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The Institute for Nursing Excellence provides New Jersey nurses with hands-on experience and skill-building opportunities

LIVINGSTON, New Jersey (WABC) — They are the life-saving skills that every medical professional should know.

At a new, state-of-the-art facility in Livingston, New Jersey, some nurses now have a chance to brush up on those skills.

“The Institute for Nursing Excellence was founded because we felt we needed to scale our nursing workforce,” says Dr. Mary Beth Russell, RWJBarnabas Health.

RWJBarnabas Health previously offered orientation courses at each of its 12 hospitals, but leadership wanted to standardize instruction across the system.

The institute is addressing the gaps in training caused by the pandemic as nursing students joined the front lines.

In addition, there is now more practice-oriented training.

Previously, nurses had to imagine an emergency situation during training. Now they have new technology that brings the patient to life.

In just under an hour, Eyewitness News Reporter Crystal Cranmore had the opportunity to learn the basics of CPR using a high-tech mannequin and don personal protective equipment.

“When they actually see the patient, they have already practiced the skill so they can be experts,” said Dr. Russell.

Although the program launched in February 2023, it was not until December that this facility opened, bringing all technology and resources under one roof.

More than 6,000 nurses have completed the program, including choosing a specialty.

Jumar Porfido transferred from the ICU to the OR.

“What I like most about this is that we sit down with teachers and highlight our strengths,” Porfido says.

For Dr. Russell, one of the main creators of the program, is about better preparing nurses.

“It is essential to have a nurse who is skilled and passionate,” she said.

The training continues for an ever-changing industry.

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