Decker News and Events

Commencement student speakers

The following students spoke at the Spring 2016 Commencement ceremony for the Decker School of Nursing, held at 6 p.m. Saturday, May 21.



Camryn Benjamin was accepted into seven nursing schools before settling on the Decker School of Nursing, and “I never regretted it once,” she said. “I’m lucky I chose here.” She will receive her bachelor’s degree in nursing.

On campus, she served as a nursing tutor, managed the payroll for over 100 students in the University’s tour guide program and was a tour guide herself. She also served as team leader for a community health assessment of Broome County, N.Y., assessing the effects of obesity in the county with emphasis on nutrition, recreation and marketing.

Her off-campus activities revolved around healthcare, working as a homecare aide and also as a patient care technician at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany, N.Y. Her clinical experience spanned departments of oncology, psychiatry, community health, medical/surgical, pediatric, maternal/newborn and geriatric at locations in Syracuse, Binghamton, Towanda, Pa., and Endicott, N.Y.

After she passes her NCLEX-RN exam in June, she will begin a position as a full-time registered nurse at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany, where she will work on the surgical unit with an oncology focus.



An officer in the United States Army, as well as a married mother of four, Estacy Porter was selected for a program that would send her to graduate school. A licensed registered nurse in New York, Virginia and Georgia – where she was based at the time – she chose to attend the Decker School of Nursing “because of its proximity to the Bronx, where I was raised and my parents still live,” she said.

She already holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Old Dominion University and a master’s in nursing education from Liberty University, and will cross the stage to receive her community health nurse practitioner degree. She holds certifications in pediatric advanced lifesaving, advanced public health, basic cardiac life support, trauma nurse care and ambulatory care nursing, and her professional experience is extensive.

She is a Graduate Student Nurse Academy liaison to the American College of Nursing; and has been a public health advisor for the 14th Combat Support Hospital; a pediatric health consultant, child youth service program manager and health consultant, and a staff development educator for the Martin Army Community Hospital, Fort Benning, Ga. She also served as a registered nurse at Brian Allgood Community Hospital in Yonsang, Korea, and the Dwight D. Eisenhower Medical Center at Fort Gordon, Ga.  

As for the future, she will continue at the Decker School next year, expecting to earn her Doctor of Nurse Practitioner degree in May 2017. After that, she will await orders from the Army of where she will be stationed next.

Disaster drill gives seniors experience with disaster management, triage

How would you set up an incident command center and develop a disaster management plan in response to a catastrophic event?

Those were the questions seniors at the Decker School of Nursing tackled during the University’s annual disaster drill, held on the students’ last day of clinical class for the spring 2016 semester. 

While disaster drills in previous years were large-scale, mock events that focused on a single disaster and drew participants from several local healthcare, law enforcement and emergency medical response organizations and agencies, this year the Decker School took a different approach. Only Decker faculty, staff and students were involved, students were broken into teams, and each team was assigned a different public health emergency exercise to address. 

The 13 tabletop disaster scenarios given to the students were: terrorist attacks at Albany International Airport and on campus; two high-magnitude earthquakes, one of which occurs near SUNY Stony Brook and causes the release of tritium from Brookhaven National Laboratory; two hurricanes, one that mimics Hurricane Sandy’s path and level of destruction; a tornado on the west side of Binghamton and another at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital in Syracuse; a severe snow and ice storm; a train crash resulting in a hazardous chemical spill; a public health plague; an unknown white powder suspected to be anthrax found in a subway car in Manhattan; and an active shooter on the roof of Binghamton’s library tower. 

Using details provided in their event dossier, each team had to develop a comprehensive disaster management plan, including setting up an incident command center at the University. To create their plans teams followed the “DISASTER paradigm,” a standardized methodology to recognize and manage a disaster scene and care for victims. Along with incident command, the paradigm focuses on detection, safety and security, assessing hazards, support, triage and treatment, evacuation and recovery. 

To give students practical experience with triage, volunteer “victims” were given fake injuries that included gunshot wounds, bone fractures, severe burns and lacerations. Each mock victim had a card with pertinent information about age and injuries. The nursing students used this information to assess the patients’ conditions, then decide how to react. 

At the conclusion of the drill, each team presented a 10-minute debriefing on their disaster scenario and response. 

Since tabletop simulations are based on real-world scenarios, they have been successfully used as teaching tools by emergency management and community agencies as well as in colleges and universities. Decker adopted the use of the tabletop exercise this year to give the nursing students a more in-depth understanding of all aspects of disaster management and response than previous drills, where they were assigned to a single area. 


Important Notice

The following change in the application deadline for all graduate programs of DSON.

These changes apply to all masters, DNP and post-graduate certificate applications.


Fall Admission

Spring Admission


February 15 for full consideration; later applications considered if space available October 15, later if space available


February 15 for full consideration; later applications considered if space available October 15, later if space available



Last Updated: 6/7/16