"Within our student population, I find many
students who are the first
person in their family to achieve a Baccalaureate degree. These
students of The College of New Rochelle are truly remarkable!"
Dr. Joan Arnold
Professor of Nursing
School of Nursing
The College of New Rochelle
Dr. Arnold, where did you obtain your degrees?
I received my undergraduate
degree from Columbia University and my Masters in Nursing Education
from New York University. I also received my Ph.D. in Nursing Research
and Theory Development in Nursing Sciences from New York University.
The title of my doctoral degree was:
A Reconceptualization of the Concept of Grief for Nursing: A
Here at The College of New Rochelle what is your main teaching focus?
The primary course I teach is
the final theory and clinical course in our Undergraduate Program for
Registered Nurse students entitled “Community Health Nursing.” This is
an eight-credit course and the culminating course for RN students
completing the BSN. I also view the course as a bridge to the Master’s
degree in many ways because it is an intensive theoretical (60 hours)
and clinical (180 hours) course.
Students conduct a complete
assessment of a geographic community and analyze the community’s health
strengths, risks and problems. They also identify partnerships in the
community advocating for community health and the health and well being
of members of the community. Interventions to improve the health of the
community and its members are developed in conjunction with these
Students also create
PowerPoint presentations on environmental health issues and concerns
and write global health alerts about pressing social, political,
economic, and environmental worldwide health topics.
Additionally, the RN students
select clinical agency experiences for achieving their personal and
professional objectives about community health care. The overall thrust
of Community Health Nursing is enhancement of the health of populations
and particular aggregates in communities as well as caring for the
whole community as a client, locally and globally.
Periodically I teach an
elective with Dr. Nancy Gonchar, a faculty member in the Department of
Social Work, entitled “Team Building.” This is an undergraduate
elective course open to all majors.
What is your special area of professional interest beyond the
classroom, Dr. Arnold?
My special area of clinical
interest is grief. I consult with the New York City Sudden Infant Death
Office/MHRA, New York State Center for Sudden Infant Death. I also make
home visits to bereaved families, provide telephone support, teach
about infant mortality risk reduction and develop bereavement
literature for parents on the death of an infant as well as make
presentations locally, nationally, and internationally. I chair the
Research Committee for the Association of SIDS and Infant Mortality
Can you tell us something
about the types of students who attend the School of Nursing?
We have three tracks of
students in our Undergraduate Program: generic, second degree, and
Registered Nurse students. I work with the RN students.
They are men and women who
are diverse in every imaginable way. They represent various cultures in
the world and come from all age groups. Many of the students currently
hold positions of responsibility in their chosen profession as
Registered Professional Nurses. Quite a few of our students have
children, some are grandparents, and a few are taking care of their own
parents. Almost all hold full-time positions as nurses.
They come to The College of
New Rochelle to acquire the Baccalaureate of Science degree in Nursing
and many of these students want the BSN as a doorway to the Master’s
degree and advance practice in nursing programs. Within our student
population, I find many students who are the first person in their
family to achieve a Baccalaureate degree. These students of The College
of New Rochelle are truly remarkable!
You are also actively involved as a volunteer with organizations beyond
the College. What are some of those responsibilities?
I serve on several Boards
including the Nurses Educational Funds, the Columbia
University-Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae Association,
and the Executive Committee of the Association of SIDS and Infant
And, of course, you are
engaged as a writer of scholarship in your field.
Yes, that is true. I write
books, professional journal articles, and speak at conferences and
professional meetings about infant death, family grief, and bereavement
support. My most recent publication is Health Promotion in Practice, a
book I co-edited for Jossey-Bass of San Francisco. While all of my
research and professional activities keep me busy, my students at the
School of Nursing are my first priority and my most important