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University News

First Induction Ceremony Held for GCU Meridian Nursing Honor Society

First Induction Ceremony Held for GCU Meridian Nursing Honor Society

On Sunday, April 3, more than 50 Georgian Court–Meridian Health School of Nursing students and recent graduates and one nurse educator were inducted into the GCU Meridian Nursing Honor Society. The induction ceremony, which featured GCU President Joseph R. Marbach, Ph.D., as the keynote speaker, was the first for this honor society, which is part of the process for applying for charter status with Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), the honor society of nursing.

“Our goal is to become a chapter of STTI by April 2019,” says Jo Ann Cummings, Ph.D., APN, BCEN, assistant professor of nursing. “STTI requires us to form and operate as a developing nursing honor society for a minimum of one to two years prior to submitting an application. We have several requirements to meet as a developing honor society that will help ensure our success and sustainability as a future chapter.”

Membership for the new GCU Meridian Nursing Honor Society, which is by invitation only, can be conferred to undergraduate students who have completed at least half the nursing curriculum, are in good academic standing, and have earned at least a 3.5 grade point average. Membership can also be conferred to nurse leaders—registered nurses who are legally recognized to practice in his or her country with a minimum of a baccalaureate degree or the equivalent in any field, and who have demonstrated achievement in nursing beyond their job responsibilities. During the inaugural induction, PattyAnn Hansen, RN, of Jackson, was inducted as a nurse leader. Ms. Hansen, who has been a registered nurse in practice for 19 years, has been an educator for inpatient telemetry units at Meridian Health since 2012. She is also a member of the adjunct clinical faculty for the GCU–Meridian Health School of Nursing.

“The partnership with Meridian Health has greatly assisted in the success of the School of Nursing,” says Dr. Cummings, who notes that there are only three full-time and three part-time faculty members. “The rest of the training program is complemented through the nursing experts and educators from Meridian Health System.”

The honor society induction marks another achievement for the Georgian Court–Meridian Health School of Nursing, which launched in the Fall 2008 semester and has since graduated 124 alumni. Much of the clinical coursework for the B.S.N. in Nursing students takes place at Meridian facilities. The students rotate across Meridian’s continuum of care at acute care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home care settings, and hospices. In 2012, the B.S.N. degree program was awarded accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) through December 31, 2017. In January 2014, the school launched a new transfer fast track option, which allows selected transfer students to complete the nursing curriculum in six semesters and one 2-credit online course given during the winter or summer session.

GCU congratulates the inaugural student and alumni inductees of the GCU Meridian Nursing Honor Society:

Atlantic County
Lacey Aspenberg, Egg Harbor Township
Carly Epstein, Egg Harbor Township

Middlesex County
Brigid Joyce ’15, Old Bridge

Monmouth County
Laura Amdur, Red Bank
Theresa Balisalisa, Howell
Lauren Barone, Wall
Jillian Conley, Ocean
Marissa Costanzo, Farmingdale
Kelly Dahms, Allenwood
Jenna Drucker, Freehold
Kelsey Fitch ’15, Spring Lake
Theresa Gagliano, Howell
Casey Gallagher, Howell
Cheyenne Graham, Tinton Falls
Laura Hartmann, Middletown
Odmaa Khatabaatar, Howell
Rajani Kuruvilla, Wall
Hannah Lidberg ’15, Howell
Karena Mata, Howell
Kathryn Meyer, Millstone Township
Kaitlyn Popek, Howell
Lizeth Raigosa Perez, Long Branch
Ashlee Rosa, Freehold
Caitlyn Smith, Belford
Gemma Smolokoff, Oceanport
Sarah Snyder, Freehold
Taylor Stern, Freehold
Alyssa Wallschleger, Howell

Ocean County
Megan DePietro, Point Pleasant
Julianne DiZenzo, Jackson
Ayala Drebin, Lakewood
Victoria Fife, Manahawkin
Alexa Fontana, Jackson
Aidel Freundlich, Lakewood
Ruth Haddad, Lakewood
Hindy Hess, Lakewood
Miriam Korlansky, Lakewood
Aura Kuessous, Lakewood
Aviva Kuperwasser, Lakewood
Rachel Leitner, Forked River
Shira Marcus, Lakewood
Shoshana Mayerfeld, Lakewood
Loressa McDonnell, Pine Beach
Alexandra Monte, Jackson
Chana Nussbaum, Lakewood
Elizabeth Pereira, Barnegat
Veronica Romeo ’15, Jackson
Rachael Rutz, Toms River
Samantha Sofield ’15, Jackson
Keri Ann Witkowski, Manahawkin
Franziska Wittels ’15, Lakewood

Aerial view of GCU.

About Georgian Court University

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is Central and South Jersey’s only Catholic university. GCU is a comprehensive, coeducational university with a strong liberal arts core and a historic special concern for women. As a forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, GCU is known for expanding possibility for more than 2,200 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 35+ undergraduate majors and 10+ graduate programs. The GCU Lions compete in 14 NCAA Division II sports in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). In 2020, GCU was named a Best Value College by Money.com and a Best Bang for the Buck (Northeast) by Washington Monthly. High student retention and graduation rates also make GCU a Top Performer on Social Mobility on U.S. News & World Reports rankings. The main campus is located in Lakewood, New Jersey, on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, also serves students at other locations, such as GCU at HazletGCU at Rowan College of South Jersey–Cumberland Campus, and through multiple online certificate and degree programs.

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