CUNY Service Corps Club – First Meeting, Tuesday Nov. 10

The CUNY Service Corps Club will hold its first meeting on Tuesday, Nov 10 in Building 3S, Room 107 from 2:30pm to 4:30pm.

The CUNY Service Corps is in the process of forming a student group at CSI, open to all students interested in short-term service opportunities to improve the quality of life of fellow New Yorkers. The club will be meeting to introduce students to the mission and purpose of the club, hold elections for officers, and discuss future goals and projects.

Register online for this event.

Innovative Care, Patient Outcomes, Professional Successes, are the pulse of the Nursing Doctorate program

The College of Staten Island School of Health Sciences offers the Doctorate of Nursing Practice to prepare practitioners of nursing to provide innovative care at the highest level by translating credible research findings into clinical practice in diverse healthcare settings such as hospitals, homes, and throughout the community.

The program is open to all Bachelor of Science Nursing graduates with a minimum of one year clinical experience. The CSI DNP also accepts advanced-standing students who already have a Master’s degree in Nursing and are currently certified or licensed as Clinical Nurse Specialists or Nurse Practitioners. Registration closes December 1, 2015 for Fall 2016 classes.

Because of changes in the healthcare structure due to the Affordable Care Act, advanced practice nurses have an expanded role in regards to the health promotion and health maintenance of patients in both primary care and acute care settings. The ACA has opened up access to health care to those who did not have insurance which has subsequently opened up various opportunities in both independent and collaborative practices for Nurse Practitioners and Clinical Nurse Specialists who are able to meet the health care needs of this expanded population.

The College of Staten Island is keeping its students one step ahead of the curve by providing the DNP since that degree will very soon be the gateway to these certificate programs in New York City.

The restructuring of healthcare organizations and insurance companies has also created many new roles for advanced practice nurses. Many positions within large healthcare organization look upon clinical doctorates “very favorably,” notes Chairperson of Nursing Dr. Mary O’Donnell. 

“This is a very large bump in status for Advanced Practice Nursing,” stated Dr. O’Donnell.  “Advanced Practice Nurses are more in demand now than they have ever been.”

Elaborating on the importance of the DNP degree, Dr. June M. Como, Graduate and Clinical Doctorate in Nursing Practice Program Coordinator at CSI, said, “Having a Clinical Doctorate provides you with more evidence-based practice tools and a deeper clinical understanding—the main focus of which is to translate research evidence into practice to enhance patient outcomes and to be able to use it in a more timely fashion.”

“Our DNP program is designed to meet healthcare workforce needs and to provide opportunities for the preparation of advanced-practice nurses at the doctoral level to provide the highest level of nursing practice in the clinical setting,” said Dr. Maureen Becker, Interim Founding Dean of the School of Health Sciences. “The curriculum emphasizes the use of research findings in advanced clinical care, strategies for health education of the public, advocacy for vulnerable and culturally diverse populations, analysis of outcomes of care, mitigating environmental and genetic influences on health, advanced-treatment modalities, healthcare informatics use, and identification of evidence gaps with formulation of systems-level interventions.”

“CSI DNP graduates will receive better pay in their fields, more respect from the healthcare industry as a whole, and, also very importantly, CSI is the most economical game in town,” added Dr. Como, who also co-wrote the proposal for the program.

A recipient of a CSI DNP degree will perform one of two roles in the field of advanced-practice nursing: that of a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) or a Primary Care Practitioner (NP).

Students in the two degree programs take many of the same courses but focus their course assignments, competency development, and clinical hours on the role of choice—as clinical nurse specialists who work with the adult and gerontological populations within the spheres of direct care, nursing personnel, and organizations/networks, or as primary care nurse practitioners who also work with the adult and gerontological populations. Both advanced-practice nurse roles focus on promoting health, preventing disease, and managing the care of individuals, their families, and communities.

The CSI DNP is currently offering scholarships. For additional details and to apply online visit www.csi.cuny.edu/career.

 

No Heavy Lift: Four Major Grants Strengthen Spinal Cord Injury Research

Dr. Zaghloul Ahmed

The past academic year has been exceptionally rewarding for Dr. Zaghloul Ahmed, who has earned four major grants for his work in treating mobility complications due to serious spinal cord injuries.

The grants, two awarded by the New York State Department of Health, one by PSC CUNY, and one by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) total nearly $850,000 toward Dr. Ahmed and his collaborator’s spinal cord injury research.

Dr. Ahmed’s research on spinal cord injuries focuses on using Trans-Spinal Direct Current Stimulation to alter the muscle tone in mice suffering from spasticity due to these injuries. According to Dr. Ahmed, the spasticity causes stiffness of the muscles affected by the nerve damage caused by spinal injuries. This stiffness can cause patients suffering from these injuries to have difficulty moving and going about their daily lives.

Dr. Ahmed’s project aims to discover what types of treatment can lead to long term relief in people who have suffered from spinal cord injuries or even from strokes.

The experiment tasks the researchers to run a very weak direct current through a mouse’s spinal cord suffering from spasticity in order to stimulate the corresponding nerve. What they have found is that depending on several factors such as current duration, intensity, direction and location, there is a significant decrease in muscle tone abnormality which results in an increase in motor movement.

Dr. Ahmed, an Associate Professor with the Department of Physical Therapy (DPT) with the School of Health Sciences at the College of Staten Island, commented “I am very happy and grateful that the government has given us this grant. We can now expand our work and get ready for the next application.”

The next step in the research, Dr. Ahmed hopes, will move the work from mice to clinical trials in humans though there are still a few factors that need to be clarified.

“We still need to investigate how long the treatment will be effective, what dosage, and how much current, exactly we need to pass through,” said Dr. Ahmed on the work that his lab is conducting.

“We always have one or two groups working on different levels of this project,” commented Dr. Ahmed on the fluidity of the program, adding that the physical therapy department currently has a system where each of the faculty gets a small group of students to work on their clinical research. There is currently one group of students working on mice and another group working on the human element of the project studying reflexes which will one day apply to Dr. Ahmed’s project once it enters clinical trials in people.

“Our physical therapy students [at CSI] are working very hard,” noted Dr. Ahmed, adding he has also engaged a group of high school students to work on the behavioral aspects of the project.

These grants awarded for Dr. Ahmed’s project, along with his research team’s dedication and hard work, will one day benefit those who have suffered spinal cord injuries and help them once again lead normal lives.

Dr. Zaghloul Ahmed was awarded the 2011 NYC BioAccelerate Prize For a Neural Stimulation System.

Doctorate of Nursing Practice – Apply Now for Fall 2015

The College of Staten Island (CSI) School of Health Science launches the Doctorate of Nursing Practice, Adult-Gerontological Health Nursing (DNP) program. Applications for the fall 2015 semester are available on the graduate admissions website.

The DNP at CSI is the second Doctoral program for the college and “underscores the growing importance of having highly-educated, advanced practice nurses with clinical doctoral degrees caring for patients on Staten Island and the metropolitan area at large,” notes Dr. Maureen Becker, the interim founding Dean of the School of Health Sciences.

The program will be open to all Bachelor of Science nursing graduates with a minimum of one year clinical experience. The CSI DNP is also accepting advanced standing students who already have a Master’s degree in nursing and are currently certified or licensed as Clinical Nurse Specialists or Nurse Practitioners.

Restructuring of healthcare organizations and initiatives surrounding healthcare reform have created new roles for advanced practice nurses, especially those with doctoral-level preparation. Graduates of the DNP programs are eligible for certification as specialists in adult-gerontological health nursing through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and other certifications offered by ANCC and nursing specialty organizations and are also eligible for licensing as Adult-Gerontological Clinical Nurse Specialists and/or Primary Care Nurse Practitioners through New York State Office of the Professions State Education Department.

According to Dr. Becker, the program will give “doctoral students the ability to continue their life long journey in education as Clinical Nurse Specialists or Nurse Practitioners. It will also allow Clinical Nurse Specialists or Nurse Practitioners to teach in clinical and/or academic settings through the completion of course work in nursing education.” The DNP is the second clinical doctorate for CSI, both of which housed in the School of Health Sciences. The other is a Doctorate in Physical Therapy.

Dr. June M. Como, Graduate & Clinical Doctorate in Nursing Practice Program Coordinator at CSI, said, “Having a Clinical Doctorate provides you with more evidence-based practice tools and a deeper clinical understanding—the main focus of which is to translate research evidence into practice to enhance patient outcomes and to be able to use it in a more timely fashion.”

“CSI DNP graduates will receive better pay in their fields, more respect from the health care industry as a whole and, also very importantly, CSI is the most economical game in town,” added Dr. Como.

Once in the program, students in the 75 credit DNP at CSI program will develop core and adult-gerontology competencies in their chosen role and specialty. They will also be positioned to take the advanced certificate programs that are offered. The Advanced Certificate in Nursing Education which will enhance the advanced practice nurses ability to teach clinically and/or academically, and/or the Advanced Certificate in Cultural Competency which will prepare advanced practice nurses to be future educators of diverse consumer and professional populations and exemplary caregivers to individuals with different cultural beliefs and practices.

A recipient of a CSI DNP degree will take up one of two roles in the field of advanced practice nursing: that of a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) or a Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (NP).

Students in the two degree programs take many of the same courses but focus their course assignments, competency development and clinical hours on the role of choice – as clinical nurse specialists to work with the adult and gerontological populations within the spheres of direct care, nursing personnel, and organizations/networks or as primary care nurse practitioners to work with the adult and gerontological populations. Both advanced practice nurse roles focus on promoting health, preventing disease, and managing the care of individuals, their families, and communities.

For her part, Dr. Como, who co-wrote the proposal for the program, is “very excited about the program.”

Born and raised a New Yorker, Dr. Como, who has lived in Staten Islander for over 30 years, received many of her degrees in the CSI/CUNY system and is “happy to provide this level of service to our students.” She added that the “School of Health Sciences makes it a seamless transition for our students,” explaining that when studying for an undergraduate nursing degree at CSI, students can now remain on campus for the entirety of their nursing education. “All of the stress of moving to another school is removed and established mentor relationships can flourish,” she added.

Visit the graduate admissions website for additional details and to apply online.

Maureen Becker named Interim Founding Dean of the School of Health Sciences

Dr. Maureen Becker has been appointed the Interim Founding Dean of the College of Staten Island School of Health Sciences effective August 27, 2014. Dean Becker will lead the Nursing and Physical Therapy Departments and organize the School so that these departments function cohesively and complement one another.

Dean. Becker holds a Doctorate in Health Sciences from the Institute of Physical Therapy, a Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology, and a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy. She was the Director of Clinical Education and Deputy Chair at the College of Staten Island for 22 years. She was one of two full time faculty members who has been a member of the combined Bachelors/Masters Physical Therapy program since its inception.

She has served as the Director of Clinical Education (DCE), securing 227 Physical Therapy education contracts which equates to more than 500 actual clinical sites nationwide. She was instrumental in the college’s transition to a Clinical Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT) degree program.  Dean Becker accompanied representatives from the Nursing Department for an exploratory trip to Costa Rica in April 2011 through UNIBE. Additionally, Dean Becker has been an integral part of CSI’s Physical Therapy program entering into agreement with Shaoxing University to develop a high-quality physical therapy educational program in China that would meet North American standards of accreditation.

Dean Becker moved to Staten Island from Brooklyn as a teenager, she was part of the first co-ed class to graduate from St. Joseph by the Sea High School in 1977. Dean Becker’s parents have lived on the Island for more than 40 years and she and her family will soon become residents of Saint George. She is the co-founder of a not-for-profit organization, the Staten Island Slim Down, which has helped over 5000 Staten Islanders lose weight and promotes better health/wellness through healthier lifestyle choices for the last five years.

Dean Becker has received numerous awards and professional honors in her field including the Staten Island Community Health Hero Award, The Richmond University Medical Center “ Commitment to Excellence Award,” and the New York Physical Therapy Association Appreciation Award. As Dean of the School of Health Sciences she will administer a School with the two doctoral programs at the College.

Nursing Pinning Ceremony honors 61

The College of Staten Island’s Department of Nursing held its Nursing Pinning Ceremony in the Center for the Arts recently to honor the 61 nursing students who have completed their professional education this semester.

It was an especially proud moment for the nursing students, and faculty and staff, as the students’ friends and families watched as their loved ones received their unique College of Staten Island AAS pins, signifying their membership into a selective group of professionals.

Dr. Mary O’Donnell, Chairperson of the Department of Nursing in the college’s School Health Sciences, advised the graduates to “wear their pins proudly” as ambassadors of the CSI program.  Many of the graduates are nontraditional college students—several are parents or work outside of campus or hold previous college degrees or are second-career students.

Almost all of the AAS Nursing graduates have enrolled at CSI to complete their Baccalaureate degrees in nursing in order to better compete in the face of rising qualifications of employers of Registered Nurses in the New York metropolitan area.

Several graduates already have plans to pursue advanced-practice roles as Nurse Practitioners, and one student is already preparing to pursue a Master’s Degree to become a Nurse Anesthetist.

Dr. Susan Mee, Assistant Professor of Nursing at CSI, has noticed the changing landscape of the nursing profession and sees that many of the students have followed suit.  “More young men and women are entering our program as a first career” she said of the trends that have emerged in nursing. “Men have traditionally been underrepresented in nursing but that is changing, and CSI is proud to be a part of providing equality in our educational programs.” Dr. Mee believes that this is a sign that nursing is a “stable profession.”

CSI President Dr. William Fritz, whose mother is an RN, talked about the value of the Nursing Department in his remarks.  “For over 25 years, CSI has trained and graduated more than 5,000 nurses, who have gone on to become the backbone of healthcare on Staten Island.”

After the President’s remarks, Lucia Edwards, the evening’s student speaker, addressed those in attendance. She began her remarks by thanking the members of the faculty, administration, staff, and her fellow students, family, and friends. She thanked the faculty, especially, “who have worked long hours preparing for classes, creating exams, meeting with students, responding to emails, all while doing their own research.  They are the central reason why CSI’s Nursing Program is among the best in the region.”

In addition to thanking her professors, Edwards was sure to emphasize the support that she and her peers received from family and friends. “Whether it was financial support, child care, proofreading papers, or adjusting your schedules to accommodate ours, we thank you.”

She also spoke, personally, as a wife and mother of two small children, of the trials and tribulations of a student with a family and a job.  Edwards, whom like many of her peers, enrolled at CSI to finish her baccalaureate degree, admitted that “the program was rigorous, but I never complained because it was something I wanted to do.”

She ended her speech with a quote from President Woodrow Wilson who, she says, “Captured the essence of who we are as soon to be official Registered Professional Nurses. He said, ‘you are not merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget that errand.’

The pinning ceremony is a time-honored nursing school tradition. Often more personally meaningful than the graduation ceremony, it signifies nurses’ official initiation into the profession of nursing. The modern ceremony dates back to the 1860s, when Florence Nightingale was awarded the Red Cross of St. George in recognition for her tireless service to the injured during the Crimean War. To share the honor, she, in turn, presented a medal of excellence to her brightest graduates.

Each school’s pin is unique and holds its own symbolic meaning. CSI’s nursing pin reads, “Scientia In Actione,” or “Knowledge in Action.”