Students in the College of Nursing began their first day on Monday, August 27, as part of the inaugural class of the new state-of-the-art Interprofessional Health Sciences (IHS) Campus in Clifton and Nutley, NJ. The day marks a significant milestone for Seton Hall University, as it becomes one of the first in the country to pioneer interprofessional healthcare education. In this new environment, student nurses, medical students and other aspiring health professionals will learn and train side-by-side utilizing the latest in leading edge technology in an interprofessional environment. Interprofessional education assists in improving healthcare outcomes, reducing disparities, and increasing overall patient satisfaction.
Seton Hall made sure every student was welcomed in style. Father John Dennehy and Fr. Zach Swantek, the new chaplain and director of campus ministry at the IHS campus, along with the Seton Hall Pirate greeted all who walked the steps to the new building for the first time. Once inside, Student Services provided maps, welcome snack bags and various swag to get the day started. From there, students navigated the vast hallways and corridors containing everything from digitally adapted classrooms, simulation labs with mannequins ranging from pregnant women to babies, physical examination rooms, a nurses' station, a fully functioning operating room complete with scrub sinks, on to a wealth of follow-up and interview rooms, among many other astounding features. Essentially, the building exists as a virtual learning center, providing students with an unparalleled experience to learn every aspect of healthcare prior to professional practice in the real world.
Steven Halko and Sean Mesa
Steven Halko, a junior nursing student, was taken with how much the building felt like a real healthcare facility. He stated, "It's so advanced. Everyone here will get that connection to each other as a team. The facilities combined with the team approach are going to open many more doors in the real world." Sean Mesa, a fellow classmate and junior, added, "Seton Hall has always made it easy to get the resources you need to succeed. Extra help is always available and the professors here are truly awesome. Now, this new building and shared education with the other two schools brings what we learn to another level. Everything is here, even a nurses' station to simulate a real day on the job."
Cristina Preziosi, also a junior, echoed her classmates' sentiments when she stated, "The new technology allows us to mirror realistic situations. We'll be better prepared practice-wise for our clinicals."
All three students were on a break, having just taken their first test on medical math. When asked how they did, the response was uniform: they were ready to hit the ground running on day one and had prepared during their summer time off. Getting into the simulation labs and training on the new equipment was something they agreed was going to be one of many high points during the next year.
Day one of classes was not exclusive to undergraduates, as many in the master's programs also began their very first day as a College of Nursing student. Shani Mars is new to the MSN-Clinical Nurse Leader program, the only entry-level program in New Jersey that allows a qualifying student with a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing major to graduate with a Master of Science in Nursing. Her undergraduate major in science assisted in fast-tracking some of the prerequisites. According to Mars, she always knew she was destined for a career somewhere in the healthcare field. Like many, it starts with the simple desire to help others. "I love the idea of coming out with a master's degree and the preparation to become a practicing nurse. I am beyond excited at the prospect of intertwining theory and practice in a school that is helping to pave the way."
Obviously, the end objective for all students is a rewarding career somewhere in the ever-expanding field of nursing. Opportunities are many, and everyone points to the expectation that their time as a Seton Hall nursing student will prepare them to excel in their chosen area and build a professional network. Mesa is drawn to working in trauma, having already experienced working with St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center in Paterson. Halko expects to become an ER nurse and carry on the family legacy, stating "I come from a long line of health professionals – my dad, my grandfather. It's definitely a family thing. It's in our blood." Mars hopes to work somewhere in pediatrics. Preziosi did not declare what her intent may be, preferring instead to absorb everything that will come with being part of the first nursing class of the new Interprofessional Health Sciences Campus.
Josh Turbiak, an aspiring mobile intensive care nurse, is entering his senior year, having spent most of his time on the South Orange campus. He sees the opportunity to finish his B.S.N. program on the new campus as a valuable capstone to an already great education. He observed, "The old campus was more condensed. Here, everything is brand new, and there's more of it. The library is a major resource for us - a wealth of information at your fingertips. I love all the study rooms. I'm one of those people who likes to duck away and get into my zone." He continued, "I always thought Seton Hall offered what other schools couldn't in terms of preparing you to succeed. Now, with this new building and all of its resources, I feel like I am definitely part of something exciting and innovative. I am really looking forward to the next year – my last – as part of this program."
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Categories: Health and Medicine