Taking Care of the Healthcare Needs of Morris County and Beyond

Female student working on elderly woman simulatorAsk just about any nurse in Morris County where she or he started and there is a good likelihood the answer will be County College of Morris (CCM). Since 1968 when the college first opened, the Nursing Program has educated more than 5,000 nurses. With the National League for Nursing naming 2022 as the Year of the Nurse Educator, the Nursing Program at CCM is proud to celebrate its impact on Morris County and beyond.

“Nurses are such an integral part of maintaining the health of the communities they work in, and Nursing Studentshere in Morris County thousands of nurses can say they got their start at CCM,” says Lesley Andrew, chair of the Nursing department. “Our expert and dedicated faculty and comprehensive curriculum prepare individuals for entry into one of the most trusted professions. Through experiential learning with our state-of-the-art simulation equipment and in-person clinical experiences, students learn to integrate the science of health care and the art of caring into their nursing practice.”

Marlina Mendoza ’15 echoes that sentiment. “My experience in the CCM Nursing Program provided an excellent foundation for my studies and future studies. The college allowed me the steppingstone I required to enhance and propel myself in the nursing profession,” says Mendoza, assistant nurse manager of the Cardiac Care Unit at Morristown Medical Center. “The faculty was encouraging and knowledgeable on the subject matter. I still wear my CCM nursing pin loud and proud.”

“The CCM nursing program gave me with the foundation I needed to start my nursing career,” adds Yohana Buchholz-Lenz ’09, chief clinical officer for Kindred Hospital in Dover. “The faculty was very helpful, knowledgeable and always took the time to go over the work presented in class. The clinical rotation exposed me to all the different disciplines and areas of interest. Thanks to my foundation, preparation and work ethic, I have been able to embark on my nursing career and I am now the chief clinical officer of a specialty hospital.”

Nursing StudentNot only are CCM nurses highly respected within Morris County, the CCM Nursing Program and its graduates earn top grades nationwide. College Factual has rated the college’s program in the Top 10 percent of nursing associate degrees in the nation. CCM Nursing graduates year after year exceed the national average pass rate for first-time test takers of the National Council for Licensure Examination RN exam (NCLEX RN). Last year, the national average was 86 percent and CCM graduates obtained a passing rate of 93.5 percent. The CCM Nursing Program is accredited by the New Jersey Board of Nursing and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, which qualifies graduates to sit for the NCLEX RN exam. The CCM program not only prepares graduates to work in traditional healthcare settings but also for a wide range of opportunities.

“As a graduate of the CCM Nursing Program, I felt well-prepared for my career in nursing. In the 37 years since my graduation, I have worked in many different settings,” says Trish Colucci Barbosa ’85. “In 2006, I established Peace Aging Care Experts, LLC, a geriatric care management firm that assists families with caring for aging, mentally ill and developmentally disabled loved ones. My education from CCM’s Nursing Program, along with my continuing education and double-specialty certifications, has served me well. I love what I do every day.”

“This school and its instructors gave me everything I needed to be successful and to take my nursing journey to where I am now,” adds Mary Velardi-Stoffel ’06, clinical instructor, Department of Nursing Education and Research at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston.

The program’s reputation and success rates have prompted numerous family members to follow in the footsteps of their parents and siblings. When Darrin Pulver  ’18 decided he wanted to be a nurse he knew the place to start was CCM, as his grandmother and mother had done before him.

Another family of generational nurses who got their start at CCM is the Agnihotri’s. Natasha Agnihotri ’14 didn’t plan on following in her father’s footsteps to become a nurse and then a nursing professor at CCM. But when she attended CCM – as had her father, mother and brother – to round out her bachelor’s degree in public health, she discovered she really enjoyed working directly with people to improve their health. After working several years as a nurse, she decided she wanted to teach and in 2021 joined the full-time Nursing faculty at CCM.

“I really enjoyed my time at CCM and the Nursing Program has such a great reputation,” she says. “It’s exciting to be back and to be able to give back to a school I owe so much to. I’m able to have an impact on students like the CCM nursing faculty had on me.”

To learn more about the Nursing Program at CCM, go to Nursing.