PARSIPPANY, NJ - University officials were joined by medical professionals and Parsippany Mayor Michael Soriano recently to cut the ribbon on Felician’s new Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing, or ABSN Learning Site in Parsippany.

The new learning space, they said, addresses the growing nationwide nursing shortage by offering three start dates a year, allowing students to leverage their existing non-nursing college experience to earn a BSN in as few as 16 months.

The hybrid program offers a combination of online coursework, onsite experience, and clinical rotation with top area hospitals in the Atlantic Health System including Morristown, Overlook, Newton, Chilton, and Hackettstown Medical Centers.

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“We wouldn’t have partnered with Felician to generate the next generation of nurses unless they were the best of the best,”  Alan Lieber, Vice President of Atlantic Health System and President of Overlook Hospital said.

The ABSN Learning Site features a state-of-the-art simulation lab where students work with computer driven manikins such as “Sim Man,” allowing them to learn how to interact with mock patients in a safe, controlled setting. One manikin simulates a woman in childbirth, another a vomiting child. 

Felician University Nursing Professor Marie Cueman reflected on her early days in the medical field training would be done on actual patients, something that was “very scary, because you're always afraid of doing something wrong.” The new manikins used in the program, Cueman added, offer an advantage in that they are computer driven and can simulate various clinical situations. 

“The students have hands on simulation, which is incredible because you cannot create those situations sometimes in a live environment, Felician Alumna Mary Jo Miller  who also serves as a Nurse Educator for the Endoscopy department at Overlook Hospital said. “It’s incredible to see it expanding to this level and having all this offered for our nursing students”

Felician University President Dr. Anne Prisco spoke of the legacy of Blessed Mary Angela, Foundress of the Felician Sisters, who, at the time of her death said that she wanted to multiply herself a thousand times to serve all the needs of the world.

“Whenever we're together, and I look at all of you, I think Blessed Mary Angela is smiling down on us all saying I have nothing to worry about because there are all these people to carry on our work with compassion and respect.”

Dr Christine Mihal Dean of Felician’s School of Nursing said that the program is especially suited to adult students in their forties and fifties that aren’t just seeking a new career but also to “feed their soul.”

“You know, as a nurse, there's not one single day that you work that you don't change somebody's life, and that is powerful, very powerful. And that is what we do.”