Amanda Spengler ’15 is a float nurse at Hackensack Meridan Health‘s Jersey Shore University Medical Center, where she’s worked since graduating from GCU’s nursing program.
The undergraduate nursing program at Georgian Court University recently celebrated its 10-year partnership with Hackensack Meridian Health. Since its inception, the Georgian Court–Hackensack Meridian Health School of Nursing has graduated more than 270 students and has provided an exceptional hands-on education that equips students for nursing careers.
Nursing is the largest major in the GCU School of Arts and Sciences, and several graduates can attest to the value of the partnership—and the university’s program as a whole.
Amanda Spengler ’15, now a nurse at Hackensack Meridian Health’s Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, was part of the program’s fourth graduating class and a recipient of the Johnson & Johnson Discover Nursing Scholarship through the Independent College Fund of New Jersey (ICFNJ). She says the small class sizes and personalized attention she received from faculty made a real difference in her nursing education. While some universities have hundreds of students, she liked her 30-person cohort. She says she also found professors readily available when she needed them.
“The faculty was so knowledgeable and caring toward each student. They went out of their way to be sure everyone felt comfortable in every subject. They tried their best so no one would get left behind,” she says.
Hackensack Meridian Health Partnership Crucial to Program Success
Teri Wurmser, Ph.D., MPH, RN, NEA-BC, chair of the nursing program, says the partnership with Hackensack Meridian Health was crucial to its success. The medical system provided faculty members, advisors, and insight to ensure the program would meet a high standard of nursing education.
Hackensack Meridian Health Co-CEO John K. Lloyd, who retired at the end of 2018, says he couldn’t be prouder of the collaboration between Georgian Court and the health network.
“It’s amazing to think about what’s been accomplished over the past 10 years. When creating this partnership, we set out to help address the nursing shortage in New Jersey and nationwide and improve the health of the communities we serve,” he says. “Considering the hundreds of people who have received their nursing degrees locally through this program, there’s no doubt we have moved the needle. And it’s only going to continue to grow.”
In November 2017, the program launched the RN to B.S.N. program, which makes earning a B.S.N.—the gold standard of the profession—more accessible for working nurses. In January 2021, the program will launch a 14-month accelerated nursing program (B.S. to B.S.N.) that prepares professionals for a transition to nursing.
Adapted from story by Gwen Moran in the Fall/Winter 2018 issue of GCU Magazine. Story adapted for the Web by Kristen Fischer. Photos by Jim Connolly.