Seton Hall nursing students are now wrapping up their first semester at the new Interprofessional Health Sciences (IHS) campus since its opening in the spring. Students shared their thoughts on adjusting to the new campus.
Marie Foley, dean of the College of Nursing, described the adjustment the nursing students faced as “interprofessional.” In the beginning, Foley described the college’s adaptation to the new campus as a change, but overall, she said students adapted very well.
However, there was a slight commuting issue among students, with Nutley being approximately 10.3 miles from Seton Hall’s main campus in South Orange. Some students said they were faced with finding their own transportation to clinical labs.
Esmeralda Pacheco, a senior nursing major, said the commute to Nutley was actually better for her and closer to her hometown of Bloomfield, N.J. “I know from other students in the beginning it was complicated for many of them – especially if they were out-of-state,” Pacheco said, adding that carpooling is becoming a necessity for many.
“Yet while the commute has been better, the mutual agreement amongst us nursing students is the price of the parking pass,” Pacheco said. “I feel as if a payment plan should be offered if they are going to keep the steep prices for the years to come.”
Darby DeBonis, a junior nursing major, shared her thoughts on the new campus library. “The technology we use in the library is especially neat because students can reserve individual or group study rooms online up to a week in advance,” DeBonis said. “This method ensures a process that is much more efficient than the waitlists used to reserve study rooms at Walsh Library.”
Foley says that ideally, it would have been nice to expand the college in South Orange, but they were not able to do so.
Additionally, she said students are able to participate in an “interprofessional experience” with students from other schools, and that “teamwork and effective communication skills is a huge benefit to any healthcare provider.”
“Having our own campus at IHS has definitely been a plus in the program,” Pacheco said. She added that the classrooms at the campus, which have desks in the style of a conference room, are “extremely helpful.”
“When working on a team paper, we [teammates] were able to collaborate without making the fuss of moving around desks as we would have had to do at the South Orange campus,” she said. “The layout is modern and allows nursing and medical students to really undergo their fashion in an updated fashion.”
However, DeBonis said she thinks that the community at the new campus is not the same. “The IHS campus definitely lacks the sense of community students have on the South Orange campus because we are mainly only in the building for class and we leave right after rather than sharing meals together or studying there,” she said.
“There are certainly always growing pains, but the students are getting used to the change,” Foley said.
“Overall, things are wonderful.”
Pacheco said, “I am very happy. I feel very honored that we get to partner with Hackensack Meridian Health to have this medical school building where fields of healthcare can practice and learn.”
Elise Kerim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.