Nurses of the Week: Three Omaha Nurses Retire After Combined 130 Years Experience in the Profession

Nurses of the Week: Three Omaha Nurses Retire After Combined 130 Years Experience in the Profession

Our Nurses of the Week are Diane Johnson, Mary Mangiamelli, and Judy Spaen, three nurses who spent the majority of their careers working in the same surgery unit of an Omaha hospital, amassing a combined 130 years of experience in the nursing profession. Sharing a common passion for helping others, these three women became like a second family to each other.

“It’s an interesting career. It’s a rewarding career. Health care is always something people are going to need. There are always opportunities.”

During their tenure at Creighton University Medical Center-Bergan Mercy in Omaha, NE, the three nurses treated each new day as a learning experience. Decades of working at the same hospital taught them how to work with different doctors and medical professionals and how to adapt to new and changing technologies.

Johnson tells Omaha.com, “I think it’s a great career. Each day is different. You get to meet a lot of patients, and you see them at their worst. But sometimes you can see how far and how healthy they’ve become.” Johnson began her career as an aide at Bergan and went on to complete her nursing degree during her 42-year tenure at the hospital. Her nursing career reaffirmed to her the importance of caring about people and giving each patient the individual attention they deserve.

Mangiamelli’s career spanned 44 years, including many night shifts, which taught her to appreciate the time she was able to spend with her husband and three children. Looking back on the beginning of her career, Mangiamelli shared the following with Omaha.com: “I just thought the human body was a pretty fascinating thing to explore. I don’t think I had two cases the same, because each patient has a different problem. No day ever repeated itself.”

Spaen’s career in nursing spanned 50 years in which she has “nearly seen it all.” She witnessed the Omaha hospital grow from one small wing to what it is today. Spaen remembers being unsure about whether nursing was the right field for her, but facing new challenges each day kept her engaged and drawn to the way the profession adapted, and she began to enjoy the work. Now retired, Spaen tells Omaha.com, “It’s an interesting career. It’s a rewarding career. Health care is always something people are going to need. There are always opportunities.”

These three women are a perfect example of the resiliency that nurses show every day. To learn more about their inspiring careers and passion for the nursing profession, visit here.

Grand Valley State University Creates Student Nurse Mentorship Program

Grand Valley State University Creates Student Nurse Mentorship Program

To help combat the stress of nursing school, the Student Nurses’ Association (SNA) at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) created a Transitions Mentorship Program which is in its third semester. The student-run organization immerses GVSU nursing students into the medical world through presentations, group meetings, and hands-on activities.

Jamie Platt, president of the GVSU SNA chapter, tells Lanthorn.com, “The idea behind the program is to empower our new student nurses. SNA believes that creating a strong environment through positive peer-student relationships during the beginning of nursing school will allow new students to feel confident during a vulnerable time in the nursing program.”

The Transitions program pairs lower-level nursing students with upper-level students so they can meet and discuss topics in their major and receive tips for studying for nursing exams. It offers students someone to lean on while studying in an intensive program.

GVSU’s student nurse association decided to incorporate the mentorship program based on student feedback. Many older nursing students reported the struggles they went through and wished they had had someone to help them through the program. GVSU’s nursing program is comprised of five semesters, so students in their first or second semester are paired with a student in their third, fourth, or fifth semester.

Students in the mentorship program are required to meet five times per semester and are encouraged to meet biweekly. After meeting, the mentors report back on their conversations, many of which have revolved around clinical work which makes up half of the students’ time so that they can practice skills they learn in the classroom.

The program has received positive feedback thus far, making a positive impact on students. Many students feel the mentorship program helps them feel more confident and less apprehensive about future semesters. To learn more about GVSU’s student nurse mentorship program, visit here.

Duke University Approves New Nursing Building and Graduate Programs

Duke University Approves New Nursing Building and Graduate Programs

A new building to house the Duke University School of Nursing and School of Medicine has been approved by the Duke Board of Trustees. Construction on the 102,000-square-foot facility is set to begin this month and be completed in 2019.

Marion E. Broome, dean of the School of Nursing, tells Today.Duke.edu, “Once this project is complete, the School of Nursing and School of Medicine will continue to expand their interprofessional efforts by providing unparalleled educational excellence, leading research and clinical expertise to our students and the community.”

Once completed, the new five-story building will replace the current Duke research building. The School of Nursing will occupy 50 percent of the new building, which will also be home to the school’s PhD program, Center for Nursing Research, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Office of Student Services, Duke Health Center for Interprofessional Education, simulation suite, and more.

The new building will also be home to Duke’s nationally recognized Doctor of Physical Therapy program. Dr. Mary E. Klotman, dean of the School of Medicine, looks forward to co-locating Duke’s health programs in one building and creating a new focus on interprofessional education to help teach students the value of patient-centered care across multiple medical disciplines.

To learn more about Duke’s new nursing and healthcare building, visit here.

California University of Pennsylvania Offers Master’s Degree in Nursing Education

California University of Pennsylvania Offers Master’s Degree in Nursing Education

With a shortage of registered nurses (RNs) increasing nationwide, the California University of Pennsylvania (Cal U) has begun offering a master of science degree in nursing education to increase the number of faculty available to help train the next generation of nurses.

As RNs continue to get older and retire younger than previous generations, combined with a rise in number of patients and severity of illness, RNs and other healthcare professionals are in strong demand. Students in some health care programs are almost guaranteed jobs after graduation because of the demand for nurses, but there is a lack of nursing educators available to train nurses at the college level.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) released an October 2016 report stating that there were more than 1,500 jobs available for faculty at nursing schools and a need for 133 more to meet today’s demand. Mary O’Connor, program coordinator and professor at California University of Pennsylvania, tells BizJournals.com, “We’re hoping to address the shortage to create faculty for schools of nursing and well-prepared educators to teach in hospitals.”

The creation of the nursing education program was sparked by Cal U’s nursing advisory board who want to help prepare more advanced practice nurses to teach new nurses. The shortage is so severe at some nursing schools that nursing programs have been forced to leave spots for nursing students unfilled because there aren’t enough professors to teach them.

Cal U’s nursing education program is 100 percent online, preparing graduates to instruct nurses in academic or healthcare settings. Students will learn how to develop, implement, and evaluate nursing education programs and curricula during the 36-credit, two-year program.

To learn more about Cal U’s master of science in nursing education degree program, visit here.

Nurses Respond After AMA Launches ‘Turf War’ Over Direct Patient Access

Nurses Respond After AMA Launches ‘Turf War’ Over Direct Patient Access

Following opposition efforts from the American Medical Association (AMA) on new policies that allow advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) to practice independently of physician supervision, many nursing groups have expressed upset over the ‘turf war’ between nursing and doctor groups. There are four types of APRN roles: nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, certified registered nurse anesthetist, and certified nurse midwife.

According to Forbes.com, “AMA opposes ‘the continual, nationwide efforts to grant independent practice…to non-physician practitioners’ including advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs).” AMA, the nation’s largest doctor group, voted at a policy meeting last week in a move designed to combat a national strategy to allow APRNs more direct access to patients.

This new national lobbying strategy from the AMA has been spurred by many states and branches of federal government moving to allow APRNs more direct access to patients without physician supervision. Just last year, the Department of Veterans Affairs granted APRNs direct access to veterans in a landmark decision.

The American Nurses Association (ANA) has accused the AMA of perpetuating “the dangerous and erroneous narrative that APRNs are trying to ‘act’ as physicians and are unqualified to provide timely, effective and efficient care,” as reported by Forbes.com.

[APRNs] practice advanced nursing, not medicine, in which they regularly consult, collaborate and refer as necessary to ensure that the patient receives appropriate diagnosis and treatment. For AMA to imply that APRNs are incapable of providing excellent care or that their care puts the patient at risk is blatantly dishonest. The future of health care calls on health care professionals to work together as a team to meet the growing demand for health care services. 

Pamela Cipriano

President, ANA

Nurse groups like ANA and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) have spoken out about the benefits of new state and federal laws that allow direct access as an effort to speed up care to patients. It is part of a larger nationwide move toward value-based care which has also been recognized by government and private insurers who emphasize getting treatment in the right place at the right time, meaning care is often given upfront in a primary care setting where nurses are on the front lines.

To learn more about this ‘turf war’ between doctor and nursing groups debating which health care providers should have direct access to patients, visit here.