Nurse of the Week: Penn State Nursing Dean Laurie Badzek Honored with National Leadership in Ethics Award

Nurse of the Week: Penn State Nursing Dean Laurie Badzek Honored with National Leadership in Ethics Award

Our Nurse of the Week is Laurie Badzek, LLM, JD, MS, RN, FNAP, FAAN, dean of the College of Nursing at Penn State, who has been honored with the American Nurses Association’s (ANA) Leadership in Ethics Award. ANA created the award to recognize registered nurses who have authentically demonstrated the highest standards of ethics and leadership in their daily practice, served as an ethical role model, and promoted ethical dialogue and scholarship.

Throughout her career, Badzek has held the roles of nurse, attorney, researcher, and educator. She brings experience in genomics, health care ethics and law, nursing practice, and end-of-life care and decision-making to her work, and her commitment to ethical leadership led her to serve as director of the American Nurses Association Center for Ethics and Human Rights where she was instrumental in revising the ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses.

Nick Jones, executive vice president and provost, tells news.psu.edu, “In 2018, we selected Laurie to be dean of Penn State’s College of Nursing in part because of her exemplary leadership on ethical and human rights issues and advocacy regarding nursing education, practice and policy. I consider Laurie a role model for ethical leadership at the University, so I’m thrilled that she received this much-deserved award from the ANA. I congratulate and thank Laurie for her commitment to excellence.”

Badzek began her role as dean of the Penn State College of Nursing in July 2018 where she oversees the undergraduate and graduate programs at 12 commonwealth campuses and online. Her role also enables her to be a champion of using genomics in nursing to enhance patient care, and her research in genomics has been funded by the National Council of the State Boards of Nursing, National Institutes of Health, National Human Genome Research Institute, and National Cancer Institute. Badzek is also a member of the American Association of College of Nursing Deans and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, and a fellow of the National Academies of Practice and more.  

To learn more about Laurie Badzek, dean of the College of Nursing at Penn State, who has been honored with the American Nurses Association’s Leadership in Ethics Award, visit here.

Coronavirus: How to Address Your Patients’ Concerns

Coronavirus: How to Address Your Patients’ Concerns

The world is watching the developments related to this new coronavirus, officially designated 2019 Novel Coronavirus or 2019-nCoV, As a nurse, you may be wondering what to tell your patients about this life-threatening virus. 

Coronaviruses are so named due to their particular shape, which is similar to a crown. They are very common; many are responsible for the upper respiratory infections from which we often suffer and treat their symptoms with rest and over the counter medications. But occasionally coronaviruses become much more serious, as in the cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)

To help you educate and prepare your patients, we’ve provided some basic information and tips to help them avoid panic and stay as healthy as possible.

By the Numbers

As of this writing, there have been 31,472 confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV, according to the real-time status map from Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering. The majority of cases have been in mainland China and surrounding Asian countries. There have been 638 deaths thus far, all of which were outside the United States. In North America, there are twelve cases confirmed in the US, five in Canada, and none in Mexico at this time. No deaths have occurred in North America.

Who is Most Susceptible?

You should be concerned about any patient who has recently traveled to China and is symptomatic. You should also be concerned about any patient who has been exposed to a lab-confirmed 2019-nCoV within fourteen days of the onset of symptoms. For any patients presenting with a fever and cough, you should obtain a detailed travel history.

As with most viruses and illnesses, the most medically fragile are those who are most at risk. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reports the median age of patients is 49 to 56 years, with rare cases in children.

Do Face Masks Help?

There have been many news reports of Asian retailers of medical face masks being out of stock, as people rush to purchase them for protection. Unfortunately, these masks give a false sense of protection against the disease for healthy persons, as coronavirus is not airborne, and they do not prevent the wearer from putting their hands behind the mask to touch their face. The CDC is not currently recommending the use of facemasks for the prevention of coronavirus. However, they can be beneficial for infected persons to prevent them from coughing or sneezing into their hands and thus more readily spreading the disease.

The best prevention tactics are the very same as the CDC recommendations for the common cold, says Neha Pathak, MD:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly throughout the day.
  2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  3. Avoid contact with people who are sick.

What to Look For

Symptoms of coronavirus can appear in as few as two days or as many as fourteen after exposure to the virus, according to the CDC. Some of the most common symptoms are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. People who suspect that they may have been exposed should contact their doctor immediately.

Treatment for coronavirus is the same as for a cold- namely supportive care – rest, fluids, and over the counter medicine for sore throat and fever. But if the symptoms worsen, those individuals should contact their physician.

What About a Vaccine?

There are multiple efforts underway to create a vaccine for 2019-nCoV, however, there are none expected to be ready for deployment until approximately April of 2020. One of the potential vaccines is the previous labors to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus SARS, which was shelved before reaching clinical trials. The vaccine was shelved when SARS was defeated by improved hygiene efforts. 

The second potential vaccine is under development in Boston, an mRNA vaccine that is showing promise. The earliest trials with people show a good immune response, but the vaccine has not yet been tested in an outbreak. There are reportedly other vaccine candidates being developed as well.

For daily updates on the worldwide developments of 2019-nCoV, in addition to the real-time map from Johns Hopkins, you can follow WHO’s daily situation reports or the CDC’s Situation Summary.

California Universities Work Together to Train More Nurse Practitioners to Fill Mental Health Care Gap

California Universities Work Together to Train More Nurse Practitioners to Fill Mental Health Care Gap

In an effort to address a shortage of mental health providers in the state of California, UC San Francisco (UCSF), in collaboration with UC Davis and UCLA, has announced the launch of an online training program for psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNPs). The program aims to train 300 new mental health providers to enter the state’s workforce by 2025.

An estimated 17 percent of Californians live with mental health needs, according to ucsf.edu. Many in that population lack access to mental health care and the problem is expected to worsen as the psychiatrist workforce continues to dwindle. Graduates of UC San Francisco’s new program are projected to serve as many as 378,000 patients over the next five years.

California currently has 13,000 nurse practitioners in its workforce, many of whom care for underserved populations in primary care settings including hospitals, prisons, schools, and other outpatient medical practices. PMHNPs are specialized mental health professionals authorized to prescribe psychotropic medications, treat severe mental illness and substance abuse disorders, and offer psychiatric care.

Program co-director Rosalind De Lisser, MS, RN, NP, associate professor in the UCSF School of Nursing, tells ucsf.edu, “I am tremendously excited about this innovative multi-campus program. It has the potential to expand our reach as an educational institution by providing excellent clinical training and contributing to the workforce development needs of California.”

Her sentiments were echoed by fellow co-director Deborah Johnson, DNP, RN, NP, also an associate professor in the UCSF School of Nursing, who stated: “Building upon our successful history as a top-ranked public PMHNP program, this program eliminates geographical barriers and allows California NPs in primary care to gain the education and training necessary to provide behavioral health services in their communities. The three-school collaboration provides high-quality educational resources for students across the state.”

The new program is scheduled to launch in fall 2020, with administrative offices located on the UC San Francisco campus. Students will be able to complete their clinical training component in the region where they live. The program aims to recruit 40 students for the first years and 65 students each following year, for a total of 300 PMHNPs over five years.

To learn more about the new online training program for psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners being launched by UC San Francisco in collaboration with UC Davis and UCLA, visit here.

AAMN Announces 2019 Best Schools for Men in Nursing Awards

AAMN Announces 2019 Best Schools for Men in Nursing Awards

Duke, Rutgers, University of Alabama-Birmingham, and nine other colleges and universities have been recognized as the “2019 Best Schools for Men in Nursing” by the American Association for Men in Nursing (AAMN).

Winning institutions are selected based on the significant efforts they have made to increase the number of male applicants, enrollees, admissions, and/or retentions in their programs, and have been shown to provide a supportive educational environment for male student nurses. All schools applying for the award are accredited by the National League of Nursing or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and have had a minimum NCLEX pass rate of 80% over the past three years.

2019 Best Schools for Men in Nursing

In alphabetical order, the winners are:

  • Duke University School of Nursing
  • John Hopkins University School of Nursing
  • Lewis University College of Nursing and Health Sciences
  • Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing
  • Northern Illinois University School of Nursing
  • NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing
  • Rutgers School of Nursing
  • University of Alabama-Birmingham School of Nursing
  • University of Cincinnati College of Nursing
  • University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh College of Nursing
    Vanderbilt University School of Nursing
  • West Coast University College of Nursing

2019 Best Workplaces for Men in Nursing:

  • New York Presbyterian Hospital
  • Vanderbilt University Medical Center

For a full list of 2019 AAMN awards, visit the AAMN awards page.

University at Buffalo School of Nursing Expands Clinical Sites to Better Serve Native American Communities

University at Buffalo School of Nursing Expands Clinical Sites to Better Serve Native American Communities

The University at Buffalo (UB) School of Nursing recently expanded its clinical sites for students, offering improved nursing services to local Native American communities and other underserved populations. UB Nursing was also able to enhance its curriculum thanks to $3.4 million in grant funding from the US Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

The HRSA funding was provided in two grants—an Advanced Education Nursing grant, which ended in December, and an Advanced Nursing Education Workforce grant, which will continue through June. The two grants have led to significant improvements in addressing nursing shortages, both in outreach to underserved populations and by allowing the School of Nursing to educate more Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) students.

Linda Paine Hughes, DNP, clinical assistant professor and program director for the two HRSA grants, tells buffalo.edu, “Because of the student’s clinical experiences and didactic education, our students have a better understanding of what they are going to face in practice within rural and underserved settings….Our goal is to provide personalized health care, which is culturally sensitive, safe and effective. As trusted team members, we will help improve access to health care for rural and underserved populations in Western New York and beyond.”

The HRSA grants have enabled the School of Nursing to expand its presence and establish new clinical sites. In the past four years, 36 students have completed their clinical rotations in rural underserved settings. The grants funded two, part-time psychiatric nurse practitioners and a cultural expert who served as liaison between the School of Nursing and the Tuscarora Nation Health Center, after the Tuscarora Nation leaders cited the need for traditional medicine services. The two nurse practitioners currently stationed at the Tuscarora Nation Health Center are graduates of UB’s nursing programs.

To learn more about how the University at Buffalo School of Nursing recently expanded its clinical sites for students, offering improved nursing services to local Native American communities and other underserved populations, visit here.

Nurse of the Week: Nursing Instructor Dana Lopes Overcomes Poverty in Rural Indiana to Become First Graduate in Family

Nurse of the Week: Nursing Instructor Dana Lopes Overcomes Poverty in Rural Indiana to Become First Graduate in Family

Our Nurse of the Week is Dana Lopes, a nursing instructor at the College of Saint Elizabeth who overcame growing up in poverty in rural Indiana and became the first high school graduate in her family before continuing on to nursing school.

Lopes was born in rural Indiana and raised in a trailer with no heat, no air conditioning, and barely enough beds for her family. Yet she became the first in her family to graduate from high school. She is now a nursing instructor and staff member at the College of Saint Elizabeth in Morris Township.

Lopes tells morristowngreen.com, “There was a time I had to sleep on plywood with just a blanket on it. I would always hear murmurings about my family and how I was never going to amount to anything….I want to be the role model for my students that I had when I was in school, because maybe I’m the only one they have in their life.”

Even though the odds were against her in a family who lived more than 15 percent below the poverty level, Lopes decided her life was going to be different from the way she grew up. A tumultuous upbringing with exposure to her father’s incarceration, domestic violence and substance abuse at home, ultimately inspired Lopes to pursue her education.

Realizing in middle school that an education was the only way out of her situation, Lopes joined every club and sport she could to keep herself away from home, and when she was at home, she locked herself away in her room in the trailer to read her textbooks until she fell asleep.

Eventually Lopes’ teachers became her role models and with their guidance Lopes earned admission to Purdue University with a fully paid scholarship. She has since earned several post-graduate certificates and nursing degrees. Now she wants her students to know that they have the power to fight for what they want and create their own opportunities.

To learn more about Dana Lopes, a nursing instructor at the College of Saint Elizabeth who overcame growing up in poverty and became the first high school graduate in her family before continuing on to nursing school, visit here.

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