Our Nurse of the Week is Ashley Apple, a nursing student at the University of Virginia (UVA) who gathered a team of caregivers to travel to Texas and help victims of Hurricane Harvey. Apple, 38, was the owner of a coffee shop in Arkansas when Hurricane Katrina ravaged the people and homes of New Orleans in 2005. Feeling helpless as she watched the news coverage of the storm’s aftermath, she decided to sell her coffee shop, enroll in nursing school, and never feel helpless again while witnessing the tragedy of a natural disaster.
Apple is currently enrolled in her second year of the UVA School of Nursing’s RN to BSN program which offers working nurses a path to a bachelor’s degree in nursing. She also works as a floating emergency nurse for Bon Secours health system, and leaps in to help whenever she can, like in the case of Hurricane Harvey.
Apple tells News.Virginia.edu, “Katrina really sealed the deal for me. Sure, I loved the things that you love about a coffee shop – the art, the music, the people, the connections you make – but in the end, I was still counting cups. I wanted to do more in service to my community.”
As she watched Hurricane Harvey begin to take its toll on Texas, Apple rallied a small group of fellow caregivers, purchased first aid kits and supplies to bring along, and hopped on a flight to Dallas. Her team included her mother (a fellow nurse), a small group of local nursing students, and Bon Secours staff. The group spent five days making rounds to Houston shelters to provide well-being checks, offering care to individuals with chronic medical conditions, and vaccinating first responders against tetanus, diphtheria, and hepatitis.
During Hurricane Harvey, Apple no longer felt like a helpless bystander the way she had during Katrina. She says, “The most amazing part for me was feeling useful.” Apple loves the work she does, and she is proud to show her two children, ages 3 and 5, how nurses can be of help at the bedside, at the disaster site, and in front of the classroom inspiring new learners. After finishing her BSN, Apple plans to work toward her master’s degree then Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. She has grown to love academia in her time at UVA, and she has a passion for teaching that she is excited to put to use in the future.
To learn more about Ashley Apple and her unique path to a career in nursing, visit here.
The University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) College of Nursing is offering a new online course on human trafficking beginning this fall. The course will be taught by Donna Sabella, an expert in the field of human trafficking, and open to all academic disciplines so that graduate students in any program can gain knowledge on the subject.
A UMass press release about the course states, “The course will introduce students to what human trafficking is, how to identify victims, the health problems commonly associated with this population, special considerations to be aware of when working with trafficking victims and how to access services for them,” according to DailyCollegian.com.
Sabella says the course will introduce students to what human trafficking is, how to identify victims, the health problems commonly associated with this population, special considerations to be aware of when working with trafficking victims, and how to access services for them. The course is expected to be especially beneficial and of interest to nurses, health care professionals, law enforcement officers, teachers, and social workers.
UMass believes that education is imperative to addressing the issue of human trafficking. It’s increasingly important for nurses to have a grasp on social justice issues. As patient advocates and the voice for victims they treat, nurses need to know how to recognize human trafficking, understand how to communicate with the victim without putting them at increasing harm, and know what support systems and laws are available to help the victim.
To learn more about the UMass College of Nursing and its new online course on human trafficking, visit here.
Wendy Wood Neeson has been named the new Edward A. Whitney Endowed Nursing Chair for the Northern Wyoming Community College District (NWCCD) by the University of Wyoming (UW).
Whitney Benefits created the endowment in 2006 at Sheridan College to enrich nursing and nursing education in the community. Establishing a collaboration between UW and Sheridan College, the appointment of an endowed nursing chair provides face-to-face advising and academic support for students pursuing higher education in health science through the NWCCD and UW.
Neeson’s own nursing background began at Sheridan College where she graduated from the nursing program before completing her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing. She is now a practicing family nurse practitioner in Sheridan.
David Bodily, UW Nursing RN-BSN Completion and ReNEW Program director, tells UWYO.edu, “The Endowed Nursing Chair creates a significant opportunity for students in the Northern Wyoming Community College District (NWCCD) service area. We know this position increases the numbers of students completing bachelor’s degrees, and we know this is an advantage to the communities where these professionals serve. We couldn’t be happier to begin working with Wendy for the benefit of our students.”
To learn more about Neeson’s new position as endowed nursing chair, visit here.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing recently announced that they have received more than $4 million in funding to support graduate programs for the 2017-18 academic year. The funding will go toward supporting students who are preparing for careers as advanced practice nurses, nurse educators, and nurse researchers, and to help expand primary care services for rural and medically underserved populations.
Dean and Fay B. Ireland Endowed Chair in Nursing, Doreen C. Harper, tells AL.com, “The UAB School of Nursing remains vested in providing patients, families and the profession with the best-educated advanced practice nurses, educators and researchers, and these funds are critical to our mission. They help to ensure that our best and brightest continue their advanced nursing studies and become the leaders of the world’s nursing workforce and those who will meet our greatest health care challenges head on through education, research and clinic practice.”
The funding sources include $2.66 million from the US Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), for their Advanced Nursing Education Workforce (ANEW) Program and Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP). The ANEW funding will allow the school to enhance and expand its commitment to increasing primary care for rural populations across Alabama by integrating behavioral health care training. The NFLP funding will support doctoral students who are committed to becoming nurse educators through the school’s PhD or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs.
To learn more about UAB’s nursing graduate programs, visit here.
Mariann R. Piano, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAHA, has joined the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing (VUSN) as a senior associate dean for research. A distinguished researcher in cardiovascular disease and an expert on the effects of binge drinking on young adults, Piano will lead Vanderbilt’s nursing research program to support faculty in their research and scholarly activity.
VUSN Dean Linda Norman, DSN, RN, FAAN, tells Nursing.Vanderbilt.edu, “Mariann Piano’s academic background, leadership experience and research excellence make her an outstanding fit for Vanderbilt. Mariann is highly respected for her own scholarship and for the research leadership she provides to her faculty and students. Her experience in developing support from extramural, foundation and other philanthropic sources will be invaluable to individual faculty and the school. I am thrilled that she has joined VUSN.”
In her new role, Piano will lead the School of Nursing’s research program by supporting faculty in their scholarly endeavors, expanding the school’s research function, and directing efforts to increase external funding. She will also direct VUSN’s Center for Research Development and Scholarship which supports faculty research.
Prior to joining Vanderbilt’s nursing program, Piano spent nearly 30 years teaching graduate and undergraduate courses at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research on cardiovascular health and function and the adverse impact of alcohol and cigarette smoking on the cardiovascular system has been supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Piano is also a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (AAN), the Institute of Medicine-Chicago, and the American Heart Association (AHA).
To learn more about Mariann Piano’s background in nursing research and education, visit here.