On June 15, 55 graduates from the Mountainside Hospital School of Nursing in Montclair, N.J., and their families attended a graduation breakfast and commencement exercises at the Mayfair Farms in West Orange, N.J.
In existence for 117 years, the Mountainside Hospital School of Nursing is the oldest of the 10 remaining diploma programs in New Jersey. “Upon graduation and successful completion of the NCLEX examination, our diploma graduates can fulfill BSN course requirements at a local or online nursing program,” said Ngozi O. Nkongho, RN, PhD, CNE, director of the Mountainside-Caldwell College BSN program and administrator of the Mountainside Hospital Center for Nursing. “We encourage our students to continue on with their BSN degree.”
Louise M. DeBlois, RN, MA, MEd, CNE, former director of the school of nursing and assistant vice president of academic affairs at Galen College of Nursing in Louisville, Ky., congratulated the students. “You must learn to embrace and create change,” she said. “As a nurse you can be part of change by having the courage to stand up for what you believe in. Nursing’s future depends on all of you to take this challenge and be motivated by what you believe you can achieve.”
Eileen P. Williamson, RN, MSN, president of the New Jersey League for Nursing and senior vice president of Nursing Communications and Initiatives at Nurse.com, presented the NJLN award to Adam McDavitt, co-president of the 2011 class. “When you join professional organizations, you stay involved, network with colleagues, continue to learn and stay abreast of the current professional issues,” said Williamson, who gave a free year’s NJLN membership to McDavitt.
Since fall 2010, Mountainside has offered a BSN program through Caldwell (N.J.) College, which has been approved by the New Jersey Board of Nursing and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Mountainside Hospital serves as the primary site for teaching theory and clinical nursing through the Mountainside Hospital Center for Nursing Practice.
The BSN program provides three tracks, one for the traditional student coming out of high school who receives a liberal arts education at Caldwell and a clinical nursing education at Mountainside. The second career track is geared for those who have college degrees and wish to become nurses, and the third is for those who are RNs from associate degree or diploma degree schools and want to receive BSNs.
“Because we need to educate more nurses for the future, these partnerships are a new model for bridging clinical practice and academic nursing education. These new models give our new graduates the nursing skills, knowledge and confidence to practice,” said Bonnie Michaels, RN, MA, NEA-BC, FACHE, vice president and CNO at Mountainside Hospital.