RWJBarnabas Health’s The Institute for Nursing Excellence Sets New Standard for Nurse Education, Professional Development


New facilities open at the Eisenhower in Livingston and Squier Hall in Oceanport

West Orange, N.J.April 3, 2024 – RWJBarnabas Health’s The Institute for Nursing Excellence is elevating education and professional development for its nurses. Through hands-on training, utilization of AI, and active simulations, RWJBarnabas Health nurses now have access to two state-of-the-art training facilities focused on supporting them in the nursing journey. The newly opened Eisenhower facility in Livingston, and Squier Hall at Fort Monmouth in Oceanport, is also headquarters for the Center for Professional Development, Innovation and Research (CPDIR). These facilities are strategically located to accommodate the entire system throughout the state, and in addition to boundless educational and training opportunities, they are also being used by several cross-functional teams.

The Institute for Nursing Excellence offers a wide range of educational programs and training led by experienced nurse educators that are designed to support nurses at all levels by providing opportunities to grow, develop new skills, and reach their full potential.

“I truly believe RWJBarnabas Health nurses and the outstanding care they provide every day sets our health system apart from others and is a reason why our patients continue to choose us to be their partners in health,” said Mark E. Manigan, RWJBarnabas Health President and Chief Executive Officer. “I am proud of the extraordinary team of world-class physicians and world-class nurses, and I will add there is no better place to be a nurse leader, a nurse, or a nurse educator than this health system.”

The two facilities offer large, spacious classrooms and high-tech simulation labs that host regional orientation programs for newly hired nurses, as well as specialty courses and other educational opportunities to the RWJBarnabas Health nursing workforce to help them expand their knowledge and improve their practice, which translates into better, more streamlined care for patients. The Institute’s role is also to ensure RWJBarnabas Health nurses are providing care that reflects the latest industry best practices as the nursing profession, like many industries, is constantly evolving with new innovations and research.

Additionally, nursing education has a significant impact on patient outcomes, according to multiple studies, which show that having better educated nurses results in better patient outcomes, lower mortality, lower readmission rates and shorter lengths of stay. The findings indicate that nurses who are not only skilled but also engaged and satisfied are more likely to keep practicing, which leads to greater nurse retention and lower turnover rates.

“RWJBarnabas Health is helping shape the future of patient care in New Jersey and beyond, and helping nurses stay at the top of their game doesn’t just benefit patients, it helps nurses too,” RWJBarnabas Health Executive Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer Nancy Holocek said. “When we give nurses opportunities to gain knowledge, build skills, add credentials, align practices, and share evidence and innovations, it lets them know that RWJBarnabas Health is invested in and believes in them.”

Developed over a period of years, The Institute builds upon RWJBarnabas Health’s CPDIR, which serves to advance clinical excellence and was created to align nursing practice across the entire health system, foster professional development, innovation, and research, promote interprofessional education, and enhance collaboration with academic partners and across teams of providers—nurses, physicians, physician assistants, and other ancillary personnel.

Implementing and educating nurses on systemwide protocols helps to promote consistency in care and reduce redundancy across the RWJBarnabas Health system. Bridging the gap between the classroom and real-life experience through consistent orientation programs for nurses and assistive personnel, standardized specialty training, and simulation-based education programs ensures that no matter where patients enter the system, they will receive the same level of outstanding, coordinated care.

“From nursing students to experienced nurses, The Institute provides a variety of resources to help clinicians expand their knowledge and improve their practice, and our team is highly skilled and knowledgeable and committed to providing ongoing opportunities to practice, learn, and grow professionally,” said Mary Beth Russell PhD, MA, RN, NPDA-BC, NEA-BC, FNAP, CPHQ, Senior Vice President, The Center for Professional Development, Innovation, Research & The Institute for Nursing Excellence, RWJBarnabas Health. “Leading the work of The Institute is a profound privilege. The investment the organization has made to its workforce via The Institute for Nursing Excellence is a testament to our dedication to empowering our nurses to achieve their utmost potential. This endeavor not only benefits our patients and the community but also signifies our steadfast and visionary commitment to the future of nursing. I am deeply honored to be a part of the Nursing Leadership Team,” she continued.

Certification courses are available for nurses’ pursuing careers in emergency care, pediatrics, critical care, intensive care, neonatal intensive care, perinatal care, oncology, the operating room, and medical and surgical units. The Institute also offers registered nurse graduate residency programs, leadership training, and workshops for those who wish to serve as preceptors or bedside nurses who mentor and oversee recent hires.

Combined with RWJBarnabas Health’s training facility located at Squire Hall at Fort Monmouth in Oceanport, the Institute for Nursing Excellence at the Eisenhower in Livingston allows nurses across the system greater access and the ability to take certification support classes and pursue professional growth opportunities closer to home or where they work.

For more information, please visit the Institute for Nursing Excellence at:

Squier Hall

About RWJBarnabas Health

RWJBarnabas Health is the largest, most comprehensive academic health care system in New Jersey, with a service area covering eight counties with five million people. The system includes twelve acute care hospitals – Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, Community Medical Center in Toms River, Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, Jersey City Medical Center in Jersey City, Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus in Lakewood, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Hamilton in Hamilton, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Rahway in Rahway, and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset in Somerville; Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth; three acute care children’s hospitals; Children’s Specialized Hospital, including a network of outpatient centers; a behavioral health center and the state’s largest behavioral health network; two trauma centers; a satellite emergency department; ambulatory care centers; geriatric centers; comprehensive home care and hospice programs; fitness and wellness centers; retail pharmacy services; an affiliated medical group; multi-site imaging centers; and two accountable care organizations.

RWJBarnabas Health is among New Jersey’s largest private employers – with more than 11,000 nurses. The organization employs a total of 41,000 employees and 9,000 physicians – and routinely captures national awards for outstanding quality and safety. RWJBarnabas Health, in partnership with Rutgers University, is New Jersey’s largest academic health care system. The collaboration aligns RWJBarnabas Health with Rutgers’ education, research, and clinical activities, including those at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey – the state’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center – and Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care.

Contact: Sherry Smith, Director, Strategic Marketing & Communications
[email protected]
(609) 584-6583


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