Nurse of the Week: SUNY Delhi Nursing Student Keara Lawson Treats Crash Victim On Way to Clinical Rotations

Nurse of the Week: SUNY Delhi Nursing Student Keara Lawson Treats Crash Victim On Way to Clinical Rotations

Our Nurse of the Week is Keara Lawson, a nursing student at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Delhi who was driving from Delhi to Stamford for her clinical placement when she witnessed an accident and stopped to help the crash victim. The quick-thinking student received a real-life lesson in first response that she will carry with her for the rest of her career.

At 6:15 AM on a morning in October, the sun was not yet up as Lawson was driving herself and three fellow nursing students through cold rain when the car ahead of her slowed down before a vehicle swerved into her lane. Lawson recalls seeing the oncoming vehicle hit something before a huge explosion happened and something on fire flew into the ditch.

Lawson pulled over and got out as the driver also stepped out of his vehicle, in shock and experiencing tunnel vision. He told the nursing students they needed to call 911 because he had just hit a woman. The driver ran into the ditch and pulled a woman out of the fire and began rolling her in the dirt.

According to, state troopers reported that a woman had been walking southbound holding a gas can, and when she was struck, the gas can exploded. Lawson saw the woman on the ground, and the driver and nursing students quickly ran over to help comfort her and keep her conscious until paramedics arrived.

Lawson recalls, “We had nothing but our textbooks, stethoscopes and our brains. [The paramedics] were really thankful that we were able to give them information so they knew exactly what to do when they got there.”

Lawson and her classmates were only 10 weeks into their first year of nursing school, but this is an experience they will carry with them for the rest of their careers. She felt a passion and instinct to help, assuring her that she’s pursuing the right career path. To learn more about SUNY Delhi nursing student Keara Lawson who treated a crash victim on her way to her clinical rotations, visit here.

American Association of Colleges of Nursing Announces Minority Nurse Faculty Scholars

American Association of Colleges of Nursing Announces Minority Nurse Faculty Scholars

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has announced six Minority Nurse Faculty Scholars who were selected through a national scholarship program funded by the Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future. The program was developed to help address the nationwide faculty shortage while enhancing diversity among nurse educators by offering financial support, mentoring, and leadership development to graduate students from minority backgrounds who aspire to teach.

The six new scholars will be joining 60 scholars previously selected for the prestigious honor. The new recipients are all enrolled in PhD or DNP programs and their names include:

  • Lourdes Carhuapoma, University of Virginia
  • Jenna Magallanes, University of Michigan
  • Angelina Nguyen, University of Arizona
  • Safiyyah Okoye, Johns Hopkins University
  • Sangita Pudasainee-Kapri, Rutgers University
  • Armiel Suriaga, Florida Atlantic University

Dr. Ann Cary, Chair of the AACN Board of Directors, tells, “AACN recognizes the strong connection between preparing a culturally diverse nursing workforce and the ability to provide quality patient care. We applaud the Johnson & Johnson Campaign for their generous support of our Faculty Scholars program that is opening new doors to careers in academic nursing for some of our best and brightest graduate students.”

To learn more about this year’s AACN/Johnson & Johnson Minority Nurse Faculty Scholarship recipients, visit here.

Penn Nursing Announces New Decision Support Tool to Improve Discharge Outcomes

Penn Nursing Announces New Decision Support Tool to Improve Discharge Outcomes

In an effort to improve discharge outcomes for patients who require post-acute care (PAC), a team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing) developed, validated, and tested a two-step clinical decision support (CDS) algorithm called Discharge Referral Expert System for Care Transitions (DIRECT). DIRECT helps clinicians identify patients in need of PAC and suggests whether skilled home care or facility level care is best.

Hospital clinicians strive to effectively refer patients who require PAC, but their discharge-planning processes often vary and are typically not evidence-based. In an effort to lessen readmission risk after discharge and achieve the best possible outcomes for patients, hospital-based clinicians are creating more intentional and thoughtful discharge plans for patients who require PAC.

Penn Nursing researchers developed the DIRECT CDS using structured patient data drawn from electronic health records. The team then conducted a four-month control phase of study without CDS with more than 3,000 patients aged 55 and older, followed by a six-month intervention phase of study when clinicians received DIRECT CDS advice from clinical experts for more than 5,000 patients. They compared readmission rates between the two phases after controlling for differences in patient characteristics.

Kathryn H. Bowles, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI, Professor of Nursing, the van Ameringen Chair in Nursing Excellence, tells, “Health care providers are increasingly pressured by policies and initiatives to decrease health care utilization and contain costs. Policy requirements and bundled payment programs seeking the least costly site of care may limit options and result in patients not getting the optimal level of PAC needed to prevent poor discharge outcomes. We developed DIRECT to improve the patient-centered discharge process using an evidence-based, objective tool.”

The DIRECT CDS algorithm proved valuable in providing advice on whom to refer and the level of care, and showed case managers the important patient characteristics that led to that advice such as fall risk and who declined in activities of daily living function. To learn more about Penn Nursing’s new decision support tool to improve discharge outcomes for patients who require post-acute care, visit here.

US Department of Health and Human Services Grants $293 Million to Boost Primary Care in High Need Areas

US Department of Health and Human Services Grants $293 Million to Boost Primary Care in High Need Areas

The US Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Department of Health and Human Services has granted $293 million to primary healthcare providers and students through the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) and Nurse Corps programs.

The NHSC Scholarship program will receive $47.1 million to disburse as 229 awards to students pursuing primary care training to earn degrees in medicine, dentistry, nurse-midwifery, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner who will bring their skills to a high-need region after graduating. The Nurse Corps scholarship program will receive $25.1 million to give 219 awards to nursing students in exchange for a two-year work commitment in facilities with critical shortages. The National Health Service Corps Students to Service Loan Repayment Program will receive $19.3 million to provide 162 new awards to medical and dental students who choose primary care as their specialty and agree to work in rural or urban areas with high need.

HRSA Administrator George Sigounas tells, “These programs connect primary care providers with the rural, urban, and tribal communities across the country that need them most. In addition to providing essential medical and dental care, these clinicians are on the front lines helping to fight pressing public health issues, like the growing opioid epidemic.”

Over 12,500 NHSC and Nurse Corps clinicians are currently providing care to about 13 million patients and another 1,725 primary care students are in school or residency preparing for future service with the Nurse Corps. The NHSC and Nurse Corps programs provide scholarships and loan repayment to healthcare providers in exchange for working in areas of the US with limited access to care, improving the health and wellness of those regions.

To learn more about the US Department of Health and Human Services’ $293 million in grant donations to help boost primary care in high need areas, visit here.

Baylor Nursing Researchers Awarded Grant to Develop Diabetes App for Use in India

Baylor Nursing Researchers Awarded Grant to Develop Diabetes App for Use in India

The Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing has received a grant to develop a diabetes mobile health app in collaboration with an interdisciplinary team of researchers from the university, including experts from the schools of nursing and business. The US India Education Foundation (USIEF) awarded the grant to create the app which is expected to boost awareness and educate those in India who are most at risk for diabetes.

The team will be led by Shelby Garner, PhD, RN, an assistant professor in the School of Nursing, who has worked in India over the past six years to develop technological health resources. This became an important issue for her after seeing World Health Organization statistics showing that life expectancy in India is among the lowest in the South East Asian Region and is largely attributed to growing rates of non-communicable diseases like diabetes.

Garner tells, “There is a need for culturally appropriate health education materials in India. Our early research showed that technology, such as smartphones and internet accessibility, are widely available in India among health providers, but most technological educational resources were developed in the West and do not effectively translate to the Indian context.”

The app will feature an interactive 3D animated video with gaming features to help educate patients at risk for diabetes. The app will also answer questions such as: What is diabetes? What happens if I have diabetes? How do I prevent and treat diabetes?

Physicians from Bangalore Baptist Hospital will provide cultural context and help identify important medical content to be included in the app. The app will serve as a data collection tool to help researchers determine if the video is improving participants’ knowledge on diabetes. Community health workers employed by Bangalore Baptist Hospital will use the app as they visit with people in rural villages and urban slums during door-to-door health education visits. The research team will then compare the app’s effectiveness with standard health educational resources previously used.

The grant will fund exchange teams of researchers and faculty from India to come to the US and for Baylor team members to go to India to collaborate on the research over the next two years. To learn more about Baylor Nursing’s grant to develop a diabetes app for use in India, visit here.

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