Master’s students in the Duke University School of Nursing (DUSON) have the opportunity to enroll in a new major in Psychiatric Mental Health as of the Spring 2018 semester. This newest major being offered is for Advanced Practice Registered Nursing (APRN) students interested in pursuing a specialty nursing track.
Duke believes in the importance of specialty education programs to ensure that nursing students who go into specialty areas have the formal training they need. Students enrolling in the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program at Duke have the opportunity to choose from one of eight majors, and to pursue an additional specialty track if they are interested. Each major and specialty has its own course requirements and formal clinical rotation requirements that must be met to earn a specialty certificate.
The Psychiatric Mental Health program is the eighth and latest major offered for nurse practitioner students. Majors are also available in gerontology care, family nurse practitioner, neonatal and pediatric nurse practitioner, and women’s health nurse practitioner. The MSN program also recently added two new specialties in Endocrinology and HIV/AIDS, and a pediatric mental health specialty is set to be launched in the near future.
Beth C. Phillips, PhD, MSN, RN, CNE, tells Nursing.Duke.edu, “To think about why we do a new program – it’s not because we have a faculty member who would be great at it, so let’s create a new program. We create a program based on community need – local, national or global. The newest major, for example, was added after we recognized there was a scarcity of mental health providers in the state. Behavioral concerns and the addiction crisis in our country demanded a more advanced and skilled workforce in nursing.”
With specialty nursing becoming more and more prevalent, Duke is “aiming to identify community health care needs and respond proactively to meet those needs,” according to Nursing.Duke.edu. Creating new programs is a long process for the university, involving tracking legislature and literature to see what needs are already being met by the healthcare community, and which are not. Once new areas are identified, the university has to hire new staff and create partnerships with clinical sites, in addition to approving new financial resources through the Dean.
To learn more about Duke Nursing’s latest nurse practitioner major in Psychiatric Mental Health, visit here.
Our Nurse of the Week is Erin Williamson, a nurse practitioner for MedNorth Health Center in Wilmington, NC, who has dedicated his career to helping people who have no other health care options. As the seventh of eight children in his family, Williamson experienced what it’s like for your income to dictate your access to quality health care.
With six older sisters and one younger brother, Williamson came to understand the hardships that come with raising a large family, but he loved growing up in a big family and decided to help others in similar situations. He started taking health occupations classes in high school and graduated with a Nursing Assistant certificate then joined the workforce straight away, which was an important goal after the hardships his family faced when he was a child.
Williamson tells StarNewsOnline.com, “I wanted to be a nurse practitioner serving medically underserved people. Ideally, lower-income people who have limited access to health care. It is the dream job that I’ve had since I was 16. Mainly because growing up poor we got to learn what it was like to have limited access to good health care. You don’t know how that feels unless you are in that situation where you’re treated differently.”
Williamson’s first health care job after high school was at a nursing center where he worked the midnight shift and later met his wife, Rachel. The couple later moved so that Williamson could attend the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He graduated in 2004 with a degree in nursing, then moved back to Wilmington where he took a job on the adult inpatient surgical floor with New Hanover Regional Medical Center for five years while he worked on his master’s in nursing at University of North Carolina Wilmington.
At the end of his master’s studies, Williamson chose to complete his clinical training at MedNorth Health Center ,which receives federal grant funds from the US Department of Health and Human Services to provide primary and preventive health care services to medically underserved populations. Patients at the health center receive service regardless of their ability to pay with services designed to cover prenatal, pediatric, adolescent, adult, and geriatric life cycles.
Williamson knew immediately that it was the right place for him and he tells StarNewsOnline.com, “I liked the community health center because being downtown we get an interesting mix of homeless people, professors, other professionals that work downtown, and a lot of people who have no other place to go for healthcare.”
After completing his master’s degree in nursing in 2009, Williamson went straight from being a student to being a nurse practitioner at MedNorth where he has remained since. To learn more about Williamson’s path to becoming a nurse practitioner and helping the underserved find access to quality healthcare, visit here.
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.
Our Nurse of the Week is Carol Fowler Durham, 63, a professor at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Nursing who was diagnosed with sepsis in 2010. She was in the middle of a faculty meeting when she began violently shaking, but she didn’t understand what was wrong at the time. Now seven years later and fully recovered, Fuller is helping raise awareness about sepsis, the deadly condition that nearly killed her.
When Durham began to feel symptoms of sepsis, she didn’t realize that her body had launched an attack on itself. Confused by the reaction she was having, she left her meeting and drove herself home. Her condition later worsened and her husband, Stephen, drove her to the emergency room where she was placed behind a long queue of patients.
By the time Durham was seen by staff in the emergency room, she had a high fever and chills which was enough to admit her. Staff still didn’t recognize what her symptoms meant, allowing her condition to worsen overnight. After her blood pressure plummeted, her medical team finally realized that she had sepsis and was moving into septic shock, a condition with a high mortality rate.
“Sepsis occurs when a massive immune response to a bacterial infection gets into the blood,” Durham tells People.com. “The condition can quickly cause tissue damage, organ failure, or death.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 1.5 million people get sepsis each year in the US and about 250,000 die from it.
Durham was finally taken to the intensive care unit where she received antibiotics to stave off her raging infection. She responded to the antibiotics and began to improve but doctors were never able to determine the cause of her sepsis. Now fully recovered, Durham has a passion to get the word out about the deadly condition and make medical professionals aware of how to recognize and treat sepsis.
Durham now speaks to groups around the country teaching health care audiences, publishers, medical simulation vendors, and others to recognize sepsis and how to fight it. Quick and proper intervention are key and Durham drives that message home every chance she gets.
To learn more about Carol Fowler Durham and her experience surviving septic shock and becoming an advocate for the dangerous condition, visit here.
Our Nurse of the Week is Kayla McMillan, 28, a labor and delivery nurse at the Duke Birthing Center in Durham who has been gifting maternity photo shoots to pregnant mothers on hospital bed rest. She was inspired by her own experience giving birth to her daughter, Emma, at just 25 weeks due to eclampsia.
Emma is now a healthy 1-year old, but McMillan remembers what it was like to have to cancel her baby shower and maternity photo shoot, fun things she had been looking forward to and things that usually accompany a normal pregnancy. McMillan tells InsideEdition.com:
“It was really surreal just because I work in a place where things happen like this all the time. I am a nurse and I never thought something like that would happen to me. It’s humbling because now I can help moms in the same position that I was in.”
McMillan likes to practice photography as a hobby and decided she wanted to give something to mothers at Duke University Hospital who were going through something similar to what she experienced. She teamed up with co-worker Samantha Duncan to create their first maternity photo shoot in April for a mom confined to her hospital bed.
Duncan is in charge of hair and makeup for the women, while McMillan wheels them out into a beautiful courtyard on Duke’s campus for the photo shoots. The duo has since done six photo shoots, giving pregnant mothers on bed rest something to cherish from the difficult experience.
To learn more about McMillan’s career as a labor and delivery nurse and new hobby taking maternity photos for women on her unit, visit here.
Following the US Surgeon General’s call to action to end the national opioid epidemic through a movement called Turn the Tide Rx, the Duke University School of Nursing is taking steps to help promote it. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy launched the effort in August 2016, calling for healthcare providers to be educated on how to treat pain effectively without over-prescribing opioids and how to direct opioid users to alternate forms of treatment.
Opioid addiction has increased over the past 15 years, becoming a national epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 91 people per day died from opioid overdose in the US in 2016.
Duke’s School of Nursing is addressing the epidemic by hosting a discussion on how emergency healthcare providers can unite against opioid abuse. Students from the accelerated bachelors of science in nursing (ABSN) program organized the event and hope it will be the first in a number of efforts to bring the Turn the Tide Rx movement to North Carolina.
The School of Nursing is focused on 21st century healthcare needs and preparing the next generation of transformational leaders in nursing. Two students from the ABSN program and members of Duke Emergency Nursing Students brought the idea for the Turn the Tide Rx discussion to the nursing Dean who was thrilled to support their idea. After being personally affected by the opioid epidemic, these students wanted to start spreading awareness and educating others on alternative pain management.
Turn the Tide Rx is a movement for the entire healthcare community, not just nurses. Duke is hopeful that their event will open up the conversations to begin reducing opioid abuse in North Carolina and across the country. To learn more about Duke Nursing’s efforts to end the opioid epidemic, visit here.