Nurse of the Week: Western Illinois University Nursing Alumna Ashley Martin Expands Psychiatric Services in Her Region

Nurse of the Week: Western Illinois University Nursing Alumna Ashley Martin Expands Psychiatric Services in Her Region

Our Nurse of the Week is Ashley Martin, an alumna of Western Illinois University’s (WIU) School of Nursing who is opening a clinic to help expand psychiatric services in the region. The Lakeview Medical and Psychiatric Clinic is opening this week and Martin will be helping build the practice.

Lakeview has been a private psychiatric firm for the past two years, providing traveling services to the mentally disabled. The new practice will also serve as a clinical site for students in the WIU School of Nursing. Students will have the opportunity to work with psychiatric testing, counseling, and psychological interviews and medications.

Martin tells WIU.edu, “We will still see the mentally disabled, but we are expanding the practice to include a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a nurse practitioner and a licensed family and marriage therapist. This will allow us to expand to do therapy, addiction treatment, DUI assessments and group therapy.”

Following her undergraduate education at WIU, Martin pursued two master’s degrees as a family nurse practitioner at the University of Illinois and as a psychiatric nurse practitioner from the University of St. Francis in Illinois. Martin also serves on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Warren and McDonough Counties and on the board of the Colchester Area Relief Effort.

To learn more about Ashley Martin and her efforts to expand psychiatric services in her region by helping build a new clinic, visit here.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Introduces Dual Program in Nursing Administration and Healthcare Informatics

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Introduces Dual Program in Nursing Administration and Healthcare Informatics

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) recently introduced a new Master of Science dual degree program in nursing administration and healthcare informatics. The program will prepare nurses for entry into management positions in healthcare organizations, and foster skill development in planning, designing, and implementing information technologies.

SIUE’s dual degree program provides a unique opportunity for experienced nurses to leverage their prior education and experience to improve their leadership skills by using technology to improve patient healthcare options.

Frank Lyerla, SIUE healthcare informatics director, stated in a press release: “In 2008, less than 10 percent of acute care hospitals were using electronic medical records. Today, that percentage is nearing 100 percent! Graduates of our dual degree program will be well situated for leadership positions in two fields that are growing and in high demand.”

The dual degree nursing program opens up new career opportunities to guide and lead fellow nurses by becoming a nurse manager or healthcare executive. Graduates will be prepared to analyze and interpret clinical data and work with other health professionals to plan, implement, and optimize healthcare information systems to aid in training, project management, and leadership within an organization.

To learn more about SIUE’s new dual program in Nursing Administration and Healthcare Informatics, visit here.

Illinois State University Mennonite College of Nursing Celebrates 100 Years

Illinois State University Mennonite College of Nursing Celebrates 100 Years

As the 2018-19 academic year kicks off, Illinois State University’s (ISU) Mennonite College of Nursing (MCN) is celebrating 100 Years of Excellence. A kickoff event will be held on August 28 to commemorate the event.

At the kickoff, keynote speaker Jeffrey Bauer will present Creating Futures & Preparing Professionals: The Next 100 Years at MCN. Bauer is a health futurist and medical economist with over 40 years of experience in teaching and consulting. His current focus is on improving the medical marketplace, including helping healthcare leaders develop strategies for more effective health care.

Judy Neubrander, dean of the Mennonite College of Nursing, tells News.IllinoisState.edu, “We are thrilled to launch our year-long celebration of Mennonite College of Nursing’s 100th anniversary with this event. Dr. Bauer comes to us with an extraordinary depth of knowledge regarding the future of healthcare. As we commemorate a century of educating exceptional nurse professionals, we are eager to hear Dr. Bauer’s thoughts about where the next 100 years will take us.”

The original ISU nursing school, the Mennonite Sanitarium Training School, was founded on January 23, 1919, and the school’s first commencement took place in 1922 with a class of 15 graduates. In May 2018, more than 200 undergraduate and graduate nursing students received their degrees.

MCN became Illinois State University’s sixth academic college in 1999 and has since increased enrollment, added to its master’s degree offerings, and created two doctoral nursing programs (PhD in Nursing and an online Doctor of Nursing Practice degree), as well as an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing option.

To learn more about the 100 year celebration of Illinois State University’s Mennonite College of Nursing, visit here.

Illinois Wesleyan University Receives $150,000 Grant to Introduce Gerontology and Palliative Nursing Courses

Illinois Wesleyan University Receives $150,000 Grant to Introduce Gerontology and Palliative Nursing Courses

Illinois Wesleyan University (IWU) recently received a $150,000 grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations. The grant was awarded to the IWU School of Nursing and Department of Biology to help fund the development of courses in Gerontology and Palliative Care for the fall semester.

Victoria Folse, Professor and Director of the School of Nursing and Caroline F. Rupert Chair of Nursing, tells WJBC.com, “We’re grateful to Arthur Vining Davis Foundation, this grant will allow us to offer Palliative Care instruction both in the form of class in the May term and paid summer internships for interested health care students. The $150,000 grant will allow this program to be implemented across two years.”

The courses are expected to begin in May 2019 and will be aimed at helping students learn through hands-on activity in the classroom. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in paid internships to develop their clinical skills.

In an effort to holistically cover the needs of patients and families during their end of life experience, nursing students will have opportunities to interact with experts in biology, nursing, religion, and psychology as part of their coursework. Students will also practice their clinical skills in simulated settings and in small group activities during lecture courses.

To learn more about Illinois Wesleyan University’s $150,000 grant to introduce gerontology and palliative care courses to its nursing program, visit here.

JPMorgan Chase Funds Community College Nursing Program Targeting Chicago’s Latino Community

JPMorgan Chase Funds Community College Nursing Program Targeting Chicago’s Latino Community

JPMorgan Chase has announced that it will be helping to fund a new two-year community college to prepare low-income Chicago residents for jobs in nursing and other high-demand fields. Instituto College is set to open this fall and is being developed by Instituto del Progreso Latino, a nonprofit organization that provides workforce development and other services to the city’s Latino community.

A $500,000 contribution from JPMorgan Chase will help provide free tuition for the first class of students as part of the $40 million investment the bank announced in 2017 to boost economic opportunity in Chicago’s underserved communities.

Whitney Smith, head of Midwest philanthropy for JPMorgan Chase, tells ChicagoTribune.com, “These are the kinds of programs that exemplify what those commitments are about. There is all this untapped potential that can drive our economy with the right kind of education and supports.”

Instituto College is focused on training graduates for a growing number of middle-income jobs that employers struggle to fill. JPMorgan Chase’s decision to fund the college is backed by Chase research that was released in 2015 showing that Chicago-area jobs pay well and require a high school degree and some further education but not a bachelor’s degree.

The college will launch with a class of 30 students pursuing an associate degree in nursing. The school’s target population includes immigrants with limited English and no high school education who usually can’t succeed in a traditional community college. The program will help build English skills and technical skills together, including offering services like financial coaching and job placement.

To learn more about JPMorgan Chase’s announcement to help fund a new community college targeting Chicago’s Latino community, visit here.

Nurse of the Week: Oncology Nurse Jessica Leja Wants to Give Her Never-Worn Wedding Dress to a Cancer Patient or Survivor

Nurse of the Week: Oncology Nurse Jessica Leja Wants to Give Her Never-Worn Wedding Dress to a Cancer Patient or Survivor

Our Nurse of the Week is Jessica Leja, an oncology nurse at DuPage Medical Group in Illinois, who wants to give her never-worn wedding dress to a cancer patient or survivor. Leja believes in finding silver linings in the worst of circumstances, so now that her own wedding has been called off, she wants to turn something sad into something beautiful.

As an oncology nurse, Leja understands how cancer can interrupt your life in messy, painful, and expensive ways. Sometimes it can even ruin plans and delay big events like a wedding day, which is why Leja wants to gift her wedding gown to a woman who is battling cancer or who has survived it.

Leja tells ChicagoTribune.com, “My heroes are cancer patients: the fighters, the survivors, and the taken. The admiration I have for them is beyond words…This dress wasn’t made for me. It was made for someone else. And I have to find her.”

After beginning her career in geriatrics, several of Leja’s own relatives were diagnosed with cancer, including her dad. Leja feels fortunate to have been able to care for her dad who was diagnosed and lost his battle to metastatic kidney cancer at 55 years old.

Shortly after his passing, she received a phone call about an oncology nursing position. Leja immediately felt at home during her interview and was offered the job on the spot, which she accepted without hesitation.

Now she hopes to give back to the community she serves in a different way: by gifting her wedding gown free of charge to an engaged or soon-to-be engaged woman who is battling cancer or who has survived it.

To learn more about Jessica Leja’s background as an oncology nurse and her mission to gift her never-worn wedding gown to a cancer patient or survivor, visit here.

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