The University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) recently received a $2 million gift from Bill and Joanne Conway’s Bedford Falls Foundation. Their donation was the third largest philanthropic gift the school has ever received and will be used to fund scholarships for UMSON students in financial need who are pursuing master’s, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), and PhD degrees, or the school’s post-master’s Certificate in Teaching in Nursing and Health Professions. Recipients of these scholarships will be named Conway Scholars.
Funding scholarships won’t be the only thing the $2 million gift will go towards. It will also assist in expanding UMSON’s Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Program. The FNP program is currently only offered at the Baltimore campus and it’s a high demand program that can’t accommodate all qualified students. Enabling expanded enrollment will provide the region with more well-qualified primary care providers. UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, told Newswise.com,
“Maryland has an acute need for more – and more highly trained – nurses. The gift from Bill and Joanne Conway will be used to alleviate the state’s nursing shortage in two ways: enlarging the pool of nurses who can provide primary care to Maryland residents and enlarging the pool of faculty and instructors who can train nursing students.”
The Conways’ recent gift is the second seven-figure gift they’ve given to UMSON. Their first was a $5.24 million gift in April 2015, the largest in UMSON history. It’s still being used to fund over 150 full scholarships for Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) students and increased opportunities for registered nurses (RNs) to obtain BSN degrees through UMSON’s RN-to-BSN program.
Conway Scholars will receive scholarships covering in-state tuition and fees. They must remain in good academic standing and have previously expressed commitments to serve as clinical preceptors or instructors, and secure full-time faculty positions within three years of graduating.
Our Nurse of the Week is Gaithersburg High School in Maryland where students are learning how to nurse by practicing on nursing home patients. As part of a partnership with Ingleside at King Farm, a Rockville retirement community with a nursing home on site, a dozen students from the high school program are training to become certified nursing assistants and geriatric nursing assistants.
Now in the second year of the intensive program, the goal is to prepare students for careers in healthcare. Students don’t pay tuition for the program funded by William Leahy, a neurologist on Ingleside’s board of directors who founded the program and hopes to expand it. The students are taught by Linda Hall, a nursing professor at Montgomery College’s Workforce Development and Continuing Education division.
Students in the program are part of a 4 day-a-week course that takes place outside school hours. It combines 88 hours of classroom learning with 60 hours of clinical training and working with actual residents at Ingleside. After completing the program, students are eligible to apply for nursing assistant state certification or take the geriatric nursing assistant (GNA) exam.
To learn more about the students in the program and their experiences, visit The Washington Post.
In the midst of a nationwide nursing shortage, many nursing schools around the country have attempted to increase their capacity for incoming classes which isn’t always possible because of insufficient faculty numbers. The Johns Hopkins School of Nursing (JHSON) has responded by promoting six faculty members to full professorship.
In addition, 19 new faculty members were hired throughout 2016, adding faculty in new specialties including pediatrics, geriatrics, mental health, cardiovascular, community health, women’s health, and more. “With nurses ever in demand and a dire need for more faculty, I am excited to be able to combine the experience and expertise of our current and new faculty to help fill the need for nurses and teachers across the world,” said JHSON Dean Patricia Davidson in a press release from Newswise.com. The six newly promoted faculty members include:
Department of Community-Public Health:
Hae-Ra Han, PhD, RN, FAAN
Sarah Szanton, PhD, ANP, FAAN
Elizabeth Tanner, PhD, RN, FAAN
Department of Acute and Chronic Care:
Deborah Finnell, DNS, PMHNP-BC, CARN-AP, FAAN
Cheryl Dennison Himmelfarb, PhD, RN, ANP, FAAN
Kathleen White, PhD, RN, NEA-BA, FAAN
You can read more about the JHSON faculty and their research, expertise, publications, awards, and honors here.
Sarah L. Szanton, an Associate Professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing (JHSON), was named one of the top 50 “Influencers in Aging” by Next Avenue, a digital publication covering perspectives on issues for older Americans.
Next Avenue’s list of influencers for 2016 included advocates, researchers, thought leaders, writers, and experts whose work is at the forefront of improving aging. Szanton was pleased to be highlighted among so many wonderful leaders who share a passion for aging. Older adults offer so much to a community and their vital wisdom, knowledge, and experience can become even more beneficial when we help them improve their ability to age through independence and other options.
Dr. Szanton’s work on aging includes her innovative program titled Community Aging in Place – Advancing Better Liver for Elders (CAPABLE). The program incorporates home visits from a nurse, occupational therapist, and handyman to provide small home improvements like handrail installation or lowered cabinets to help older adults work on their mobility and self-care. Szanton’s program has made strides as a viable solution to improving health outcomes for older adults in the US and recent findings published in the health policy journal Health Affairs shows decreased disability, depression, and improved self-care amongst participants.
Beyond her CAPABLE study, Szanton has also researched and piloted strategies for preventing falls and examining the impact of food and energy access on the health outcomes of older adults. Szanton’s background is in policy analysis which she uses to inform policymakers about alternative, cost-effective solutions to save healthcare and taxpayer dollars while also improving the health and well-being of older adults, based off her research results. Dr. Szanton has been honored for her contributions as an American Academy of Nursing Emerging Edgerunner, a winner of the Protégé Award from the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research, and named a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar.
The 2016 Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research (FNINR) President’s Award was presented to Phyllis Sharps, PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor and Associate Dean for Community Programs at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing (JHSON). This year’s President’s Award theme was “Nurse Scientists Leading the Advancement of Team Science.”
Sharps’ career has revolved around leading teams of scientists in medicine, public health, social work, and nursing. She has published over 80 articles in the areas of improving reproductive health, reducing violence amongst African-American women, and mitigating the physical and mental health consequences of violence against pregnant and parenting women. Sharps also led a research invention titled DOVE, Domestic Violence Enhanced Home Visitation Program, which has been tested and proven to reduce intimate partner violence among pregnant women. Other involvement in women’s health issues includes testifying before Congress, serving on Institute of Medicine (IOM) committees, and utilizing her role as a nurse to further policy agendas and team science in the nursing profession.
In addition to the President’s Award, Dr. Sharps was recently awarded the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award in Education and Research from the Association of Black Nursing Faculty. She received the FNINR award at their annual NightinGala in Washington, DC over the weekend. Patricia Davidson, Dean of JHSON, credits Dr. Sharps as a great example of nurse leadership across disciplines, universities, and the globe for her innovations in sustainable initiatives, research, and practice.
INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine has chosen the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing (JHSON) to receive a 2016 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award. INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine is the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education and recognizes US nursing, medical, dental, pharmacy, osteopathic, and allied health schools. JHSON will be featured in the December 2016 issue of the magazine, demonstrating their outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Patricia Davidson, PhD, MEd, RN, FAAN, Dean of JHSON, says that advancing and supporting a culture of diversity and inclusion are top priorities at her school. The students and faculty at JHSON bring their own unique experiences, cultures, and views, and they are respected and valued by all members at the school.
31 percent of students and 23 percent of faculty at JHSON are racial or ethnic minorities. JHSON provides opportunities for students and faculty to develop and implement programs and partnerships that strengthen their inclusive environment through a school-wide diversity taskforce. Some of those programs include LGBTQ Life at Hopkins and the Office of Multicultural Affairs.
The HEED Award involves a comprehensive and rigorous application including questions about recruitment and retention of students and employees, leadership support, and campus diversity and inclusion initiatives. INSIGHT says their standards are high because they want to choose institutions where diversity and inclusion are a part of the work being accomplished daily across a campus.