The Three Legged Stool for Nursing Student Success

Concurrent Session 5

Brief Abstract

This session will focus on unique ways in which SUNY Empire State College supports online nursing students in completing advanced degrees (Bachelors and Masters). In particular, the usefulness of student online orientations, close interactions with mentors, and ongoing student services will be explored.

Sponsored By


Norine Masella, MS, RN, CNE is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing and Allied Health at SUNY Empire State College. She teaches online courses in graduate nursing and in the BS in Allied Health program. Norine has been teaching students in health professions for over 25 years in both traditional and online programs. She holds a Master of Science degree with specialization as a Parent-Child Clinical Nurse Specialist. She is a certified nurse educator (CNE) through the NLN Academic Nurse Educator Certification Program and is pursuing doctoral studies at the University at Buffalo in the PhD in Nursing program. With expertise in pediatric critical care, pediatric discharge planning, maternal-child public health, and pediatric home care, Norine has significant clinical experience to bring to education. She is experienced with the use of simulation in health care education. She has provided many educational sessions, including Physical Assessment of the Adolescent for the New York State Office of Children and Family Services for RNs around the state, and pediatric content lectures as a visiting faculty. She is an approved provider for the New York State Curriculum in the recognition and reporting of child abuse and neglect. Norine has also worked in competency-based nursing education. She has experience in the accreditation process, chairing the committees responsible for systematic program evaluation and self-study process in two AD nursing programs. Norine is currently the counselor from Empire State College for the Tau Kappa at-Large chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing and was the recipient of their Excellence in Education Award in 2019.

Additional Authors

Jen Nettleton is the Coordinator of Curriculum and Instructional Design for the School of Nursing at State University of New York (SUNY) at Empire State College. In her role here, she collaborates with nursing faculty and staff to design courses for the RN to BS in Nursing Program and assists with other instructional design aspects of the program. She serves on several college committees. Prior to SUNY Empire State College, Jen worked for Excelsior College as an Online Programs Coordinator for the Associate Degree in nursing program. In addition, she taught a faculty development course for new instructors at Excelsior College. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from the State University of New York College at Oneonta in Mass Communications. A master’s of science from The University at Albany, State University of New York in Curriculum Development and Instructional Technology and is currently pursuing her doctorate at The University at Albany, State University of New York in Curriculum and Instruction. Her professional and academic interests are online and higher education, instructional design, and adult learners.

Extended Abstract

Learning Objectives: 1. Explore SUNY Empire State College's nursing's model of student supports. 2. Provide data regarding student feedback for online orientation. 3. Describe the mentoring model implemented at SUNY Empire State College. 4. Discuss the impact of student services on advancing, accelerating, and keeping up with learners’ needs. Session participants will gain a better understanding of the academic supports for nursing students earning bachelor’s and master's degrees at SUNY Empire State College. These students are typically adult learners who study part-time while balancing work, family, and life responsibilities. Student needs vary, and may be dependent upon academic course load, prior educational experiences, learning style, and the individual’s responsibilities. The three legged stool approach provides the level of support needed for student success. Specific academic supports that will be examined include the online student orientation (undergraduate and graduate), the student mentor relationship, and overall student services such as library resources, accessibility, and tutoring. All of these elements are in play throughout the student lifecycle. Various faculty and staff roles associated with these academic supports will be discussed.