About Us

About NJ-NEW

Established in January 2022 through a one-year grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the New Jersey Nursing and Emotional Well-Being Institute (NJ-NEW) is dedicated to addressing the critical emotional needs of Garden State nurses. The institute is led by Director Susan Salmond, EdD, RN, ANEF, FAAN, and Assistant Director Jennifer Polakowski, MPA.

Data supports the serious need for NJ-NEW’s efforts, with the state’s 172,000-member nursing workforce facing ongoing anxiety, depression, job-induced stress, burnout, and turnover. And, these ongoing problems have been substantially exacerbated by the pandemic.

In response, the institute is initiating a two-pronged approach. First, NJ-NEW will provide statewide, research-based programming and direct support to address the emotional well-being needs of nurses, both on an individual and organizational level. Second, the institute is leading the way in establishing a repository for programming, services, and resources targeting emotional well-being and resiliency.

Through 2025, NJ-NEW will implement the following statewide interventions:

  • Virtual Schwartz Rounds – safe, online spaces where nurses can share their stories and concerns.
  • Stress First Aid Train the Trainer, an evidenced-based, peer-supported model for organizations to use in providing staff with skills to prevent and respond to stress.
  • Future of Nursing, a series of key recommendations addressing nurses’ health and well-being. NJ-NEW will serve as the lead organization for coordinating related, workplace activities.
  • Nurse2Nurse, a confidential, peer-support helpline with which NJ-NEW is partnering.
  • NJ-NEW Well-Being Hub, a statewide, learning collaborative and resource center serving individuals and health care organizations.

Research makes it clear
the institute’s mission is urgent.

More than 38% of essential workers have reported a trauma-and-stress disorder related to COVID. According to the American Nurses Association, more than 50% of all nurses feel emotionally overwhelmed, with 30% reporting feelings of depression.

In New Jersey, 64% of nurses reported feeling burned out, with 37% who work in hospitals intending to leave within the next 12 months.

Additional details about NJ-NEW are available online, at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram sites.

Our Team

Edna Cadmus, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN

Clinical Professor – Executive Director of the New Jersey Collaborating Center for Nursing (NJCCN) and Co-Director of NJ-Nursing Emotional Well-being Institute (NJ-NEW)

Susan Salmond, EdD, RN, ANEF, FAAN

Executive Vice Dean and Professor, Rutgers School of Nursing, Office of the Dean and Co-Director of NJ-Nursing Emotional Well-being Institute

Jennifer Polakowski, MPA

Assistant Director, NJ-Nursing Emotional Well-being Institute (NJ-NEW)