Johns Hopkins Nursing Faculty Sarah Szanton Named Director of Center for Innovative Care in Aging

Johns Hopkins Nursing Faculty Sarah Szanton Named Director of Center for Innovative Care in Aging

Sarah L. Szanton, PhD, ANP, FAAN, professor and director of the PhD program at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing (JHSON), has been named director of the Center for Innovative Care in Aging. Szanton is set to take over the roll in February 2018 from Laura Gitlin, PhD, who founded the center in 2011.

Patricia Davidson, PhD, MEd, RN, FAAN, dean of JHSON, tells, “Dr. Szanton is a rising leader nationally and across the globe for her research and innovative solutions for aging populations.  We are excited for her to be the next leader of our center.”

Szanton has served as associate director for policy within the Center for Innovative Care in Aging since 2015. She also holds joint appointments within Johns Hopkins and is an adjunct faculty member for international universities including the American University of Beirut and the University of Technology, Sydney.

An expert researcher and practitioner in gerontology, Szanton will lead the Center’s efforts in advancing and supporting the well-being of older adults and their families using innovative approaches, policies, and practices. She is already doing so through her Community Aging in Place—Advancing Better Living for Elders (CAPABLE) program, which combines home visits from a nurse, occupational therapist, and handyman to help equip low-income older adults to live more safely in their homes. Her program has helped decrease disability, depression, and improve self care for participants.

To learn more about Szanton’s CAPABLE program and new role as Director of the Center for Innovative Care in Aging at Johns Hopkins, visit here.

Rasmussen College Launches Evening and Weekend Practical Nursing Program

Rasmussen College Launches Evening and Weekend Practical Nursing Program

Rasmussen College recently announced a new Practical Nursing program (PN) to open on its Tampa/Brandon, FL campus. The diploma courses will be offered on evenings and weekends beginning in April 2018 to help accommodate growing healthcare needs in the community and ensure that those seeking nursing education can find programs that fit into their schedules.

The Tampa Metro area has seen high demand for LPNs with 72 percent growth in demand compared to five years ago according to the labor analytics firm Burning Glass. The PN diploma program has been approved by the Florida Board of Nursing and will also offer flexibility and cost savings through Flex Choice, a learning option that allows students to combine traditional courses with optional self-directed assessments.

Eymie Fitzgerald, Rasmussen College Tampa/Brandon campus Dean of Nursing, tells

“Like most communities nationwide, the Tampa metro is feeling the need for highly skilled LPNs, a need that has shown dramatic growth in the past five years. In addition to preparing graduates for the NCLEX-PN exam, the Rasmussen College PN Diploma program provides students with hands-on training in a supportive environment led by experienced nurse faculty. The program has no pre-nursing course requirements or wait list, so qualified students can be on their way to a career as an LPN and help fill the growing needs of the community in as few as 12 months.”

To learn more about Rasmussen College’s new evening and weekend Practical Nursing program, visit here.

Nurse of the Week: UMass Lowell Nursing Alum Donna Manning Gives Back

Nurse of the Week: UMass Lowell Nursing Alum Donna Manning Gives Back

Our Nurse of the Week is Donna Manning, a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML), who is now giving back to her university and profession after finding her calling. After coming close to quitting nursing school in her final year, Manning pushed through and finished her degree, and pursued a career in oncology nursing that she came to love. Now, Manning’s goal is to give exceptional care without exception and to give back to the university that helped her find her passion.

When Manning could no longer afford tuition for nursing school going into her senior year, she decided that she had no option but to drop out and come back in a year. She arrived at the registrar’s office to withdraw, but the woman at the front desk gave her advice that changed the course of Manning’s life. The women told her: “They never come back. Don’t withdraw. Figure out a way.”

And that’s what Manning did. She asked her parents for help getting a car so that she could work and pay tuition, and she completed her nursing degree a year later. Now in a position to change the lives of others, Manning makes an effort to pay it forward in any way she can. She tells, “My education at UMass Lowell instilled the important of ongoing education and lifelong learning. We are both inspired to give to keep public education affordable and give students the tools they need to thrive.”

Manning considered pursuing nursing management early in her career and earned an MBA at UMass Lowell in preparation but her hospital later merged with Boston City Hospital to become Boston Medical Center and she decided to stay with her oncology patients. Her husband also earned a business degree from UML and the couple have since funded endowed scholarships for students majoring in nursing and business, a global health initiative for nursing students, nursing simulation labs, teaching excellence awards, and donations to multiple capital projects.

Grateful for an education that allowed her to pursue her passion to help others, Manning plans to continue giving back to the university where her career started while giving back to her patients on a day-to-day basis. To learn more about Donna Manning and her career as an oncology nurse, visit here.

Community College Nursing Students Teach HIV Prevention to High School Students in Estonia

Community College Nursing Students Teach HIV Prevention to High School Students in Estonia

With HIV becoming an epidemic in Narva, Estonia, six recent nursing graduates from Harford Community College (HCC) traveled to Estonia to educate high school students about HIV/AIDS prevention. Rather than completing the typical practicum needed to graduate, these students chose to travel to Estonia in hopes that educating high school students about the dangers of HIV would make a difference in the country.

Over the course of five days, HCC nurses taught over 625 high school students about HIV and AIDS prevention. HCC student Julie Rinker, who focused on public health while serving in the military, tells

“If we can prevent what people have, we don’t have to take care of them in that way. I’ve seen a lot of young children with multiple STDs. To know I made a difference even in one person’s life would be a huge success, accomplishment.”

The HCC nursing students were accompanied by a committee of nurse educators working together to see what initiatives they could undertake in Estonia from an educational, workforce development, and health perspective. HIV was identified as a primary health initiative they wanted to address.

During their senior year, HCC nursing students are required to complete a practicum experience. Many go to local hospitals, but a few were allowed to complete their practicum in Estonia. As part of the practicum requirements, students worked over the summer to develop curriculum they would use in Estonia. They created games, interactions, and presentations, and also learned about the culture of Estonia so they would know what to expect from the country.

It turned out to be the experience of a lifetime for the nursing students who joined the trip. The experience will ultimately make them better nurses, knowing they had the opportunity to take advantage of their education and share it with high school students across the world.

To learn more about the HCC nursing students who traveled to Estonia to teach HIV prevention to high school students, visit here.

Penn Nursing Finds Nurse Staffing Levels Linked to Patient Satisfaction

Penn Nursing Finds Nurse Staffing Levels Linked to Patient Satisfaction

A new study led by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing found that patient satisfaction with care in hospitals declines when patients believe there are not enough nurses on wards. The study findings were based on the results of a patient survey of 66,348 patients.

According to, “Only 14 percent of patients who reported there was never or rarely enough nurses on the hospital ward rated their care as excellent, while 57 percent of patients who reported there were usually enough nurses rated their care as excellent.” Results of the study also showed that only 60 percent of the patients surveyed reported that there were usually enough nurses available to provide their care.

Study author Linda Aiken, PhD, RN, Director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania, tells, “The often repeated narrative suggesting that quality deficits in hospitals are due to ‘uncaring’ nurses is not supported by evidence from [the survey]. Patients value nurses so much that when nurses are in short supply, patients’ overall ratings of their hospitals decline sharply.”

The research team concluded that their findings show that it is the availability of qualified registered nurses in hospitals that affects patient satisfaction most. Improving nurse staffing in hospitals could be the solution to improving patient satisfaction.

To learn more about Penn Nursing’s study on patient satisfaction, visit here.

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