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Junior Nursing Students Receive White Coats for Start of Clinicals

Caldwell, N.J., Sept. 11, 2019 – Sixty Caldwell University nursing students in their junior year received their white coats and Humanism in Medicine pins honoring the start of their clinical work in hospitals and health care centers.   

The 5th annual Gold Foundation-Arnold P. Gold Foundation ceremony was held on Sept. 11.  Caldwell University President Nancy Blattner, Associate Dean of the School of Nursing and Public Health Donna Naturale, Director of Undergraduate Nursing Students Kathleen Kelley,  School of Nursing and Public Health faculty, and Assistant Director of the Gold Humanism Honor Society Louisa Tvito, as well as family and friends gathered to celebrate this milestone with the students.

Four of the students shared their experiences in the nursing program.  

Elysee Fearon 

Cedar Grove, NJ

How does it feel to receive your white coat?
It is an amazing feeling to be here today… it signifies our first step to becoming nurses.

Why did you decide to study nursing?
I decided that I wanted to be a nurse after I experienced a tragedy in my life. My father was diagnosed with an aggressive and malignant brain tumor when I was Elysee Fearon16 years old. He was a fighter, but during his last few months, he needed help with his daily activities, such as eating and brushing his teeth. I helped him every day until his last. It was then that I realized I wanted to do this for the rest of my life, helping people in their most difficult times and being able to keep their dignity. I hope that one day I can be that person for someone else. 

What has been most rewarding about Caldwell University’s nursing program?
The most rewarding part of Caldwell’s nursing program is knowing that one day with all of the skills and knowledge I am gaining at Caldwell. I will one day be able to help those who need it most. 

 What area of nursing do you think you would like to pursue?
One day I would love to be a nurse in an ICU unit or possibly an oncology nurse. 

 Your advice to incoming nursing students?
My advice for incoming nursing students is to put your heart into nursing. You will pick up the skills and the knowledge throughout the years, but it is most important to love what you do and be truly passionate about wanting to help others. The rest will fall into place (with hard work and studying, of course)!

Killian Gesicki

I grew up in Parsippany, New Jersey and moved to Montville, New Jersey six years ago. 

How does it feel to receive your white coat?
I’m relieved and excited. Killain Gesicki

Why did you decide to study nursing?
I decided to pursue nursing because of the impact I can have on others and caring for those who cannot fully take care of themselves. I also enjoy learning new topics and the different fields in nursing you can work in. Before our first day of nursing school, I was very nervous but after the first week my nerves calmed down. 

What has been most rewarding about Caldwell University’s nursing program?
Caldwell’s nursing program is very rewarding because of all the professors I have. They want you to succeed and be an amazing nurse and work to your full potential. Knowing that they are always there when I need them,  have a question or don’t understand a topic makes this program one of a kind. They set you up for success!

What area of nursing do you think you would like to pursue?
Once I am done with nursing school and pass my NCLEX I would love to work as a critical care nurse and specialize in neonatal intensive care. My brother and sister were two months premature and spent the beginning stages of their newborn life in the NICU. The nurses in the NICU were very knowledgeable and took amazing care of my brother and sister and I want to be that kind of nurse. I want to be that nurse who the parents will remember that took care of their newborn baby. I will have the strength and knowledge to take care of them because of this program. 

Your advice to incoming nursing students?
My advice to any incoming nursing student would be to study, read ahead, organize yourself, get a whiteboard, and breath because ‘you got this’! Nursing is a hard major but it is a very rewarding career. Just remember, you made it this far and got into a nursing program which is a huge accomplishment in itself.                    

Peter Toscak

Linden, New Jersey.

 How did it feel to receive your white coat?
It feels like the true accumulation of all my past successes for the work I put in. 

Why did you decide to study nursing?
The decision to pursue nursing was a decision that took a very long time to Peter Topscakmake. I initially began working at a hospital at 18 years old assisting doctors of physical therapy in providing post-surgical/ burn rehabilitation therapy to patients. My initial dream was to care for people and I believed that rehabilitating patients was my way of doing it. While working at the hospital, I slowly lost interest due to the monotonous repetition that was my everyday work life. There was barely any time to build rapport with my patients and often times the real hands-on care was delivered by the nurses. This discovery of the nursing profession allowed me to examine just how amazing nurses are, as well as how much good a competent nurse can bring to the world.

 What has been most rewarding about Caldwell University’s nursing program?
The nursing program here at Caldwell has been extremely rewarding because it has allowed me to connect with amazing individuals and learn from the best nurses in the country. Additionally, the first time I donned my stethoscope around my neck; wearing it proudly, it was very symbolic to me of the journey I am embarking on.

 What area of nursing do you think you would like to pursue?
I am hoping for the opportunity to be commissioned into the military and practice my nursing while also serving my country. Regardless of this opportunity coming to fruition or not, I want to specialize in critical care. Specifically, I would like to be working in an emergency department or an intensive care unit.

 Your advice to incoming nursing students?
The school work comes quick, so don’t let yourself fall behind for even just a second. You’ll want to practice your nursing at a high degree of competency, and since every class counts towards that, you need to build a strong foundation. This, in turn, will allow you to practice with great autonomy, making you stand out amongst your peers, and eventually amongst your colleagues.

Tricia Florexil

Irvington, New Jersey  

How does it feel to receive your white coat?
It is a great experience because it means I’m stepping into the real nursing world.

Why did you decide to study nursing?
I’ve always had an interest in the health/medical field and I found that nursing was more flexible with the specialties and it provides an opportunity to build a Tricia Florexil connection with patients.

What has been most rewarding about Caldwell University’s nursing program?
I like the close-knit community and easy access (and open) help from the professors.

What area of nursing do you think you would like to pursue?
I’m currently focused on the labor and delivery unit and hope to advance to becoming a midwife. 

  Your advice to incoming nursing students?
My advice to incoming freshmen is to not be afraid of feeling nervous because everyone is. Really be open and have a great experience as a college student for the first two years because once you start your nursing courses, you really have to devote the majority of your time to nursing.