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Addressing the Pandemic Today While Educating the Community Healthcare Leaders of Tomorrow

TESU Nursing students and alumni deliver the solution.

TESU alumni also serve as Trenton Department of Health nurses (from left to right) Monique Walker, BSN ’21; Sharon M. Winn, BSN ’89; Madeline Oliveras, BSN ’00; and Jeannette Oliveras, BSN ’99.

TESU Students and Alumni Approach the First Anniversary of Supporting the Trenton Community Through An Unprecedented Vaccine Rollout

Thomas Edison State University (TESU) nursing students are not passively learning about the many dimensions of public health in an urban setting, they are active participants.

“We are actively part of today’s real-time solutions in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, while we educate our nurses for tomorrow,” noted Dr. Merodie A. Hancock, president of TESU. “Our Accelerated BSN Program students are working side-by-side with our bachelor’s and graduate-level nursing program students and alumni as active and engaged partners with the Trenton community. As pre-licensure students, they are already committed to compassion and excellence while building healthier communities.”

Since Feb. 3, 2021, TESU’s nursing students and alumni have represented the university in the city’s ongoing community vaccine efforts. The approaching anniversary will mark the school’s year-long collaboration with the Trenton Department of Health in delivering more than 12,000 vaccines to members of the community. Students and alumni across all W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing and Health Professions’ nursing programs continue to staff clinics in multiple capacities.

After being mobilized by the Trenton Department of Health last February for its vaccine clinics, students and alumni have assisted in staffing vaccine clinics at community centers, firehouses, churches, schools, assisted living and homebound facilities as well as healthcare and social service institutions in the city. They will next be deployed to the new City of Trenton Neighborhood Clinic on 828 North Olden Avenue in Trenton. The clinic is offering members of the community flu shots, COVID-19 testing, vaccines and boosters according to a recent announcement from Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora’s office.

“As we commemorate the first anniversary of the vaccine rollout and the community linkages it has created for us, we are eager to continue our partnerships with the city of Trenton,” said Dr. Lia van Rijswijk, associate dean for Undergraduate Nursing Programs at the school, who often marshals student nurse teams and educators for the clinics. “As our Accelerated BSN Program students build their on-ground nursing skills, they are already following in many of our nursing alums’ footsteps by envisioning community nursing as a profession. Having our working RN-BSN students, graduate-level nursing students and alumni involved in this enormous effort alongside them is especially gratifying.”

These Thomas Edison State University nursing alumni are also Trenton Department of Health nurses, Monique Walker, BSN ’21; Sharon M. Winn, BSN ’89; Madeline Oliveras, BSN ’00; and Jeannette Oliveras, BSN ’99, span 32 years of graduating classes and excellence in community nursing. The team helped manage vaccine deployment recently at Trenton Fire Headquarters on Perry Street. “The privilege of meeting so many wonderful people in this community who have allowed me into their homes and lives is what I enjoy most about my work,” noted Madeline Oliveras, RN, MS, who serves the city of Trenton as a Graduate Public Health Nurse. “They have shared their health and wellbeing concerns with me and have allowed me to assist them at every stage of their lives. Seeing their progress is my reward.”

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Vi-Anne Antrum, DNP

"I was able to understand and build on the foundation that I already had to be able to serve people better."

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