Indiana University Faculty Develop Programs to Help Indianapolis K-12 Students Cope With Violence and Trauma

Indiana University Faculty Develop Programs to Help Indianapolis K-12 Students Cope With Violence and Trauma

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has selected two faculty members from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) for its Clinical Scholars program, an initiative that will provide funding and leadership training to implement a project that will help thousands of K-12 students in Indianapolis cope with violence and trauma they experience in their lives.

The project will focus on students in Washington Township’s 12 public schools as well as two charter schools, Indianapolis Metropolitan High School and Vanguard Collegiate of Indianapolis. The Clinical Scholars program will provide $420,000 for the project team to implement the project, “Responsive Schools: Building a Trauma Responsive Learning Community for All Children.”

The two faculty members include Wanda Thruston, a clinical assistant professor in the Indiana University School of Nursing, and Barbara Pierce, an associate professor in the IU School of Social Work.

The Clinical Scholars program is an initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Under the initiative, teams of interdisciplinary health care providers are selected for intensive leadership development so they can acquire the skills needed to bring innovation and transformation to their local communities that impact root causes of inequity in health.

Pierce tells, “In Indianapolis, the team will address problems stemming from the community violence, other forms of trauma, poverty and inequality children are exposed to at fairly regular intervals. While we can’t change the city in which they live, we can change how kids respond to what the environment throws at them and help them learn to respond in a more resilient way. We can teach things like social-emotional responses and coping skills to be resilient. We can help kids deal with bullying and trauma.”

To learn more about Wanda Thruston and Barbara Pierce, the two IUPUI faculty members selected to develop programs to help Indianapolis K-12 students cope with violence and trauma, visit here.

Night Shift Care Packages Gifted During Daylight Savings Time

Night Shift Care Packages Gifted During Daylight Savings Time

For the sixth year in a row, WGU Indiana delivered Night Shift Nurse Appreciation Kits to hospitals and healthcare facilities across Indiana for daylight savings time. These kits were provided to nurses who worked an extra hour during their usual, and already difficult, shifts.

“WGU Indiana is distributing the Night Shift Nurse Appreciation Kits for the sixth year, to honor the important and often unrecognized contributions of night shift nurses,” WGU Indiana Chancellor Allison Barber shared, prior to daylight savings time. This year, roughly 4,000 nurses in 127 hospitals and health care units across Indiana received these kits on their extra long shifts. Each kit contained treats, a thank you note, sleep masks and stress balls.

In addition to the usual work challenges that all nurses tackle, night shift nurses run into problems on the job that affect more than their careers. Having their circadian rhythm thrown off by their working hours, these night shift nurses are put at risk for fatigue and other health issues.

“From my work as a night shift nurse for 38 years, I recognize that night shift nurses don’t always receive the same recognition as employees who work during the day,” said Mary Lawson Carney, WGU Indiana State Director of Nursing, DNP, RN-BC, CCRN, CNE. “Night shift work has a significant impact on the physical, psychosocial and professional lives of nurses.”

The care packages also included information about the WGU Indiana Night Shift Nurse Scholarship. There are five $2,000 scholarships available to Indiana night shift nurses who are interested in advancing their education through WGU Indiana’s College of Health Professions.

Last year Dea Gillfillan, a night shift nurse and WGU Indiana student, was one of the five scholarship recipients and is grateful to the school for giving her opportunities to advance her education. “The flexibility of my online coursework with WGU has allowed me to study on my days off and the Night Shift Nurse Scholarship made my degree that much more affordable,” Gillfillan shared. 

To learn more about WGU Indiana and the Night Shift Nurse Scholarship, click here.

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