Center for Academic and Professional Success

At the University of Rochester School of Nursing, we believe that every student benefits from a strong support network of peers and faculty.

Studentsand faculty members meeting around a conference table

The Center for Academic and Professional Success (CAPS) is an extraordinary resource for School of Nursing students who want to improve their learning strategies, critical thinking skills, study habits, or receive academic assistance in a particular content area.

CAPS services are free to School of Nursing students and include:

  • Instruction (group or individual) to promote critical thinking and study skills related to specific course content (NUR 372 and 377)
  • Additional instruction (group or individual) for students experiencing academic challenges
  • Assistance with test-taking, math, and writing skills to increase student confidence
  • Career planning, resume writing, and mentoring to facilitate career transition or advancement
  • Help conducting library and database searches for literature reviews
  • Stress management and other services to balance personal and professional goals

CAPS is overseen by faculty and student representatives committed to the academic success and professional growth of all School of Nursing students. We offer support with:

Career Development and Resume Writing

The CAPS Career Coach assists with career planning and resume writing, as well as mentoring to facilitate career transition or advancement. Please email a copy of your resume at least 48 hours in advance to provide adequate time for review. Learn more about Nursing Career Development Resources.

Nancy Adair, MS, RN
Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing
Career Coach
Faculty Profile

Math Skills

Math coaching sessions can meet any math needs ranging from medication math problems to doctoral level statistics courses. Doctoral students are encouraged to discuss tutoring needs with the course instructor before contacting CAPS. Some instructors would rather have the student work with them first before connecting with the CAPS math coach.

Sue Stanek, PhD, MSN/Ed, RN
Director, Center for Lifelong Learning
Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing
Math Tutor
Faculty Profile

Library and Database Searches

The Miner Library liaison assists with database searches for literature review. Miner Library has a School of Nursing web guide with information about helpful tools and resources, tips for searching the literature, links to ebooks, and more. Miner Library School of Nursing Guide

Darcey Rodriguez
Miner Library Liaison
Miner Library

Study Methods, Exam Prep, & Navigating the Accelerated Program (Near Peer Mentoring)

Near Peer Mentors provide help with study methods that increase effective and efficient study habits and improve preparation for exams. They specifically use the teach-back method as part of this work. Because near peer mentors have graduated from the APNN program, they can also provide support and guidance related to navigating the demands of an accelerated nursing program. For students interested in obtaining additional peer mentoring from Rochester Black Nurses Association , see their peer mentoring brochure .

Aley Smith, RN, '19N
Near Peer Mentor, CAPS
Student, Master's in Nursing Education program
RN Case Manager, Golisano Children's Hospital
Read Bio

Osariemen Edegbe, RN
Near Peer Mentor, CAPS
Read Bio

Stress Management and Wellness

The stress management and wellness coach provides support and guidance that help the student to establish a balance between personal and professional goals and growth. Students are provided stress reduction tools and develop a self-care plan that promotes wellness and connection with themselves and others.

Caroline S. Nestro, PhD, MS, RN
Stress Management and Wellness Coach
Associate Professor of Clinical Nursing
See Faculty Profile

Study Skills

Study skills coaching sessions are 1:1 meetings with a study skills coach typically lasting 45 to 60 minutes. The coach and student review various study skills tools and methods and “map out” together a study plan to cover the topics of the courses at hand. While study sessions are often focused on upcoming exams, they can serve several purposes. Study sessions can serve as a refresher on how to study more effectively, assist students in obtaining a higher grade, and improve time management skills allowing students to complete upcoming assignments while still studying for exams. Other resources include: Weekly study time planner or Summary essay by topic using three questions.

Kathy Hiltunen, MBA, RN
Study Skills Coach

Laurie Allington, Ms, RN, WHCNP, ANP-BC
Study Skills Coach
Instructor of Clinical Nursing
See Faculty Profile

Writing Skills

Writing coaches offer one-on-one assistance to undergraduate and graduate nursing students at various stages of the writing process (i.e., from developing ideas to revising drafts). They provide personalized instruction in writing strategies and academic conventions that students need to become effective and confident writers.

Beata Gomulak-Cavicchio, PhD
Writing Coach

Caren Barth, MFA
Writing Coach

Rebekah Greene, PhD
Writing Coach

Visit the Writing Center website for more information about requesting writing support and how to prepare for a meeting.

How to Request CAPS Services

Referrals can be initiated by you or your faculty. Once a referral is received, the CAPS faculty member or peer mentor will receive an email with your request. They will reach out to you to schedule a meeting time.

If you are specifically requesting CAPS services in response to an academic alert, please speak first with your instructor and then request help from CAPS faculty rather than the near peer mentors.

Complete a self-referral form online using the same login you use for your URMC email.

Submit a self-referral form

If you have any questions or issues with the form, please email or call (585) 275-7500. If you’ve submitted a referral form in the past, you can also view your request history.


You can find out more about CAPS at the Student Affairs Office in Room 1W141, directly across from the Clinical Education Resource Center (CERC) desk on the first floor of Helen Wood Hall.