New Jersey nurses celebrate career accomplishments

ED staff nurse, Chilton Hospital, Pompton Plains, N.J.

Mavropoulos, RN, has been a Chilton ED nurse for four years. While many New Jerseyans were spending summer vacations at a beach, Mavropoulos was in rural Pennsylvania volunteering at a statewide Special Olympics event.

She employed her nursing skills during the week-long event at the Antiochian Village in Bolivar, Pa., for its Special Olympics summer camp in August.

“I help the physicians take care of the participants because aside from their mental/physical disabilities, they could have diabetes, hypertension and other ailments,” she said in a news release. “The athletes range in age from teenagers to people in their 60s, so there are a variety of possible medical conditions to attend to.”

Mavropoulos, who has a BSN from St. Peter’s University in Jersey City, N.J., where she is currently studying for her master’s degree, also assisted at the various sporting events each day and helped set up meals and evening events, including a luau.

During the commencement of the event, each participant is represented by their respective Pennsylvania county. They are cheered on by camp staff and volunteers during a celebration.

“I believe I get more out of it than they do,” she said of the athletes. “They’re so inspirational. Everyone is so supportive of each other and they’re so happy to be there, even if they lose. The athletes look forward to it every year and remember it and talk about it the rest of the year. They appreciate the slightest thing you do for them, including applauding them for simply kicking a soccer ball.”

Mavropoulos, who has volunteered four times at the event, returned home with a cell phone full of photos to remind her of that memorable week.

Nurses from seven different colleges and universities in the state have completed the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s New Jersey Nursing Initiative. A group of 20 RNs known as New Jersey Nursing Scholars graduated with MSN degrees in preparation for becoming nursing faculty in the state.

Among the recent graduates are RNs Jamie Boman, Christine Brewer, Catherine Carlton, Diane Cukrow, Marjory Desulme, Tony Malek, Janice McConnon and Grace Qarmout (Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, N.J.); Laura Zakresy (Kean University, Union, N.J.); Nancy Flood and Karen Hoary (Monmouth University, West Long Branch, N.J.); Caitlin Fett Werther and Alexander Manning (The College of New Jersey); Tammy Cooper, Renee Kurz, Nancy Mills and Shelby Pitts (University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark); Marlin Gross and Stephanie Henson (Richard Stockton College, Galloway Township, N.J.); and Ruta Brazaitis (William Paterson University, Wayne, N.J.).

Upon graduation, scholars have the opportunity to receive financial incentives if they become faculty members at schools of nursing in the state.

Rutgers University College of Nursing, which has campuses in Newark and New Brunswick, has appointed three new faculty members.

Kathy Gunkel, RN, DNP, ANP-C, WHNP-C, will serve as clinical assistant professor and assistant director, FOCUS-Rutgers Health Center. Gunkel has more than 20 years of experience working in Planned Parenthood in various positions.

Jacqueline Zaremba, RN, DNP, APN-C, also will serve as a clinical assistant professor. She has expertise as an acute and adult NP, as well as a family psychiatric NP. She earned a DNP from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, an MSN in the adult NP program from Seton Hall University and a post-master’s certificate in family psychiatric NP at Rutgers. Her work will focus on developing evidence-based guidelines for inpatient alcohol detoxification.

Diane Stewart, RN MSN, APN-C, has been appointed as a clinical instructor. Stewart earned her master’s degree from Columbia University School of Nursing and her BSN from William Paterson College. She is a certified diabetes educator and pediatric NP. Stewart is pursuing a DNP at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Three new teaching fellows, who are full-time PhD students, also have been appointed. The fellows are Danielle Combs, RN, MS, CNM; Alyssa Killion, RN, MSN, PMHNP-BC; and Karen Moosvi, RN, MSN, APNc, CNE.

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