HORIZONS • News
Nursing Students Learn About Transfer Options
bout 20 Nursing students got a
chance to nd out about the trans
-fer program offered by St. Vin-cent’s College on Sunday, April 17 in thelecture hall in Lafayette Hall.Joe Marrone, Director of Admissions
at St. Vincent’s, extolled the benets of
the associate’s degree program to an all-
female crowd. He also had them ll out
cards listing their transfer information andthe program they were looking to get into.Marrone contrasted his college with the
certicate program offered by Bridgeport
Hospital.“You do not have a degree from Bridge- port Hospital—they can’t offer them,” hesaid.In January, St. Vincent’s added a four-year Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing(BSN) program. Marrone stressed thatnursing students should pursue the longer program in order to ensure that they wouldmaintain their jobs.“Right now, the state has not said thatnurses need to have the four-year program.But they are talking about it. Sometimewithin ten years, they’re heading that di-rection.”Marrone also pointed out that nurseswith a bachelor’s could go farther in their jobs.“If you have an associate’s degree innursing and you’re an RN [registerednurse], then you’re probably going to be
working on a oor for the rest of your life.
It’s only when you get your bachelor’sdegree or your master’s that you can start being in a supervisory or an administrative position—or teaching,” he said.Although St. Vincent’s only accepts amaximum of 18 transfer credits for its as-sociate’s program, Nursing students who
nish with a grade point average of 2.67
are automatically guaranteed a spot in theBSN program. At that point, they’re al-lowed to transfer up to 80 credits.The criteria for being accepted at St.Vincent’s are rigorous but fair, accordingto Marrone.“We don’t just look at your grade pointaverage—we look at your entire academichistory,” he explained. The reason, he said,is so that the college can understand howa student has progressed through their col-lege career. If a student retakes too manyclasses or withdraws from too many, theycan be rejected, even with good grades.“I’m going to be honest with you: if you’ve taken biology or chemistry or anat-omy and physiology or microbiology twoor three times, then we’re probably not go-ing to take you, unless you’ve gone fromsomething like a D to an A,” he said.“My personal recommendation is thatif you haven’t done well in those classes,then you should probably look for another career than nursing,” he added.Marrone said St. Vincent’s also hasgeneral studies and other medical-related programs aside from nursing.The information session was the secondin a series arranged by Professor of Biol-ogy and Director of HCC’s Nursing Pro-
gram Sandra Barnes. The rst session, also
with Marrone, was on April 14.A third session was held on April 28with Gayle Barrett, the nursing admissionsspecialist for the statewide community col-lege nursing programs.Barnes said that most of the transfer sessions that HCC used to host for Nursingstudents were for Bridgeport Hospital.“Most people have much better chancesof getting in to Bridgeport Hospital,” shesaid, but added that she wanted to expandthe options that were available.“Right now there’s a bottleneck, be-cause there aren’t many Master’s-levelnurses to teach all the students who are in-terested,” she said. “We have 880 peoplehere in pre-nursing. A lot of students atSouthern [Connecticut State University]come to Bridgeport Hospital, and it pushesour students out.”Barnes was skeptical that St. Vincent’swould be the best choice for all students,though.“If you’ve only been at Housatonic asemester or two, I could see transferring,”she said. “But beyond that, you might be better off here.”Either way, Barnes agreed with Mar-rone that a student’s academic performancewould determine his or her long-term suc-
cess in the eld. In particular, she empha
-sized that it was important to have strongmath skills to succeed.“If you’re not good at math, you’re notgoing to go anywhere in Nursing,” shesaid.
False Alarm Raises Concerns Over Safety
he re alarms in Beacon Hall were
activated three times on the morn-ing of April 4, leading to an evacua-tion of the building.The cause of the alarms, which began atapproximately 10:40 a.m., was not imme-diately known. Director of Security Chris-topher Gough said his department was in-vestigating.
The Bridgeport re department did not
come to the college, suggesting that there
was no re to report.The high-pitched buzzing and ashing
strobes of the alarms interrupted classes.Students, professors and staff members poured out of the building into the court-yard and other areas near the entrances.
The rst time that the alarms were acti
-vated, they lasted only a minute before be-ing abruptly halted. This caused confusionamong some students and teachers.“We were about to leave when itstopped,” said Adriana Cedeño, a CriminalJustice major at HCC who was in the mid-dle of her Criminology class at the time.“Since it went off, we sat back down. Wedidn’t leave until the third one.”Some were critical of the disorderlyway in which the evacuation was handled.Theater Arts major and Student Lifeemployee Theresa Giorgio was working inthe Wellness Center at the time. “When thealarm went off, the students tried to grabtheir stuff from their lockers,” she said. “Ithink we’re all old enough to know we’re
supposed to leave if there might be a re.”
She added that the conduct of studentsleaving the building was “sheer chaos.”Director of Student Activities LindaBayusik was also disappointed at the slowreaction to the alarm.“There were students playing table ten-nis in the Game Room, so I told them toleave. They hadn’t noticed. Then I went tothe TV Room and the lounge [on the third
oor], and found people there, too,” she
said.“Students were on their cell phones,wandering around. Some of them had ear- buds – I had to tap one on the shoulder totell him to get out,” she said.“You cannot treat the alarm as a joke,”she added.Women’s Center employee Shirley Jo-hansson was completelythrown off by the alarm. “Iwas a nervous wreck,” shesaid.Although there is a se-
curity ofce across the hallfrom the ofce where she
works, she said could not
nd any security personnel
to assist her. When she re-alized what was going on,she retreated to the patio
connecting the third oor of
Beacon Hall to the parkinggarage.It was there that Bayusik found her along with other students, and redirected them back into the building and out
the door on the ground oor.
The patio is not considereda safe option in the event of an emergency.“It is your responsibility, wherever youare, to know the evacuation route,” saidBayusik.According to the evacuation procedures published on HCC’s website, once peopleare outside the building, they are supposedto proceed to a designated area “at leastacross one of the streets from the campus.”Yet students who exited through the maindoors in the courtyard remained withinfeet of the building for the duration of theevacuation.After about ten minutes, people wereallowed to reenter Beacon Hall.
Students mill about outside Beacon Hall, waiting for security to allowthem back inside.
Photo by Brandon T. Bisceglia