Rutgers Nursing Professor Nancy Pontes Named Fellow of the National Academies of Practice

Rutgers Nursing Professor Nancy Pontes Named Fellow of the National Academies of Practice

The National Academies of Practice, a national interprofessional organization advising on health care delivery in the US, recently inducted Nancy Pontes, an assistant professor in the Rutgers School of Nursing-Camden, as a Fellow. Pontes was inducted into the prestigious fellowship during an annual conference in March, where she was also distinguished as a fellow of the Nursing Academy.

Pontes’ expertise is in family health, the delivery of care, and the social determinants of health and well-being in youth and families. She was the 2013 recipient of the New Jersey College Health Association’s Honorary Nursing Excellence Award in College Health. Pontes has also published research in several health-related journals and presented her findings at conferences nationwide.

As a member of the Rutgers School of Nursing-Camden since 2015, Pontes teaches undergraduate courses in Community Health Nursing/Global Health and Wellness and Health Assessment, and graduate courses in Advanced Health and Physical Assessment. Pontes is also the primary investigator on a $600,000 grant from the US Department of Education International and Foreign Language office which seeks to strengthen Spanish language skills among students and faculty.

Pontes received her bachelor of science in nursing degree from Pensacola Christian College in 1985, her master of science in nursing degree from the University of Florida in 1994, and her PhD in nursing from Columbia University in 2003. She previously served as assistant vice president for health and wellness at Rowan University and practice director and nurse practitioner at New York University’s Division of Nursing and the University of Florida’s College of Medicine prior to beginning her position with Rutgers.

To learn more about Pontes’ nursing background and Fellow recognition with the National Academies of Practice, visit here.

Joanne Robinson, Dean of the Rutgers School of Nursing-Camden, Named as National League for Nursing Fellow

Joanne Robinson, Dean of the Rutgers School of Nursing-Camden, Named as National League for Nursing Fellow

Joanne Robinson, the inaugural dean of the Rutgers School of Nursing-Camden, was recently named as one of nine fellows for the National League for Nursing’s (NLN) Executive Leadership in Nursing Education and Practice program.

The program selects experienced executive leaders in nursing education and practice who have held positions for over five years. Selected participants are prepared to become champions for change who design and implement strategies for innovation and meeting the demands of nursing education and health care. Over the course of the one-year program, participants will work with peers and experts across the country on issues of leadership and organizational systems.

Robinson is a noted scholar in nursing care for the elderly. She was named the founding dean of the Rutgers School of Nursing-Camden in 2012 and has since been committed to preparing nurses to deliver top patient care while advancing nursing and health science. The relatively new nursing school has Robinson to thank for its impressive growth which includes the addition of a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program and graduate certificate program in wound ostomy continence nursing, and the merger of two nursing programs into the Rutgers-Camden program.

After her starting her nursing career with a bachelor’s degree in nursing from William Paterson University, Robinson went on to earn a master’s degree in community health nursing from Rutgers-Newark and a PhD in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania. Robinson is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing (AAN), co-founded the NJ End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium, and served on the Governor’s Advisory Council on Elder Care and the New Jersey Commission on Aging, amongst several other achievements.

To learn more about Robinson’s nursing background and achievements, visit here.

$200,000 New Jersey Nursing Initiative Grant Awarded to Rutgers School of Nursing-Camden

$200,000 New Jersey Nursing Initiative Grant Awarded to Rutgers School of Nursing-Camden

With the help of a $200,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Rutgers School of Nursing-Camden will be able to fund an innovative expansion of their post-baccalaureate School Nursing Certification Program to a graduate-level program with a focus on population health. The New Jersey Nursing Initiative (NJNI) award is one of only five given in the state and will help Rutgers’ mission of educating school nurses to address the increasingly complex health demands of students and their communities.

School nurses are critical to the health of students and their communities. Today’s school nurses require education in public health and advanced leadership so that they can work with community leaders to enact changes in school systems, policies, and other environments that influence the health of their students.

Enabled by the new grant, the Rutgers School of Nursing-Camden will change the focus of their school nursing certification program from focusing on the health of individual students to addressing determinants of health affecting students in their communities. The initiative will emphasize the importance of creating healthier communities by making health a shared value through collaboration with students, their families, the school systems, and the surrounding communities.

The main message of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Culture of Health Campaign is fostering collaboration to improve well-being, more equitable communities, and strengthening integration of health services and systems. Rutgers-Camden plans to do just that, pioneering and leading in the field of school nurse education to better prepare school nurses in New Jersey, ultimately improving the health of the populations they serve.

Seton Hall University BSN Students Selected to Participate in US Department of Veterans Affairs VALOR Program

Seton Hall University BSN Students Selected to Participate in US Department of Veterans Affairs VALOR Program

Each year the US Department of Veterans Affairs selects students to participate in its highly competitive Veterans Affairs Learning Opportunity Residency (VALOR) program. Over the summer, two Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) students from Seton Hall University (SHU) were selected to participate in the ten-week program at the VA New Jersey Health Care System East Orange and Lyons campuses.

VALOR is a program designed to provide nursing students with a designated registered nurse preceptor who helps the student develop the competencies necessary for working as an RN caring for our nation’s veterans. The SHU College of Nursing was honored to have two students selected to participate, Kristin Donadio and Daisy Acevedo.

During the program, Donadio and Acevedo rotated through multiple units including intensive care, psychiatry, same day surgery, and long term care. As VALOR students, they also participated in the Nurse Practice Council, weekly educational programs, and delivered capstone presentations to the VA nurses and staff at the end of their ten weeks.

Donadio and Acevedo were thankful for the opportunity to improve their competence and confidence in providing nursing care through VALOR. In only ten weeks, the students developed personally and professionally, resulting in future plans to pursue professional careers in the critical care setting, ideally within the VA Health System. Both students noted that the values at the VA and at SHU are the same – nursing is all about ‘giving back,’ and showing kindness and respect to patients and staff.

Montclair State University Plans to Open New Nursing School Doors in Spring Semester

Montclair State University Plans to Open New Nursing School Doors in Spring Semester

The School of Nursing at Montclair State University is preparing a full Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program, waiting for approval by the NJ Board of Nursing. Along with the new BSN program, Montclair is almost finished constructing Patridge Hall, the new school of nursing building which will be ready for use in January.

Under the leadership of Dean Dr. Janice Smolowitz and Director of Undergraduate Nursing, Courtney Reinisch, Montclair State University marks the beginning of their Registered Nurse to BSN program this September. The new program is intended to provide registered nurses with associate’s degrees in nursing or graduates from nursing diploma programs the opportunity to earn their BSN. The full BSN program is expected to begin at the university in Fall 2017.

Once completed, the new School of Nursing building in Patridge Hall will include lecture halls, fully-mediated classrooms, an anatomy lab, and state-of-the-art nursing lab space with dedicated areas for students to develop skills in specific medical procedures. High fidelity patient simulators will allow students to practice communication and decision-making skills using real-life scenarios from ambulatory, community, and hospital settings.

Eventually, Montclair State also plans to open programs for a Master’s Degree in Nursing (MSN), a five-year BSN-MSN combined program, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program. The Montclair State University School of Nursing is looking for nursing students who are critical thinkers, culturally aware, effective communicators, and prepared to address the needs of individuals, families, and communities. At the forefront concern of the nursing programs are the health care needs of New Jersey and its residents.

Scholarships of up to $5,000 per year will be available to the inaugural Registered Nurse to BSN class. In addition, the McMullan Family Foundation has gifted Montclair $100,000 in scholarships for nurses at Mountainside Hospital who are seeking BSN degrees.

Rutgers School of Nursing Implements Telemedicine Program to Target Local Underserved Populations

Rutgers School of Nursing Implements Telemedicine Program to Target Local Underserved Populations

The use of telemedicine first came about as a popular solution for medical access in rural areas, but a new pilot program from Rutgers is focusing on underserved populations in public housing. When telemedicine is used appropriately, it has a unique capacity to improve access to healthcare and lower costs, improving health care outcomes and making it a widely accepted part of today’s health care delivery system.

The Rutgers School of Nursing and Rutgers Business School have partnered with SmartCareDoc, a telemedicine platform from Pennsylvania-based Telemed Ventures, to work with 10 patients living in Newark public housing. Using portable devices that plug into a laptop, tablet, or phone, the provider can listen to a patient’s heartbeat; check a patient’s temperature, blood pressure, or pulse rate; and obtain a real-time electrocardiogram reading.

One of telemedicine’s most commonly cited challenges is that it isn’t a billable doctor’s visit, which means physicians can’t be paid for its use, a problem that the study hopes to investigate and address. Evidence already exists for the effectiveness of telemedicine across rural communities (which is why Medicare covers it), but the study hopes to expand understanding of the effectiveness of telemedicine in urban centers like Newark.

Rutgers’ program is distinctive because unlike most telehealth companies that target physicians, Rutgers is targeting nurses in this study. Many community health programs are managed by nurses and nurse practitioners are the primary care providers. Telemedicine could be another method for nurses and nurse practitioners to serve their patients, especially with the rise of insurance companies recognizing that nurse practitioner driven primary care is just as effective as a physician-based model.

This pilot program will be bringing telemedicine to individuals who can benefit from the innovative healthcare model, but who have likely never heard of it. This is an important step forward for telemedicine which has the potential to mitigate the current health care crisis by improving access to healthcare and substantially reducing costs. Many lower income and urban communities have poorer health outcomes and greater barriers to care (like transportation), but projects like this one can help uncover ways to take the burden off of people with chronic conditions, helping them to live healthier lives.