Seniors Attend NJ Nursing Student Conference

Ramapo nursing students attended the 62nd annual New Jersey Nursing Students Conference at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City.

"The conference was an awesome experience," said Sarah Conway, a senior. "The break-out sessions were very informative and many presenters offered their contact information if anybody had any further questions."

The convention, which took place on Feb. 20 and 21, a Thursday and Friday, provided many great learning opportunities for nursing students all over New Jersey, including instructional break-out sessions, nursing school representatives, national nursing organizations and nursing supply vendors, amongst many others.

"On Thursday, there was an exhibition room opened all day with different tables representing nursing schools for students who wanted to broaden their career and get their masters, NCLEX review services, nursing organizations and supply vendors that were all very welcoming and offered free pens and candy," said Conway.

"Friday consisted of a NCLEX review session, which provided helpful tips and strategies for taking the exam," said Conway.

The NCLEX, National Council Licensure Examination, is an exam all nursing students have to take and pass in order to receive their nursing license in the United States. The NCLEX has two forms, one called the NCLEX-RN, for registered nursing, and the NCLEX-PN, for practical nursing, which is used by nursing boards to help in making licensure decisions.

"The nursing conference was a great experience and provided us with information we could use towards my daily practice of nursing," said Maria Ameralis, also a senior. "I was able to review for the NCLEX at this conference and was very impressed with the helpful hints they provided us with to help us pass the exam."

The students felt that the conference had benefits for many nursing students in New Jersey, however, they also believed there were some issues that could be fixed for the 63rd annual convention.

"Some of the sessions were a little crowded with limited seating, so we ended up having to stand in the back of the room for some of the sessions," said Conway. "I also would have liked to have seen more hospitals represented at the conference because there was limited opportunity for networking, which I expected a lot more of."

Despite these issues, Conway and Ameralis agreed that they would recommend the conference to other nursing students, especially juniors who are just getting into the core classes for the nursing major.

"Besides space and networking issues, I would pursue other nursing students to attend the conference because many of the break-out sessions were marketed more for nursing majors in their junior year who are just beginning their real nursing classes," said Conway. "Some sessions were titled 'How to Survive Nursing School' and 'Time Management Skills in Nursing School,' which would have been helpful to students a year younger than us," she added.

"Other nursing students should definitely attend this conference because it will make students feel more empowered as a nurse and you learn a lot of new information if you attend the presentations you are interested in," said Ameralis.