Careers change. Goals shift. Education helps. Just ask Monina Franco-Tantuico, who is beginning a career in education after working in an intensive care unit (ICU).
“I wanted to do something new and different,” said Franco-Tantuico, who will graduate this May from College of Saint Elizabeth with a Master of Science in Nursing that focuses on nursing education. “I never thought it would be nursing education when I worked in the ICU, but people told me I would be good in teaching.” Now, she is using her new skills to teach students in the Learning/Simulation Center for Trinitas School of Nursing, located in the Union County College Kellogg Building in Elizabeth, N.J. There she coordinates schedules and education for a program that serves 2,000 students annually. The center itself looks like a hospital ward, but the “patients” are in fact computerized life-sized models that can simulate medical conditions from blood pressure to heart ailments and even birth.
“The students and I look forward to working together,” she said. “I love it…The master’s program is so wonderful…and is preparing me to learn and understand how to teach.”
Franco-Tantuico, who holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from New York University (NYU), entered the CSE master’s program in spring of 2009 and will graduate this May after taking two classes a semester, taught one night a week at the Kellogg Building. “Classes were literally taught next door…I found that really helpful,” said Franco-Tantuico, who juggles coursework with a full-time job and a family that includes a husband and four children. “The whole experience has been wonderful,” she said. “The faculty is always supportive and accessible. We start with learning the program philosophy and work our way up.”
Franco-Tantuico is no stranger to change. She was born in the Philippines and obtained her first undergraduate degree there – a Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology from College of the Holy Spirit in Manila. After some 10 years into that profession and a move to the New York area, she shifted to nursing and attended NYU. Now, she finds the shift back to a small Catholic College setting just the right prescription for success. “I really feel like I’m at peace,” said Franco-Tantuico. “Maybe it’s the Holy Spirit and the Roman Catholic tradition, but at CSE I feel peaceful.”