The American Academy of Nursing (AAN) has recognized Linda Sarna, dean of the UCLA School of Nursing, as an Edge Runner for her Tobacco Free Nurses Project on World No Tobacco Day 2017. Sarna’s co-collaborator Stella Aguinaga Bialous, associate professor at the UCSF School of Nursing, was also recognized for her contributions.
Their model is called Tobacco Free Nurses (TFN) and provides national and international tobacco cessation education to practicing nurse clinicians, tobacco control resources for patient care, smoking cessation support and assistance to nurses and nursing students, and methods to enhance nurse leadership and advocacy in promoting a tobacco free society. The tobacco free initiative also includes a pocket guide called Helping Smoker’s Quit – A Guide for Clinicians.
Academy President Bobbie Berkowitz, PhD, NEA-BC, FAAN, commended the project on Newswise.com: “Designing and implementing a project which reduces the use of tobacco, the leading cause of preventable deaths worldwide, is a valuable and noteworthy achievement. Dr. Sarna and Dr. Bialous are commended for designing Tobacco Free Nurses for improving the health of those called to the nursing profession, as well as the patients for whom they care.”
AAN’s Raise the Voice Edge Runner initiative recognizes nurse-designed models of care that impact cost, improve quality, and influence policy. TFN has been recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) for their advocacy in tobacco control, especially among the healthcare and nursing communities. Over 6,000 nurses have participated in TFN educational and policy efforts in eight countries including the United States.
For more information about the Tobacco Free Nurses Project, visit www.tobaccofreenurses.org.
California State University (CSU) nursing students are enrolled at 19 campuses across the state, all of which put an emphasis on putting students out into their communities right from the get-go. Students learn through clinical rotations in a multitude of settings like hospitals, schools, and community health services, putting their coursework to immediate use outside the classroom while working towards their degrees.
Christine Mallon, PhD, assistant vice chancellor for academic programs, tells Newswise.com, “The CSU has more than 8,100 students enrolled in a total of 79 nursing programs, encompassing various specializations across bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels.”
After rolling out Graduation Initiative 2025, CSU nursing programs began increasing student efficiency and ethnic diversity which is now at 54% according to Mallon. The university system has also been working to streamline its nursing programs, reducing the units required for a four-year bachelor’s degree and developing courses that fulfill multiple requirements.
CSU has also put a focus on implementing the latest nursing technology, allowing students to practice in state-of-the-art simulation labs and get hands-on experience using EKG, electronic thermometers, blood pressure and fetal monitors, and high-fidelity mannequins. Nursing students are also highly prepared to pass their National Council Licensure Examinations (NCLEX) with a first-time pass rate exceeding the national average of 87%.
To learn more about CSU’s nursing programs and use of early clinical rotations to increase student learning and efficiency, visit here.
Five American Indian students are attending the California State University (Cal State) San Marcos School of Nursing through a recently awarded grant called Graduating American Indians into Nursing (GAIN). The grant covers tuition, books, fees, and a stipend of $1,500 per month for each student.
Dr. Deborah Morton, an assistant professor of public health and co-principal investigator on the grant identified the potential students for the program. Dr. Denise Boren, co-principal investigator and director of the Cal State San Marcos School of Nursing will step down from her director role at the end of the academic year to focus on grants and more direct involvement with GAIN students.
Dr. Boren tells News.CSUSM.edu: “Nurses spend so much time with patients. It’s really important to have nurses who understand the American Indian culture.” This is one of the reasons for the grant, helping provide American Indian students with a path to pursue a nursing degree and improve healthcare for American Indians as these students graduate into the profession. Dr. Morton also commented on the benefits of the grant: “We have a nursing shortage in California and we have more American Indians than any other state. It was a great opportunity for us.”
One of the requirements of the grant is that students spend an equal amount of time working in an Indian Health Service clinic upon graduation as a form of scholarship payback. This means committing three years of their time after graduation, which aligns perfectly with grant goal of helping improve healthcare for American Indians.
To learn more the GAIN grant and the American Indian recipients pursuing nursing degrees at Cal State San Marcos, visit here.
After two years of improvements to their nursing program, including distance learning and enhanced flexibility, the Loma Linda University School of Nursing is seeking an early-career cohort of PhD applications. The nursing school is looking for applicants in their 20s and 30s to output a greater number of nurses who can sustain a longer career in nursing research they are passionate about.
Ellen D’Errico, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, an associate professor who oversees the PhD program tells News.LLU.edu, “Our graduates get to further their career as health care leaders or get involved in academia as researchers, faculty, and developing the next generation of nurses, which many people find exhilarating and rewarding.”
The university spent two years retooling the PhD program after examining how to best serve potential students, including lessening demand for face-to-face only teaching methods. New doctoral candidates will only be required to spend a few days on campus per quarter, and more distance learning options are in the works for future students. Program administrators hope the revised PhD program will appeal to a larger pool of qualified applicants who want a flexible program that will allow them to work as nurse scientists, leaders, and faculty after completing their degree.
Two PhD nursing programs are offered: Master’s Entry PhD and Post-Baccalaureate PhD. For more information on Loma Linda University’s PhD nursing programs, visit here.
Sense.ly, a San Francisco startup that has created a virtual nursing app to help physicians stay in touch with their patients and prevent readmission to the hospital, has recently raised $8 million from investors in its most recent round of venture funding. The new funding from investors like the Mayo Clinic will be used to bring the virtual nurse technology to a wide array of clinics and patients.
Designed for both patients and healthcare professionals, the app asks patients to tell the nurse avatar how they are doing by simply talking through a 5-minute “check in.” Patient check-ins are then stored as medical records that only authorized physicians can view. The medical reports also include device data that the app pulls from medical devices and wearables (like Fitbits or Apple watches) that patients use day-to-day.
Using artificial intelligence, Sense.ly’s nurse avatar speaks to patients in empathetic tones about their healthcare concerns, and uses emotional analysis to alert a patient’s care provider when the app detects that a patient is in need of mental health counseling or feeling symptoms of depression or anxiety as a side effect of medications or lifestyle changes.
The Sense.ly app is designed around commonly accepted medical protocols for diagnosis and treatment of chronic illnesses. So far, the company has focused on patients 60 and older who are suffering from health problems like COPD, heart failure, diabetes, and other age-related issues. But ultimately they want the app to work for people from all age groups and populations dealing with a variety of health issues. They are improving their analysis capabilities by adding new protocols and content from partner hospitals and clinics.
Adam Odessky, Chief Executive Officer and founder of Sense.ly, believes in the platform’s potential help people live longer and healthier lives and make quality healthcare more affordable and available. When asked if virtual nurses might “steal” jobs from human nurses in a discussion with TechCrunch.com, Odessky says no: “There aren’t people doing this job already…This is a technology to help medical professionals do their jobs more effectively, and not one that threatens their livelihood.”
To learn more about this new virtual nurse platform, visit TechCrunch.com or Sense.ly.
After recent approval from the University of California Board of Regents, the University of California, Irvine (UCI) has announced their new Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing. UCI’s nursing school is now the fourth nursing school in the UC system and their newly achieved school status is well deserved as the nursing program celebrates 10 years of educating future nurses.
The nursing school’s founding dean, Adeline Nyamathi, says their new prestigious school status will enable the nursing program to move strongly toward its vision which largely involves expanding nurse-managed community clinics. UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman told the LATimes.com, “The campus has long desired to have our nursing program become a school. A terrific combination of public and private support will ensure a top-quality education for many more talented students – and enable us to hire nursing field leaders to train them – to help fill the pipeline of prepared healthcare professionals.”
Establishing the UCI nursing school was made possible by a $40 million gift from the William and Sue Gross Family Foundation which is the largest gift in UCI history. Thanks to their generous donation, UCI will be able to construct a state-of-the-art nursing building to increase classroom size and research space. Official plans for the new building haven’t been announced by the school hopes to break ground in the next couple of years.
UCI’s School of Nursing offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs. To learn more about Sue and Bill gross, and their contributions to UCI’s nursing program, visit here.