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Message from Dean Carole Kenner

“Next Generation Education for Next Generation Health”

Welcome to the School of Nursing, Health, and Exercise Science. I can’t believe I have been at TCNJ for one year!!! This year has gone fast and we have so many accomplishments. I was initially drawn to the School because of its commitment to excellence in education and scholarship. The School has outstanding students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Through their commitment and the leadership of Co-Chairs of the Department of Nursing Drs. Marcia Blicharz and Sharon Byrne and Chair of the Department of Health and Exercise Science (HES) Dr. Anne Farrell we have increased enrollments, the breadth of our academic programs, and faculty and staff while maintaining high quality education.  Dr. Connie Kartoz has assumed the Coordinator position for our nursing graduate programs as we look for ways to meet the needs for more advanced practice nurses. Our School Nursing certificate and masters programs will be offered for the first time in several years in the Fall as part of the graduate nursing program growth.

This year we were awarded two grants that gave us the opportunity to work more closely with the surrounding community. The first one is an interdisciplinary grant funded by Novo Nordisk to support the SNACK Program-Smart Nutrition and Conditioning in Kids. Our community partners were Antheil School-Ewing Public Schools and Columbus School-Trenton Public Schools. This grant addressed the growing problem of childhood obesity. The second grant was awarded from New Jersey Nursing Initiative and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to support the integration of population health into our nursing curricula. The change in healthcare in this country is shifting more services to the community and to populations of people, with for example diabetes, to promote health and prevent or reduce complications. The integration of this content is essential to prepare the next generation of nurses.

HES continues to collaborate with Shanghai Sports Institute and the University of Europa Madrid for faculty and student exchanges. Dr. Avery Faigenbaum served on the International Olympic Committee specifically, the youth athletic development committee. Nursing and HES hosted Brazilian students and HES also had Spanish students here this year. These exchanges are part of the growing global engagement of our School. Dr. Sharon Byrne developed a Global Health course and will take students to Haiti in the spring, 2016.

Our academic practice partnerships for the RN to BSN programs with St. Peter’s, Hunterdon, and Capital Health continue to grow. We added two new partners for this program path-Princeton Medical Center and Robert Wood Johnson Hospital of Hamilton. These partnerships, part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant, are important to increasing the number of New Jersey RNs who have a bachelor’s degree. The Institute of Medicine’s report the Future of Nursing calls for increasing the number of bachelor’s prepared nurses to 80% by 2020 with the current level at about 51%. Nursing’s role in patient safety and quality care has risen to the forefront of healthcare change with the recognition that more education will result in a better prepared workforce to meet the ever increasing complex healthcare needs. TCNJ continues to have high NCLEX pass rates and the certification pass rate for the master’s track-Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) was 100% this past year.

The School recognizes that more students need financial help in attaining a college degree. To that end, we have worked to gain more scholarships for our students. A newly formed Corporate/Community Advisory Board, chaired by Elizabeth A. Sheridan, RN, BSN, MA, NEA-BC, FACE, Corporate Chief Operating Officer, Chief Nursing Officer, Inspira Health Network, Inspira Medical Center Vineland, NJ. will help the School raise funds for scholarships, educational initiatives, and construction of new/renovated educational space. The mission and vision of this committee are:

  •  Mission: To offer its expertise to advice and guide the School’s leadership to increase the visibility of School’s work, students, faculty, and staff and to strengthen community engagement and its educational programs.
  •  Vision: To provide high quality health education, develop future leaders, and respond to community needs. We view our school as the “Next Generation Education for the Next Generation Health.”

This past year, the School was named the recipient of the Helene Fuld Trust, valued at $6.6 million, in support of nursing scholarships. In addition, we received scholarship support from alumni and friends of the School and from several companies and foundations, including:

Area VII Physicians Review
C.R. Bard’
Janssen Pharmaceuticals;
The Josephine Peiser Foundation;
The Switzer Foundation.

We also received a grant from the Lowell Johnson Foundation in support of our new Nursing Simulation Center, scheduled to be completed in the Fall of 2016. Our sincere thanks to all who have supported our School this past year! Your support makes a tremendous impact on the lives of our students!

Another exciting change is the move of the public health minor to the school. Public Health is a health field that is ever changing and growing in prominence both domestically and globally. In October, 2015 we gained approval to start an undergraduate major in Public Health in the Fall of 2016 and a Graduate Certificate in Public Health in January, 2016.

Please welcome our new faculty Dr. Gerry Altmiller, a nationally recognized expert in QSEN-Quality, Safety Education in Nursing, Dr. Dolores Dzubaty, a maternal child expert, and Dr. Laura Bruno, an exercise physiologist. Welcome to Deidre Jackson, RN, MSN who is spearheading our community outreach for our offsite RN to BSN programs and Noah Beller, M.S. who is the new Internship Coordinator for Exercise Science.

Wow! It has been an exciting year. This is just the beginning. We are a School on the Move!


Carole Kenner, PhD, RN, FAAN

Save the NEW date of Friday, November 13th, 2020 for the School of Nursing, Health, and Exercise Science 50th Anniversary GalaLearn More