Mental Health First Aid Training

30 School Nurses become Mental Health First Aid Certified March 11, 2017.


Program Overview: Youth Mental Health First Aid® for School Nurses Training is the help offered to a young person experiencing a mental health challenge, mental disorder, or a mental health crisis. The first aid is given until appropriate help is received or until the crisis resolves. Youth Mental Health First Aid® does not teach participants to diagnose or to provide treatment.

Program Objectives:

  1. Increase knowledge of mental health and substance use disorder issues in youth and adolescents.
  2. Enhance sensitivity to the prevalence of mental disorders in adolescent development resiliency, and the spectrum of interventions.
  3. Raise confidence to intervene and assist individuals experiencing a mental health issue by using a Mental Health First Aid Action Plan.

Location: Training is being offered by the New Jersey Hospital Association. The session will be held at 760 Alexander Road, Princeton, NJ. No late arrivals will be permitted.

Accreditation Statement
HRET is accredited by the Medical Society of New Jersey to provide continuing medical education for physicians. HRET designates this live activity for a maximum of 8.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
Health Research and Educational Trust is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the New Jersey State Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. Provider Number P131-1/15-18. This activity provides 8.0 contact hours.
There are no conflicts of interest, sponsorship or financial/commercial support being supplied for this activity. Accredited status does not imply endorsement by the provider or American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation of any commercial products displayed in conjunction with an activity.
HRET has been approved by the New Jersey Department of Health as a provider of New Jersey Public Health Continuing Education Contact Hours (CEs). Participants who successfully complete this educational program will be awarded 8.0 New Jersey Public Health Continuing Education Contact Hours (CEs).


April 7th Educational Summit

Conference Brochure

Event Brochure

On April 7, 2017, the New Jersey Collaborating Center for Nursing will be hosting our second annual Educational Summit for grassroots nurses. This conference, “Nurses Reimagining Healthcare,” aims to inspire attendees to use innovation as a strategy for defining new and current roles across the healthcare continuum. We will increase exposure to emerging fields in healthcare and introduce attendees to technologies that have been developed by nurses to meet challenges within their field. We believe that nurses have within themselves the capability to meet the demands of the evolving landscape of healthcare.

Attendees will receive 5.5 contact hours for the time that they dedicate to this event.

April 7th Conference Schedule

April 7th Conference Schedule

The summit will feature a keynote speaker from the Center for Creative Leadership on innovation and career paths, followed by presentations by a nurse developer of the Nightingale app, two members of Mercy Virtual Nursing, and a health insurance executive who will speak on the ways that nurses are transforming health care across the system of care. We will also host a series of conversations with nurses who specialize in fields such as  palliative care, nurse navigators, forensic nursing, and behavioral health nursing.

This event is produced in collaboration with New Jersey Health Initiatives, New Jersey Nursing Initiatives, Aetna, and the New Jersey Action Coalition.


Discounted early bird registration ends on February 28th!

Click the banner below to register.

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February School Nurse Retreat

New Jersey Health Initiatives (NJHI) practices an innovative method of awarding grants to address the challenges that are faced in building a Culture of Health. Instead of assigning missions to organizations and telling them what to do with the funding, NJHI is taking a step back and allowing grantees to come up with their own goals and action plans. NJCCN is currently administering one such grant, which we are using to educate and support school nurses in their uniquely community-oriented work.
The first action under this grant project was to host a retreat on February 4th at the Princeton Marriott. Forty-two school nurses were in attendance.
Bob Atkins of NJHI presents on the role of school nurses within the wider communities, beyond the walls of their schools.

Bob Atkins of NJHI presented on the role of school nurses within the wider communities, beyond the walls of their schools.

The day started with a presentation by Bob Atkins on role of school nurses in the wider community, beyond the walls of their schools. He pointed out that school nurses get an insider’s perspective on the lives of their students. Every Monday morning, students flock to the nurse to be treated for the ailments that cropped up over the weekend, and nurses hear the accompanying stories. In this way, they become involved with every crisis from house fires to new glasses prescriptions. But healthcare shouldn’t be limited to treating problems as they arise, in a “downstream” framework. Instead, healthcare should be addressed “upstream,” addressing the sources of health problems before they become crises.

Jennifer Rosen Valverde presented on the social determinants of health, especially poverty.

Jennifer Rosen Valverde presented on the social determinants of health, especially poverty.

The next presentation by Jennifer Rosen Valverde (Clinical Professor of Law in the Education and Health Law Clinic, and Legal Director of the Health, Education, Advocacy & Law) Collaborative) was on the social determinants of health. She particularly stressed the detrimental effects of poverty, both directly and indirectly. Income level determine’s a family’s diet, their housing, education, and transportation, all of which contribute to the state of their health. These factors (and more) contribute to a collective discrepancy of 15 years in the life expectancy of men in the top 1% and the bottom 1% in the United States. She urged school nurses to advocate for themselves and for their students, stating that her goal is “to have a more empowered and unifying voice” when addressing “health justice.” Understanding the actual causes of problems is vital to establishing coherent solutions. Too often, people do not ask questions about social determinants of health.

Sheila Caldwell then introduced the Framework for 21st Century Nursing Practice™, which was developed by the National Association of School Nurses (NASN). According to publications by NASN, “The Framework provides structure and focus for the key principles and components of current day, evidence-based school nursing practice. It is aligned with the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model that calls for a collaborative approach to learning and health (ASCD & CDC, 2014).” Eileen Gavin followed up with a presentation on the work that school nurses do to address mental health in schools. She stated that 32% of work time is spent in addressing mental health, yet training and support for this aspect of nursing is minimal. NJCCN will be addressing this concern through day-long workshops to provide much-needed training in mental health care for school nurses.

For the second half of the day, attendees broke into small groups and examined the key principles as defined in the Framework for 21st Century Nursing Practice™ (Standards of Practice, Care Coordination, Leadership, Quality Improvement, and Community/Public Health). Under the direction of Robert Phillips and Sonya De Almeida, each group broke a principle down into priorities and then drafted an action plan for high priority items. These action plans will be finalized at a follow-up retreat in April. We were thrilled to see the high energy level and enthusiastic commitment from attendees, and we look forward to seeing how the work of this grant unfolds!


Strategic Planning Retreat

On October 21, 2016, the Board and Advisory Council of the New Jersey Collaborating Center for Nursing met to review the Strategic Plan that was created for the Center in 2014. The event was organized and facilitated by Dr. Robert Phillips, Corporate Director of Education and Organizational Development at JFK Hospital.

Members of the Board and Advisory Council: (From the Left) Donna Stankiewicz, Barbara George Johnson, Evadne Harrison-Madu, Vicki Hasser, Michele McLaughlin, Edna Cadmus, Laura Mularz, Donna Murray, Tracy Vitale, Sue Weaver, Teri Wurmser, and Darlene Cox


Members of the Board and Advisory Council voted to prioritize goals and actions. From front to back: Evadne Harrison-Madu, Barbara George Johnson, and Donna Stankiewicz

Together, we reviewed the plan and prioritized new goals for the future. The NJCCN has been publishing workforce data since its inception, but we feel strongly that in order to achieve our vision of being the dominant voice on nursing workforce solutions for New Jersey citizens, our data needs to be disseminated and put to use.

Robert Phillips, Corporate Director of Education & Organizational Development at JFK Medical Center

Robert Phillips, Corporate Director of Education & Organizational Development at JFK Medical Center

Attendees split into small groups to review the Center's status and identify challenges.

Attendees split into small groups to review the Center’s status and identify challenges. Sue Weaver, Chairperson of the Board, records her group’s discussion.

Now, the Center’s staff are working with Dr. Phillips on distilling these priorities and breaking them down into a comprehensive plan that will be presented to the Board and Advisory Council for approval on December 9. The final Strategic Plan will identify key goals and lay out an action plan for accomplishing each of them over the next few years. The Center has progressed significantly since 2014, and we look to the future with a spirit of dedicated optimism. We will continue to use the momentum we have gained to achieve measurable outcomes and establish ourselves as a primary resource for the nursing workforce.








April 7th Educational Summit

Save the Date!

On April 7, 2017, the New Jersey Collaborating Center for Nursing will host an Educational Summit for grassroots nurses. Come learn about emerging roles in nursing!


April 7th Conference - Save the Date!

Save the Date! *click to enlarge*

NJCCN Summit 2015 Videos

NJ Nurse engagement in building a culture of health is critical for the citizens of NJ.
Hear from a leading nurse expert Dr. Susan Hassmiller from the RWJF

Inclusion is a key determinant in being successful in changing the health of our population.
Hear how from a key leader Dr. Livers from CLC, on inclusion and diversity impacts our actions

See key examples of how nurses lead in NJ to build a culture of health.
Jill Viggiano and Anna Frederico will share the PACE Program and the CVS minute clinic

Developing strategies for building a culture of health requires “Tiger Ideas”
Hear from Lynn Fick-Cooper from CCL on how to begin to frame them testimony