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Yolanda Fleming

Janine Graf-Kirk earns DNP degree

Dr. Janine Graf-Kirk, DNP, RN-BC, CNE, has completed a rigorous two-year course of study and has received a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree from Walden University. Janine is the first nurse at Trinitas Regional Medical Center and the Trinitas School of Nursing to earn a doctorate degree in nursing. She joins the less than 1% of nurses nationwide who hold doctorate degrees. The DNP education involves the application of evidence-based research to improve patient health outcomes. To qualify for her degree, Janine proposed an education program for medical-surgical nurses to acquire behavioral health care competencies intended to improve the care for patients with mental health and substance use conditions.

Janine explains: "The DNP requires completion of course work, a clinical practicum which I was able to complete at Trinitas, and a project paper that investigates a practice problem that is presented for review followed by an oral defense of the project. Mary Beth Kelley, Dean of the School of Nursing (SON), Mary McTigue, Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer, and my fellow colleagues at the SON and hospital were strong supports for me during the two year process. I couldnít have done it without the mentoring of Diane Rehill, MSN, APN, BC, GPN, and Debbie Durand MSN, APN, CCRN."

Achieving this prestigious milestone is satisfying personally and professionally for Janine. "Receiving the DNP coincided with my 40th year in nursing that began when I was a Licensed Practical Nurse at the Alexian Brothers Hospital (one of the precursors of Trinitas) in 1974. My connection with Diane Reehil goes back to those days when she inspired me to continue my education. With a Masterís degree in Nursing Education from New York University in 1988, I am even more proud to add DNP to my credentials."


About Trinitas School of Nursing
Trinitas School of Nursing conducts a Cooperative Nursing Program with Union County College and confers a Diploma in Nursing from Trinitas and an Associate Degree from the College. Initially offering nursing studies as the Elizabeth General Medical Center School of Nursing, Trinitas School of Nursing has been in continuous operation since 1891. The Cooperative Nursing Program offers a Diploma in Nursing from Trinitas School of Nursing and an Associate in Science Degree from Union County College upon successful completion of the curriculum. Fully accredited by the New Jersey State Board of Nursing and the Accreditation Commission for Nursing Education, Inc., the program offers a basic course of study in nursing. It provides a sound theoretical base of knowledge in the nursing, biological, behavioral and sociological sciences and integrates this knowledge into academic and practical experiences within the health and illness continuum of client care. Utilization of a variety of health care agencies facilitates the application of all aspects of the studentsí learning. Students earn a total of 75 credits in the Cooperative Nursing Program. Upon graduation, students are eligible to sit for the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX) for Registered Nurse Licensure. For information about the program of study at Trinitas School of Nursing, call 908-659-5200.

Posted: April 14, 2015

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