus was continuing my baccalaureate education for free! In the next semester I would be able to transfer enough credits so that after graduating from a school of nursing I would have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a profession, and no debt…and I would be serving my country as a nurse.
Do you have favorite memories of your time at Adelphi?
I remember President Costello to be a remarkable leader. He made me feel so connected to Adelphi and he got me involved in the University as Chairperson of the Evaluation Committee. I also remember the leadership that Dean Rothberg provided during my dissertation. She was a fine nursing leader as well as a great mentor, administrator and executive.
My students referred to me as “the bag lady” because my bag was always full of reading materials to be handed out in class. I loved teaching doctoral studies. Being a role model for my students was one of my most rewarding experiences.
I taught Pat Coonan, who is the Dean of Adelphi’s School of Nursing today.
What are some changes you have seen in nursing throughout the years?
When I started teaching, research was so vague. Today it is much more evidence-based. Also, nursing used to be very independent work, while now there is more of a teamwork mentality. Nurses need that kind of support from each other.
What advice would you give to those involved in the field of nursing today?
My advice for today’s students would be to diversify yourself as much as possible; go to different schools and try out different job opportunities. I would advise faculty to go to conferences and meet as many people as possible. Learn to think in a different way and to do things differently. Also, it is essential that both students and faculty develop writing abilities for writing case histories and publishing research.
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