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.

China’s Shaoxing University models new PT program on CSI

Dr. William J. Fritz signs the Memorandum of Understanding for the groundbreaking new Physical Therapy program with Yongming Shou from Shaoxing University.

Physical therapy and rehabilitation in China are currently provided by untrained individuals who are mostly physical educators, and the number of individuals requiring rehabilitation in China is staggering.

To help with this situation, delegates from Shaoxing University in the Zhejiang Provence of China met on the College of Staten Island campus with key members of CSI’s faculty and staff, headed by Professor and Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy, Dr. Jeffrey Rothman.

Their goal is to develop a high-quality physical therapy educational program for China that would meet North American standards of accreditation.

With only one physical therapy education program in China located at the Polytech University in Hong Kong, the Shaoxing University delegates are aiming to form relationships with North American colleges and universities that can assist them in collaborating with faculty from Shaoxing on matters related to curriculum, course content, and research with a possible exchange program for students and faculty envisioned for the future.

The delegation was welcomed to CSI by Dr. Rothman and Dr. Stephen Ferst, Executive Director, Center for International Service, as they went on a tour of the CSI Department of Physical Therapy to meet with its faculty members. They soon met with CSI President Dr. William J. Fritz,  Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Fred Naider, Dean of Science and Technology Dr. Alex Chigogidze, and Professor Maureen Becker, Director of Clinical Education, Department of Physical Therapy and Interim Founding Dean of the School of Health Sciences, and signed the letter of intent to memorialize the collaboration and promote relations and mutual understating between the institutions.

“I am excited that our Doctor of Physical Therapy students will be offered the potential of overseas study and experience,” Dr. Fritz told the delegates. “We are proud of the opportunity to play a role to assist China in providing competent physical therapy and rehabilitation services.”

Dr. Fritz also noted that the collaboration will “increase the civic prosperity of Staten Island,” and informed the delegates of the College’s Interdisciplinary High Performance Computing Center and “the opportunities it provides our students.” He also discussed the recent creation of three new schools on campus, the School of Business, the School of Education, and the School of Health Sciences.

Dr. Rothman, working with Dr. Robert Chen, an internationally renowned sports physical therapist, met with the visiting Shaoxing University faculty and administrators in order to begin a valuable relationship that will see CSI’s Department of Physical Therapy program faculty, staff, and students assist in establishing Shaoxing University’s Physical Therapy program to meet the tremendous needs for rehabilitation services for its large population. Dr. Rothman, during his visit with Dr Chen last year, toured several rehabilitation centers in China. It was evident during his visit, and following discussions with medical staff, that there is a high number of children in China with physical disabilities and adults with a multitude of physical and motoric problems that would benefit greatly from physical therapy services.

This collaboration with Shaoxing University will also allow for faculty and student exchange between the respective universities. In addition, CSI DPT students will be offered the potential for overseas study experience in their professional field, including, but not limited to, strengthening clinical practical training in Shaoxing University’s affiliated hospitals and expertise in Chinese traditional medicine and knowledge.

Shaoxing University considered several other U.S. physical therapy programs including a prestigious Manhattan-based private university, but decided to work with CSI after reviewing the curriculum and program resources, and meeting with CSI’s international office and administrative support.

The meeting with the delegation from Shaoxing was such a success that the University has also expressed interest in collaborating with other academic fields of study at CSI, including Mathematics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Nursing, Education, Engineering, and Business.

By establishing a collaborative relationship with Shaoxing University, CSI has the opportunity to play a monumental role in assisting China in providing competent physical therapy and rehabilitation services that are urgently needed by the Chinese population, while greatly enhancing the international reputation and presence of CSI and CUNY.

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.”