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Nursing students trained to assist during local public health emergencies

TCNJ students continue to make a difference in the public health sector of our communities across the state and beyond.

Over the last two years, 70 TCNJ nursing students have been trained on the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) curriculum through collaboration with the Mercer County Division of Public Health.

These student MRC volunteers supplement existing emergency and public health resources in preparing for and responding to emergencies at the local level. By having its own MRC team, TCNJ is better able to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a disaster or emergency.

“This past year we have certainly seen major disasters from wildfires in California to floods in the Midwest,” said Carole Kenner, Dean of TCNJ’s School of Nursing, Health and Exercise Science. “In New Jersey we experienced hurricane Sandy and saw first hand how communities have to respond quickly.  For TCNJ students who are involved in health professions education, they are knowledgeable about health risks and the need for clear, quick communication.  Building on their knowledge, participating in MRC is a natural extension of their education.  This experience fits with the TCNJ signature experiences and commitment to community engagement.  Having MRC training also provides the students with a stronger resume when they graduate.”

The students also are available to help the Mercer County Division of Public Health during other emergencies, such as a natural disaster that may require the opening and operation of a Medical Needs Shelter in the County.

“I applaud those students who put in the time and effort necessary to be able to assist their campus and the greater community as MRC volunteers,” Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes said. “The MRC is an important element of the county’s overall emergency preparedness.”

Students who received the MRC training and have graduated are now equipped to serve as MRC volunteers in their hometown or another location.

Luke Sacks