Nurse of the Week: Penn State Nursing Dean Laurie Badzek Honored with National Leadership in Ethics Award

Nurse of the Week: Penn State Nursing Dean Laurie Badzek Honored with National Leadership in Ethics Award

Our Nurse of the Week is Laurie Badzek, LLM, JD, MS, RN, FNAP, FAAN, dean of the College of Nursing at Penn State, who has been honored with the American Nurses Association’s (ANA) Leadership in Ethics Award. ANA created the award to recognize registered nurses who have authentically demonstrated the highest standards of ethics and leadership in their daily practice, served as an ethical role model, and promoted ethical dialogue and scholarship.

Throughout her career, Badzek has held the roles of nurse, attorney, researcher, and educator. She brings experience in genomics, health care ethics and law, nursing practice, and end-of-life care and decision-making to her work, and her commitment to ethical leadership led her to serve as director of the American Nurses Association Center for Ethics and Human Rights where she was instrumental in revising the ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses.

Nick Jones, executive vice president and provost, tells news.psu.edu, “In 2018, we selected Laurie to be dean of Penn State’s College of Nursing in part because of her exemplary leadership on ethical and human rights issues and advocacy regarding nursing education, practice and policy. I consider Laurie a role model for ethical leadership at the University, so I’m thrilled that she received this much-deserved award from the ANA. I congratulate and thank Laurie for her commitment to excellence.”

Badzek began her role as dean of the Penn State College of Nursing in July 2018 where she oversees the undergraduate and graduate programs at 12 commonwealth campuses and online. Her role also enables her to be a champion of using genomics in nursing to enhance patient care, and her research in genomics has been funded by the National Council of the State Boards of Nursing, National Institutes of Health, National Human Genome Research Institute, and National Cancer Institute. Badzek is also a member of the American Association of College of Nursing Deans and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, and a fellow of the National Academies of Practice and more.  

To learn more about Laurie Badzek, dean of the College of Nursing at Penn State, who has been honored with the American Nurses Association’s Leadership in Ethics Award, visit here.

California Universities Work Together to Train More Nurse Practitioners to Fill Mental Health Care Gap

California Universities Work Together to Train More Nurse Practitioners to Fill Mental Health Care Gap

In an effort to address a shortage of mental health providers in the state of California, UC San Francisco (UCSF), in collaboration with UC Davis and UCLA, has announced the launch of an online training program for psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNPs). The program aims to train 300 new mental health providers to enter the state’s workforce by 2025.

An estimated 17 percent of Californians live with mental health needs, according to ucsf.edu. Many in that population lack access to mental health care and the problem is expected to worsen as the psychiatrist workforce continues to dwindle. Graduates of UC San Francisco’s new program are projected to serve as many as 378,000 patients over the next five years.

California currently has 13,000 nurse practitioners in its workforce, many of whom care for underserved populations in primary care settings including hospitals, prisons, schools, and other outpatient medical practices. PMHNPs are specialized mental health professionals authorized to prescribe psychotropic medications, treat severe mental illness and substance abuse disorders, and offer psychiatric care.

Program co-director Rosalind De Lisser, MS, RN, NP, associate professor in the UCSF School of Nursing, tells ucsf.edu, “I am tremendously excited about this innovative multi-campus program. It has the potential to expand our reach as an educational institution by providing excellent clinical training and contributing to the workforce development needs of California.”

Her sentiments were echoed by fellow co-director Deborah Johnson, DNP, RN, NP, also an associate professor in the UCSF School of Nursing, who stated: “Building upon our successful history as a top-ranked public PMHNP program, this program eliminates geographical barriers and allows California NPs in primary care to gain the education and training necessary to provide behavioral health services in their communities. The three-school collaboration provides high-quality educational resources for students across the state.”

The new program is scheduled to launch in fall 2020, with administrative offices located on the UC San Francisco campus. Students will be able to complete their clinical training component in the region where they live. The program aims to recruit 40 students for the first years and 65 students each following year, for a total of 300 PMHNPs over five years.

To learn more about the new online training program for psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners being launched by UC San Francisco in collaboration with UC Davis and UCLA, visit here.

University at Buffalo School of Nursing Expands Clinical Sites to Better Serve Native American Communities

University at Buffalo School of Nursing Expands Clinical Sites to Better Serve Native American Communities

The University at Buffalo (UB) School of Nursing recently expanded its clinical sites for students, offering improved nursing services to local Native American communities and other underserved populations. UB Nursing was also able to enhance its curriculum thanks to $3.4 million in grant funding from the US Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

The HRSA funding was provided in two grants—an Advanced Education Nursing grant, which ended in December, and an Advanced Nursing Education Workforce grant, which will continue through June. The two grants have led to significant improvements in addressing nursing shortages, both in outreach to underserved populations and by allowing the School of Nursing to educate more Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) students.

Linda Paine Hughes, DNP, clinical assistant professor and program director for the two HRSA grants, tells buffalo.edu, “Because of the student’s clinical experiences and didactic education, our students have a better understanding of what they are going to face in practice within rural and underserved settings….Our goal is to provide personalized health care, which is culturally sensitive, safe and effective. As trusted team members, we will help improve access to health care for rural and underserved populations in Western New York and beyond.”

The HRSA grants have enabled the School of Nursing to expand its presence and establish new clinical sites. In the past four years, 36 students have completed their clinical rotations in rural underserved settings. The grants funded two, part-time psychiatric nurse practitioners and a cultural expert who served as liaison between the School of Nursing and the Tuscarora Nation Health Center, after the Tuscarora Nation leaders cited the need for traditional medicine services. The two nurse practitioners currently stationed at the Tuscarora Nation Health Center are graduates of UB’s nursing programs.

To learn more about how the University at Buffalo School of Nursing recently expanded its clinical sites for students, offering improved nursing services to local Native American communities and other underserved populations, visit here.

Nurse of the Week: Nursing Instructor Dana Lopes Overcomes Poverty in Rural Indiana to Become First Graduate in Family

Nurse of the Week: Nursing Instructor Dana Lopes Overcomes Poverty in Rural Indiana to Become First Graduate in Family

Our Nurse of the Week is Dana Lopes, a nursing instructor at the College of Saint Elizabeth who overcame growing up in poverty in rural Indiana and became the first high school graduate in her family before continuing on to nursing school.

Lopes was born in rural Indiana and raised in a trailer with no heat, no air conditioning, and barely enough beds for her family. Yet she became the first in her family to graduate from high school. She is now a nursing instructor and staff member at the College of Saint Elizabeth in Morris Township.

Lopes tells morristowngreen.com, “There was a time I had to sleep on plywood with just a blanket on it. I would always hear murmurings about my family and how I was never going to amount to anything….I want to be the role model for my students that I had when I was in school, because maybe I’m the only one they have in their life.”

Even though the odds were against her in a family who lived more than 15 percent below the poverty level, Lopes decided her life was going to be different from the way she grew up. A tumultuous upbringing with exposure to her father’s incarceration, domestic violence and substance abuse at home, ultimately inspired Lopes to pursue her education.

Realizing in middle school that an education was the only way out of her situation, Lopes joined every club and sport she could to keep herself away from home, and when she was at home, she locked herself away in her room in the trailer to read her textbooks until she fell asleep.

Eventually Lopes’ teachers became her role models and with their guidance Lopes earned admission to Purdue University with a fully paid scholarship. She has since earned several post-graduate certificates and nursing degrees. Now she wants her students to know that they have the power to fight for what they want and create their own opportunities.

To learn more about Dana Lopes, a nursing instructor at the College of Saint Elizabeth who overcame growing up in poverty and became the first high school graduate in her family before continuing on to nursing school, visit here.

University of Texas at Tyler Announces New Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program to Address Critical Need in State

University of Texas at Tyler Announces New Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program to Address Critical Need in State

The University of Texas at Tyler (UT Tyler) College of Nursing and Health Sciences has announced a new mental health nurse practitioner program aimed at addressing the mental health challenges in Texas. The Master of Science in Nursing–Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Program was recently approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

The new program will be offered primarily online with facilitation of clinical experiences taking place in students’ local communities. Program curriculum will highlight telehealth, mobile medical clinic management and disaster management, and provide rural health clinic opportunities so students can effectively prepare to meet the healthcare needs of vulnerable populations with limited resources.

Dr. Yong “Tai” Wang, UT Tyler College of Nursing and Health Sciences dean, tells jacksonvilleprogress.com, “As has been well documented, forecasts are predicting significant increases in psychiatric/mental health care needs. Rural areas will be even more at risk due to the misdistribution of health providers who choose to live and work in urban locations. The Master of Science in Nursing-Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner degree will meet a crucial need in East Texas and the state.”

The PMHNP program will prepare students to diagnose and treat common psychiatric disorders across the lifespan and offer short-term psychotherapy. Graduates will have advanced physical assessment skills, including being able to administer prescriptive psychotropic medications, psychotherapy, crisis intervention, case management, and consultation.

With more than 500,000 Texans suffering from serious and persistent mental illness and one in five Texans experiencing a mental health condition each year, the PMHNP degree is uniquely prepared to bridge the gap between physical and mental health care.

To learn more about the new mental health nurse practitioner program being offered at UT Tyler to address a critical need in the state, visit here.  

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