Watch CBS News

New Mount Sinai nursing school in East Harlem bridges gap to community

Mount Sinai nursing school in East Harlem bridges gap to community
Mount Sinai nursing school in East Harlem bridges gap to community 02:14

NEW YORK - The first semester is underway at the new home of the Phillips School of Nursing at Mount Sinai. The East Harlem headquarters will help heal the neighborhood.

For its 120th anniversary, the Phillips School of Nursing celebrates a new state-of-the-art system for students, including life-like dummy simulator patients that can be operated remotely from a control room. The East Harlem hub helps Mount Sinai further its goal to diversify the industry.

"We don't just look at GPAs, because we find that what makes a great nurse ... are attributes of leadership, of resilience in the face of challenges," said Bernice Pass-Stern, Assistant Dean for Institutional Effectiveness .

This new class of nursing students has already shown strength, pursuing the path after seeing the effects of the pandemic.

"I think it actually showed me how much we need nurses," said freshman Batsheva Weinberger, "and that actually made me more inclined to go into the field."

School leaders planned to open the location at East 126th Street and Lexington Avenue pre-pandemic, with the landlord offering a significant cost cut to construct the space, acknowledging the benefit it brings. Students not only get the hands-on opportunities in the classroom; they will also take their efforts to the community.

"The community is where we can make the greatest impact," emphasized Dr. Todd Ambrosia, the school's dean. "The lab is where we have our high tech, but we're also high touch."

Right now, a team prepares a health fair for February, bringing the services of small businesses together with tools to stay healthy.

"If they're receiving the service, I can also have one of my students educating them, why is it important to take blood pressure?" explained Vivian Lien, Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Programs. "It only takes a few minutes to make that difference."

A block away from one of two sanctioned injection sites, neighbors can also access opioid overdose prevention classes.

"You'll see people around in the city with syringes and needles, and having that education is really important," said freshman Vincent Figueroa.

Professors plan to lead regular mental health training sessions for staff, students and anyone who wants to attend.

"It helps us to remain humble in the fact that there are real-life situations that are occurring," said Lien. "These are real-life challenges."

Mount Sinai will use this model as an example to inspire Harlem high schoolers to consider a career in compassionate care, too, through a new Health Science Academy starting in the summer.

Mount Sinai is currently collecting warm clothing to donate to the Harlem domestic violence nonprofit called WARM, which stands for We All Really Matter.

Have a story idea or tip in Harlem? Email Jessi by CLICKING HERE.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.