A woman faces the camera, smiling
Dean Deborah Hunt, PhD '12

Dean Deborah Hunt, PhD ’12, has had quite a busy and accomplished first year as the Dr. Betty L. Forest Dean of Adelphi’s College of Nursing and Public Health.

Here, she looks back at 2023 and ahead to 2024, while also noting some near-term and long-term goals.

Higher Rankings

In one year alone, under her leadership, the College has not only had a successful re-accreditation site visit for the bachelor’s and master’s in nursing and healthcare informatics programs—with new accreditation due for the Clinical Education and Simulation Lab (CESiL)—but also seen a huge increase in national accolades. The latter included an unprecedented 19-spot jump to be ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the second-best ranked undergrad nursing program on Long Island for 2024.

Dean Hunt met with the leadership team early in the start of the Fall 2023 s

Rising Enrollment

First and foremost, Dr. Hunt is looking forward to continued growth for the College’s academic programs, including the 14-month Accelerated Bachelor’s in Nursing degree program. Dr. Hunt noted, “I would add our graduate programs, too, which have had an increased interest and enrollment this year.” Dean Hunt recently said, “Enrollment targets have been met or [are] close to being met in all of our programs.”

Eye on Innovation

Turning to CESiL, Dean Hunt said, “We will be working on increasing simulation in all nursing clinical courses in accordance with the new New York state legislation.”

Dean Hunt wants CESiL to be at the cutting edge of the innovative healthcare technologies, such as virtual reality. Anthony Egan, director of CESiL—which has high-fidelity and medium-fidelity adult, birthing mother, newborn, infant and child manikins—is now also piloting virtual reality (VR) tools to simulate nurse-patient interactions.

Through VR, students can maximize hands-on learning by simulating high-risk, low-frequency scenarios that they might not typically encounter when attending in-person clinical rotations, such as a postpartum hemorrhage. This helps to prepare them for their future practice roles.

“You put your goggles on and you’re immediately immersed into a patient’s room,” Dean Hunt explained.  “The avatar of the patient talks to you or grimaces. You pick up a stethoscope and listen to heart sounds. You give medication. It doesn’t replace clinical training, but it’s another supplemental learning tool.”

Collaborations Near and Far

Collaboration has long been of paramount importance in all of Dean Hunt’s strategic initiatives as she seeks expansion of opportunities.

What began in January 2023 as a visit to Mohammad Yunus in Bangladesh led in March to a nursing school partnership agreement between CNPH and the Nobel Prize laureate’s Grameen Caledonian College of Nursing (GCCN). They agreed to explore exchanging faculty members and staff, sharing academic materials, offering faculty development and jointly participating in seminars.

The CNPH and GCCN partnership agreement continued to expand with Dean Hunt’s February– March 2024 return to Bangladesh with Clinical Assistant Professor Charles Cal ’95, MS ’01, MBA ’03, and Clinical Associate Professor Ani Jacob, DNP. They offered a faculty development program and student development sessions, and Dean Hunt also hopes “to offer a nurse educator certificate course to their faculty.”

This fall, while in India as part of an international recruitment trip with University-HUB for the healthcare informatics program, Dean Hunt said, “We also visited several universities to begin discussions on future collaborations.”

Closer to home, CNPH has been exploring partnership programs with local colleges and universities.

Going forward, curriculum redesign and alignment with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s new essentials for undergraduate and graduate programs is another priority, she added.

Future initiatives include the creation of innovative programs, student success, a continued focus on DEI initiatives, faculty development, mentoring, scholarship, expansion of the advisory board and the launch of the CNPH Student-Alumni Advocacy Forum.

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