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TESU Celebrates Its Accelerated Nursing Program October 2020-2021 Cohort With a Pinning Ceremony

City of Trenton Emergency Medical Services Director Grady Griffin and Dr. Lia van Rijswijk of TESU

City of Trenton Emergency Medical Services Director Grady Griffin (on left) and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Nursing Programs at TESU Dr. Lia van Rijswijk oversee a COVID-19 vaccine event at the Trenton Fire Department on Perry Street.

Ritual Marks Ceremonial Entrance Into the Field For Pre-Licensure Nursing Students

The W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing and Health Professions at Thomas Edison State University honored the 27 pre-licensure nursing students from its October 2020–2021 Accelerated BSN Program with a live virtual Pinning Ceremony on Nov. 3.

The ceremony heralds an entrance into the profession for the program’s completers who are now eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) before entering the field.

“This was among the largest cohorts in the program’s history,” said Dr. Filomela Marshall, dean of the nursing school, who noted that a third yearly cohort was recently added for incoming nursing students to keep up with demand. “The program expansion represents our commitment to meeting the needs of the health care community and provides an opportunity for us to grow the pool of pre-licensure nursing students entering the profession.”

Nearly 195,000 job openings per year – with a median salary of $75,330 – are projected for the field through 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The expanding Accelerated BSN Program will help address a looming nursing shortage resulting from more seasoned RNs and baby-boomers retiring from the profession.

The 15-month program is already distinguished for its consistently high NCLEX-RN pass rates and enduring connection with the Trenton community. Staff and students in the school have collaborated with the Trenton Department of Health in delivering thousands COVID-19 vaccines since February to at-risk and homebound members of the community.

During the ceremony, program Marcela Koehler of North Brunswick, N.J., received the Dr. Christine M. Rosner Clinical Excellence Award. The award honors the memory of Rosner who served as an associate dean of the school before her untimely death in 2014. Cohort members’ Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees are expected to be conferred by the university’s Board of Trustees during its December 2021 meeting.

To learn more about this and other academic programs available through the W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing and Health Professions, please visit

Vi-Anne Antrum, DNP

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