Newly-instated nursing chair seeks to innovate program

Julio Rodriguez

The nursing department's newest chair, Martha Desmond, has ten years of experience at Hudson Valley. Photo by Julio Rodriguez | The Hudsonian Student Newspaper

The nursing department’s newest chair, Martha Desmond, has ten years of experience at Hudson Valley.

“I think we have to look at Nursing a little differently now because of the way that healthcare has changed,” said newly-instated chair of the nursing department, Martha Desmond.

Desmond, a member of the Hudson Valley nursing faculty for ten years, was recently instated as chair of the nursing department after serving as interim chair for six months.

Desmond plans to breathe life into the program in order to meet the demands of an ever-changing healthcare profession.

“I love learning new things and finding new information,” Desmond said. “In healthcare, we always have to move forward. I try to give that love to the students. Stuff happens in people’s lives, but we just have to take it and move on. We all learn from it. If anything, with students, I hope I can help them get there.”

Desmond, along with the faculty, looks to introduce an accelerated program that would allow nursing students to complete two semesters of coursework in one summer session.
“It would be the first time we’ve ever done this at Hudson Valley,” said Desmond. “We’re looking at putting nursing one and two together over the summer. That’s something we’ve been working on.”

Desmond continued, “That’s exciting because students are saying, ‘You know, if I come in with a bachelor’s degree in something else, I want to get this nursing program done a little bit faster.’ So, we’re doing all of the paperwork trying to get that through by Summer 2018, hopefully. It’s in the works.”

Desmond, who is completing her doctoral dissertation, “Senior Nursing Students’ Perspective of Faculty Caring in an Associate Degree Nursing Program”, at Sage, believes student input is an important part of nursing curriculum.

“So, what are we doing and what are we not doing? How can we help these students better? Caring is compassion, and that’s what all nurses should be. Are we not showing them that? I want to know what students are thinking,” Desmond said.

Desmond looks to change the way in which nursing students at Hudson Valley approach their clinical settings.

“We need to move out from the hospital setting and move into the community setting. We have to look at clinicals that way. I think we just need a new perspective on [clinicals]. There’s room for change, and faculty are all excited about new things that are coming,” Desmond said.
Other than changes to the nursing curriculum, Desmond would like to see changes made to the nursing facilities as well.

“We did a little renovation during the summer. Before that, nothing had been done since about 1980 to this nursing lab,” said Desmond.

“Over the summer, we put in new sinks, which is sort of reviving things around here. [This] is a good thing because this is an older part of the school. So, hopefully we can look at making it more open and doing more renovations to the actual physical lab itself,” continued Desmond.
Desmond also commends the departments ability to produce capable graduates ready to enter the nursing workforce.

Desmond said, “We don’t want to change too much, but we want to move forward with some of our thought processes. Our pass rate after May 2017 was still at 92 percent. So, we’re doing it. The students and faculty are doing it. We have to keep it going.”

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