Our Nurse of the Week is Dr. Robin Lawson, senior associate dean for academic programs in the University of Alabama (UA) Capstone College of Nursing, who helped to facilitate the creation of BAMA-Care, a program that will enable a nurse practitioner pipeline to rural communities in Alabama.
BAMA-Care was created in an effort to address one of the top health concerns in the state: access to medical care. According to UA.edu, the majority of counties in Alabama are designated health provider shortage areas, and UA plans to combat this issue by training primary care nurse practitioners to work in rural and underserved areas across the state.
In response to an Advanced Nursing Education Workforce grant proposal submitted by Dr. Lawson, the Health Resources and Services Administration of the US Department of Health and Human Services recently awarded $650,000 for this academic year to support the program’s launch.
The funding will allow the BAMA-Care program to prepare nurse practitioner students through academic and clinical training via an academic-practice partnership with Whatley Health Services, one of the largest federally qualified health centers in Alabama.
Lawson tells UA.edu, “The goal of the program is to increase the number of primary care nurse practitioners working in rural and underserved communities. We will create longitudinal immersive clinical experiences in rural and underserved areas for our family and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner students to facilitate their employment in those same settings upon graduation.”
BAMA-Care is in the process of recruiting a diverse pool of 36 primary care nurse practitioner students over a two-year period to increase diversity in the healthcare workforce. The program calls for at least 50 percent of the participants to be from underrepresented minority groups.
Participants will be placed in Whatley Health Services clinics across West Alabama and other healthcare facilities around the state. Students will receive support for tuition, books, and living expenses. After graduating, students will be eligible to take the family nurse practitioner and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner certification exams.
Lawson considers it an honor to have the capability to improve access to care in Alabama. To learn more about the University of Alabama Capstone College of Nursing’s BAMA-Care program to increase access to primary care in rural Alabama, visit here.
Two University at Buffalo (UB) School of Nursing faculty members, Yu-Ping Chang, PhD, and Sharon Hewner, PhD, have been named fellows of the American Academy of Nursing (AAN). Fellows are recognized for their contributions to nursing and health care and their influence on health care policy.
Yu-Ping Chang is a Patricia H. and Richard E. Garman Endowed Professor and associate dean for research and scholarship in the UB School of Nursing. Her research is focused on mental health, prescription drug misuse and addictions in older adults, and caregiving and medication management for individuals with dementia.
Sharon Hewner is an associate professor in the UB School of Nursing and her research is focused on transitions of care, and health services and informatics. Her research aided in the discovery that post-discharge telephone calls may reduce hospital readmission rates for high-risk patients, and the development of an automated discharge summary that could quicken communication between hospitals and primary care physicians.
UB School of Nursing Dean Marsha Lewis, PhD, tells Buffalo.edu, “The impact of their research nationally and internationally is clearly evident in this AAN fellowship, an elite group including approximately 2,500 nurse leaders (of more than 3 million professional nurses in the US) who have been recognized by their peers as accomplishing extraordinary milestones in their nursing careers. Drs. Chang and Hewner join a number of faculty in the UB School of Nursing who are fellows of the academy.”
Chang and Hewner, along with the rest of their class of 2018 AAN fellows, will be recognized at the AAN 2018 Transforming Health, Driving Policy Conference this coming November. To learn more about University at Buffalo nurse researchers Yu-Ping Chang and Sharon Hewner, visit here.
The family of Edith Ivey, an alumna of the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) College of Nursing, has endowed a $125,000 nursing scholarship in her name. The Edith Ivey Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to an undergraduate nursing student in their junior or senior year based on academic merit and financial need.
Dr. Marsha Howell Adams, dean and professor of nursing at UAH, tells UAH.edu, “The College of Nursing is so grateful to the Edie Ivey family for their generosity and support of the nursing profession through this scholarship. It demonstrates value and a true investment in the next generation of professional nurses.”
Ivey received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from UAH in 1983 thanks to a scholarship she received from the Winchester Rotary Club. She attended nursing school while caring for her young children at home and working part-time at a local hospital. Following her graduation, Ivey worked at a small hospital in Winchester while her husband finished law school.
Eventually the family moved to Houston, Texas, where Ivey began working as a nurse at the Houston Medical Center, one of the largest hospitals in the country. Ivey worked at several other hospitals and healthcare organizations over the following three decades before dying unexpectedly less than two weeks before her planned retirement date.
In honor of her dedication to the nursing profession, Ivey’s family felt that a scholarship in her name was the best way to honor her. To learn more about Edith Ivey and her career in nursing, visit here.
Our Nurses of the Week are Surya Upreti and Prem Shrestha, best friends from Nepal and recent graduates of the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) College of Nursing. These two nurses are choosing to give back and pay it forward by continuing to work in the UAH English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program, which helped them as nursing students.
The EAP program was founded when Dr. Karen Frith, Professor and Associate Dean for undergraduate programs, who realized that 10 percent of the fall 2015 nursing class were international students who had an English language barrier.
She explains her motivation for the program to UAH.edu, “These highly intelligent students were faced with learning the nursing language in English. While they didn’t ask for help and their English language skills were okay, I knew the transition would be difficult.”
Frith decided to look into English language support on campus and found that students had to pay for classes. She knew she had to do more when Upreti and Shrestha joined the program the following year, so she contacted the university’s Intensive Language and Cultural program and began to brainstorm ideas about support for international students.
Dr. Stephanie Ryan Cate-Gibson was named instructor of EAP and the program is intended to help students whose native language is not American English. The program helps fill the gap between students from diverse educational backgrounds and the US education system, and Cate-Gibson meets with students individually to review learning exercises including reading and comprehension retention, speed-reading techniques, and time management skills.
Following graduation from the UAH College of Nursing, Upreti began working as an orthopedic nurse at Huntsville Hospital and Shrestha accepted a nursing position at Erlanger Health System in Chattanooga, TN. Despite full-time nursing jobs and plans to start graduate school in the near future, both nurses found the time to volunteer to help students in the EAP program, just as the program provided essential help for them as students.
To learn more about UAH nursing graduates Surya Upreti and Prem Shrestha, visit here.
The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) College of Nursing was recently named a 2018 Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League for Nursing (NLN). This distinction is in recognition of the university’s efforts to promote pedagogical expertise in its nursing faculty.
Dr. Marsha Howell Adams, dean of the UAH College of Nursing, tells UAH.edu, “Our students have been the most important focus in the transformation of our programs. From advising doctoral students to improving support for freshmen to transforming our curriculum, the college has never lost sight of its goal: caring for our students, supporting our students, and producing strong, competent, innovative nursing leaders.”
The UAH College of Nursing will be formally recognized on September 14, during the 2018 NLN Education Summit, an annual event for nurse faculty, deans, administrators, and professionals from a variety of health organizations.
The NLN’s Center of Excellence in Nursing Education program was started in 2004 and invites nursing schools to apply annually based on their ability to demonstrate sustained excellence in faculty development, nursing education research, and student learning and professional development.
To learn more about the University of Alabama in Huntsville and its recent distinction as a 2018 Center of Excellence in Nursing Education, visit here.
Our Nurses of the Week are a group of nursing students from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing who volunteer weekly at the Wylam Adult Day Health Care Center in Birmingham, AL. UAB nursing students have been visiting the adult day health care center since 2014, helping to provide assessments to the clients, many of whom suffer from mental or physical disabilities that require daytime supervision while their caregivers are at work.
Every Tuesday, Wylam clients greet the nursing students with hugs and smiles as they arrive for their appointments. Students take vital signs, check weight, and ask about the nutrition of the dozens of adults who attend the Wylam Adult Day Health Care Center. The partnership began when a UAB clinical faculty member worked with the center and learned that they didn’t have a consistent person providing basic medical care.
Students provide basic health assessments to the center’s 67 clients under the guidance of Karen Coles, DNP, a UAB nursing instructor, and Laura Steadman, EdD, a UAB nursing assistant professor. No task is too small or large for these nursing students, from treating wounds to bathing an adult who they suspect hasn’t been properly cared for.
Yalanda Muhammad, manager of the Wylam Adult Day Health Care Center, tells UAB.edu, “We know in many cases that, if we don’t do it, no one will do it. I appreciate what they do when they come in because, if all they did was take their blood pressure and left, the clients would not be engaged with them. They go the extra mile.”
The partnership between the adult day center and UAB Nursing benefits both the students and clients. Nursing students gain valuable experience caring for a vulnerable population and it teaches them to be caring health care providers later in their careers.
To learn more about UAB Nursing’s partnership with the Wylam Adult Day Health Care Center to provide health care to a vulnerable population of adult patients, visit here.