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Shining a New Spotlight on Nursing

Posted by Donna M. Penn, MSN, RN, CNE
Director, Holy Name Medical Center Sister Claire Tynan School of Nursing on August 17, 2020

Donna Penn, MSN, RN, CNE Director, Holy Name Medical Center Sister Claire Tynan School of Nursing

Interest in Holy Name's nursing school has been robust - applications were up nearly 90 percent for the incoming class - as a new generation of students steps up to the challenge of an essential career even as the coronavirus pandemic has added stressors to the job.

The New York metropolitan region was hit hard as hospitals - including Holy Name Medical Center - were inundated this spring with patients suffering from COVID-19. The pandemic placed incredible demands on nurses and other healthcare providers, while highlighting their critical roles in making a difference, and most importantly, saving lives.

A Rewarding Career

The critical-care crisis, thankfully, has ebbed here in the Northeast. But the pandemic helped train a spotlight on nursing, a rewarding career in which graduates can enter the workplace quickly and with a good starting salary – upwards of $70,000 for registered nurses (RNs) in this area. Despite the gratifying nature of the job, a nursing shortage continues.

Interest in the RN program at Holy Name's Sister Claire Tynan School of Nursing in Englewood Cliffs was brisk and competitive in 2020, with 380 submitted applications (as compared to 203 in 2019). We have increased our class size by 10 to admit 90 students for the semester that started at the end of August.

The school now has a total enrollment of about 180 students, up from 140 last year. We offer three diploma pathways to licensure:

  • A one-year LPN (Licensed Practical Nursing) program
  • A two-year Registered Nurse program (RN)
  • A program to bridge from LPN to RN

Students can also seamlessly earn a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree with one of our academic partners at four-year colleges and universities. They include both traditional and on-line options: St. Peter’s University, Montclair State University, Bloomfield College, Thomas Edison State University, William Paterson University and Walden University.

Early Clinical Opportunities

Our School of Nursing is one of a handful of hospital-based nursing programs left in the state – an affiliation that allows our students the best of clinical opportunities. Holy Name is the recipient of a prestigious Magnet Designation bestowed by the American Nurses Credentialing Center for nursing excellence.

Being rooted at our busy and diverse medical center in Teaneck allows for an emphasis on patient care and clinical practice. Our experienced faculty are active in these clinical settings, and our students are able to spend time at Holy Name’s nursing units while earning their diplomas, allowing for a broad range of experience.

Our nursing school moved to a beautiful wooded campus in Englewood Cliffs last year, just six miles from the medical center. Our campus and all facilities underwent a full renovation and modernization. The school provides a rigorous curriculum, low faculty-student ratios, and state-of-the art technology and simulation training. Our program is demanding, but our completion rates are high and our passing rates on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) are above 90 percent.

A nursing shortage persists. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics lists registered nursing among the top occupations in terms of job growth through 2026. The career has immediate rewards: starting salaries and benefits are good; the work is fulfilling and important. Jobs are plentiful in a variety of specialties and settings, and there are myriad opportunities for growth and advancement. Nurses are needed and their work makes a tremendous difference.

The Sister Claire Tynan School of Nursing of Holy Name Medical Center has been educating tomorrow's nursing professionals since 1925. For more information visit holyname.org/schoolofnursing or call
(551) 248-4600.