The following is the New Jersey Nursing Initiative (NJNI) weekly news roundup, highlighting nursing and health care stories from around the state.

Union County College Awarded Robert Wood Johnson Grant (Suburban News)
Union County College has been awarded a $250,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through its New Jersey Health Initiatives program to develop a seamless program for Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) to directly transfer into a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program.

Meet the 2014 NY/NJ GEM Award winners ( prides itself on recognizing the accomplishments of nurses of excellence at the GEM (Giving Excellence Meaning) Award programs. Held in cities throughout the United States, these celebrations honor exceptional nurses from all specialties and practice settings, and each culminates in the naming of regional winners in six categories. The regional winners move on to compete in the GEM national nurse of the year program.

Small Health Clinic Run By Rutgers Staff Has Big Potential to Change Lives (NJ Spotlight)
To find potential benefits from the sprawling merger of Rutgers University and the former University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, it can pay to listen to 65-year-old Kearny resident Eloisa Ballena. Until Rutgers opened a clinic on Broad Street in Newark last year, Ballena hadn’t tried to find treatment for the growing pain from arthritis in her hands. But after hearing good things about the Rutgers-FOCUS Wellness Center from a friend, she has sought treatment for the pain and other potential problems, including elevated cholesterol and blood-sugar levels that could lead to chronic conditions. Up to 25 patients per day visit the clinic, which is managed by nurse practitioners who are faculty members at Rutgers School of Nursing.