“Our focus is to educate students and help them through the various phases of the maturation process. In a nutshell – we help empower students.” Sounds like insightful words one would likely hear from an experienced life coach, right? Not in this case. These words are attributed to Evelyn Ambrose as she reflects on the goals of Rutgers University Health Services in Newark. “We take a holistic approach to health care as we help guide students to make appropriate decisions regarding their overall well-being and to negotiate through the complex medical system,” she further comments.
Ambrose is an advanced practice nurse who received her master of science in nursing from Seton Hall University, her bachelor’s degree from Columbia University, and associate’s degree from Centenary College for Women. She has been a nurse practitioner at RutgersNewark since 1987.
At Rutgers University Health Services in Newark, one size definitely does not fit all. In the 25 years she’s been with Rutgers, Ambrose’s responsibilities, among a very long list of others, have included administering immunizations, operating flu clinics, performing physical examinations, providing nutrition, mental health and general health counseling, and writing prescriptions. With most of her patients being young adults (typically 18-25 years old) who are navigating their health issues independently for the first time, Ambrose finds that oftentimes lending an ear or providing a shoulder to cry on is all a student needs to better cope with the challenges and stresses college life offers.
Like most nurses, Ambrose enjoys the direct contact she has with her patients. Whether she’s interacting with students at the Health Services offices in Blumenthal Hall or facilitating health fairs, orientations, or educational workshops at other venues on campus, the experience is always rewarding because she cares immensely about the students.
Ambrose is equally fond of her coworkers. “We’re like family,” she remarks with a smile. “Our efforts are always collaborative. Everyone is accessible and ready and willing to assist whenever needed.”
The mother of three grown sons and three grown stepsons, Ambrose is not quite sure what she and her husband will do when she retires. She’s inclined to relax for a while and perhaps do some traveling. Since she hasn’t quite figured out that phase of her life just yet, Ambrose will continue to provide a broad array of health care services to Rutgers-Newark students. But she won’t be doing so on Fridays, her day off. With a part-time work schedule that allows a three-day weekend every week, it’s easy to see why Ambrose is in no hurry to hang up her stethoscope and white lab coat.