Nurse of the Week: University of Arkansas Nursing Graduate Wendy Hart Helps Support Heart Failure Patients

Nurse of the Week: University of Arkansas Nursing Graduate Wendy Hart Helps Support Heart Failure Patients

Our Nurse of the Week is Wendy Hart, a recent Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) graduate in the Eleanor Mann School of Nursing at the University of Arkansas (U of A), who used a $500 grant to purchase equipment for patients with heart failure issues.

Hart received the grant money as part of her final doctoral project where she worked with a dozen local patients at Northwest Medical Center’s Heart Care center in Springdale, AR. The equipment Hart purchased for her study included weight scales and blood pressure cuffs for each of the patients who participated.

Hart has been a registered nurse at Northwest Medical Center for 13 years, with a primary focus on cardiovascular disease. She’s currently an emergency department registered nurse. Hart continued to work while earning her DNP at U of A and graduated with her fellow College of Education and Health Professions students on May 11.

Her final DNP project focused on implementing a quality improvement project in the healthcare field of her choice. She worked with Dr. Michael Green at Northwest Medical Center. 

Hart tells news.uark.edu, “I have always been passionate about patients in the heart failure population. The goal of this project was to improve self-care management and decrease unnecessary hospital readmissions. Heart failure patients require a lot of management and continuous communication with a provider to assure that they are maintaining their baseline well-being.”

The main objectives for maintaining overall well-being include daily weight, fluid and salt management, and early recognition of worsening symptoms. Hart recognized that access to the right equipment was a major barrier for her participants and she wanted to assure that each patient was given the best chance for success. She reached out to the American Heart Association local branch to see if they would assist her, which led to the grant that allowed her to purchase 12 bathroom scales and 10 blood pressure cuffs.

To learn more about Wendy Hart, a recent DNP graduate from the University of Arkansas, who used a $500 grant to purchase equipment for patients with heart failure issues, visit here.

University of Arkansas School of Nursing Launches New Online LPN to BSN Program

University of Arkansas School of Nursing Launches New Online LPN to BSN Program

The University of Arkansas (U of A) Eleanor Mann School of Nursing is launching a new online program for licensed practical nurses (LPNs) to complete their bachelor’s degrees in nursing (BSN). The program will begin in the fall but students can apply now. 

U of A’s new online LPN to BSN program will help meet the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation from 2015 that 80 percent of nurses in the United States hold a bachelor’s degree by 2020. The program will also benefit graduates who will become more competitive in the nursing job market and increase their earning potential. 

Susan Patton, director of the U of A School of Nursing, tells news.uark.edu, “In order to face the challenges of an aging population, a dynamic health care environment and a pending nursing shortage, the BSN degree is becoming the new standard for registered nurses. Our BSN programs are comprehensive and offer knowledge that can be applied in all health care settings such as critical care, primary care, public health and mental health.”

The new LPN to BSN program was created to meet the needs of working licensed practical nurses who require a flexible option to finish their degrees. The required clinical hours can be completed in the student’s local area to avoid travel to campus. Courses are offered in 8-week sessions each fall and spring.

To be eligible for the program, students must be a licensed practical nurse with at least 2,000 hours of work experience at the LPN level in the last 12-24 months. Applicants must also have 48 hours of prerequisite courses completed with a minimum 2.8 GPA. The program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

To learn more about the University of Arkansas Nursing’s new LPN to BSN program, visit here

University of Arkansas School of Nursing Holds White Coat Ceremony for Newest Class

University of Arkansas School of Nursing Holds White Coat Ceremony for Newest Class

The University of Arkansas (U of A) Eleanor Mann School of Nursing held its eighth white coat ceremony last week to celebrate its newest class of nursing students. The tradition was started thanks to a grant from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, and U of A is one of a select group of nursing schools in the US that receives funding for pins that students place on the lapels of their coats.

Susan Patton, direct of the U of A nursing school, tells News.UArk.edu, “This is a rite of passage. Beginning today, instead of learning only in lecture halls and labs, you will transition to the clinical setting where the patient will be your ultimate teacher. The Gold Foundation calls this white coat the cloak of compassion.”

Susan Kristiniak, assistant chief nursing office for Northwest Medical Center-Springdale, welcomed students into the nursing profession at the ceremony. She gave a speech about how nurses impact patient’s lives by giving an example of how she helped establish a “no one dies alone” rule at a community hospital where she worked previously.

More than 100 first-semester students received their white coats at the ceremony, which faculty members helped them put on as they crossed the stage. To learn more about the University of Arkansas’s white coat ceremony to welcome new nursing students, visit here.

University of Arkansas Nursing Director Selected for AACN Wharton Executive Leadership Program

University of Arkansas Nursing Director Selected for AACN Wharton Executive Leadership Program

The University of Arkansas (U of A) Eleanor Mann School of Nursing director, Susan Patton, has been selected to participate in the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Wharton Executive Leadership Program.

According to AACNNursing.org, the four-day program is taught by faculty from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania who present relevant and timely content designed to advance chief academic administrators to a higher level of leadership. The program is open to deans and directors from AACN member schools who currently serve as the chief or associate chief nursing academic officer.

Patton holds a doctorate in community health promotion from U of A and is a licensed advanced practice registered nurse, a certified clinical nurse specialist, and a certified nurse educator. She was one of 30 nursing leaders selected to participate in the leadership program.

The program addressed issues relevant to nursing leaders including leading change, influencing a diverse set of stakeholders, and building relationships in volatile environments. Patton tells News.UArk.edu that the program equipped her on negotiation, leadership, and influencing skills, as well as introduced her to colleagues from 20 states and 30 nursing programs.

To learn more about the AACN’s Wharton Executive Leadership Program, visit here.

University of Arkansas Clinical Instructors Named to 40 Nurse Leaders Under 40 by Arkansas Center for Nursing

University of Arkansas Clinical Instructors Named to 40 Nurse Leaders Under 40 by Arkansas Center for Nursing

Nick Hopkins and Jaclyn Johnson, clinical instructors for the Eleanor Mann School of Nursing at the University of Arkansas (U of A), were named this summer to the 40 Nurse Leaders Under 40 list by the Arkansas Center for Nursing.

The Arkansas Center for Nursing, Inc. is intended to promote a culture of health for the citizens of Arkansas by advancing nursing education, practice, leadership, and workforce development. The 40 Nurse Leaders Under 40 program is designed to recognize nurses who have shown exemplar dedication to the nursing profession. The recognized nurse leaders are acknowledged as community outreach servants for their continued promise to grow in leadership and advance the nursing profession.

Hopkins earned his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from U of A in 2014 and is pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing from U of A for Medical Sciences to become a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner. Johnson earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from U of A in 2013 and her master’s degree in nursing education from Western Governors University in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 2017.

Now, Hopkins teaches mental health nursing at U of A and mentors student nurses working toward earning their bachelor’s degrees. Johnson is a clinical instructor who teaches first-semester nursing students at U of A and mentors nurses on how to pursue their career goals.

To learn more about Hopkins and Johnson’s accomplishments as nursing professionals and recognition on the 40 Nurse Leaders Under 40 list by the Arkansas Center for Nursing, visit here.

University of Arkansas Nursing School Conducts Study on Generations

University of Arkansas Nursing School Conducts Study on Generations

University of Arkansas (U of A) students and faculty recently presented research at the 27th Annual Nursing Excellence in Research and Practice conference on April 2 where one research team received incentive to continue their project studying generations.

Peggy Lee, U of A clinical assistant professor, is leading the team investigating “The Changing Face in the Workplace: The Arrivals of the Millennials.” The team received $750 to assist with their project which will survey students at four higher-education institutions and compare responses from traditional college-age students in bachelor’s degree programs to responses from older, more experienced students in bachelor’s degree completion programs for registered nurses.

The team has created three surveys that will measure job satisfaction, organizational commitment like values and priorities, and personality traits. The three sections are combined into a 60-item questionnaire that students will complete online. They believe the data will help educators better prepare nurses for a diverse workforce made up of nurses from several generations.

Lee tells News.UArk.edu, “Research has shown that, by 2020, 75 percent of the workforce will be millennials. That’s very different from what we’ve had before in the workforce when the largest generation was baby boomers…The baby boomers, who are older nurses and administrators, have a lot of wisdom, but they have different ways of learning and communicating than the younger generations. Millennials say work-life balance is very important to them.”

The survey is being distributed to find out how the two groups are alike and how they are different, and whether they fit into the stereotypes typically assigned to generations. The information will help nursing schools and educators emphasize strengths from each generation to help generations understand each other and create a healthier work environment.

U of A’s research team will present the survey results at Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing’s meeting in Indianapolis this September. To learn more about U of A Nursing’s study on generations, visit here.

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