Through innovation and collaboration the College of Nursing and Health is growing leaps and bounds in healthcare.

by James Forkan

At Adelphi University’s College of Nursing and Public Health, there are many ways to advance excellence in healthcare education—ranging from accolades recognizing past achievements (and spurring future ones) to improving student outcomes through innovation and collaboration.

Honors and Accolades

The Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at Adelphi University’s College of Nursing and Public Health ranks among’s Best Hybrid R.N. to B.S.N. Programs 2015 in the nation. said in February 2015, “We’ve recognized [about 50] programs because of their excellence in nursing education and the flexibility that they off er,” for example, accommodating the needs of working students by offering online and traditional on-campus courses.

Patrick Coonan, Ed.D., R.N., NEA-BC, FACHE, the College’s dean, said, “We firmly believe in the need for R.N.s to have a baccalaureate degree. We focus our programs on making nurses successful and making sure that the experience meets their needs and the needs of the industry in the most effective way.”

In September 2014, the National League for Nursing recognized Adelphi and the College of Nursing and Public Health as a Center of Excellence (COE) for 2014–2018. Th e league cited Adelphi for “creating environments that advance the science of nursing education.”

In its statement, Adelphi University’s College of Nursing and Public Health cited “a focus on advancing the science of nursing education. The outcomes of the research undertaken by the faculty have influenced maintaining excellence in our three levels of education programs.”

Still other accolades: In July 2015, ranked the College’s Master of Science in Nutrition one of the best in the online nutrition field, and U.S. News & World Report earlier placed the College among its 2015 Best Graduate Schools.


Deborah Ambrosio-Mawhirter ’81, M.S. ’95, Ed.D., Department of Nursing Foundations chair, said the College developed the new perioperative capstone experience in Fall 2014 as a collaborative eff ort with Winthrop-University Hospital. The capstone, which gives students the opportunity to apply for an OR fellowship upon graduation, began with a six-student cohort and rose to eight students in the Spring 2015 semester.

“The perioperative internship will provide the student nurse with the ability to apply, integrate and evaluate nursing knowledge and skills in the perioperative setting,” encompassing preoperative assessment, intraoperative surgery and postoperative care,” she explained.

The College, which has always sent its students to Winthrop for clinicals, was invited last spring to participate in the hospital’s two-day Interprofessional Simulation Experience—designed to “promote collaboration and communication to enhance patient outcomes,” she said, adding that 11 Adelphi students took part.

“We are moving beyond the walls of one institution,” she said, “and our students are now able to learn side by side with other healthcare professionals prior to graduation.” She added, “Each student noted how beneficial and enjoyable this learning experience was, helping them to truly understand patient centered care—the goal of interprofessional teamwork.”

Marilyn Klainberg, Ed.D., chair of the Department of Family, Mental Health and Community Systems, said that her department is in the process of expanding and enhancing its students’ experiences in outreach to community agencies serving the needs of various constituents.

“These include finding new and expanded community experiences which reflect the changes in our healthcare systems,” she said. “We will be working closely with AHRC, Parker Jewish Geriatric Services, the Federation of Organizations and other senior services that provide a variety of community outreach programs to early childhood services, the well elderly and persons with mental health issues.”

Dr. Klainberg explained, “The role of the nurse is changing and expanding, with an emphasis on an expanded role in providing prevention at all levels, primary, secondary and tertiary. We are preparing our nursing students in the advancement of issues related to healthcare both locally and internationally.”

She added that the College’s R.N. to M.S. program, offered to registered nurses who lack a B.S. but are seeking to advance their profession, will allow R.N.s to earn a B.S. and work on their M.S. degree. “We are finalizing a joint venture with a community college, which will admit students simultaneously to Adelphi College of Nursing and Public Health at the same time they are admitted to the community college,” she noted. “This will allow these students the ability to continue their advancement to a B.S. or M.S. degree at a reduced cost.”

Maryann Forbes, Ph.D. ’99, chair of the Department of Adult Health, said her course work emphasis is “on ensuring that students gain a solid foundation in nursing and learn the necessary knowledge and skills to provide high-quality care to their medical surgical patients.”

To meet this goal, the College’s clinical and community affairs office has partnered with five area hospitals to form several Dedicated Educational Units (DEUs), she said. DEUs are a research-based, innovative alternative to the more traditional model of clinical education, in which one clinical instructor provides guidance for up to eight students in a medical surgical unit. “In a DEU, each student is mentored one-on-one by a staff nurse, with a faculty instructor available to consult and assist with evaluation,” she said. Under this model, staff nurses become the primary instructors of students, she said, while “the faculty role shifts to providing support and educational guidance.”

Dr. Forbes said, “Th e DEU model has shown very promising results in both our Fundamentals of Nursing and Medical Surgical clinical rotations—and continued expansion to other units, areas and settings is planned.”

Hasan Sapci, M.D., chair of the Department of Allied Health, has been developing collaborations of his own, with several leading academic medical centers that are advancing clinical informatics departments, including Yale-New Haven Hospital. In fact, he said, these partnership agreements are just the initial phase of his long-term plan.

The Caliber of Faculty and Administration

Recognition of Adelphi and the College’s strength in faculty and administration can be seen in the naming of Dean Coonan to the presidency of New York State Council of Deans of Baccalaureate and Higher Degree Nursing Programs (2012– 2016) and, more recently, to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Medicaid Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) Project Approval and Oversight Panel, a five-year appointment.

In June 2015, Dr. Coonan also was selected to receive the Melanie C. Dreher Outstanding Dean Award for Excellence in Chapter Support by the Sigma Th eta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.

In addition, Jane White, Ph.D., the College’s associate dean for research, has just been selected for fellowship in the American Academy of Nursing, Washington, D.C. Th e academy—whose 2,300 fellows are nursing leaders in education, management, practice and research—said, “Invitation to fellowship is more than recognition of one’s accomplishments within the nursing profession. Academy fellows also have a responsibility to engage with other health leaders outside the academy in transforming America’s health system by enhancing the quality of health and nursing [among other things].” Dr. White also was named a visiting scientist by the North Shore-LIJ Health System’s Institute for Nursing in 2012.

International Reputation

Students at the undergraduate and graduate levels often cite the strength of programs off ered by the College as the reason they decided to come here. Increasingly, students are being attracted to the campus from abroad by the reputation of the College’s programs and faculty: Two students from Japan and one from India who are now pursuing their Ph.D. and two visiting scholars from China.

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