Although nursing can be one of the most fulfilling jobs in the world,
the hard work and long hours that come with it call for powerful
support even at the best of times. During the COVID-19 pandemic,
fear, uncertainty, and social distancing make the job especially
stressful. But, when things are hard, people like Nurse
of the Week Lori Marie Kay show up to help recharge our spiritual
Lift Up Your Voice
As nursing staff at St. Mary Mercy Hospital in Livonia, Michigan prepared for another grueling 12-hour shift, Detroit RN Lori Marie Kay drew upon her vocal gifts to help everyone chase away the COVID-19 blues. As can be seen in a Facebook post that quickly went viral, 28-year old Lori Marie electrified her co-workers by belting out an inspiring rendition of “Amazing Grace.”
During her shifts on a surgical ward that has been converted to treat COVID-19 patients, Lori Marie also raises the spirits of patients under her care, offering comfort in the form of bedside prayers. “Right now, we need prayer more than ever,” she told Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts. After inviting Lori Marie on GMA to share a few bars live, the morning show host saluted her gifts and compassion. In addition, GMA, continuing the trend of feeding frontline workers, treated the St. Mary Mercy staff to a free dinner at an Ypsilanti restaurant. As Roberts put it, “You feed our soul, so we’re gonna feed you!”
Lori Marie’s performance was captured on video in a Facebook post that has been viewed over 100,000 times:
Our Nurse of
the Week is Stanley
Stinson, a recent nursing graduate of Concordia University who has allowed
his past experience as a young homeless man inspire him to help the homeless,
disabled, mentally ill, and drug-addicted. For Stinson, these issues are personal,
and he believes everyone is deserving of help.
Stinson works closely with his outreach partner, Jeff Hunt. The
duo have been working together for years to tend to those who need help the
most, but Hunt admits that Stinson has been the driving force behind the
Kevin White, a disabled client of Stinson’s, tells fox2detroit.com, “[Stinson] has a big heart for the people on the street and what they’re going through. He went to nursing school so he could better help them.”
Stinson and his outreach team from Covenant Community Care tend
to all kinds of medical needs at a warming center at St. Peter and Paul Church
in Detroit. They offer everything from dental care to foot care. Foot care may
seem odd to some, but Stinson knows the importance of tending to the feet.
Stinson says, “We’re all walking through this life trying to make it…Jesus washed feet, so I think it’s very special to wash people’s feet and take care of their feet. It’s also their mode of transportation so if anything goes wrong with their feet it’s like something going wrong with our vehicle.”
The outreach program goes beyond warming centers and community
clinics; Stinson and his team also hit the streets overnight to try to help
prostitutes, victims of human trafficking, and anyone else in need. He won’t
allow the dark or fear of scary places to let people in need of help be
forgotten. He offers medical care on the streets, as well as hands out boots,
socks, blankets, and more to anyone who needs them.
Now that he’s graduated, Stinson hopes he can spend even more
time on the streets helping the most vulnerable populations. He says his
experiences have been humbling and he considers it an honor to help those in
need. To learn more about Stanley Stinson, a recent nursing graduate of
Concordia University who has allowed his past experience as a young homeless
man inspire him to help the homeless, disabled, mentally ill, and drug-addicted,
David Spahlinger, M.D., president of the University of Michigan Health System and executive vice dean for clinical affairs of the U-M Medical School, shared with UMHS Media: “This ratification is good news for the entire Michigan Medicine community: our nurses, our patients and all of our staff. We are grateful to all who worked tirelessly to bargain a fair agreement.”
In additional to guaranteed salary raises of 3 to 4 percent, the contract includes increased funding to tuition reimbursement and professional development, maintenance of health insurance and retirement benefits, improvements to the payroll system, and reductions in mandatory overtime. Additionally, the contract includes a paid maternal and parental leave program with six weeks of paid leave for recovery from birth, and six weeks of paid leave after a birth, adoption, or foster care and guardianship. This paid maternal and parental leave now matches benefits given to non-union University of Michigan employees.
“Over the months of bargaining, we stressed our support for working with our nurses as we continue our efforts to bring the best healthcare possible to our patients and communities across the state,” Spahlinger told UMHS Media. “This is a significant milestone, and we look forward to working with our nurses as we continue our efforts to bring the best healthcare possible to our patients and communities across the state.”
The University of Michigan-Flint (UM-Flint) recently announced that Margaret M. Andrews has been appointed the founding dean of the School of Nursing. Andrews joined UM-Flint as a professor in 2006 and has served as interim dean of the School of Nursing since its creation in November 2016. She previously served as director of the UM-Flint Department of Nursing for 10 years.
Andrews tells News.UMFlint.edu, “It’s an honor and privilege to be the founding dean of the School of Nursing. I thank President Schlissel, the Regents, Chancellor Borrego, Provost Knerr, and the School of Nursing faculty and staff for their confidence in me.”
Andrews has announced that her primary goal for the School of Nursing is to establish a renewed commitment to research, which will be integral to the school’s 2018-2023 strategic plan. The School of Nursing faculty have invited top leaders in research as visiting professors to consult with nursing students and faculty on the school’s research agenda.
Andrews received her bachelor of science in nursing degree from St. John College in 1972, her master of science in nursing degree from Case Western Reserve University in 1974, and her PhD from the University of Utah in 1985.
To learn more about Margaret M. Andrews’ appointment as founding dean of the UM-Flint School of Nursing, visit here.
Concordia University Ann Arbor’s School of Nursing recently conducted a poverty simulation that presented 65 students with tough questions related to the topic: What if you only had a $10 bill for the month to meet your family’s basic needs? How does living in poverty look when you are a senior citizen, disabled, or receive federal assistance?
Called the Community Action Poverty Simulation, the simulation was designed to help students understand the realities of poverty by putting them in the shoes of a person who lives in poverty. According to University of Michigan Poverty Solutions, during 2017, 12.7 percent of people living in the US had incomes below the poverty line. The experience was intended to help nursing students learn to more empathetically and effectively provide care to future patients in these scenarios.
Nursing students interacted with “participants” who played the roles of bill collectors, job interviewers, grocers, police officers, teachers, and more. During the three-hour simulation, nursing students were given scenarios and had to find a way to provide shelter and basic necessities on a limited budget over the course of four weeks.
Anita Simmons, the School of Nursing’s director of simulation, said in a press release, “We are thrilled by the way this program helped our nursing students understand the complexities and frustrations of living in poverty day to day. With a greater awareness of its impact, our students will be able to more effectively address poverty issues when working with patients.”
The Concordia University Ann Arbor School of Nursing requires students to spend 90 minutes per week in simulation labs like the poverty simulation one. To learn more about the university’s simulation program, visit here.
The University of Michigan-Flint’s (UM-Flint) Veterans Bachelor of Science in Nursing (VBSN) program was recently awarded a $100,000 grant from Newman’s Own Foundation as part of its commitment to improve the lives of US military personnel, veterans, and their families. The grant will be used to develop and implement a Vet2Vet Support Specialist Program dedicated to providing peer support to veteran nursing students.
Dr. Beverly Jones, VBSN project director, tells News.UMFlint.edu, “The University of Michigan-Flint Vet2Vet Coaching Program will provide benefit for both students and coach specialists who are military veterans. The program is a two-way relationship that supports matriculation persistence and university engagement as veterans transition into student nurses and successfully complete the registered nurse licensure examination. By enhancing student morale, productivity, and reducing the sense of student isolation, the program paves the way for veterans to become bachelor-prepared registered nurses.”
UM-Flint is committed to providing a military-friendly environment to nursing students, ensuring that they receive the best education, supportive services, and tools necessary for academic success. The VBSN program is dedicated to building healthy communities through strengthening the healthcare workforce with recruitment efforts, licensure preparation, and employment of US veterans.
The VBSN program is an accelerated bachelor’s degree program that builds on prior military healthcare training for veterans who want to complete their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. The program focuses on reducing barriers to entry for veterans and awarding academic credit for military coursework and other health-oriented training.
To learn more about UM-Flint’s recent grant to fund the Veterans Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, visit here.