On Tuesday, July 29, 2014, the Master’s Entry – Clinical Nurse Leader (C.N.L.) program graduated its fifth class. The C.N.L. is the only second degree program in New Jersey that allows students with a non-nursing baccalaureate degree to earn their M.S.N. degree in about two years. Graduates sit for the C.N.L. certification exam and are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination – Registered Nurses (NCLEX-R.N.). There were nineteen total graduates, most of whom participated in the College of Nursing Convocation in May, but they celebrated the actual completion of program requirements with a party in the University Center.
The event included a Blessing of the Hands, a long-held tradition in nursing that blesses the hands that will be used to heal and care for patients. The non-denominational blessing was uplifting and a new custom at Seton Hall University College of Nursing. C.N.L. Program Director, Virginia Clerkin, D.H.Ed., M.S.N., R.N., CTN-A, C.N.L., was particularly pleased with the event. "I have always wanted to include a spiritual component to our festivities and the Blessing of the Hands is a beautiful way to recognize nurses and health care workers in general. The 2014 graduates have been a particularly close-knit, ambitious group and I can’t wait to see what they do in the nursing profession."
This year's celebration was bittersweet, as it marks the last graduation for Dr. Clerkin, who has chosen to pursue education in a clinical setting. The College of Nursing is delighted that she is following her passion, but her presence will be missed. Acting Dean Marie C. Foley, Ph.D., R.N., C.N.L., notes, "Virginia Clerkin has excelled as the C.N.L. program director. She stepped in to the role with little notice and has been a strong advocate for her students. She has worked tirelessly as an advisor to the student group Leaders in Healthcare, set a high standard for the students and even spearheaded the annual Disaster Simulation event on campus."
The new C.N.L. program director, Pamela Galehouse, Ph.D., R.N., PMHCNS-BC, C.N.L., will begin her responsibilities in mid-August and is excited about leading this unique group of students. "Since this program is accelerated, the pace moves very quickly, but these students are prepared for the challenges that come along with earning a master’s degree in two years. Since all of them have already completed a bachelor’s degree, they bring a different level of maturity and experience to the table."
The C.N.L. is a master's-prepared clinician certified by the Commission on Nurse Certification. In practice, the C.N.L. oversees the care coordination and integration of care for a group of patients. This master's degree-prepared clinician puts evidence-based practice into action to ensure that patients benefit from the latest innovations in care delivery. The C.N.L. is a leader and active member of the interdisciplinary health care team and can work in any care setting.
For more information please contact: