HMH celebrates inaugural year of nurse practitioner residency program

Hackensack Meridian Health announced the first cohort of its nurse practitioner residency program — one of the first primary care nurse practitioner residency programs in New Jersey and one of only 36 programs in the U.S. to have received a grant from Health Resources & Services Administration Advanced Nursing Education to support its development.

Together with academic partner Monmouth University, Hackensack Meridian developed the program in community-based primary care practices in counties across New Jersey following receipt of the HRSA ANE grant in 2019.

The one-year program is designed to provide the new nurse practitioner with a unique educational opportunity to gain clinical experience in outpatient primary care, specialty medical practices, psychiatry and urgent care centers.

“This program has helped to effectively advance our commitment and ongoing efforts to train exceptional clinicians to deliver the highest quality of care to all communities, with a particular focus on our underserved and rural areas,” HMH CEO Bob Garrett said.

“I congratulate our inaugural cohort of 10 nurse practitioners and look forward to the positive impact they will make in communities across our state.”

The 10 nurse practitioners include:

  • Evelyn Candalera, Saint Peter’s University;
  • Kathleen Croll, Rivier University;
  • Eileen Janora, Walden University;
  • Leo Neil Ligon, Walden University;
  • Amanda Moroz, Fairleigh Dickinson University;
  • Karla Oliveri, Ramapo College;
  • Alexandra Stahl, Felician University;
  • Marica Thomas, South University;
  • Andrea Lynn, The College of New Jersey;
  • Henal Shah, Rutgers School of Nursing.

Croll described her experiences.

“During my one year in residency, I have been able to reflect on the impact that primary care has on access to health care,” she said. “Working to serve those with commercial insurance and those who are uninsured and underinsured has been a humbling, challenging and rewarding experience.

“Our leadership team has helped connect us to many expert resources, encouraged us to work to our fullest potential and inspired us to strive to make changes in our practice on a legislative level. It has been quite an amazing one-year journey.”

HMH Executive Vice President and Chief Nurse Executive Theresa Brodrick said the first cohort shows how the program helps to increase and fine-tune critical skills through hands-on training and the guidance of trained preceptors.

“We are thrilled that the program has also enhanced our capacity to meet the diverse needs of the patients and communities we serve,” she said.