The Plaza College School of Nursing, launched in January 2022, was awarded formal accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as one of the most rigorous programmatic accreditation programs in the U.S.
The CCNE accreditation process is the culmination of years of preparation, including the development of a Self-Study report and three-day site visit during which CCNE representatives meet with students, staff, and clinical partners to determine the program’s effectiveness at meeting all outlined standards.
Dr. Abdur “Raheem” Nizar-Moses, PhD/MSN/RN, the program’s Chief Nurse Administrator and Dean of Nursing at Plaza College said, “To achieve CCNE accreditation illustrates the remarkable quality of the programs at Plaza College. Our esteemed faculty and I are extremely proud of the level of attention and access to advanced resources that our program provides our students. Coupled with the clinical rotations at our affiliate hospitals and healthcare centers, the nursing education experience at Plaza is top-notch.”
Each Plaza nursing program cohort is made up of 40 students enrolled every other semester. Its ethnically diverse student body was recognized by Queens Borough President Donovan Richards at its 2021 ribbon cutting ceremony as “a true representation of the borough, which is one of the most ethnically diverse urban areas in the world.”
On the second floor of the College’s Queens Boulevard campus, the unique Center for Healthcare Simulation includes an advanced suite of four training laboratories featuring innovative simulation technology that allows students to practice skills on medical manikins that mimic emergency room, labor and delivery, elder care, and other high-risk, patient-hospital care scenarios. The Plaza Nursing students use these skills to complement their studies with clinical rotations at specialized New York region healthcare hospital systems including:
In April 2023, Plaza’s first nursing program cohort completed their program of study while achieving a 90% graduation rate and National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX) pass rates of 84.62% first-time and 100% overall. Completion of an approved program and passing scores on the NCLEX are required to become a Registered Nurse in the State of New York.
Dire National-State Nursing Shortage:
An analysis published last year in the Journal Health Affairs found that the number of registered nurses in the U.S. fell by 115,220 from 2020 to 2021, the biggest decline in 40 years.
In New York, this has led to dire consequences for hospitals as, according to The Healthcare Association of New York State, 100 percent of hospitals responding to a survey said they had nursing shortages they are unable to fill.
Regina Pokidaylo, Director of Career Services at Plaza College said, “The number of openings for Registered Nurses – and many other related healthcare positions – in our area is truly concerning, but our graduates are exceptionally equipped and eager to help fill the voids. We’re immensely proud of our graduates and the differences they’re already making in the community and workforce.”
Plaza’s other associate and baccalaureate-level healthcare focused degree programs include Dental Hygiene, Medical Assisting, Health Information Technology, Healthcare Management, and Surgical Technology (Coming Fall 2024).
The baccalaureate degree program in nursing at Plaza College is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791.
For more information on the program or to inquire about the admissions process for the nursing program, please visit www.plazacollege.edu
Ms. Eriquea Ifill is a student currently completing her Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies this Fall 2023 semester! To her, the Student Spotlight represents “professionalism and achievement. It’s evolutionary for yourself to grow as a student as you come into your expected field.”
Ms. Ifill was motivated to pursue the Paralegal Studies major because she envisions herself “helping others, including family, from a legal perspective. I wanted to dive into learning every aspect of the law which being a Paralegal does.” Her most memorable experience at Plaza College was her first day in the program. “I didn’t know what to expect, but soon found myself opening up like a flower and stepping into myself during Professor Eder’s class of Psychology Development. This course allowed me to learn different scientific perspectives of how others view the world.” This semester, Ms. Ifill is interning at the Estate Planning Elder Law Group with Andrew Jaloza, Esq. She has loved her time there learning how to be a “helping hand to someone in the arena of estate planning and Medicaid planning.”
Ms. Ifill’s professors in the Paralegal Studies Program have been wonderful. “They have a keen sense when I’m concerned about something and they step in to support me. They are hands on with students and passionate. They make sure students accomplish what they want in the course.” Director Lazarus shares that, “Ms. Ifill is a highly intelligent, motivated, professional, and personable student. She is always ready to participate in class discussions and makes significant contributions to the class. Ms. Ifill is committed to succeeding as is demonstrated by her excellent academic performance. Her strong desire to learn is evidenced in all of her class projects and assignments. She is respected by faculty members, staff, and fellow students. She is an asset to Plaza College.”
Her dream job originally was to be a journalist but this was altered when she found the pathway to a paralegal degree. Eventually she wants to become a District Attorney and focus on supporting women in domestic violence situations. “I was to help women from all different cultures. I want them to know they have a voice and make them aware of their rights.” Professor McKeithan says that, “I am beyond honored to have been asked to write a quote about one of Plaza’s BEST students. Ms. Ifill is an exceptional student and always eager to learn. She comes to class prepared to learn and always does her best. I remember when she was a new student at Plaza. She came to me to ask for some assistance about a topic we were going over in our Introduction to Law class, that she was confused about. We spoke privately about the matter, and it was then that I realized how dedicated and committed she was to achieving her goal of learning all she could about the law and graduating. I was even more impressed that she actually took my advice about the topic, did her own independent learning, research, and follow-up, and ultimately excelled in the class. This speaks to who Ms. Ifill truly is-a go-getter, determined to accomplish whatever goal she sets for herself. I am honored to be a part of her journey. Ms. Ifill is most deserving of this student spotlight, because she embodies what Plaza students are all about. She is bright, tenacious, kind, caring, and will not stop until she gets the job done. I am confident that she will be even more successful than she is now, because of her commitment and dedication to hard work, and not quitting when things get tough. Congratulations Ms. Ifill! I am so proud of you. Continue to shine bright. “
When it comes to balancing responsibilities of her academics and home life, Ms. Ifill says it’s all about structure and organization. “I like to plan ahead to give me a start and finish. I recommend structuring your organization around executing your goal.”
Her favorite Fall beverage is Dunkin Donuts coffee and her favorite show to watch is a mini series on Lifetime called Small Sacrifices. She has also read the book by Ann Rule, which is a true story from the 1980’s.
For Ms. Bouyer, the Student Spotlight represents the acknowledgement of her hard work; staying up late to study, write research papers, and be committed to her academics. She was encouraged by her Mother to pursue Healthcare Management because she felt she would thrive in a role that helped others in the medical arena.
Ms. Bouyer is very appreciative of the faculty and staff at Plaza College, citing four classes and Professors who stand out; Professor Velez for Medical Terminology, Director O’Connor for Medical Law and Ethics, Professor Iaconis for Professional Development, as well as Professor King for MG74 Human Resources. She also shared her gratitude for specific skills where she was able to receive extra help from faculty. “Professor Allanach has supported me when writing my research papers. He’s always there when I need guidance, no matter what class it’s in. Professor Garcia also helped me with my typing and using Microsoft Word while Professor Diep guided me through spreadsheets on Excel.” Director O’Connor shares that, “Ms. Hope Bouyer has been a pleasure to work with from the first class we shared together. She is an excellent student who always reaches out when in doubt as to how to do any assignment. Ms. Bouyer keeps in communication with her instructors, and has been my go to person if I was going to be a few minutes late for a class. I would text her and she would let the rest of the class know if I was having technical issues logging on. She has an eagerness to learn and to do well in all she attempts. Hope did so well in her HCM externship, she was offered a position. She has all the skills and attributes needed to excel in healthcare. It has been a wonderful experience getting to know her throughout her academic journey at Plaza College.”
Her dream job is to work at a psychiatric facility and advocate for others where she can provide them with additional resources. When it comes to managing her schoolwork and household responsibilities, her fiancé has been a tremendous support. He does the cooking, cleaning, laundry, and homework with her daughter. This has allowed her to give a stronger focus for her own assignments at Plaza College. Professor Allanach says that, “Ms. Hope Bouyer started meeting with me for Academic Resource Center (ARC) APA tutoring in the Winter semester of 2021. Her commitment to improving her studies and essays overall inspired me. I am now proud to see Ms. Bouyer being recognized in this spotlight for her progress. I also assisted Ms. Bouyer in her film studies class, in which she presented on the life and work of Spike Lee. Finally, I worked more with Hope when she was a student in LL254 for the thesis portfolio. She chose to research and write on Social Media and its connections to health overall. Ms. Bouyer continues to dedicate herself to improving and growing. Her positive nature and dedication are commendable. Keep up the good work, Ms. Bouyer!”
Her favorite Fall beverage is french vanilla coffee from Dunkin Donuts or cappuccino. She is an avid book reader and recommends one of her favorite reads, “God Don’t Like Ugly” by Mary Monroe.
Ms. Juzelle James is a student currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Nursing Program at Plaza College and will be graduating in Spring 2024! For her, being nominated for the Student Spotlight, “acknowledges students who work hard and through individual situations. We each have things we go through, and it’s important to have the ability to work through life’s challenges while meeting our goals.” Ms. James was inspired to pursue this major after being by her Mother’s side through a breast cancer diagnosis.
Her most memorable experience at Plaza College was the first time she attended her clinicals. “Seeing what it was really like from a nursing perspective, from the side of a healthcare provider was impactful.” This semester, Ms. James looks forward to refocusing her personal goals of self care and going back to the gym. “This was something my Mom and I did together. It helps my mental stability to take care of my body. I love strength training to build more muscle.”
Ms. James loves the close knit community at Plaza College. “The professors are so supportive, you can call or text, and they personally check in with you if you have something going on. They will work with you to get back on track with your studies. That’s very important in academia. If you feel as a student you can’t approach your professors, it’s demoralizing. The professors at Plaza College look out for you and want to see you succeed.” Dr. Moses says, “Ms. James’ resilience and dedication as a nursing student, even in the face of adversity, is truly inspiring. Her unwavering commitment to her studies and patient care, despite the challenges, is a testament to her strength and passion for nursing. She is a shining example of perseverance and determination for all nursing students and will be missed once she graduates but I’m confident the nursing profession is in good hands because of her compassion and intellect.”
Her dream job is to become a Nurse Practitioner and continue on for her Masters Degree after a few years of working as a Registered Nurse. When it comes to her studies, she makes sure to eliminate all distractions in her home environment. “On study days I commit to four hours of studying, take a break to watch television, and then get back to it. If I can’t study I’ll compensate by doing homework assignments.” Dr. Habeeb says, “It is with pride I recommend Ms. Juzelle James for the Student Spotlight. She is not only a shining star in the senior nursing class, but a scholar and future nurse who is clearly destined for greatness. She is highly structured, motivated and very disciplined. She undertakes tasks with eagerness, and enthusiasm to not only get them completed but to also gain knowledge to improve and grow. She is very caring, compassionate and has overcome many challenges and obstacles to be successful. The most notable attributes of Ms. James are, namely, resilience, respect for self and others, and determination to succeed.” Her favorite fall activity is apple picking and driving through upstate New York to see the foliage. She highly recommends Mindhunter on Netflix saying the first two seasons were amazing!
She shares that she was inspired to pursue her Associate Degree because of her children and wanted to show them they can accomplish any goal. Being a single mother of four, and working two jobs, she always wanted to achieve her college degree. She would always drive past Plaza College and decided to stop in to learn more. She was excited to find out that the program design fit perfectly for her schedule! Director O’Connor says, “I have gotten to know Ms. Peralta over the past two semesters. She is a delightful young woman who strives to do more than just good enough in the classes we have had together. She impressed me with her dedication to working tirelessly on challenging assignments so that she would know, whatever grade she earned, she had given it her best. She has all the necessary attributes to excel as a healthcare professional.”
Ms. Peralta shares that her experience as a student has been wonderful. “The Professors are so kind, supportive, and always there for us.” Associate Director Ferrer says, “Ms. Peralta is a dedicated student. She is diligent in her academic studies and determined to succeed. I wish her much success in her journey. My message to all is to keep an open mind and continue to study.”
She is currently interning at SMB Medical and enjoying her placement! She’s been learning how to transfer patient data, filing insurance denials, and more. Her dream job would be to work at a hospital as a Patient Coordinator. Her favorite Fall season beverage is an Apple Macchiato from Starbucks. She loves listening to Christian music. “I prefer to listen to music over watching television because I can take care of my children, household chores, and it relaxes me. I can even do homework while listening to music.” Her favorite Fall season activity is apple picking and driving upstate to see the foliage. Her favorite show on Netflix is Mindhunter. “The first two seasons were amazing!”
Ms. Sinead Curran is a student in the Court Reporting Program completing her last set of exit speed classes! Ms. Curran, was honored upon receiving notice of being nominated for the Student Spotlight. “The Court Reporting students are very gifted, so to be chosen to be showcased for this opportunity is amazing.” When it came to her career pursuits, she always had an interest in the law but didn’t desire to become a lawyer, but she was fascinated by people who had roles in the background of this field such as clerks and officers. “I’m very interested in how everyone comes together to make it work in the field of law. Court Reporting gives me all the excitement without any of the drudgery.”
Ms. Curran shared at one point she experienced a terrible tragedy of a house fire, but thankfully through the staff and administration at Plaza College, she received immense support that guided her through this time. “President Callahan, Director Santucci, and Professor Warmouth were incredible. Even though I lost everything, the Court Reporting Program gave me a lifeline.” Director Santucci says, “Ms. Curran is an amazing student. She is always so positive and has a special quality of bringing a smile to your face. She has worked so hard in this program and is close to the finishing line. I know Ms. Curran will be a successful court reporter and I look forward to seeing her joining the profession.”
This semester she is super excited to attend the NYSCRA Convention at the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse and Steno In The City, a glitzy networking event with professionals from across the country. “I started at Plaza College before the pandemic and kept in touch with all my classmates. I can’t wait to see them all at these events.”
Ms. Curran shares her gratitude for her time at Plaza College. “Every Professor I’ve had is so invested in my growth as a stenographer and my future court reporting self. They want to see you be the best court reporter you will be. Every professor is brilliant. They know how to be disciplined but also have fun.” Professor Bailey says, “Ms. Curran comes into class every day with a big smile on her face full of enthusiasm and excitement. She always exhibits a positive outlook and attitude in class. Ms. Curran demonstrates an extraordinary commitment in reaching her goal to become a court reporter. It’s been a great pleasure to have her in my class, and I know she will soon be a great Court Reporter.”
When it comes to managing her academics and home life, it’s a juggling act. “Court Reporting isn’t a book learner course. Students must put the hours into practicing and be dedicated. My husband and I came up with a schedule so that everything runs smoothly.”
Her favorite Fall season activity is “pumpkin palooza” where she and her friends place pumpkins all over a friend’s backyard and get together to eventually carve them. She highly recommends watching the Japanese anime television series, “Attack on Titan.”
Ms. Felisha Perez is a student currently completing her Healthcare Management Degree (graduating in Spring 2024) while also taking courses in the Bachelor of Business Administration Program (anticipating graduation for Spring 2025). For Ms. Perez, being featured in the Student Spotlight represents “student leadership, professionalism, hard work, dedication and drive. Thriving onward and upward like Professor Allanach says!” Ms. Perez was inspired to continue her education after working a variety of roles of being a receptionist at a facility, a home health aid, and a medication technician in the healthcare industry for fourteen years. She observed circumstances in which she wanted to make positive changes. Professor Allanach shares that, “Ms Perez has and continues to exemplify the values of consistency, resilience, adaptability, positivity and encouragement so as to assist in the completion of the mission that we seek in all our students. I first met Ms Perez when she was enrolled in Essentials of College Writing. She has gone on to astutely assist me as a Teaching Assistant in the very same class. Ms Perez is helpful and proactive. Felisha provides feedback and is responsive to her peers and colleagues alike. It is inspiring to see her grow and develop as a professional. I suspect her work here at Plaza College is just the first step of many on her successful journey. Onwards and upwards!”
Ms. Perez joined Plaza College through the Bootcamp Program in which she matriculated into Career Pathways and her Associate’s Degree. She witnessed immense growth in herself as an academic that she wanted to continue in her Business Bachelor’s Degree. “The Bachelor Degree provides me with a broader spectrum education for business and healthcare. A great hybrid and giving me an opportunity to expand my skill set.” Her most memorable experience at Plaza College has been volunteering at the Honor Society Induction Ceremony in 2022. “It was so nice to witness everyone participate in this milestone. Seeing their smiles when giving out their awards gave me hope that I can achieve this too.”
Ms. Perez credits the Bootcamp Program for finding out how wonderfully supportive Plaza College was. “I had always wanted to continue my education and saw this as an opportunity to pursue my educational dreams. After being told no many times from others, Plaza gave me that one yes, and it was everything I needed and more. After matriculating into my Associate’s Degree, I started to receive recognition for my professionalism. The first time I received a Semester Award I cried.” Her dream job is to become a healthcare administrator and open up a facility that specializes in adolescent medical care. Director O’Connor says, “Ms. Perez is a very hardworking student who, despite some personal obstacles, never fails to deliver excellent results in the classes we have shared. She is also always ready to assist others, is courteous to instructors and peers and is dedicated to learning by going beyond textbooks and assignments. It has been my pleasure working with her.”
For Ms. Perez, keeping her education at the forefront of her daily routine is a priority and having a supportive family allows her to be fully dedicated. “I have a good routine to keep me motivated. I set time aside to study and submit assignments before their due dates. During the weekends I also study, do assignments, or work on a project. This has allowed me to get things done and prioritize work in a timely manner.”
Her favorite Fall season beverage is a caramel latte and her favorite activities are pumpkin carving, decorating for the holidays of Halloween and Thanksgiving, as well as spending time with family. She highly recommends watching The Witcher and Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix.
Ms. Shaniqua Stephens is a student in the Paralegal Studies Program who will be graduating in Spring 2023! Ms. Stephens explains that being nominated for Student of the Month “represents hard work, dedication and willingness to focus on success.” Her motivation to pursue this major was a career path to help children in need. “My son has seen my motivation with school and he understands that when you work hard you can achieve your goals.” Director Lazarus of the Paralegal Studies major shares that, “Ms. Stephens is an excellent student. She is always prepared for class. She works hard and is always willing to help her fellow classmates. She is professional and courteous in her interactions with faculty, staff, and her classmates. Shaniqua will succeed in anything she puts her mind to because of her wonderful work ethic. It is a pleasure to have Shaniqua in class.”
Her most memorable time at Plaza College has been the professors and staff. “Everyone is so supportive, motivating and welcoming. The positive attitude from everyone lets me know I can always seek help to talk through any struggles. My professors are so kind and take time to support my knowledge and academic preparation.” She looks forward to participating in the GlamourGal Valentine’s Day letter writing campaign this semester as well. When she is not in school or working she volunteers at a church to feed those in need and help the homeless. Professor César says that, “I remember when I first met Ms. Stephens in my Introduction to Law Class. She was a fresh beginner in college and a Paralegal major. She was shy and eager to succeed. Many semesters have passed and I am delighted to reconnect with Ms. Stephens again, but this time as her instructor for Advanced Legal Writing. I am pleased to engage with the self-confident and highly adept legal studies major that she has become.”
Her dream job is to be employed at a firm that specializes in family law. She would like to work on cases that help children get out of abusive homes and into environments that are safe and nurturing. To balance her home and academic responsibilities Ms. Stephens sets a schedule to complete her assignments and incorporates breaks as well. She also blocks off time to cook, clean and take care of her family. Her favorite study beverage is the peach ginger lemonade from Sammi’s Cafe and her favorite show to binge watch is The Walking Dead on Netflix.
Ms. Geniece Perez is a Medical Assisting Student set to graduate in Spring 2023! For her, Student of the Month represents growth, hardwork and acceleration towards her career. She expressed that since she was young she felt an inclination to work in the medical arena.
“When I had my son eight years ago I was constantly in and out of the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). The nurses and doctors were amazing as they diligently worked to bring my son back to health. Seeing this reignited a spark in me. I also observed the medical professional shortage in the pandemic which inspired me to go back to school for this major.”
Her most memorable time at Plaza College was when she walked into her first clinical class on campus. “I felt like a real college student. It made me realize I’m getting closer to my goal. I’m learning EKG and phlebotomy.” This semester Ms. Perez looks forward to the APA and Thesis Writing Process Workshop as well as the GlamourGals Valentine’s Day Senior Letter Writing Project. Her children also get involved with this initiative by writing letters to seniors in support of the goal of sending one hundred! Director O’Connor says, “Ms. Perez is a very positive person. It was a pleasure having her as a student. She always adds to our stimulating class discussions, but also manages to provide uplifting points to sometimes very weighty topics that can be somewhat depressing in today’s world. She is an intelligent young woman who has the necessary empathy to give patients the support they need to navigate healthcare.”
Ms. Perez says that her experience at Plaza College has been wonderful. “From the Professors to the directors and faculty, I am supported at each level of my studies. Professors and Academic Advisors are always there to help you evolve to become a professional. There’s never a moment where you could feel alone. Coming out of Plaza you are a different person who is ready to go into the career you chose. The Doctors in the Medical Assisting Program build you up to go into the field with knowledge and skills to succeed.” Her dream job is to work in an Emergency Room. Professor Ferrer explains, “Mastering a skill takes time. There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. I am very proud of the determination and resilience exhibited by Ms. Perez. Stay focused and stay strong. You are capable of all you put your mind to!” Ms. Perez is able to prioritize school work with the help of her family. She completes all her assignments first and then has time for her children and social activities. Her favorite Valentine’s Day candy is a Hershey’s almond chocolate bar or Hershey’s Almond Kisses. She loves watching Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix as well.
Ms. Yushuvayev’s motivation to pursue the BBA Program was when she became a Supervisor at ProHealth for two departments. She soon recognized that she wanted more responsibility and authority to make better decisions for patients and employees, particularly in the Human Resources arena. This led her to apply for her Bachelor’s Degree. Her dream career is to be in a role where she can make impactful changes to organizational systems that benefit employees and patients in the medical arena. She also wants to learn about the employees and give promotions based on merit. “I want to be that voice to advocate for others and design an employee recognition program.” Dr.Finlay, Dean of Business Programs says, “Ms. Yushuvayev is a pleasure to have in class! She is a hard worker and always comes to class on time and ready to participate in our exciting class discussions. I admire her for the respect she shows to others when we address difficult and controversial topics. She always has a positive outlook and demonstrates a willingness to learn and take on new challenges. I am impressed with how she balances her personal life with her school schedule. Her ability to overcome obstacles is a testament to her grit and determination to succeed. Ms.Yushuvayev is a true leader in and out of the classroom and I congratulate her for displaying the qualities and characteristics of a successful Business student here at Plaza College.”
Her most memorable experience at Plaza College was participating in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer in 2022 and working with all her Professors. “You can text or email, at any point in time, or even ask to speak after class. I remember I had trouble on an assignment and a Professor answered me on a weekend! All of this put together, they go out of their way to support you. There’s no comparison when I think of other schools I’ve been to. They really make you feel like you’re part of the family here. Classes are fun and you remember all the content being taught. There’s no way to forget! They’ve also been very compassionate when I’ve gone through difficult times. I respect the Professors very much and give them so much credit for all they do.” Director O’Connor shares that, “it was a pleasure working with Ms. Yushuvayev during her degree pursuit in Health Information Technology. She is a disciplined and dedicated young woman who was never satisfied with her work being good enough. She was always at the top of the classes we shared and pushed herself to strive for excellence.”
This semester, Ms. Yushuvayev looks forward to more self care. “I’m so busy being there for others and my schoolwork, that I now want to invest in taking care of myself.” She manages her home and school responsibilities through designated tasks throughout the week. “Tuesdays I cook enough for the entire week and Fridays I do laundry and clean. Everyday I take care of my homework assignments and study (with the exception of Saturdays).” Her favorite beverage is a cold Frappuccino from Starbucks and her favorite Fall activity is going to the boardwalk and enjoying the cooler weather. She highly recommends watching “The Walking Dead” and the new spinoff, “The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon.”