Excelsior College Named Best College for Veterans in New York, No. 5 Nationwide

Excelsior College Named Best College for Veterans in New York, No. 5 Nationwide

College Factual has released its annual list of the best college for veterans for 2019. The rankings highlight the schools that are most supportive of veterans and active-duty military members.

In the state of New York, Excelsior College has been ranked the No. 1 college for veterans out of 131 colleges that were reviewed for the study. Excelsior College was also ranked in the top one percent of all schools nationwide, and No. 5 for the Bests for Vets category on a national level. This is the fourth consecutive year that Excelsior College has been included in the College Factual rankings.

College Factual determines its ranking based on 24 factors, some of which are comprised of 10 or more sub-factors. According to excelsior.edu, these factors combine to identify excellence in the following areas:

  • Veteran Affordability
  • Veteran Population
  • Veteran Policies
  • Veteran Resources
  • Veteran Satisfaction
  • Overall College Quality

Excelsior College is a regionally accredited, nonprofit online college focused on contributing to the development of a diverse, educated, and career-ready society by valuing lifelong learning with an emphasis on serving individuals historically underrepresented in higher education.

To learn more about Excelsior College being named the best college for veterans in New York, visit here.

Nurse of the Week: Nurse Lori Wood ‘Adopts’ Homeless Man So He Can Receive Heart Transplant

Nurse of the Week: Nurse Lori Wood ‘Adopts’ Homeless Man So He Can Receive Heart Transplant

Our Nurse of the Week is Lori Wood, 57, a nurse at Piedmont Newnan Hospital in Georgia, who became the guardian of a homeless patient so that he could receive a heart transplant. Wood’s patient, Jonathan Pinkard, had been disqualified from the waiting list for a new heart because he didn’t have a support system in place to care for him after the transplant.

Pinkard, who lives with high-functioning autism, had been living in a men’s shelter and working as an office clerk when he learned he needed a new heart. He landed in the hospital again four months later, where he was assigned to nurse Wood. After two days of treating him, Wood figured out the dire situation Pinkard was in and decided she would take him in herself.

Pinkard tells washingtonpost.com, “I couldn’t believe that somebody who had known me only two days would do this. It was almost like a dream.”

Wood has been a nurse for 35 years, but had never done anything like this before. She reports that she does not typically blue the lines between her personal and professional lives, but something about Pinkard struck her differently. He didn’t have anybody looking out for him, and in Pinkard’s case that was the difference between life and death.

Wood says, “That can be very frustrating if you know a patient needs something, and for whatever reason they can’t have it. It gnaws at you…For me, there was no choice. I’m a nurse; I had an extra room. It was not something I struggled with. He had to come home with me.”

After Pinkard was discharged, Wood loaded him into her car and brought him home. He had nothing but a cellphone to his name. Wood bought him a new bedroom set and made him feel at home. Thanks to Wood, Pinkard received his heart transplant in August and is expected to be cleared to return to work soon.

Wood has invited Pinkard to stay with her as long as he needs, but she knows he wants to have his own life at some point. When he’s ready, they both plan to work together to make that happen.

To learn more about Lori Wood, who became the guardian of a homeless patient so that he could receive a heart transplant, visit here.

Research College of Nursing Appoints Maithe Enriquez to Graduate Program Director

Research College of Nursing Appoints Maithe Enriquez to Graduate Program Director

Research College of Nursing (RCoN) in Kansas City, MO, has named Maithe Enriquez, PhD, APRN, FAAN, the new Graduate Program Director. Enriquez was appointed to her new role by RCoN President Thad R. Wilson, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAANP. 

Enriquez’s new role will require managing operations and providing leadership in execution of the graduate nursing program, which is known for its educational excellence, cutting-edge curricula, and distinguished faculty. She will also collaborate with other RCoN program directors and the Dean to promote academic excellence and assure nursing students achieve success in pursuing their professional goals.

Dr. Enriquez began her nursing career in 1985, performing clinical roles in several areas, including infectious diseases. She most recently served as associate professor at the University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing in Columbia, MO, from 2012 to 2019. Her experience includes nursing leadership, clinical excellence, patient experience, quality/risk management, infection prevention, and nursing education.

Dr. Wilson tells researchcollege.edu, “Dr. Enriquez will help develop graduate programs to meet the changing needs in today’s healthcare environment. She will strengthen RCoN’s current programs and expand our reach beyond Kansas City even more. We look forward to leveraging her exemplary and robust teaching experience in undergraduate and graduate academic nursing programs as we transform health care through heroic leadership.”

RCoN is a fully accredited institution of higher learning with roots in the history of Research Medical Center, part of the HCA Midwest Health network. The college offers flexible graduate nursing programs in a dynamic hospital setting. 

To learn more about the Research College of Nursing’s newly appointed graduate program director, Maithe Enriquez, visit here

UCLA Leads $25 Million NIH-Funded Study on Opioid Treatment in Rural America

UCLA Leads $25 Million NIH-Funded Study on Opioid Treatment in Rural America

Scientists from the UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs have been selected to lead a $25 million study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to test treatments for opioid addiction in rural America.

A separate grant of $3.3 million from the NIH was awarded to another UCLA researcher from the substance abuse programs who will study the effectiveness of using text messages to help people with opioid addiction adhere to their treatment regimens.

The grants will be distributed over five years and are both part of the NIH’s Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) Initiative.

The first study will be led by Yih-Ing Hser, taking place at more than 40 primary care clinics in up to six states across the US. Hser is a distinguished research professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. The study will be specifically focused on rural regions because, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of deaths from opioid overdoses is higher and there is typically less access to physicians than in urban areas.

Hser tells newsroom.ucla.edu, “We’ll build up the infrastructure to get the clinics ready to test the use of medication and behavioral therapies, so that we can conduct the study in as close to real-world settings as possible. A second phase of the study will look at the use of telemedicine to help overcome treatment barriers, such as the long travel time it sometimes takes to reach clinics in rural areas.”

The study’s co-lead investigator, Dr. Larissa Mooney, director of the UCLA Addiction Psychiatry Clinic at the Semel Institute, adds: “This study has the potential to expand access to life-saving treatments for opioid addiction in communities that have been significantly impacted by the opioid epidemic, and for new models of treatment to be sustainable even after the study is over.”

The second study on the effectiveness of using text messages to help people adhere to their treatment regimens will be led by Suzette Glasner, an associate professor-in-residence at the UCLA School of Nursing, and of psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Glasner’s research will assess whether using texts to deliver cognitive behavioral therapy will help patients stick to their opioid treatment medication regimens.

According to Glasner, “Medications for opioid use disorders are the gold standard treatment, and they continue to save and transform lives. But they only work if you take them, and adherence is low. My hope is that our work will help reverse this trend by providing a low-cost intervention.”

To learn more about the NIH-funded research of two UCLA Nursing studies on opioid treatment in rural America, visit here.

Nurse of the Week: Frank Baez Balances Dual Role as NYU Custodian and College of Nursing Student

Nurse of the Week: Frank Baez Balances Dual Role as NYU Custodian and College of Nursing Student

Our Nurse of the Week is Frank Baez, a 2019 graduate of the New York University (NYU) Rory Meyers College of Nursing who moved to the US from the Dominican Republic before working as a custodian at NYU, and eventually studying at, and graduating from, NYU Nursing. 

After moving to the US from the Dominican Republic at 17 years old, Baez began working as a custodian at NYU Langone Hospital. Responsible for helping to support his mother and siblings, he needed a more steady job than his supermarket gig. 

Baez’s brother worked as a patient transporter at Langone and helped Baez apply for the same job. He wanted to do something more patient focused, and was successful in landing the new role. Baez then attended Borough of Manhattan Community College to earn his associate’s degree, then Hunter College to get his bachelor’s degree in Spanish literature with a minor in biological sciences.

As an employee at NYU, Baez was then able to attend NYU’s accelerated nursing program at a 60% discount. Many students find it difficult to balance their personal lives and academic lives while in nursing school, but Baez earned his degree while working as a custodian at the same school. 

Baez tells nyunews.com, “It was really rough; it was tough; it wasn’t easy, of course. But it was good because I was able to support my siblings and mom, the four of us. All of us were working in the house to stay afloat. Working and studying at the same time was difficult but manageable—but you have to pay rent, you have to survive.” 

Baez now works as a nurse in the NYU Langone Cardiothoracic ICU. He says: “At work, I see the housekeeper. I see the patient transporter. I see the clerk. I’ve been in each and every one of those roles. I’ve been there before. I have been there throughout my life and it makes me who I am today—to be able to be compassionate to everyone and caring, and it makes me feel like there is always an opportunity for growth.” 

As a nursing student, Baez was thankful for resources like NYU’s Men in Nursing mentorship program, which provided him with one-on-one tutoring. Now, Baez sees opportunities to expand these kinds of resources to better serve nontraditional students like himself. He is especially interested in providing more scholarships to help students invest in their futures. 

To learn more about Frank Baez, a 2019 graduate of the NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing who worked as a custodian at NYU, before eventually studying at, and graduating from, NYU Nursing, visit here

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