Full Circle

May 21, 2024

For the first two decades of her career, Judith Lacinak, RN, MSN, APN-C, learned all she could about the many aspects of nursing. Now, as the Nurse Educator at Broadway House for Continuing Care, she is training a new generation of nurses: “I can’t imagine doing anything else!”

Why did you choose nursing?

I came from a family of Nurses—my mother, aunts, and extended family members were all Nurses. While I was always interested in healthcare, I originally wanted to become a Physical Therapist or X-ray Tech. But during my senior year of high school, my friend was planning on attending nursing school, so I figured I may as well join her. Now, I know that I came into this field for a reason.

Tell us about your career.

For the first 20 years, I worked at Christ Hospital in Jersey City and also earned a Bachelor of Science in Health Science from New Jersey City University. Later, working as Director of Clinical Operations for a federally qualified health center in Jersey City made me realize that I like teaching and helping underserved communities. That’s when I decided to pursue advanced education at Seton Hall University to become an Advance Practice Nurse (APN). While attending Seton Hall, one of my clinicals was at Broadway House, where I was hired as an Advance Practice Nurse after graduation. It was 2005 and the medical care required for HIV/AIDS residents at that time challenged me as a new APN.  That position gave me the experience to serve as Director of HIV Services at Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth for 15 years. A lot of pieces of the puzzle fit together to bring me back to Broadway House, where I love working today.

Education is central to your Broadway House role.

A big part of my job is orienting new hires to Broadway House. Every long-term care facility is different, and Broadway House happens to be extremely unique—both the physical appearance and our resident population. I provide training on things like new equipment, new medications, and New Jersey Department of Health directives. There’s always something new, especially from the perspective of quality and areas to improve. In addition, I ensure that all Certified Nursing Assistants, Licensed Practical Nurses, and Registered Nurses complete their required annual training. I’m also the liaison for a partnership with Bloomfield College bringing student Nurses to Broadway House for their community health rotations.

What do you hope Bloomfield College students learn here?

I tell every student who comes to Broadway House that nursing is an honor and a privilege. People trust us to care for them or their family member. Sometimes, that point has been lost in educating Nurses today. Much time is spent on the theoretical side and less on the hands-on part of nursing. I love giving tours of Broadway House to nursing students and others. I always start with the dedication plaque at the front entrance because I am very proud of Broadway House. I’m proud to work here.

First in a series on school partnerships. In June: Learn how Physician Assistants from Fairleigh Dickinson University gain valuable training at Broadway House.