Our mission at the School of Nursing, Health, and Exercise Science is to educate successful, ethical, and visionary leaders for an increasingly global and multicultural world. At the undergraduate and graduate levels, our programs in nursing, public health, and health and exercise science prepare capable and caring professionals who are passionate about guiding people and populations to greater health and wellness.
Our reputation for excellence is reflected in numerous accreditations and national recognitions, with the National League for Nursing designating our school as one of only 40 Centers of Excellence in the nation.
Preparing Leaders for the New Health Care Landscape
Student-centered learning within the teacher-scholar model is the guiding framework for all of our academic programs. Under the close mentorship of faculty who are expert teachers and active scholars, students develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities to think critically and practice effectively in their professions. Through this work, we serve the people of New Jersey and the nation by preparing agents of change for the ongoing transition from a disease-based to a wellness-centered model of health care. Our graduates are nurses; public health professionals; physical education teachers, fitness specialists, and athletic coaches; and physical therapists, occupational therapists, physician assistants, medical doctors, and strength and conditioning professionals.
The academic and clinical experiences we offer to students, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, reflect the signature commitments that define a TCNJ education:
- personal, collaborative, and rigorous education centered on the student
- deep experiential learning, including research, clinical practice, internships, student teaching, capstone projects, and more
- community-engaged learning that benefits both student and society
- global engagement with an increasingly interconnected world
- leadership development that builds a capacity for lifelong learning and self-improvement
This integrated approach to education ensures that our graduates are deeply knowledgeable in their professions and socially engaged, globally connected, and personally invested in the success of the communities they serve.
A Community Rich with Student Opportunity
Students find here not only the academic environment to learn well but also the campus culture to grow personally and thrive professionally. Our school community is close, supportive, and engaged. Our faculty cultivate students’ curiosity, and our school curates a lively intellectual atmosphere for their explorations, hosting guest speakers, visiting scholars, and innovative programs that engage critical issues in health and wellness.
One recent simulation program, for example, challenged nursing students to role-play the real-world struggles of families living in poverty—responding to sudden crises, navigating social service agencies—and thus build empathy for the low-income individuals who will one day be their patients. Among our recent speakers are a nationally recognized expert on health and wellness in campus communities and an internationally acclaimed global health activist recognized for her work fighting the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Africa.
Students learn to lead, as professionals and as concerned citizens, through community-engaged learning as well as involvement with more than 150 student clubs and organizations at TCNJ. Student organizations at our school include the Student Nurses Association; Sigma Theta Tau International, the global nursing honor society; and the Health and Exercise Science Club, which recently launched an initiative to encourage health care professionals to include physical activity on their patients’ treatment plans.
Service in Our Professions and Our Communities
At TCNJ, we embrace our responsibility, as a public institution, to address the needs of New Jersey’s citizens and communities. Our school’s service to the state focuses on promoting wellness and improving health through education, research, and outreach in both professional and community settings. Our efforts help to narrow health inequities in our communities, while also contributing to positive, systemic change in our professions.
Through our partnerships with several health care systems, for example, we are delivering on-site programs that make education accessible and affordable to registered nurses seeking the career advancement—and improved patient outcomes—associated with higher levels of education. In this, we are doing our part to achieve the national goal of having 80% of the nursing workforce be prepared with a BSN by 2020.
Similarly, our service in local schools—from the work of student teachers to the design and delivery of innovative fitness and nutrition programs—provides valuable professional resources to school districts while advancing health and wellness one child at a time.
Outreach to our communities is emphasized, in both curricular and extracurricular opportunities. Our students have helped to staff clinics providing flu shots, volunteered childcare assistance in an alternative education program for teen mothers, and organized diaper drives, shoe drives, and community gardens, among other efforts.
With health and wellness now recognized as a global issue, we are extending our outreach to the world community. Collaborations with Shanghai Sports Institute and the University of Europa Madrid, for example, allow for student exchanges; most recently, we hosted students from Brazil and Spain. Several of our faculty members have international profiles, including a professor who advises the International Olympic Committee on youth athletic development, and another who has developed a global health course with a service component in Haiti and served with a national nursing delegation exploring the Cuban health care system.