How does a diploma nurse from the early 70’s go back to college?
Nursing — my vocation and sacred covenant with humanity — began at St. Francis Hospital in Jersey City, New Jersey. I received a scholarship to its three-year program while working as a nurse’s aide, LPN, OR scrub-technician, and when I graduated was made a Head Nurse. My 10 years in the field (before children) gave me opportunity to be the Clinical Coordinator for 13 units; consultant for a building project; and I was the Quality Coordinator for DRG’s as St. Francis Hospital was one of many selected to look at length of stay.
I re-entered the workforce during the 1988 shortage and, as a life-long learner, there is no place better to be challenged than The Valley Hospital. Their partnership with Ramapo College is an important strategy in re-tooling and keeping nursing careers relevant, while fueling the beautiful tapestry of nursing’s art and science. Yet, I felt no need for college at my age — after all, I have carried certifications for years. Going to conferences gave me all the educational, research opportunities, networking, and expertise I needed for my job as a leader. However, life has many seasons. My CNO introduced me to Professor Kathleen Burke who has an incredible gift of listening, taking what you share, and then presenting a challenge. Her words were simply, “Your holistic work seems so important to you, why wouldn’t you want to enhance your new found knowledge.” My heart overflows with gratitude to Dr. Burke and Ramapo College. My BSN through Ramapo College illuminated the broader world of “Caring-Compassion & Empathy” that extends beyond nursing. College leads you to a deeper understanding of humanity, social justice, and experiences that guides health, culture, environment, and self-reflection. It provided a disciplinary knowledge that I continue to bring to my holistic nursing practice, as well as my leadership skills. I have had the privilege of mentoring Ramapo students through their leadership, BSN/MSN, and others in DNP research projects.” – Mary C. Sudano ’06, MSN/Ed, RN-BC, HNB-BC received her Bachelor of Nursing in Education from Ramapo College and received her MSN in Education from University of Phoenix in 2001. Mary is the Valley Hospital Manager of Same Day Surgery, Post Anesthesia Care Unit, and Surgical Family Representatives. Mary is presently involved with the Valley Hospital’s Holistic Practice Committee; she helped create and teach the Hospital’s mandatory Foundations Course in Holistic practice; and she co-chairs their annual Holistic Conference; member of ONL NJ Research team and yearly conference. Mary is a certified aromatherapist, “m” Technique practitioner and teacher, works closely with the foundation in sending staff internationally on Medical Mission Trips, and heads a yearly collection for American Troops. She is credentialed in Faith Community Nursing and takes her works into church as a Deaconess.