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Trinitas School of Nursing Receives First Pinnacle Award

Laerdal Medical Corporation presents award to TSON at special event

Trinitas School of Nursing and Union County College celebrated the Laerdal Medical Corporation’s first-ever Pinnacle Award for Collaboration in Education (PACE) given to Trinitas School of Nursing for its leadership contribution to the development of standards and practices in simulation-based learning in nursing education. Community leaders, benefactors, hospital administrators, nursing school administrators, faculty and students attended the event that took place at the Elizabeth I. Kellogg Building of the Union County College campus in Elizabeth.

Teresita Proctor, Assistant Dean of Trinitas School of Nursing, presented an overview of the vision and decision to bring state of the art patient simulators into the curriculum, noting that discussions began in 2004. She further noted that to accomplish their goal required not only obtaining funding but encouraging the faculty to recognize the value of the patient simulators as an educational tool. Today, more than 70 fulltime and adjunct faculty members are fully educated in the instructional use of 16 patient simulators at the school.

J. Christian Bollwage, Mayor of Elizabeth, shared his pride in the School of Nursing and the space it occupies in Elizabeth. He recalled when the school, then known as Elizabeth General School of Nursing, required students to reside in dormitory space at the hospital itself. "Today, students from many different communities in the tri-state area travel each day to learn here," he said, adding, "Elizabeth is happy to be home to this outstanding school that educates the nurses of tomorrow."

Gary S. Horan, President & Chief Executive Officer of Trinitas Regional Medical Center, congratulated the School on its ongoing legacy of achievement that he traced back to the Elizabeth General Hospital School of Nursing which graduated its first three nurses in 1891. Today, the school is the third largest nursing school in the nation. Through the decades,
Mr. Horan remarked that the school kept pace with the profession and often anticipated change and developments that would challenge its ability to educate professionals for the health care field. He added: "The nurses being educated today have a grand legacy to thank for the level of educational excellence they find here. In this simulation center, they have the advantage of gaining valuable patient care skills that help them gain confidence and practical knowledge."

Victor Richel, Chairman of the Board of Union County College and Vice Chairman of Trinitas Regional Medical Center, spoke of the successful partnership of the two educational institutions. "For more than three decades, students who have enrolled in the program have received a diploma in nursing as well as an Associate Degree in Science from Union County College," he said, adding, "It is a thriving program and its presence in this great new facility is evidence
of that."

Dr. Margaret M. McMenamin, President of Union County College, also echoed the enthusiasm of her fellow speakers. "The accomplishments of this nursing school which is a part of the premier county college in the state are the direct result of the dedication of Dean Mary Elizabeth Kelley. Throughout her tenure, Dean Kelley has acted on her vision to pursue the academic excellence. That action has made Trinitas School of Nursing well known not only in New Jersey, but throughout the entire nation," she stated.

Joseph Pahlow, Vice President of Sales of Laerdal Medical Corp., spoke of the consultation over several years between the School of Nursing and Laerdal. "From the outset, Dean Kelley recognized that the patient simulators offered a level of patient care education that would help Trinitas School of Nursing to attain the highest level of educational excellence. And it has, as Trinitas is one of only 20 nursing schools nationwide that is a National League for Nursing Center of Educational Excellence. Laerdal Medical is pleased to add to this recognition by giving Trinitas School of Nursing its very first Pinnacle Award for Collaboration in Education."

Dean Kelley expressed gratitude to the Trinitas Health Foundation, Elizabethtown Healthcare Foundation, JC Kellogg Foundation and Summit Area Public Foundation. "The generosity of these organizations in the form of significant grants helped us achieve our vision. The funding that has helped us to populate this education center with patient simulators has been pivotal to the level of excellence in nursing education that we can offer our students," she explained, adding "A large measure of credit also goes to the faculty. They embraced the concept of patient simulators as a tool that adds greater value to their already extraordinary leadership role in the classroom."


About Trinitas School of Nursing
Trinitas School of Nursing conducts a Cooperative Nursing Program with Union County College and confers a Diploma in Nursing from Trinitas and an Associate Degree from the College. Initially offering nursing studies as the Elizabeth General Medical Center School of Nursing, Trinitas School of Nursing has been in continuous operation since 1891. The Cooperative Nursing Program offers a Diploma in Nursing from Trinitas School of Nursing and an Associate in Science Degree from Union County College upon successful completion of the curriculum. Fully accredited by the New Jersey State Board of Nursing and the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, Inc., the program offers a basic course of study in nursing. It provides a sound theoretical base of knowledge in the nursing, biological, behavioral and sociological sciences and integrates this knowledge into academic and practical experiences within the health and illness continuum of client care. Utilization of a variety of health care agencies facilitates the application of all aspects of the students’ learning. Students earn a total of 75 credits in the Cooperative Nursing Program. Upon graduation, students are eligible to sit for the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX) for Registered Nurse Licensure. For information about the program of study at Trinitas School of Nursing, call 908-659-5200 or click here.

Posted: March 14, 2011

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