One Family’s Legacy of Supporting

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One Family’s Legacy of Supporting Nursing Education

Having worked as an operating room nurse during the 1940s in the former “Princeton Hospital,” Estelle Sands (above left) had a passion for the nursing profession and a commitment to the University Medical Center of Princeton (UMCP)—which she passed along to the next generation.

A recent gift from the George H. & Estelle M. Sands Foundation, now administered by son Jeff and daughter-in-law Betsy Sands and daughter Deborah Sands Gartenberg, will fund a five-tiered nursing development program at UMCP that includes retaining Magnet® status by helping with the costs associated with the credentialing process, expanding succession planning, providing education and professional development opportunities, and piloting an RN Residency Program.

“This comprehensive development program will prepare nurses for their evolving role in today’s hospital setting and at the same time translate to positive patient outcomes and high patient satisfaction. It is the cornerstone of our efforts to attract and retain the best possible nursing staff,” commented Karyn Book, Director of Professional Practice, Nursing, UMCP.

The program funded by this new gift builds on the Sands Scholars Program, which, thanks to Estelle, was established in 2002 at the University of Pennsylvania. The scholarship supports up to eight students each year, who then go on to work at UMCP after graduation.

“Supporting this nursing professional development initiative seemed a natural extension of what my mother’s wishes were years ago. She believed, as we do, that nurses have an enormous impact on patients’ experience during their hospital stay and that nurse training and development is vitally important,” said Jeffrey Sands.

Although Estelle passed away in 2009, her legacy of caring for the community lives on through the nurses at UMCP and the many patients whose lives they touch and save. The Sands Foundation’s new gift will help UMCP continue to lead the region in nursing excellence and quality patient care.

Magnet Status
Highest national credential for nursing excellence, serving as the gold standard for nursing practice.

Succession Planning Program
Formal process of developing nurses for future leadership positions.

Support for Advanced Degrees
Support for the costs of higher education for several nurses each year, above and beyond tuition reimbursement.

Professional Development
Creation of opportunities for ongoing professional development for nurses, which ensures that our nursing staff employs the latest and best practices and continuously learns and reinforces critical skills.

RN Residency Pilot Program
Nursing students complete an RN Residency Program at the hospital over a 16-week period and are then hired upon graduation. Designed to transition new graduates into the “real-world” work environment.

Pictured above: Clinical Nurse Educator Wendy Luca, MSN, RN, OCN (center) with 13 nurses recruited to participate in the new RN Residency Program, partially funded through the recent gift from the Sands Foundation. They are featured together with an advanced patient simulator, one of the many tools used for training.

Article as seen in Foundation News Winter 2015.