Our Nurse of the Week is Lindsey Westenhofer, the Director of Nursing for the US Space and Rocket Center (USSRC), a career path she chose after shadowing her mom at a young age while her mother was a nursing student.
Westenhofer tells UAH.edu, “My mother began her graduate nursing education when I was a young girl, so I have known since I can remember that I had an insatiable interest in all of the natural sciences but, in particular, anything relating to the human body. I remember begging to listen in on her nursing school conference calls. And, I frequently got into trouble for pulling out her books so I could ‘read’ them.”
It’s no surprise that Westenhofer decided to follow in her mom’s footsteps and earn a nursing degree from the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) College of Nursing. She completed her preceptorship in pediatrics, which has remained a theme in her nursing career.
Westenhofer is now the Director of Nursing for USSRC where she oversees 50 staff members and over 1,000 campers per week during peak seasons. The USSRC facility holds two on-campus nursing clinics for use by campers, chaperones, museum guests, and employees, and their nursing staff provides emergent response coverage for the entire campus.
In addition to serving as director, Westenhofer is also responsible for educating staff on relevant healthcare topics and managing the instruction of American Heart Association Basic Life Support courses. She also designed and implemented a Medical Alert System for the USSRC campus, which she now teaches.
To learn more about Lindsey Westenhofer, the Director of Nursing for the US Space and Rocket Center, and how she was inspired to pursue a career in nursing after shadowing her mother from a young age, visit here.
The University of Louisville (UofL) recently held its latest transition ceremony, marking the entry of one hundred nursing students into the clinical rotation round of their undergraduate program. This event is an important event for nursing students, but this particular ceremony also marked a new milestone for the university, which welcomed its largest class of men ever.
The Transition Ceremony signifies the advancement of future nurses from the classroom to clinical rotation learning during the final four semesters of the undergraduate program. At the ceremony, students recite the School of Nursing Honor Code Pledge and receive a pin to wear on their scrubs to serve as a reminder of their commitment to providing high-quality care. University President Neeli Bendapudi also spoke at the ceremony, marking the new students’ entry into the health care field.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, only nine percent of the total nurse workforce in the US are men. With a nationwide nursing shortage a concern in many areas of the country, recruiting men into the nursing profession is becoming increasingly important.
To learn more about the University of Louisville’s latest class of nursing students, including its largest class of male students ever, visit here.
According to the US Health Resources and Services Administration, South Carolina is projected to have a shortage of registered nurses by 2030. The shortage is expected to be more significant than in most other states, possibly topping 10,000 nurses.
Clemson University’s School of Nursing and the Greenville Health System (GHS) recently collaborated on a plan to address that shortage in the state of South Carolina through the opening of the Clemson University Nursing building. The building is an education and research facility that houses an expansion of Clemson’s baccalaureate nursing program at GHS, which opened in August.
Clemson’s new building allowed the School of Nursing to increase its first-year enrollment from 64 in fall 2015 to 173 in fall 2018. The university expects to increase total enrollment in the baccalaureate program to top 700 by 2021.
Kathleen Valentine, director of Clemson’s School of Nursing, tells Clemson.world, “The collaboration will not only expand our enrollment, but will also integrate teaching and clinical practice in innovative ways that will positively impact nursing education and patient outcomes.”
Nursing students at Clemson take their general education and nursing foundation courses on the main campus during their freshman and sophomore years. Then they are placed into one of two cohorts allowing students to complete their nursing courses in Greenville under the guidance of Clemson faculty and complete their clinical rotations at a GHS campus, or take their junior and senior nursing courses on Clemson’s main campus and complete their clinical rotations at health systems across the state, including GHS.
To learn more about Clemson Nursing’s partnership with Greenville Health System to open a new education and research facility, visit here.
The National League for Nursing’s (NLN) Academy of Nursing Education recently named Marie O’Toole, a nursing professor at Rutgers University-Camden, a fellow. NLN fellows are selected for their contributions to nursing education — as teachers, mentors, scholars, public policy advocates, practice partners, administrators, and more. O’Toole was one of 16 nurses selected nationwide for the distinction in 2018, recognized for their leadership and expertise in nursing education.
O’Toole serves as senior associate dean in the Rutgers School of Nursing–Camden and is a registered nurse in New Jersey and New York. She began her career serving as a staff nurse at the Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania before serving as a nursing instructor at Rutgers–Camden and going on to serve a 35-year academic career at several notable institutions. She has also served as the associate dean for the Stratford campus for the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey School of Nursing, which is now a part of Rutgers University. O’Toole attended the University of Pennsylvania for her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing, and earned her doctoral degree from the Rutgers Graduate School of Education.
O’Toole tells news.camden.rutgers.edu, “I am proud to be a part of a growing, thriving academic community that strives to make a difference in its home city of Camden and also is committed to scholarship that distinguishes it on an international level.”
O’Toole was the recipient of a Fulbright Specialist grant in education in 2016-17 that allowed her to teach and study at Jordan University of Science and Technology in Irbid, Jordan. The grant recognized O’Toole’s innovative work in developing and implementing global nurse education programs with partners in other countries. In the 1990s, she worked with the nonprofit organization Health Volunteers Overseas on a project funded by the US Agency for International Development to develop baccalaureate nursing education in Vietnam. She also served as the principal investigator for a grant funded by the US Department of Education and the European Commission’s Directorate General for Education and Culture to create the first undergraduate, dual-degree program in nursing addressing the growing need for international recognition of nursing education to facilitate efficient emigration of nurses.
To learn more about Marie O’Toole, a nursing professor at Rutgers University-Camden who was recently named a fellow in the National League for Nursing’s Academy of Nursing Education, visit here.
Touro University’s doctorate of nursing practice (DNP) program has received the max accreditation offered by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), which will last through 2023. Touro’s DNP program is designed for working nurses and allows students to graduate in about a third of the time it takes to complete a traditional program.
Nursing Program Director Ann Stoltz tells dailyrepublic.com, “We’re thrilled at the five-year accreditation news. Our hybrid program is specifically designed so a working nurse can complete the program in only 18 months. With the accreditation, CCNE lets future doctorate students know our nursing program meets quality standards recognized by the US Department of Education.”
The CCNE is an autonomous accrediting agency that ensures the quality and integrity of a variety of nursing programs and is officially recognized by the US Secretary of Education. Touro began the accreditation process in December 2016 with a scheduled CCNE site visit after the program had been running for one year. The CCNE representatives met with faculty, students, alumni, administrators, and university support services to determine that the program meets the CCNE’s standards for accreditation.
Touro’s DNP program prepares graduates for advanced nursing practice, and also offers specialized education in diabetes across the life span with a focus on clinical practice. Earning accreditation helps encourage potential new students, assuring quality educational standards and improved public health offerings to the surrounding communities who rely on graduates of the nursing school.
To learn more about Touro University’s DNP program receiving accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education through 2023, the maximum numbers of years that can be accredited to a new program, visit here.