Auburn University School of Nursing Hosts World Health Day Celebration

Auburn University School of Nursing Hosts World Health Day Celebration

Auburn University recently hosted World Health Day for the first time with an on-campus event. In honor of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 70th anniversary, Auburn’s School of Nursing provided health assessments, activities, and instructions to bring awareness and promote healthy living in the Auburn community.

World Health Day organizers attracted participants who were on campus for the university’s spring football game. The event was free to the public and was held at the School of Nursing’s greenspace.

According to the WHO, physical inactivity is one of the leading risk factors for death worldwide. Physical inactivity is estimated to account for between 6 and 10 percent of ischemic heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and breast and colon cancers.

Robin Gosdin Farrell, associate clinical professor in the Auburn School of Nursing, tells, “This year’s theme is, ‘Be Active: regular exercise and physical activity.’ It’s about how being physically active can help your overall health as well as decreasing risk for long-term diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer.”

The event at Auburn featured six stations in total. Four provided information on how to incorporate exercise into daily life, including games and activities like yoga, weightlifting, volleyball, and Zumba. Another station provided health assessments like blood pressure and BMI, and the last station provided healthy snacks and guidance on food choices and nutrition.

To learn more about Auburn’s World Health Day Celebration inspired by the World Health Organization, visit here.

Sharon Spencer, University of Alabama in Huntsville Nursing Faculty Member, Receives 2018 Lamplighter Award

Sharon Spencer, University of Alabama in Huntsville Nursing Faculty Member, Receives 2018 Lamplighter Award

University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) College of Nursing faculty member Sharon Spencer, DNP, RN, has been nominated as a recipient of the Alabama League for Nursing Lamplighter Award for exemplary contributions to the nursing profession. Spencer will be awarded at an awards banquet in early March.

Spencer has been a clinical assistant professor in the UAH College of Nursing since 2010, serving in educational and academic roles with a focus on excellence in teaching, academic student advising, and mentoring new faculty and graduate teaching assistants.

Dr. Marsha Howell Adams, UAH Dean of Nursing, tells, “Dr. Spencer is very deserving of this award. She is a master clinician with a specialty in critical care who works tirelessly to position nursing students for success. She is a mentor and professional role model to students.”

Spencer is an expert in critical care nursing with a research interest in nursing leadership, education, and mentoring programs. She has been actively involved in the UAH Nurse Educator Teaching Certificate Program, The University of Alabama System Scholar’s Institute, and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society.

Prior to her tenure at UAH, Spencer worked as a clinical nursing faculty member at the Delgado Charity School of Nursing in New Orleans and as an RN at Tulane Medical Center. She received her BSN and MSN degrees from Loyola University and her DNP from UAH.

To learn more about Sharon Spencer’s career in nursing and recent Lamplighter Award, visit here.

University of Alabama at Birmingham Partners on Accelerated Nursing Program

University of Alabama at Birmingham Partners on Accelerated Nursing Program

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) announced last week that it has partnered with Birmingham-Southern College (BSC) to give students a head start on earning graduate degrees in nursing. The two schools signed a memorandum to bridge the baccalaureate degree at BSC with the master’s degree at UAB.

Doreen C. Harper, UAB School of Nursing dean and Fay B. Ireland Endowed Chair in Nursing, tells, “We are excited to be able to offer this opportunity to BSC students whose diverse backgrounds and experiences in the liberal arts and sciences will continue to develop and grow the talent pool in nursing. And, we are proud the first school engaged with us in this endeavor is our neighbor, Birmingham-Southern.”

The new accelerated nursing program partnership works by allowing students who have completed almost three and a half years of work toward their bachelor’s degree at BSC to begin earning a master’s degree in nursing from UAB. Students also benefit from hands-on learning through internships, travel, and service-learning.

BSC seniors may begin UAB’s accelerated masters in nursing pathways program once they have completed 116 credit hours of undergraduate coursework. During the spring term of their senior year, students are enrolled at both BSC and UAB while taking their first semester of nursing coursework at UAB. At the end of the term, credits are transferred back to BSC so that they can graduate from Birmingham-Southern with their undergraduate degree.

To learn more about UAB and BSC’s accelerated nursing program partnership, visit here.

UAB Nurse Erin Currie Earns Grant to Examine Pediatric Care for Infants in Deep South

UAB Nurse Erin Currie Earns Grant to Examine Pediatric Care for Infants in Deep South

Erin Currie, PhD, MSN, RN, an assistant professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing, has received a grant to examine the pediatric palliative care needs of infants and neonatal intensive care units in the Deep South. The two-year, $154,000 grant from the National Palliative Care Research Center will make a big difference in the health care of children in this region.

Currie tells the Birmingham Business Journal, “Pediatric palliative care – which focuses on comprehensive and holistic care for the families and helps with quality of life, symptom management and spiritual suffering – adds a layer of support for seriously ill infants and their parents. Pediatric palliative care is a comprehensive safety net for parents, and I am going to focus my research efforts on increasing access to that safety net for them.”

Currie is the only nurse among the five recipients of the grant this year. Her research will explore the impact and quality of pediatric palliative health care service for this historically underrepresented population which has experienced many health disparities due to geographic, societal, and cultural factors.

By studying infant medical records and interviews with parents following an infant’s death in the NICU, Currie will identify unmet needs encountered during the child’s hospitalization to help improve the pediatric palliative care provided in the Deep South. Currie will be collaborating with the NICUs at Children’s Hospital of New Orleans, Baston Children’s Hospital in Jackson, MS, and Children’s of Alabama.

To learn more about Currie’s career in nursing and study of pediatric palliative care, visit here.

Auburn University Dedicates New School of Nursing Building

Auburn University Dedicates New School of Nursing Building

Auburn University recently dedicated its new School of Nursing building to bring students and faculty together. Construction on the 89,000-square-foot building began in spring 2016, and is now complete providing a home for new nursing classrooms, offices, and simulation labs all under one roof.

Ashley Westberry, a senior in the School of Nursing, tells, “The new building serves as a proud place that we can call home. It will bring a name to nursing as a whole on Auburn’s campus. The building will serve as a way to say, ‘We’re here and doing amazing things.’ I am truly honored to be a part of this program and excited to see where it is headed in the future.”

Auburn’s School of Nursing has grown from 55 new students a year in 2009 to 210 new students this semester, creating a need for more faculty and a new and improved space. New resources in the nursing building include a skills lab and advanced simulation suite with 21 high-fidelity mannequins and four observation areas. The building also includes new study spaces, outdoor areas, and dining options.

One of the most important features of the new building is that it is designed with the nursing student in mind. According to, every designed decision was carefully made in order to best enhance the student experience.

To learn more about Auburn University’s new School of Nursing building, visit here.

University of Alabama Huntsville Dean Marsha Adams Inducted into Nursing Hall of Fame

University of Alabama Huntsville Dean Marsha Adams Inducted into Nursing Hall of Fame

Dr. Marsha Howell Adams, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, FAAN, Dean of the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) College of Nursing, was recently inducted into the University of Alabama (UA) Nursing Hall of Fame. Adams is highly respected throughout the state of Alabama for her contributions to nursing and nursing education.

Known for being a transformative leader in nursing education, Adams was inducted into the Nursing Hall of Fame for her dedication to the nursing profession. Beyond her role as Dean at UAH, Adams also developed KidCheck, an innovative partnership that links nursing programs and community partners to improve the health of Alabama’s children. Adams is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and the Academy of Nursing Education.

Dr. Adams tells, “Being selected for the nursing Hall of Fame is a wonderful accomplishment for me and one that I will always cherish because it awards my achievements in both nursing education as well as practice.”

Adams received her bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing. She also earned a post-doctoral certificate in rural case management from the UA Capstone College of Nursing. Her other credentials include serving as past president of the National League for Nursing and a current Fellow in the University of Alabama and Southeastern Leadership Conference.

Dr. Adams was honored for her induction to the Nursing Hall of Fame during a ceremony on Oct. 5. To learn more about Dr. Adams and her role as Dean of the UAH College of Nursing, visit here.

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