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Nursing students receive white coats celebrating the start of clinical studies

Caldwell, N.J., Sept. 2, 2016 – Sixty-six Caldwell University nursing students received their white coats at a ceremony Sept. 1 celebrating the start of their clinical studies.

“May the white coat remind you of our professional bond and commitment to the caring, compassion and humanism in nursing that we all share,” said Dr. Theodora Sirota, Ph.D., CNL, APRN-BC, professor and director of the Department of Nursing.

Sister Kathleen Tuite, vice president for student life, told the third-year students they were giving a “wonderful witness” to Caldwell University and encouraged them to provide “selfless love” in their work as nurses.

The keynote address was given by Carol Porter, DNP, R.N., FAAN, a former chief nursing officer at Mount Sinai Medical Center. She told the students that their entrance into clinical care is a “wonderful, serious step” in their careers. “It’s what’s inside the coat that matters,” she said.  Porter encouraged them to look at every patient through that person’s eyes, to “always go above and beyond … to seek out a mentor … to be well informed, well read, and belong to associations.” She advised them never to be afraid to advocate for a patient and to “push the envelope” if they feel something is ethically and morally wrong.

Samantha Coghlan, a senior and president of the Student Nurses’ Association, encouraged the students to become involved in the student-run organization. “Your participation will contribute to your success and prepare you for the rest of your life as a professional registered nurse.”

Nicole Grandeza ’16, B.S.N., R.N., spoke about the Caldwell Nursing Honor Society and encouraged the students to strive for academic and professional leadership, to “be inquisitive … be willing to learn … be open to change … strive to go above and beyond.”

Olivia O’Donnell, a junior who received her white coat, said it was a “very exciting day,” especially since she had also had her first clinical experience earlier. Jade Puello, also a junior, said it was sort of “like graduation … another milestone.”

The students were cloaked in their jackets by faculty members and received Humanism in Medicine pins from seniors.

They recited the nursing white-coat oath, pledging to accept the responsibilities that embody the nursing profession including the primary importance of considering the welfare of humanity and the relief of suffering.

Father Tom Blind gave the invocation and benediction, noting the upcoming canonization of Mother Teresa and how she is a model for God’s love and care for the sick.

Dr. Nan Childress Orchard, chair of the Music Department, provided the processional and recessional music.

The pins were provided as a gift from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, initiators of the first white-coat ceremony.

The ceremony was originally made possible by a grant from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation to support the Gold-ACCN White Coat Ceremony for Nursing.

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Nursing Professor Melissa Sirola is Guest on Caucus: New Jersey

Melissa Sirola, MSN, RN, MBA, adjunct faculty in the Caldwell University Nursing Department, joins Steve Adubato on Caucus: New Jersey to talk about the affordable care act and how it is affecting the field of nursing.  Professor Sirola and the panelists discuss: the expanding role of nursing, the effect of technology on the field, how education for future nurses is affected by the ACA, and the ways nurses are advocates for health care today.

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Students Attend National Student Nurses Leadership Conference

Student-conference

Pictured from left to right: Michaela Oliveira, junior, Nicole Grandeza, junior, Marchelle Boyd, senior, Erin Franey, senior, attended the National Student Nurses Association Summer Leadership Conference

Four nursing students attended the National Student Nurses Association Summer Leadership Conference at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City on Aug. 1.

First Vice President of Caldwell’s chapter Nicole Grandeza said the conference gave them a chance to share experiences with peers, learn more about the association, and help them grow as individuals and professionals.

Grandeza attended with Michaela Oliveria, a junior, and Marchelle Boyd and Erin Franey, seniors. One of the most beneficial aspects was being able to network with other students.   “I learned so much valuable information that I could not wait to share with the rest of the (Caldwell) group,” said Boyd.  Oliveira said she is looking forward to implementing some of the ideas she learned from others in the Caldwell chapter.  They also learned about communications in the nursing field including how to improve their listening and problem solving skills.

The Caldwell group left the conference excited about their future in education and their careers in nursing.  “It helped enhance my experience as a nursing student in various ways, such as communicating on a professional level and being able to relate to other students. I realized that all of the attendees are student nurses and someday they will become my peers in the nursing profession,”said Grandeza.

NSNA is a nonprofit organization for students enrolled in associate, baccalaureate, diploma, and generic graduate nursing programs. It is dedicated to fostering the professional development of nursing students.

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Caldwell University Awarded Grant from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Caldwell, N.J. – July 29, 2014 – Caldwell University has been awarded a $250,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through its New Jersey Health Initiatives program as part of its New Paths to Professional Nursing cohort. With this grant, Caldwell will partner with St. Joseph’s Healthcare System to assist aspiring paraprofessional employees who work at St. Joseph’s to complete the first two years of their liberal arts and science studies before entering nursing clinical courses.

Caldwell’s Director of Nursing Dr. Marycarol Rossignol said the university is delighted to partner with St. Joseph’s.  “Working together, we can meet the needs of the students to strengthen their academic success and progression in Caldwell University’s bachelor of science in nursing program and contribute to fostering a diverse and educated nursing workforce,” she said. The grant program, Rossignol explained, will enhance and advance baccalaureate learning for a select cohort of St. Joseph’s paraprofessional employees who would otherwise lack the means and resources to enroll in a private institution of higher learning. “This New Paths to Professional Nursing program will provide targeted academic, financial and social support to increase readiness and remove barriers so that the students can pursue their nursing degree,” she said.

Bob Atkins, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, director of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s New Jersey Health Initiatives, said they are “delighted to have Caldwell University and St. Joseph’s Healthcare System as part of this cohort of grantees serving as the foundation for us to begin a statewide conversation on the need for a nursing workforce that is both baccalaureate-prepared and representative of the diverse communities they serve.” He explained that “health outcomes improve when nurses have this higher level of education and are culturally diverse, and Caldwell’s partnership with St. Joseph’s Healthcare System demonstrates the commitment and resources to support frontline health care workers who aspire to be nurses.”

Rose Nagle-Girgenti, RN, MA, director of clinical education at the Inter-Professional Education Department at St. Joseph’s Healthcare System, said St. Joseph’s partnership with Caldwell University is an exciting and unique opportunity for St. Joseph’s paraprofessionals interested in pursuing a four-year nursing degree. “An important aspect of the grant is the selection of RNs from our existing staff to act as mentors to the chosen students, thereby giving support and assistance in the workplace in addition to the university,” she said. “A place to study and have access to online learning will also be provided. We have a strong commitment to these employees and will do all we can to ensure their success.” St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, which includes St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, has received Magnet Recognition® for Nursing Excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center for the fourth consecutive time since 1999.

Students in the BSN program study in the university’s new 4,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility, which features technologically enhanced learning spaces that include laboratories for nursing skills, health assessment and simulation and a large classroom. The new learning environments are arranged to encourage interaction, collaboration and active engagement.

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

For more than 40 years, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve the health and health care of all Americans. RWJF strives to build a national culture of health that will enable all Americans to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at www.rwjf.org/twitter or on Facebook atwww.rwjf.org/facebook.

 About St. Joseph’s Healthcare System

Nationally recognized St. Joseph’s Healthcare System is a major academic, not-for-profit, comprehensive health care organization located in Northern New Jersey. Sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, St. Joseph’s prides itself on providing sophisticated, compassionate health care with a ‘patients first’ approach to service excellence. To learn more, visit www.StJosephsHealth.org or call 877-757-SJHS (7547).

About Caldwell University

Caldwell University is a private, Catholic coed four-year university with a strong liberal arts core curriculum that enhances critical thinking and analytical reasoning. Caldwell offers 25 undergraduate and 30 graduate programs, including doctoral, master’s, certificate and certification programs, as well as online and distance learning options that prepare students for today’s global marketplace. The university has 15 NCAA Division II athletic teams and numerous clubs, fraternities, sororities and activities on a beautiful 70-acre campus located in the suburbs of Caldwell, New Jersey. Caldwell was founded by the Sisters of Saint Dominic of Caldwell.  Its core values of respect, integrity, community and excellence influence academic and campus life. For more information about Caldwell University, visit caldwell.edu. Follow the university on Twitter @CaldwellUniv, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/caldwelluniversity, on Instagram at www.instagram.com/caldwelluniversity and on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/caldwell-college.

 

Contact: Colette M. Liddy

Director, Media Relations

973-618-3209

cliddy@caldwell.edu

@CaldwellPr

 

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Nursing Department Holds Annual Convocation and Pinning Ceremony

The Caldwell University Nursing Department held its 3rd annual nursing convocation and professional pinning May 16.   Thirty-six graduating seniors in the nursing program received their pins, a symbol of pride and accomplishment that unites nurses all over the world.

Marycarol Rossignol, Ph.D., director of the nursing program and professor, told the students that they are entering the healthcare profession at an interesting time of health reform when new roles for nurses are developing with changes in health care delivery systems. She reminded them that they have been prepared with the essential body of scientific knowledge, clinical competencies and the qualities of professional education to begin their nursing careers. “It is our hope that this preparation has cultivated a foundation for evidenced-based practice, a spirit of inquiry, and lifelong learning,” she said.

Patrick Progar, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs, greeted the gathered and gave them details on the history of the nursing program and how it  has grown exponentially in its three years of existence.

President Nancy H. Blattner, Ph.D. told the students that they will practice the skills they learned with compassion and humanity. In addition to having completed their nursing major, she said, they have completed a core and enriched curriculum that emphasizes the dignity of each person. “You have chosen to be part of a ‘caring’ profession, one that assists sick and dying people and interacts with their families and loved ones during times of stress and emotion.  At that time, you will most embody the mission of Caldwell, its Dominican tradition and our core values of respect and community.”

Matthew L. Russo, LNHA, ’93, administrator of the Armenian Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, gave the keynote address saying that there is “no better feeling than to be able to care for someone else” and that their opportunities are limitless.   “As healthcare professionals we need to be students for life because we must continue to learn and grow as our profession is always changing.”  He noted that all of his success was rooted “in the walls” where he was speaking, as he studied sociology and played basketball during his years at Caldwell University.  “Caldwell at that time strengthened me as a young man and I feel confident it has done the same for you.  You are ready and if you don’t believe it, you should know it.  You are ready, you’ve been prepared.  The healthcare profession awaits your gifts and the talents you will bring and we are always seeking new leaders.”

Chaplain Father A. Berner gave the invocation and blessed the pins.

Brenda B. Peterson, M.S.N, assistant director of nursing, presented the candidates.

Alyson Mogavero ‘ 14 gave the valedictorian remarks and shared her story of pushing away the obstacles and successfully working towards her goal of becoming a nurse.   She spoke of her gratitude for the nursing faculty and the nursing department.

Professor Nan Childress Orchard, DMA, chair of the music department and professor of music, provided processional and recessional music at the piano.  Junior Nursing major Nicolette D’Allessio on marimba and graduating Psychology major Patrick Lehosky on drums performed Minoru Miki’s Marimba Spiritual for a musical interlude.”

The Caldwell University Nursing pin is a tangible symbol of the students’ hard work and dedication.  Pinning represents a new beginning in the journey towards professionalism, dedication and service to mankind.  It occurs on the threshold of the graduate’s career as a professional nurse and serves as a warm remembrance of friendship, hours of studying and academic accomplishment.

The Caldwell pin was designed by representatives from the first nursing graduating class of 2012.  The centrally located nightingale lamp is a symbol of care and comfort to the sick and suffering.  The cross represents the institution’s Dominican commitment and Judeo-Christian tradition.  Laurel leaves encircle the pin and symbolize success, peace and life.

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Nursing Student Volunteers in Health Care in Tanzania

Christina Buono, a senior nursing student from East Hanover, N.J., spent her winter break from Dec. 28, 2013 to Jan. 16, 2014, volunteering in Tanzania with the organization International Volunteer HQ. In this interview, she shares her experiences.

Why did you decide to do this?

I have always wanted to travel abroad to be able to experience health care in other countries and also to just be able to volunteer in whatever way I could. Helping people has always been my passion, and I thought this was a great way to be able to do that.

What did you do when you were in Tanzania?Christina Buono

While I was in Tanzania I volunteered at Olorieni Community Clinic, which is an outpatient clinic located within a small town in Arusha, Tanzania. At the clinic I did phlebotomy work and assisted the doctor in small surgical procedures. I also volunteered at Neema’s House Baby Orphanage for a day and another orphanage for another day.

What did you learn?

I learned so much while I was in Africa, not just about myself, but also about other people around the world. The most important thing I learned from this experience was that I am so incredibly lucky to be living in a country that has so much to offer me. After living without running water for two and a half weeks, I learned to be truly grateful for the little things I have in my life that others in our world do not. After working in the clinic, I realized that every single day that we live is a true blessing and that we are so fortunate to have so many medical resources and the health care system that we have here in our country, because these underdeveloped countries are not as fortunate. Finally, I learned that the people of Tanzania are some of the nicest people I have ever met. They treat you like family and welcome you into their homes as if you were one of their own.

What was the most rewarding aspect of it?Children with Christina Buono

The most rewarding aspect of this volunteer trip was being able to be a part of helping others. I will never forget the smiles on the children’s faces each day that our group was with them.

What are your future career plans?

My future career plan is to work as a nurse in a pediatric unit at a hospital and continue my education to become a pediatric critical care nurse practitioner.

Were you able to apply what you learned in the Caldwell University Nursing Department during this volunteer experience?

I was definitely able to apply what I learned from the Caldwell Nursing Department to my volunteer experience. During our studies, the professors taught us how important communication is, and I think that is what helped me the most while I was in Africa. The languages spoken in Tanzania are Swahili and English. I came to realize quickly that the children in Tanzania know a lot more English than the older population because they are taught English while in school. As future nurses we need to be able to communicate with patients who are from different cultural backgrounds and may speak a different language. During my work at the clinic, I was able to learn how to be comfortable communicating and caring for patients who were of a different culture than myself, which is a big part of our nursing studies at Caldwell University.

How do you think the Caldwell University Nursing Department has prepared you for your future?

The Caldwell University Nursing Department has been a big part of helping me prepare for my future as a registered nurse. The nursing faculty has provided me with the knowledge and clinical competency needed to care for patients of all different cultures and ethnicities. The knowledge that each professor has to offer has been extremely beneficial to the learning process. They have become wonderful examples to show that hard work and dedication can get you wherever you want to go in life with your career.

What do you think of the new nursing labs?

The new nursing labs are a wonderful addition to the growing nursing program at Caldwell University. Being able to have a space dedicated to nursing has made it extremely beneficial to the classroom and clinical aspects of the program. It has given us plenty of space to perform lab simulations, health assessments and classroom lectures all in one location.

 

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Caldwell University Celebrates Opening of New Nursing Labs

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Alumni, supporters and members of the Caldwell University community gathered on Feb. 26 for a ribbon cutting celebration to mark the opening of new nursing labs on campus. The guests enjoyed getting an inside view of the state-of-the-art facility that is being used for classroom, clinical and simulation instruction for the popular bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program.
L to R, row 1: Natalie Peck, trustee, Healthcare Foundation of NJ; Marsha Atkind, executive director of the Healthcare Foundation of NJ; Marycarol Rossignol, , Ph.D., R.N., CNL, Director of the Caldwell University Nursing Program, Louis LaSalle , Senior Vice President, External Affairs, Barnabas Health; John Peterson, Caldwell University Trustee
L to R, row 2: Marchell Boyd, nursing student; Marilyn Bastardi, Chair of the Caldwell University Board of Trustees; Nancy Blattner, Ph.D., President, Caldwell University.; Michael Candido, Caldwell University Trustee
L to R, row 3: Nursing faculty members Aneesha Jean and Kathie Kelley, Gerry Bellotti, Vice President of the Independent College Fund of NJ; Kevin Boyle, Vice President of Development and Alumni Affairs at Caldwell University
L to R, row 4: MaryAlice Breuninger, Development Officer and John Wilson, President and CEO of the Independent College Fund of NJ.

 

Alumni, supporters and members of the Caldwell University community gathered on Feb. 26 for a ribbon cutting celebration to mark the opening of new nursing labs on campus. The guests enjoyed getting an inside view of the state-of-the-art facility that is being used for classroom, clinical and simulation instruction.

The students and nursing faculty were delighted to show guests around the 4,000-square-foot learning environment, which features nursing-skills, health-assessment and simulation laboratories and a general classroom with seminar space. Julie Andrews, a senior nursing student, said the evening provided a “good way to get people to see what we are doing.” Kevin Boyle, vice president of development and alumni affairs, welcomed the guests and thanked supporters for making the college’s vision of producing a forward-thinking nursing department a reality.

Marycarol Rossignol , Ph.D., R.N., CNL, director of the Nursing Department, was thrilled that the facility now provides a “lasting home for the growing program” of more than 200 students. “It accommodates the future expansion to graduate education,” she said. “The learning environments were designed to support more interactive, collaborative, comfortable and active engagement equipped with furniture and interactive digital boards to provide new ways of learning.”

Among the guests was Lou LaSalle, senior vice president of external affairs for Barnabas Health, who said his institution was “excited about the partnership between Barnabas Health and Caldwell University” and looked forward to the “great continued relationship” between the two organizations.

J.B. Wilson, president and CEO of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of New Jersey, was amazed at the transformation of the space and said it was “great to see how excited the students are” about the new environment.

Amanda Diaz, a junior nursing student, is happy to be a part of the nursing program at this pivotal time and especially appreciates having “wonderful professors who are very supportive.” Marchell Boyd, also a junior nursing student, said she is really impressed with how the program had evolved in such a short time. “It is really nice,” she said.

Marsha Atkind, executive director at The Healthcare Foundation of NJ, toured the facility with HFNJ Trustee Natalie Peck. Marsha said they “were extremely gratified to see the wonderful equipment that Caldwell University students will now have at their disposal to maximize their learning opportunities and simulate real-life medical situations.” She said it was a pleasure for their organization to provide seed funding for “this important project”.

The simulation laboratory is equipped with high-fidelity manikins and emergency equipment and supplies for students to focus on quality, safety, team-based skills, evidence-based practice, leadership and delegation. A control room inside the simulation lab will house the computer operator and equipment, which includes the capability to video record and review the simulations.

Dr. Mary Beth Russell, nursing director at St. Barnabas Medical Center, found the simulation lab to be “exceptional” and she said it is crucial to learning since it gives nursing students practical experience so they are “not fearful and have confidence” when they go out into a health care setting. Having the simulation background will “enable Caldwell students to transition from students to staff expeditiously,” she said.

The nursing main skills laboratory provides nine bed stations outfitted with authentic equipment and supplies that simulate acute hospital and long-term-care settings and give students the opportunity to work in small groups. The health assessment laboratory consists of nine primary care stations with partitions for privacy. There are tables and chairs for conferences or classes.

The new facility was made possible through the bond initiative passed by New Jersey voters in 2012 and the generosity of several organizations including the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey, the George I. Alden Trust, the Hyde and Watson Foundation, Barnabas Health, the Independent College Fund of New Jersey, the C. R. Bard Foundation Inc., the Johnson and Johnson Family of Companies, St. Joseph’s Healthcare System, BD, and alumni and friends of Caldwell University.

 

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Nursing Department Hosts Blessing of the Hands Ceremony

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Assistant Director of Nursing Brenda Peterson takes part in the Blessing of the Hands ceremony for nursing students.

The Caldwell University Nursing Department recently held its first Blessing of the Hands Ceremony beginning a new tradition for nursing students.

The ceremony was led by Sister Kathleen Tuite. O.P. along with the nursing faculty and President Nancy Blattner, Ph.D. OP.

The purpose of the ceremony is to provide a spiritual experience symbolically linking the art of nursing with the science of nursing practice. Nursing students are given the opportunity to reflect on the interconnectedness of humanity, the healing art of nursing, and the duty of the nurse to provide holistic care to all human beings.

The Blessing of the Hands ceremony allows students an opportunity to consider the importance of finding balance between their caring hearts and hands and the provision of nursing care that occurs within a healthcare delivery system, which is complex and driven by technology.

The ceremony provides faculty, administrators, and nursing students with the chance to engage in an interconnected process– hand-to-hand, heart-to-heart, and spirit-to-spirit. It reinforces the department’s commitment to valuing connectedness, collaboration and inclusivity, honesty and professional excellence in all interactions and relationships and it underpins the college’s commitment to its core values of respect, integrity, community and excellence. What a joyful experience for all!

Nursing News

Nursing Students Volunteer at Soup Kitchen

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On Saturday, November 30th, of Thanksgiving weekend, a group of nursing students from the Student Nurses Association at Caldwell University, left the comfort of family and friends to help serve those in need.  They carpooled to the Missionaries of Charity’s Soup Kitchen in Newark and helped prepare and serve a Turkey Dinner with all the trimmings.  Everyone agreed that the experience was valuable and they were glad that they could lend a hand!

Nursing News

Student Nurses’ Association Raises Funds for Breast Cancer Foundation

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On Sunday, October 27th, about 20 Caldwell University nursing students, family members, and friends participated in the Making Strides for Breast Cancer Walk in Edison, NJ. Thousands of walkers from all over came out to support this wonderful cause and the Caldwell University participants were extremely happy to take part in the activity. As a team, they raised just over $500.00 to donate to the Making Strides Foundation. The walk started at 10 am Sunday morning at the New Jersey Expo Center. Everyone gathered and danced to the music that played throughout the center. It was a cause the association chose in support of a classmate and friend who lost her mom to breast cancer just a couple years ago. They walked in memory of her mom, for everyone else who has lost their battle with breast cancer, and for the many women who are survivors. 

Christina Buono, President, Student Nurse’ Association at Caldwell University (SNACC)