Willamette River view in Lake Oswego near Mary's Woods

Employee Education Fund recipient

Marissa Taplin, RN, BSN


Mary's Woods Employee Fund Recipient Marissa Taplin, RN, BSN.

Marissa Taplin, Caritas Nurse Manager at Mary’s Woods, is a real life superhero. A wife, mother, nurse, supervisor AND friend, she has worked the frontlines in the fight against COVID-19 since it began in March 2020.

Marissa first started her career at Mary’s Woods as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in the Villa Maria neighborhood five years ago. Her intention was to build up experience needed to get into a nursing program, to which she was successful. Throughout her time in nursing school, she continued working at Mary’s Woods as a Med Tech, and then served as a Charge Nurse after graduation.

Now, in her current role, she loves getting to know residents for who they are as people, not just for their medical conditions. “I really enjoy helping people at transition points in their lives,” she explains, “I like educating residents on medical conditions and helping their families understand what they mean, including how to cope and best support their loved ones in this next stage of life.”

Recently, amidst caring for residents with COVID-19+ cases, Marissa achieved her goal of earning her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from Linfield University. With help from the Employee Education Fund, she was able to advance her career through an online RN to BSN program while simultaneously working, completing one course at a time. “The application process to apply for educational scholarships through the Employee Education Fund helped me to identify my objectives and asked thoughtful content,” Marissa reflects. “I truly felt like Mary’s Woods, as an organization, cared about me and wanted me to succeed.”

Over a cup of coffee, Marissa shares that her degree has given her a new appreciation for her role as a manager and the gravity that it holds. “To anyone on the fence about supporting the Employee Education Fund, know that any little bit helps make a significant difference,” Marissa states.

“Your contributions not only change our [employee] lives, but really make the world a better place. They allow us to grow as humans, and as students, which in turn benefits residents.” “We have a saying, Marissa explains, “It goes ‘you have a friend in friendship place’ and it really is true.”

She notes how each day at work is a new day that presents opportunities to learn and grow together with the staff members she oversees. “I honestly never thought geriatric care would be of interest to me,” Marissa says, “but now I can’t imagine leaving it.”

The Mary’s Woods Community is incredibly grateful for Marissa and for the excellent service, leadership, and care she provides to residents throughout the Marie Rose neighborhood.


Employee Education Fund gifts are a great way to advance training and education for Mary’s Woods team members.