Department: Nursing School: Health Professions Campus: Old Westbury
Member of NYIT Since: 2005
When NYIT's Department of Nursing received accreditation for its baccalaureate degree program from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education on May 17, 2011, Susan Neville, Ph.D., R.N., saw six years of hard work become a reality. Since joining NYIT in 2005 as associate professor and chair, accreditation has been her main goal. It entailed recruiting doctorally-prepared faculty, making curriculum changes, revising syllabi, acquiring resources, and raising board scores and assessment outcomes - all while maintaining her own scholarship and connection to professional organizations.
"This is a major accomplishment that recognizes the excellence of the program in meeting the hallmark standards for nursing education," she says. "It involved contributions from faculty, students, and service partners, and the support of NYIT's president, the vice president for health and medical affairs, the dean of the School of Health Professions, and administration."
Expansion of the nursing arts labs at the Old Westbury and Manhattan campuses was central to these efforts. The state-of-the-art labs model hospitals and ambulatory care settings, with beds occupied by virtual high-fidelity patient simulators. Nursing students assess their patients' health status, practice skill-sets, administer medications, access electronic medical records, and demonstrate competency within the safety of the labs prior to caring for patients in hospital and community settings.
Accreditation is only one part of Neville's longer-term vision for the Department of Nursing. "The next bar is to maintain program excellence and its mission and vision for the future," she says.
She is especially proud of NYIT's transcultural focus on nursing, an emphasis she says sets the program apart from other schools.
"Students learn to care for patients in the context of their culture," she says.
For example, an Asian patient is afflicted by Type II diabetes. Neville's nursing students, who also study anthropology, would tailor this patient's diet plan to include healthy foods used in Asian cooking. Students learn to understand cultural views of patients across the lifespan.
Neville's next steps include developing a second undergraduate degree (an R.N. completion program for those with an associate's degree), an accelerated second degree program, and a master's degree program. The Department recently acquired two educational grants - one from the National League for Nursing for the inclusion of technology across the curriculum (i.e., for simulation and electronic medical records) and the other from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing for advancing gerontology initiatives.
She also is serving as president of the New York State Council of Deans and Directors of Baccalaureate and Higher Educational Programs in Nursing. Her achievements to date were recognized this month by Working Women of Manhasset, which named her the "Manhasset Working Woman of the Year."
"My passion is the future education of nurses and promoting the excellence of the nursing profession," she says. It's a commitment to contributing to the health care of the nation."
For more about Neville's nursing philosophy, check out her interview in the following video, which was part of the First Annual RNLMI Nursing Symposium: Partnering for the Future of Nursing Practice.