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.

University of Rhode Island College of Nursing Announces Nurse Practitioner Degree in Psychiatric Mental Health

University of Rhode Island College of Nursing Announces Nurse Practitioner Degree in Psychiatric Mental Health

The University of Rhode Island (URI) recently announced that it will be introducing a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner master’s degree program to its College of Nursing in the fall. The program is intended to help fill a need for highly trained clinicians in the midst of a nationwide mental health and addiction crisis.

Denise Coppa, associate dean of the College of Nursing graduate programs, tells, “We have a huge mental health and addiction crisis across the country. We need more people who are clinically trained and can handle working with mental health patients. The students will come out of the program certified to deliver mental health counseling and therapy, and will be licensed to prescribe psychotropic medications.”

URI’s new nursing program is designed to educate psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners who are capable of providing psychiatric care to individuals and families in a multitude of health care settings. The program is being offered as part of the regular, on-going curriculum in the URI College of Nursing and upon completion of the program, graduates will be eligible to take the American Nurses Credentialing Center certification exam.

The program is based at Rhode Island’s Nurse Education Center in Providence where classes in psychiatric assessment and diagnosis, neuro-psychopharmacology, and integrated treatment for older adults will be offered. Students will also be able to complete their clinical hours in local hospitals, community health centers, and private practice offices.

To learn more about the University of Rhode Island College of Nursing’s new master’s degree program in psychiatric mental health, visit here.

‘Find a Niche that You Love’

‘Find a Niche that You Love’

Vanderbilt’s dean of nursing on her career path and advice to others

“The field has grown tremendously in terms of academic advancements, but also in terms of nurses being viewed as key players in healthcare decision-making,” explained Linda Norman, DSN, RN, Valere Potter Menefee Professor in nursing and dean of Vanderbilt University’s School of Nursing in Nashville.

I recently had the privilege of sitting down with her to ask her questions about her personal career, and about the field of nursing in general.

She says she knew from a young age that she wanted to go into nursing education. She completed both her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees at the University of Virginia. She gained experience between completing the two degrees by teaching at a Hospital-based program, and simultaneously working as a staff-nurse on the weekends, and in the summer.

After finishing up her Master’s, Norman became a part of a National Heart, Lung and Blood grant. She helped establish hypertension detection and adherence clinics in southwest Virginia and northwest Tennessee.

When the project ended, she took on a new role, teaching at East Tennessee State University (ETSU). After only a brief time at ETSU, she was promoted to serve as chair of her department.

Norman moved to Nashville a few years later, and began working as the director of Aquinas College’s Nursing program, while also earning her doctorate from the University of Alabama. After completing the degree, she was offered a position as the Associate Dean of Academics at Vanderbilt’s nursing school. In 2012, Norman was given the endowed chair, and in the following year, became dean.

While she earned her degrees and landed job offers, Norman had other responsibilities as well. She was already a wife and mother to two children. She always managed to strike a balance between work and family.

How has the field of nursing changed for the better and for the worse since your career began?

“I think the role that nurses play has grown exponentially. Today, we do not have to convince people of the value that nurses bring. Both healthcare professionals and the public understand that nurses play an important role, and that advanced practice nurses are vital to our industry. People have also realized that we need nurse scientists and Doctorally prepared nurses as clinicians and administrators. I think that the field has grown tremendously in terms of academic advancements, but also in terms of nurses being viewed as key players in healthcare decision-making. In my opinion, the most significant growth has occurred over the past ten or fifteen years.

“I feel that some change still needs to be made regarding entry into practice. It can be confusing because right now someone could become a nurse through an Associate’s program, a hospital-based diploma program, or a Bachelor’s program. I would like to think that changing the laws to make the bachelor degree the only route would decrease confusion so people would understand that a nurse is a nurse is a nurse.”

Why did you decide to get your Doctorate of Science in Nursing?

“I needed my doctoral degree to stay in academics. When I went for my master’s that was the terminal degree in nursing. Shortly after graduating, I knew that in order for me to do what I wanted to do – be a leader in the academic arena- I needed to get my doctorate.

“During the time when I was getting my education, it was typical to take years between degrees in order to gain experience. We have learned a lot now, and that mindset is not longer true … You do not need years of experience anymore. Whether you want to do a research doctorate or a practice doctorate I would recommend going straight through. There are a few advantages: one of which is that you’re in study mode, which makes for an easier transition; another one is that if you get your master’s and start your DNP as a part time student while you’re working as a licensed NP, you can start applying the learning from your coursework immediately.”

How do you effectively balance your personal life with your work life?

“When I started my master’s I had a 15-month-old and a three-year-old. Even though they were active little people, they fell asleep at 7 pm. So I could study from 8 pm until midnight.

“When I started my doctorate, I had a sixth-grader and an eighth-grader, and they did not fall asleep at 7 pm. At this point, in addition to school I was working full-time as director of a nursing program. I had to figure out when I was a student, when I was director, and when I was a wife and a mom.

“I found out that I could not study when everyone else in the house was awake. I also realized that going to the library was unrealistic. I determined that I could accomplish more between two and four in the morning than I could at any other time of the day. No one was up, and even the dog was asleep! I started waking up at about 2 AM naturally. I would get up, and do my reading, or start my paper. Then, around 4 am, I would start to get sleepy, and I would go back to sleep. I would wake up again around 6 am and fool myself into feeling as though I had gotten a full night of sleep. I still wake up in the middle of the night to this day, especially during budget season. Being able to compartmentalize your various roles in life in order to give attention to whatever is needed at a given moment is the key.”

What advice do you have for nursing students of today?

“Look broadly for opportunities that you are truly interested in. I look at people who really flourish, and they find that one area that they are particularly passionate about. Try to land your first job in an area of healthcare that you love. This way, you will be energized to learn a lot. Whether it’s chronic disease, prevention, or anything else, find a niche that you love, and then what you do will not be your job … it will be your career.”

This story was originally published by MedPage Today, a trusted and reliable source for clinical and policy coverage that directly affects the lives and practices of health care professionals and provider of free CME.

California University of Pennsylvania Offers Master’s Degree in Nursing Education

California University of Pennsylvania Offers Master’s Degree in Nursing Education

With a shortage of registered nurses (RNs) increasing nationwide, the California University of Pennsylvania (Cal U) has begun offering a master of science degree in nursing education to increase the number of faculty available to help train the next generation of nurses.

As RNs continue to get older and retire younger than previous generations, combined with a rise in number of patients and severity of illness, RNs and other healthcare professionals are in strong demand. Students in some health care programs are almost guaranteed jobs after graduation because of the demand for nurses, but there is a lack of nursing educators available to train nurses at the college level.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) released an October 2016 report stating that there were more than 1,500 jobs available for faculty at nursing schools and a need for 133 more to meet today’s demand. Mary O’Connor, program coordinator and professor at California University of Pennsylvania, tells, “We’re hoping to address the shortage to create faculty for schools of nursing and well-prepared educators to teach in hospitals.”

The creation of the nursing education program was sparked by Cal U’s nursing advisory board who want to help prepare more advanced practice nurses to teach new nurses. The shortage is so severe at some nursing schools that nursing programs have been forced to leave spots for nursing students unfilled because there aren’t enough professors to teach them.

Cal U’s nursing education program is 100 percent online, preparing graduates to instruct nurses in academic or healthcare settings. Students will learn how to develop, implement, and evaluate nursing education programs and curricula during the 36-credit, two-year program.

To learn more about Cal U’s master of science in nursing education degree program, visit here.

Naomi Jones Receives ATI Nursing Education’s Nurse’s Touch Award

Naomi Jones Receives ATI Nursing Education’s Nurse’s Touch Award

Naomi Jones, the department chair for the practical nursing program at Ivy Tech Community College, was one of four nurses in the nation to receive ATI Nursing Education’s Nurse’s Touch Award. 800 applications were received, and Jones’ teaching techniques really stood out amongst the other applicants.

Referring to the Nurse’s Touch Award, Jones tells, “I’m really humbled. I feel it’s really a privilege for me to teach my passion. I’m really happy for Ivy Tech. We have a really awesome program here.”

For Jones, being a teacher offers the best of both worlds in nursing. After earning her BSN in 2000 from Ball State University, Jones became a parish nurse which allowed her to use a holistic approach to health within a faith-based community. Holistic nursing taught her the bedside manner she works hard to convey to students. Every lecture Jones teaches touches on patients and care.

Jones’ years as a nurse at the bedside brought her a passion for cardiac and respiratory patients before she pursued her love of teaching. After working as a clinical nurse for over a decade, she went back to school to earn her Master’s Degree in Nursing Education at Walden University in 2014. While in school, she came to Ivy Tech as an assistant nursing instructor in 2010 and worked her way up to department chair this year.

Naomi now credits her success to her family, including her husband and two daughters who have provided a support system while she earned her master’s degree and became a nurse educator, as well as her sister who earned her nursing degree at Ivy Tech, and her mom who was a preschool and elementary school teacher. Jones says, “I don’t feel that you ever get to a certain place or get recognition without people along the path…My love of teaching probably came from [my mother].”

The ATI Nursing Education’s Nurse’s Touch Award is intended to improve interpersonal communication between nurses and their patients. To learn more about ATI and their recent award recipient Naomi Jones, visit here.

Elms College School of Nursing Adds New Graduate Programs to Meet Mass. School Nurse Needs

Elms College School of Nursing Adds New Graduate Programs to Meet Mass. School Nurse Needs

The Elms College School of Nursing in Chicopee, Mass. recently announced a new Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree and graduate certificate in school nursing program to help expand opportunities for school nurses to meet state education requirements. Massachusetts school nurses are required to earn board certification in school nursing or their MSN degree within five years of employment and currently there is only one graduate program in New England that focuses on school nursing.

School nurses see large numbers of students with a wide array of needs, sometimes spread over several schools as our country faces a shortage of nurses, especially in schools. They must be able to assess; diagnose; identify outcomes; plan, implement, and coordinate care; and teach healthy practices to their students while working with several other healthcare professionals when needed from physicians to counselors to classroom aides.

The school nurse track offered at Elms will be comprised of MSN curriculum components, with a focus on school nursing that includes core graduate nursing classes, direct-care courses, school nurse professional standards, technology and informatics, and school nurse practicums. The school nurse certificate won’t fulfill state board-certification requirements, but it benefits nurses with a graduate degree in another discipline who want to improve their school nursing knowledge base.

All BSN nurses at Elms College will be eligible to enroll in the school nursing graduate certificate which consists of 12 credits and three class options: classroom attendance, livestream, or archived videos. The first group of students enrolled in the graduate core classes will begin in Fall 2017, and school nursing functional content courses will roll out in Spring 2018.

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