Seton Hall professor and alumnus Dr. Colleen Carrington, D.N.P., R.N., CPNP, IBCLC, received her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree in March, the culmination of a long career in pediatric nursing and education that now includes three nursing degrees from Seton Hall.
Dr. Carrington had previously completed her B.S.N. and her M.S.N. at Seton Hall while working full-time and raising her family. She said that the excellence, dedication, and professionalism of her colleagues at the College of Nursing motivated her to pursue her Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.), which she calls the most useful and gratifying experience of her career.
"The D.N.P. scholarly project is a fitting vehicle because it has brought together the knowledge and skills acquired over a lifetime of clinical experiences, focused on the newborn, the new mother, and the pediatric patient, and allowed me to share these experiences and utilize these skills with a most needy and most vulnerable population," Dr. Carrington said.
Dr. Carrington fell in love with nursing at a young age, working as a candy striper and a nurse's aide in a nursing home while in high school. After completing her associate's degree, she began working as a nurse at St. Barnabas Medical Center in various pediatric roles, including the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Her pediatric experiences continued throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
When she decided to return to school for her B.S.N., she found that Seton Hall's then-new online R.N. to B.S.N. courses allowed her to continue her education while working and caring for her family.
"During the time I was taking courses, my hospital changed to thirteen hour shifts and it was going to become impossible to continue classes on campus," Dr. Carrington said. "Seton Hall's online courses were my salvation. I was able to complete the R.N. to B.S.N. program online while working full-time in the hospital."
She completed her B.S.N. degree in 2005 at the age of 52, the same year her daughter graduated college. She continued taking online courses through Seton Hall, earned her M.S.N. degree in 2008, and became a certified pediatric nurse practitioner. By 2009, she was part of the faculty at Seton Hall.
"I had always enjoyed working with the Seton Hall students when they came to the hospital. I found the role of professor as rewarding and fulfilling as caring for patients at the bedside," Dr. Carrington said.
Dr. Carrington is dedicated to working with underserved populations, and has used her experience to work at Raphael's Life House in Elizabeth, New Jersey, which provides shelter, vocational training, and other services for homeless women who are pregnant and nursing.
Dr. Carrington will speak at Convocation this year, sharing her dedication to lifelong learning and servant leadership with the next generation of nurses. "Seton Hall is an extraordinary community, and the College of Nursing has a program for every step of a nurse's career," Dr. Carrington said. "It's a great place to work and to learn."
About Seton Hall University College of Nursing
Seton Hall University College of Nursing offered the first baccalaureate nursing program in New Jersey in 1937 and is CCNE-accredited through June of 2019. The graduate program was established in 1975, the Ph.D. program in 2006 and the Doctor of Nursing Practice program in 2009. U.S. News & World Report ranks Seton Hall University College of Nursing as one of the top graduate nursing programs in the country. The College of Nursing's mission is to educate baccalaureate-prepared generalists and advanced practitioners of nursing who aspire to be innovators and leaders in the nursing profession.