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Montclair State’s new Nursing School to Open Doors in Spring

by Montclarion News
Partridge Hall is scheduled to open for the spring 2017 semester. Photo Credit: Dana Jarvis

Partridge Hall is scheduled to open for the spring 2017 semester.
Photo Credit: Dana Jarvis

Montclair State University’s new School of Nursing is currently preparing a full Bachelor of Science (BSN) in nursing program, to be approved by the N.J. Board of Nursing as its next offered program. The construction of Patridge Hall, the school’s building, will be ready for use in January, said President of Montclair State University, Dr. Susan Cole.

This September is the beginning of the School’s Registered Nurse to BSN program, under the leadership of Dean Dr. Janice Smolowitz and the Director of Undergraduate Nursing, Courtney Reinisch. The new program “will provide registered nurses who currently hold an associate’s degree in nursing or are graduates from a nursing diploma program the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing.” The full BSN is to begin in the fall of 2017.

Eventually, “a Master’s Degree in Nursing (MSN), a five-year BSN-MSN and a Doctor of Nursing Practice” will be available for enrollment.

Partridge Hall started renovation in October 2015 and was supposed to be ready for this semester, along with the school’s first program. Instead, it is scheduled to open in time for the spring of 2017 semester, according to Cole.

Cole said the building will include “lecture halls, fully-mediated classrooms, an anatomy lab and state-of-the-art nursing lab space with dedicated areas for students to develop their skills in specific medical procedures.”

She continued, “The high fidelity patient simulators will enable students to practice communication and decision-making skills using real-life scenarios from ambulatory, community and hospital settings. There will also be a dedicated area for virtual simulation where students problem-solve and plan care for patients.”

“Montclair State University School of Nursing program seeks to graduate nurses who are critical thinkers, culturally-aware, effective communicators that are prepared to address the needs of individuals, families and communities. New Jersey’s health care needs are at the forefront of concern for the program,” said Reinisch.

“As a faculty member and the director of the undergraduate program, I am extremely appreciative of the opportunity I have been given to provide registered nurses a viable option to complete their Bachelor of Science degree at Montclair State. It is fantastic to have another choice available to students in the state,” said Reinisch.

“We are offering a hybrid program as we feel that this truly meets the needs of the working professional. There are many online options for completion of a BSN degree, but we feel strongly that effective communication is an important skill for nurses [and] that this necessitates the need for in person meetings. We seek to foster relationships, trans-professional collaboration and enhance nurses‘ voices as part of the health delivery team.”

Animation/Illustration major Rachel Schmeider said it is great that the school is “constantly broadening and having new options for” students, but it is upsetting that other run-down areas of Montclair State are not being fixed first.

For instance, Calcia Hall has broken projectors and has heating and air conditioning problems. Sometimes “the heating stops, and it’s in the middle of winter, and you’re [sitting in a room that is 50 degrees],” said Schmeider.

Scholarships of up to $5,000 per year will be awarded to the inaugural Registered Nurse to BSN class. Additionally, the McMullan Family Foundation gifted the school $100,000 for scholarships for nurses at Mountainside Hospital seeking to have BSN degrees. “It’s particularly satisfying to be able to start the new school with this direct and beneficial link to a hospital that is an important resource to the Montclair community,” said Cole.

“We look forward to an exciting future and becoming an integral member of the Montclair State community,” Reinisch said.

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