Kent State University has launched a 100% online RN-to-BSN program across all eight of its campuses, making it easier for working nurses to pursue a baccalaureate degree. Kent State’s decision to make their nursing program more accessible and convenient for practicing nurses is driven by the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) goal to have 80% of the nursing workforce educated at the bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) level by 2020.
The new 100% online RN-to-BSN program is the first of its kind to be fully implemented across all eight Kent State campuses through collaboration of faculty experts at each campus. Students who enroll in the program will receive benefits like decreased tuition, increased course availability, and convenience. Each of the required nursing courses will be offered every seven weeks rather than providing classes in a traditional rotation format, taking on a student-first approach to benefit full-time working nurses who need flexibility to complete school work on their own time.
College of Nursing Dean Barbara Broome, PhD, RN, FAAN, tells Kent.edu, “We are proud of this project. Not only are we one of the few programs to offer a RN-to-BSN degree online, we are now a leader in this collaborative arrangement with the regional campuses.”
This program is designed for working nurses who hold an associate’s degree or nursing diploma, giving them a pathway to complete their BSN degree without returning to school full time. The curriculum is student and community focused, emphasizing professional knowledge, leadership skills, and compassionate care to develop a strong nursing workforce in Ohio and beyond.
To learn more about Kent State’s new 100% online RN-to-BSN program, visit here.
Our Nurse of the Week is Jordyn Pennington, a junior in the Chamberlain University College of Nursing who jumped in to help treat victims after witnessing a disastrous ride malfunction at the Ohio State Fair in July that killed one and injured seven others.
The Fireball, an 18-year-old fairground ride that spins and swings passengers in a pendulum-like motion, collapsed due to “excessive corrosion,” ejecting passengers from the ride. Letting her nursing school training take over, Pennington jumped in to help and later shared her memory of the experience with us.
To learn more about Pennington’s lifesaving nursing care following the ride malfunction, read our full interview with her here:
Can you briefly describe your experience witnessing the ride malfunction at the Ohio State Fair and what motivated you to jump in and help?
I did not personally witness the accident, my husband did. We were at a food stand when he saw the incident happen and yelled, “Jordyn, that ride just broke and people flew out!” When I first heard what he said, it didn’t click that something that awful had actually happened. I looked around and saw police officers and fair workers all running over to where the accident happened.
Within seconds of the ride malfunction, my husband and I ran to help. I walked up to where the police officers were pushing the crowd back and said, “Hi, I’m a student nurse, can I help?” From there I was led back to where the victims were, given gloves, and sent on my own to help in any way that I could. I knew those people needed help, and I was determined to help as much as possible.
How has your nursing education thus far prepared you to help in this kind of emergency situation?
Chamberlain University has done such a wonderful job of educating students on safety, assessment, and prioritizing. At first, I entered the scene and looked around to see where help was needed. I checked to see if anyone needed CPR (none was needed at the time), and moved on to who I felt would be a priority. When I was working with the patients and the two other wonderful nurses (who I didn’t know at the time were nurses), my Chamberlain training all came flooding back and I started working on instinct. I wanted to help in every way possible so I worked to find the people who needed help the most, and took immediate action.
What triage or first aid skills did you use to help those injured by the ride malfunction?
I helped coach breathing and applied pressure to stop bleeding (along with the other people, two wonderful nurses who I’m proud to now call friends). I held and stabilized a limb that I thought was broken, used communication to calm the victims down, prevented what could have been an additional life or death occurrence, helped hold arms for IV insertion, and helped keep the victims calm and still as much as I could. The two other nurses and I stabilized the victims as much as we could until the paramedics arrived.
While assisting in helping the victims still trapped in the ride, some people tried to manually open the seats that were stuck. From education I’ve received, you never move a trauma patient unless their life is in further danger. Since the people were not in any additional danger, I instructed them to stop trying to open the rides since the patients were safer in place than being moved which could cause further injury. I feel lucky to have stopped what they were doing, and honestly believe that my speaking up potentially saved lives.
What are your future plans for a career in nursing?
Honestly, I feel lucky to just be in a nursing program and in the future, to become a nurse. After this horrific incident, I know now that my heart belongs in trauma. I also have a huge soft spot for oncology as well. I currently serve as the president of Chamberlain’s College of Nursing Columbus campus Oncology Nursing Student Interest Group and couldn’t be more proud to help represent such a wonderful group!
Is there any other information you want readers to know about yourself, your nursing career, or your experience helping during a public emergency?
I’m just your average person who was in the right place at the right time to offer help. I’m a mother of two beautiful kids, and am married (4 years) to my high school sweetheart. Caring for people has always been a passion of mine, and I feel so lucky to be able to earn a degree in a field that I love.
Please lend a hand if you’re able to, and speak up if you know something is wrong. You never know what you’re truly capable of.
The Kent State University (KSU) College of Nursing celebrated their 50th anniversary this past Monday, Jan. 23. Gathering together the entire college of nursing, students and faculty showed up to celebrate the college’s historic past while focusing on diversity and staying on the cutting edge of technology as they move forward.
KSU President Beverly Warren and Dean of the College of Nursing, Dr. Barbara Broome, both attended the celebration to give speeches about their experiences in nursing and predictions for the future of healthcare. According to KentWired.com, President Warren emphasized the importance of diversity with a snippet from her past: “In my generation, I was told, as a female, you can either teach or be a nurse. 50 years later, I’m proud to say you have so many options before you. Whether you’re male, female, transgender, no matter how you identify yourself, there is a career for you in nursing.”
Both nursing leaders gave recognition to their students who they said are a legacy of bright new ideas. Nursing isn’t just a women’s profession anymore and students love Kent’s approach to diversity and drive to break stereotypes of what defines the typical nurse. Dr. Broome summed up diversity simply:
“Inclusiveness means males, females, different races, ethnic groups, religious beliefs and lifestyles, and I think that nursing should be a lot more inclusive than it has been…It’s for anyone who has a desire to make an impact and change things.”
Looking to the future, President Warren hopes for more nursing specialties and to bring state-of-the-art technology to Kent because she believes technology drives healthcare. Kent’s nursing leaders embody the college’s values and have no plans of letting up. They’re striving for graduates who impact their communities and beyond by staying at the cutting edge of nursing.
March of Dimes celebrated their 4th annual “Nurse of the Year” awards banquet last week in Ohio, honoring Debbie Borowske, DNP, RN, GCNS-BC, as their Nurse of the Year. Borowske was recognized for her work in long-term acute care, rehabilitation hospice, and palliative care as the director of Post-Acute Care Services at Southwest General Health Center.
After finding a gap in the hospice services offered by Southwest General, Borowske launched a community-based palliative care program which sees an average of 50 patients per month. Her program consistently achieves its goal of improving life and providing comfort to those with serious, chronic, and life-threatening illnesses. In addition to her work at the health center, Debbie also holds adjunct faculty positions in nursing at Case Western Reserve University, Malone University, and Kent State University.
The annual March of Dimes Event recognizes exceptional nurses, creates awareness of professional excellence, and promotes the future of nursing helping to advance their mission to improve the health of babies by preventing premature birth, birth defects, and infant mortality. To learn more about Debbie Borowske and her Nurse of the Year recognition by March of Dimes, visit here.
Judith Hoover is an international nurse from Stark County, OH where she works as a nurse manager at Pregnancy Choices when she isn’t serving on relief missions with Samaritan’s Purse. Working on-call as a member of the Samaritan’s Purse Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), she might have to leave at a moment’s notice to use her passion and skills for international nursing to help some of the world’s most desperate people.
Hoover has been involved in international nursing since her graduation from Kent State University in 2009. Two years ago, she spent three months serving in Liberia during the Ebola outbreak. She has also served on missions in Bolivia, Guatemala, and West Africa. Her most recent mission was a three-week assignment in Haiti which she was notified about less than 24 hours before she left.
Following the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew which struck Haiti in October and killed more than 900, Hoover and the rest of her response team ventured into hard-to-reach regions of the country to treat victims of cholera. Over 9,000 people in Haiti died from cholera after a 2010 earthquake. Food and living conditions aren’t always ideal for international nurses like Hoover who travel to poor and disaster-struck regions of the world, but she says it offers a “good perspective check.”
In an interview with CantonRep.com, Hoover said “You can’t fix the world, but for that one person, you can make a difference. You have to focus on the lives you can change instead of the ones you can’t.” This is a statement all international and travel nurses know to be true. Thank you to our Nurse of the Week, Judith Hoover, for your dedication to the field of international nursing and the passion you have for helping make the world a safer and healthier place one person at a time.
To read more about Hoover and her mission work with Samaritan’s Purse, visit here.
Many professions that require more graduates to enter the workforce in the near future are hindered by a lack of education funding to grow their programs. Fields like occupational therapy and engineering are suffering, but the nursing field especially is in desperate need of more nurses. In the midst of a nationwide nursing shortage, the best solution is to increase education funding so that nursing schools can hire more faculty and graduate bigger classes of students into the workforce each year.
As a solution to the critical job demand in certain fields, Ohio is seeking state money for a “venture fund” to expand education programs with high-demand and plentiful job opportunities after graduation. With the help of venture funding, Ohio public colleges can add more students to their programs and require them to work in Ohio for a set period of time after.
Ronald Berkman, president of the Inter-University Council of Ohio which represents Ohio’s 13 public universities, is planning to present a proposal on behalf of all schools. Berkman is also President of Cleveland State University (CSU) and his proposal will highlight the successful partnerships between CSU, Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C), and University Hospitals (UH). Tri-C has a transfer agreement with CSU to ensure nursing graduates can continue on for their bachelor’s degrees, and Tri-C graduates who accept jobs at UH receive help toward earning their bachelor’s.
According to Berkman, the number of qualified applicants for high-demand CSU programs far exceeds the openings and job opportunities for students after graduation. He told Cleveland.com, “We need to keep young intellectual capital in Ohio and in Cleveland the way we can do it is to create this chain – a pathway between institutions. We know a very large number of students who do internships and co-ops stay.” Money from the venture fund will serve as a resource to increase the number of nursing and healthcare graduates.
To read more about Berkman’s plan for the Ohio venture fund, visit here.