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Monica Castaño, BSN ’12, MSN ’17, current DNP student

Monica CastaƱo, BSN '12, MSN '17Born in Girardot, Colombia, Monica Castaño came to the United States at the age of 12, adapting quickly to an environment that was wholly unfamiliar to her.

She and her family settled in Cranford, N.J., and, after high school, she attended Union County College, becoming an LPN in 1993. While working at Essex Valley Visiting Nurse Association in East Orange, N.J., Castaño continued to pursue her RN license and earned her associate of science degree at Regents University.

“Nursing has always been my true calling, specifically in making a difference in underserved communities due to my own experiences as an immigrant born to deaf parents,” she said.

Now, as vice president at Holy Redeemer Home Care & Hospice of Elizabeth, N.J., Castaño leads a team that provides vital healthcare and support services to a culturally diverse population, many of whom are also economically disadvantaged. During the pandemic, she and her team witnessed firsthand the challenges of COVID-19. It helped solidify Castaño’s passion for caring for others and for encouraging her team to be successful.

Earning her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree in 2012 and, later, her Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree in 2017 from W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing, she found the momentum she needed to enroll in the school’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program. Castaño noted that her TESU experience ignited her professional development and extols the value of continuing education to her staff. As an Alumni Ambassador, she has referred more than a dozen Holy Redeemer employees to the institution and has volunteered her time to speak to prospective students about her experience.

“As a leader in my profession, I encourage all nurses to embark on furthering their education and experiencing all that Thomas Edison State University has to offer,” Castaño said.

Along with volunteering for TESU, Castaño is also a volunteer board member of the Home Care and Hospice Association of New Jersey.