Staff and students from Thomas Edison State University’s (TESU) W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing had a repeat performance as they, once again, collaborated with the Trenton Department of Health in vaccinating nearly 400 Trenton area residents who were prioritized to receive the vaccine at the Trenton Fire Department on Sunday, February 28.

Answering a call to mobilize quickly by Health Department officials in the continued rollout of the vaccine, TESU Nursing staff and students eagerly stepped in to respond. The school participated in a similar vaccination event on February 3. TESU President Dr. Merodie A. Hancock visited the nursing students and staff to show her support.

“Assisting in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout gives our nursing students the opportunity to play a role in a vital health initiative and, as one of Trenton’s anchor institutions, TESU is honored to be part of this effort,” said Hancock. “Ongoing collaborations such as this, as well as on-ground clinical experiences in area hospitals and partnerships with community-based charitable organizations, enrich their learning experience and enables them to build an indelible professional bond with the our city.”

The effort included Yvette Graffie-Cooper, MPH, Public Health officer, City of Trenton; Memphis Madden, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator City of Trenton Department of Health, Division of Health Promotion; Trenton Department of Health personnel; Trenton EMS; Trenton Office of Emergency Management (OEM); The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) students and staff from the School of Nursing, Health, and Exercise Science and Dr. Lia van Rijswijk and Dr. Ana Catanzaro, associate deans at TESU’s W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing; as well as students enrolled in the school’s Accelerated BSN Program and their clinical educator Ms. Rowan Reyes.

TESU students administering the vaccines on Sunday are enrolled in the school’s full-time hybrid (online and on-ground) Accelerated BSN Program. Students who are enrolled in the program – notable for its high NCLEX pass rates – remain focused on their courses and clinical experiences during the condensed academic time frame.

The Trenton Department of Health COVID-19 vaccine program is part of a larger New Jersey Department of Health (NJ-DOH) initiative. Nursing students and staff have been trained to supplement professional health care personnel mobilized to help administer the vaccine to Trenton area residents. The school intends to continue assisting in the ongoing effort with the City of Trenton by rotating students through the vaccination program as the statewide rollout continues.