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Graduate Nursing Department

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The goal of the College's nursing programs is to prepare every student to think critically, and practice nursing competently and compassionately in rapidly changing practice environments. All efforts are designed to build nursing knowledge, enhance nursing practice and patient safety, foster professional integrity, and ultimately improve the health outcomes of patients, families, and communities across the continuum of care. In addition, certain functional abilities are essential for the delivery of safe, effective nursing care during clinical training activities. Therefore, the faculty has determined that certain technical standards are requisite for admission, progression, and graduation from the nursing programs.

In addition to classroom learning, clinical learning occurs throughout the program and involves considerations (such as patient safety and clinical facilities) that are not present for classroom accommodations. For this reason, any applicant or student who seeks accommodations prior to or immediately after enrolling in the nursing programs must also request an assessment of the types of reasonable accommodations needed for the clinical training component of the program.

An individual must be able to independently, with or without reasonable accommodation, meet the following technical standards of general abilities and those specifically of (1) observation; (2) communication; (3) motor; (4) intellectual, conceptual, and quantitative abilities; (5) essential behavioral and social attributes; and (6) ability to manage stressful situations. Individuals unable to meet these technical standards, with or without reasonable accommodation, will not be able to complete the program and are counseled to pursue alternate careers.

General Abilities: The student is expected to possess functional use of the senses of vision, touch, hearing, and smell so that data received by the senses may be integrated, analyzed, and synthesized in a consistent and accurate manner. A student must also possess the ability to perceive pain, pressure, temperature, position, vibration, and movement that are important to the student's ability to gather significant information needed to effectively evaluate patients. A student must be able to respond promptly to urgent situations that may occur during clinical training activities and must not hinder the ability of other members of the health care team to provide prompt treatment and care to patients.

Observational Ability: The student must have sufficient capacity to make accurate visual observations and interpret them in the context of laboratory studies, medication administration, and patient care activities. In addition, the student must be able to document these observations and maintain accurate records.

Communication Ability: The student must communicate effectively both verbally and non-verbally to elicit information and to translate that information to others. Each student must have the ability to read, write, comprehend, and speak the English language to facilitate communication with patients, their family members, and other professionals in health care settings. In addition, the student must be able to maintain accurate patient records, present information in a professional, logical manner and provide patient counseling and instruction to effectively care for patients and their families. The student must possess verbal and written communication skills that permit effective communication with instructors and students in both the classroom and clinical settings.

Motor Ability: The student must be able to perform gross and fine motor movements with sufficient coordination needed to perform complete physical examinations utilizing the techniques of inspection, palpation, percussion, auscultation, and other diagnostic maneuvers. A student must develop the psychomotor skills reasonably needed to perform or assist with procedures, treatments, administration of medication, management and operation of diagnostic and therapeutic medical equipment, and such maneuvers to assist with patient care activities such as lifting, wheel chair guidance, and mobility. The student must have sufficient levels of neuromuscular control and eye-to-hand coordination as well as possess the physical and mental stamina to meet the demands associated with extended periods of sitting, standing, moving, and physical exertion required for satisfactory and safe performance in the clinical and classroom settings including performing CPR, if necessary. The student must possess the ability of manual dexterity that would be required for certain activities, such as drawing up solutions in a syringe.

Intellectual, Conceptual, and Quantitative Abilities: The student must be able to develop and refine problem-solving skills that are crucial to practice as a nurse. Problem-solving involves the abilities to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and synthesize objective and subjective data, and to make decisions, often in a time urgent environment, that reflect consistent and thoughtful deliberation and sound clinical judgment. Each student must demonstrate mastery of these skills and possess the ability to incorporate new information from peers, teachers, and the nursing and medical literature to formulate sound judgment in patient assessment, intervention, evaluation, teaching, and setting short and long term goals.

Behavioral and Social Attributes: Compassion, integrity, motivation, effective interpersonal skills, and concern for others are personal attributes required of those in the nursing programs. Personal comfort and acceptance of the role of a nurse functioning under supervision of a clinical instructor or preceptor is essential for a nursing student. The student must possess the skills required for full utilization of the student's intellectual abilities; the exercise of good judgment; the prompt completion of all responsibilities in the classroom and clinical settings; and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients and other members of the health care team. Each student must be able to exercise stable, sound judgment and to complete assessment and interventional activities. The ability to establish rapport and maintain sensitive, interpersonal relationships with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural and intellectual backgrounds is critical for practice as a nurse. The student must be able to adapt to changing environments; display flexibility; accept and integrate constructive criticism given in the classroom and clinical settings; effectively interact in the clinical setting with other members of the healthcare team; and learn to function cooperatively and efficiently in the face of uncertainties inherent in clinical practice.

Ability to Manage Stressful Situations: The student must be able to adapt to and function effectively to stressful situations in both the classroom and clinical settings, including emergency situations. The student will encounter multiple stressors while in the nursing programs. These stressors may be (but are not limited to) personal, patient care/family, faculty/peer, and or program-related.

News & Events



Nutrition sciences and nursing students in Greece at a long dining table over looking the ocean.A group of undergraduate and graduate students traveled to Greece recently for the annual immersive experience program. Run by the Department of Nutrition Sciences at Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions, Nyree Dardarian, EdD, an assistant clinical professor and director of the Center for Nutrition & Performance, and Andrea Irvine at the Center for Nutrition & Performance students to Ikaria. They had a packed schedule to learn more about one of the world’s five Blue Zones. There were presentations and lively discussions about the role food has in their society, and health and wellness. The group also had opportunities to visit mineral springs, beehives and learn about herbs while hiking up a mountain.

Here are some of the things students said about their trip.

Nutrition sciences and nursing students gathered after a seminar in Greece.The innovative global immersion program focuses on longevity and wellness through diet and cultural practices of the local people living in this Blue Zone.

Highlights of the trip for me included a welcome dinner featuring traditional meat-less dishes, a cooking class with a local Blue Zone expert, visiting beehives and honey distributor, the instructional seminars with Dr. Peggy Pelosi and Annie Constantinides (Athens Community School), and the visit to hot mineral springs.

Ani Dardarian, BS, Nursing (June 2025)

We traveled to the island’s most popular spa town called Therma. There, we visited one of the mineral springs with the highest concentration of a mineral called radon. This mineral is known for its many benefits for the body including, but not limited to, muscle relaxation and stress reduction. We also met fellow Americans who were regulars to the springs. One woman even told us that she suffers from osteoporosis and believes that the springs helped significantly improve her mobility. Overall, the mineral springs in Ikaria are definitely a sight to see and have the potential to become the island’s top tourist attraction.

Amber Conner, BS, Nutrition and Foods (June 2023)

Students wearing beekeeping protective gear getting ready to look at beehives in Greece.Beehives are one of the main lifelines of the Ikarian culture and longevity. We embarked on an adventure to discover how honey plays a part on the island by visiting the beehives and processing facility. Commercial agriculture does not exist on the island resulting in bees feeding on the natural herbs and wildflowers native to the land. In the untouched mountains, bees go to work to make the antioxidant-rich honey that supports the lifestyle of the Ikarian people.

Shay Fisher, BS, Nutrition and Foods (June 2023)

Due to their tremendous health benefits, Ikarians regularly include fresh and dried herbs in the cuisines they prepare. To learn more about the intimate relationship between food sourcing and longevity, we went on a steep hike up a mountain while learning about natural herbs that grow on the Island. Our guide explained to us that this trail stretches over 40 miles from the east to west side of the Island. Luckily for us, we only traveled about a mile. In this short stretch, we were able to see several fresh herbs including sage, thyme and rosemary. The guide also explained the importance of these herbs as they were regularly the only source of food for the Island’s inhabitants. It was crucial that they learned what vegetation was available for food and how to prepare it in a healthy and safe way.

Nutrition sciences and nursing students standing on a mountainside after a hike.Ikaria now passes many laws and regulations to preserve the natural state of the plant-life. For example, farmers must keep their goats and other grazing animals off the trail to ensure that they do not graze on precious herbs. It is also necessary that individuals obtain a certification that allows them to pick natural herbs to insure that people do not destroy the wildlife. Above all, this excursion taught us that eating seasonal foods, living off the land and having a close relationship with food is key to the longevity of the Ikarian people.

Jason Brodo, MS Nutrition and Dietetics (June 2023)

During one of our seminars, we were able to discuss the benefits of an active lifestyle with Annie Constantinides, the director of Athletics at ACS Athens. Constantinides emphasized the importance of making activity part of your regular routine to allow for sharper focus, reduced stress and improved sleeping habits. During the second part of the session, Dr. Peggy Pelonis, who is the president at ACS Athens and previously worked as a licensed psychiatrist, discussed the importance of holistic wellbeing and building psychological muscle to help cope with failure and stressors that may contribute to mental health issues. Pelonis emphasized these ideas throughout various activities focusing on defining our own life story and the change process.

Casie M. Hartman, MS Nutrition and Dietetics (December 2023)


The following CNHP Student Story submitted by Camryn Amen, BS nursing '23, in honor of Nurses Week 2023.

Camryn Amen sits in lobby of Health Sciences Building, smiling at camera My freshman year, I was very eager to get involved on campus and experience the nursing community at Drexel. I remember my first event that I attended was making holiday cards for patients at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. From day one, the Drexel University Student Nursing Association (DUSNA) allowed me to feel engaged in the nursing community and provided me with ample opportunities to meet new people. During my sophomore year, I applied to and was selected to attend the Student Nursing Association of Pennsylvania (SNAP) Convention in Lancaster, PA. This was the first time I realized my role as a student nurse went beyond the classroom and campus. During my junior year, I was elected the Legislative Chair of DUSNA wherein I wrote our resolution about maternal mental health that was passed at both the state and national level. I am happy to say that I am now, in my last year at Drexel, serving the role of President of DUSNA, something I could not have imagined myself doing when I attended that first event freshman year. being a part of DUSNA has really shaped my nursing experience here at Drexel.

Without DUSNA, I would have never had incredible opportunities presented to me. Between our community service and professional development events, to the state and national conventions and conferences we get to attend, it is truly such an integral part to making the most out of your college career here at Drexel. Moreover, the ability to engage with a community of my fellow nursing students, learn from them, mentor them, and overall form unbreakable bonds one of the most wonderful things that DUSNA provides.

In my five years at Drexel, I was able to experience two co-ops and over five unique clinical rotations. These provided me with technical nursing skills but also skills like professional communication, prioritization and organization, and specifically for co-op, resume building and interviewing skills. My third and final co-op was on the Intensive Care Nursery at Pennsylvania Hospital, which was my dream job and the reason why I wanted to become a nurse. Opportunities like this, to work with your dream population as an undergrad and build connections at some of the best hospitals in the city are only available at Drexel, I say that confidently. Nowhere else are you able to get specific professional experience in your area of interest so early in your career.

My junior year I participated in the Macy Undergraduate Leadership Fellowship Program. I knew that I could see myself in leadership roles, and had held many up to that point, but I felt that the fellowship would allow me to learn about what it means to be a strong leader. The fellowship allowed me to reflect on what I value as a leader, and how I could use my skills to make a change in the healthcare field.

I have been looking forward to the opening of the Health Sciences Building since my freshman year. Four years later, I am so happy to be able to experience all that this building offers. The simulation labs are miraculous and offer such incredible hands-on learning opportunities. The common areas are equipped with a variety of rooms that are conducive to different types of learning. My favorite thing about the health sciences building is that we as health sciences students finally have a home base on campus and can be fully integrated into the campus community.

Philadelphia is truly everyone's city. No matter what your interests are there is something for you here. As a nursing major, I am among one of the best healthcare cities in the world, with endless opportunities for once in a lifetime experiences. While on my clinicals and co-ops I was able to see medical care in its most cutting-edge form and its highest quality. Not only that, but I was able to care for people coming far and wide for medical treatment, but I could also give back to the community for those who make up our wonderful city. This is a really special experience and one that I am so fortunate to have inform my nursing care throughout my career.



Learn more about our nursing programs and career outcomes at CNHP from recent alumna, Olivia Goossen, CRNA, FNP-BC, APN.

Olivia Goosen standing in front of yellow tiled wall, wearing black suitCRNA at Drexel

I graduated from the Nurse Anesthesia program at Drexel’s College of Nursing and Health Professions in 2021. Now, I work as the Vice Chief CRNA at Community Medical Center in Toms River, New Jersey. I also work as an adjunct professor in the Drexel CRNA program. I am currently pursuing my doctorate in Anesthesia Practice at the Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia, with a fellowship in acute pain management.

Anyone who completes the CRNA program at Drexel knows that it is a life-changing role. I don’t know anyone who is an unhappy CRNA because it simply is the coolest job. My sole function, as a nurse-anesthesiologist, is to reduce the anxiety of my patients, to reduce their pain levels and to keep them safe. There is a lot of fulfillment in that.

On a practical level, CRNAs have strong job security. I was offered a job within four months into my program, which is pretty typical. Even if I wasn’t teaching as an adjunct professor, with my former professors as my now colleagues, I would feel comfortable reaching out to them as an alum with any questions. In my role at Drexel now, I’ve tried to carry that forward to our current students.

Future of Pain Management

The coolest part of my job is acute pain management. I want to be there for my patients and support them through their experience. In the current CRNA world, a huge focus of study is the ability to provide effective pain management that is safe and limits, or completely excludes, the application of opioids during an anesthetic case for a variety of reasons. With the ongoing opioid crisis, there are several reasons why we are interested in limiting their use, in addition to the fact that some people simply can’t tolerate the effects of opioids and need alternatives.

A current alternative is ultrasound guided regional anesthetics via peripheral nerve blockade. This alternative requires more training and more work, but the effects are really profound. We are seeing patients who are comfortable, alert and talking after their procedure. This alternative, and other multi-modal techniques are not brand new, but they are becoming more mainstream, which is exciting to see and to be a part of. As a CRNA, I want to always be on top of the latest techniques to keep my patients safe and as pain-free as possible.

Advice to CRNA Students

I may be stealing advice from Ferne Cohen, PhD, director of clinical education for the Nurse Anesthesia Program, and Lew Bennett, PhD, chair of the Department of Nurse Anesthesia, but “trust the process”. From my experience as a student in the program, there is nothing in the program that wasn’t designed in some way to get you to a desired endpoint. It’s a lot to learn, and the amount of knowledge you’re expected to retain is vast, so that can be intimidating in the beginning, but trust the process.

In addition, I would say to remember that learning is lifelong. I completed my education at Drexel, but I am still pursuing further programs, and even when these programs are complete, I will still continue to learn throughout my career. There will be new techniques that emerge in five, ten, twenty years, and yet we will have to keep up. It is our role as health care providers to adapt to these changes, so I recommend that anyone coming into this program embrace a mindset where they understand that you will always keep learning.

Early on in my career, someone said to me that for professionals who work in healthcare, your “every day” is someone’s worst day. That isn’t always true for CRNAs, as we see people for elective surgeries as well, but I think it’s important to remember that the mundane and daily for us is anything but for the patients we treat. Empathy is everything. And sometimes, the answer we need to provide to our patients isn’t a drug but simply kindness, security or reassurance. Our aim is always to keep patients safe and that is my guiding light as a CRNA, and what I encourage for incoming students.

Written by Olivia Goossen

Edited by Izzy López

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