William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J., recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of its Future Nurse Workshop for high school students with a reunion program called “Metamorphosis: The Transition to Nursing.”
The weeklong annual camp combines lecture and laboratory sessions on campus. Clinical topics discussed vary and include wound care, cardiac diseases, confidentiality and others. In addition, students participate in a CPR course for the professional rescuer.
Because the high school students go to patients’ bedsides, they must obtain the same health clearance approval as baccalaureate student nurses. Being with patients is a two-morning clinical experience. The students are assigned to shadow a nurse who shows them the operations of a specific unit. One clinical is in an acute care institution and the other a visiting nurse agency in the community.
Keynote speaker Julie Bliss, RN, EdD, BSN, associate professor at William Paterson, outlined steps for a successful transition from high school student to professional, according to a news release. Bliss told the students the transition to the profession of nursing involves adapting to care for their physical, emotional, spiritual, physical and intellectual well-being.
The program brought faculty, active nurses and workshop alumni together with the students.
All workshop alumni were invited. They received an email survey before the reunion to recap their Future Nurse Workshop experience. Most survey respondents were either RNs or on track for a career in professional nursing. The few who were not pursuing nursing indicated that the knowledge and the clinical experience with real patients helped them make a more realistic career choice. One student from 2004, the first year of the program, is now in a graduate program, well on the way towards nursing leadership.
Workshop alumni offered stories of personal growth and offered hope to the new group of students in the program. The event’s second speaker, Rachel M. Peralta, RN, BSN, CCRN, spoke about “Branching out: Nursing as Mission.”
Peralta discussed the expanded role of nursing during a healthcare mission outreach. She showed pictures of the healthcare team as well as before and after pictures of patients.
The roster is limited to 12 students each year to optimize opportunities for clinical experience. In addition to support from alumni, the workshop relies on community clinical sites that allow students to partner with RNs. Valley Home Care and Hospice in Paramus has participated every year, and Saint Joseph’s Medical Center in Paterson and Wayne and Bergen Regional Medical Center also have participated.
Over the program’s 10 years, numerous WPU baccalaureate and graduate alumni have offered to help. Accelerated nursing program alumni Danny Verina has been with the program every year. Recently, MSN alumni Kim Dimino initiated a camp scholarship from the HackensackUMC department of nursing for one local student. In addition, the WPU Nursing Honor Society chapter donated funds one year to purchase extra nursing supplies for each student.
Also, Novartis Pharmaceutical Company provided grant money for student attendance for three years. Most recently, the William Paterson Continuing Education Department received funding from the New Jersey Department of Education for the pre-college programs.
:LEARN MORE online at www.WPUNJ.edu/Cosh/Departments/Nursing.