New Assistant Dean of Diversity and Inclusion at Vanderbilt School of Nursing

New Assistant Dean of Diversity and Inclusion at Vanderbilt School of Nursing

Earlier this fall, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing named Rolanda Johnson, PhD, MSN, as the new assistant dean for diversity and inclusion. Replacing assistant professor Jana Lauderdale in this new position, she is also continuing her roles as assistant dean for academics and associate professor of nursing. Dr. Johnson ensures VUSN continues to foster and provide an environment that is culturally appreciative and inclusive, especially for underrepresented and marginalized groups.

“We’re very fortunate to have Rolanda in this leadership role,” VUSN Dean Linda D. Norman, DSN, FAAN, shared with VUSN Communications. “With her experience in academic enhancement services, as the longtime adviser to the Black Student Nurses Association, and through her research in health promotion for African Americans and in black racial identity, Rolanda will bring expertise and wisdom to the role of VUSN’s assistant dean for diversity and inclusion.”

Dr. Johnson joined the VUSN faculty in 1998, after receiving her PhD in Nursing Science from Vanderbilt. Over her 20 years at Vanderbilt, she has served as director of the Fisk University-Vanderbilt University Nursing Partnership Program, she re-established Vanderbilt’s Black Student Nurses Association, and represented the School of Nursing in campus-wide programs such as the Provost’s Task Force on Sexual Assault, FutureVU Faculty Advisory Committee, and Diversity, Inclusion and Community Committee. Additionally, Dr. Johnson is the founding president of the Nashville Chapter of the National Black Nurses Association.

To learn more about Dr. Rolanda Johnson’s career and vision for diversity and inclusion at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, check out her Q&A at MinorityNurse.com.

University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing Opens New Facility

University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing Opens New Facility

The University of Alabama at Birmingham has recently opened its new state-of-the-art School of Nursing building. With a 72,000-square-foot expansion and renovation, complete with the latest technology-enhanced classrooms and competency labs, the School of Nursing building is already being put to good use by students, faculty and staff alike.

Doreen Harper, PhD, RN, FAAN, Dean of the UAB School of Nursing and Fay B. Ireland endowed Chair in Nursing, says the excitement is evident as everyone discovers how to live and learn in the new facility. “Our students and faculty are learning and collaborating in open, light-filled spaces throughout the day. Classrooms are structured to engage students in flipped classrooms, using video streaming and sharing through computers and other digital devices. Faculty have their own windowed offices rather than working in groups as well as convenient conference rooms for meeting with students throughout the building.”

The technology provided within the new facility is playing a major role in furthering nursing education, research and clinical practice, by providing resources that encourage student engagement and collaboration. Classrooms have device-sharing technology, smartboards, and short throw projectors that allow students to more easily share their screens with instructors and fellow students. The Innovation Collaboratory, a special classroom within the new UAB School of Nursing facility, gives students the chance to share ideas and information through interactive workstations with streaming capabilities.

Jacqueline Moss, Ph.D, Associate Dean for Technology and Innovation in the School of Nursing, says the technology is designed to maximize interaction and engagement of students. “We are able to stream video from simulations happening in our nursing competency suites, from presenters at a distance, and engage with patients where they live. In addition, all classrooms are equipped with device sharing hardware and software that allows students to work in groups and share that work with the entire class by sharing their work on their personal computers.”

These virtual educational experiences made possible by the new technology provide education and professional development, and can be used to reach rural patients through telehealth research and clinical activities. Health care for the medically underserved in rural and urban Alabama will continue to grow and improve as a result.

Dean Harper notes that in addition to gaining new technology and space, the programs within the school are growing in response to the continuous need for highly educated, compassionate and competent nurses. “We have expanded our pre-licensure programs at the baccalaureate and master’s level to accommodate more than 60 new nursing pre-licensure students annually. Likewise, given the critical need for nursing administrators, managers, informaticians and executive leaders, our nursing health care systems major is being tailored to recruit nursing leaders and innovators from across the nation. We have also developed new coursework in perioperative nursing, transplant nursing, design thinking and biomedical informatics research to be offered.”

To learn more about the new, expanded UAB School of Nursing building, click here.

Case Western Reserve University Names Carol Musil Interim Dean of the School of Nursing

Case Western Reserve University Names Carol Musil Interim Dean of the School of Nursing

Carol M. Musil has been named interim dean of the Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing. Musil is taking over for Mary E. Kerr whose term as dean ended in August.

Musil is a CWRU alumna and has been a faculty member for many years. She has also served as chair of the university’s faculty senate in the past. Now, she will serve as interim dean of the school of nursing for the 2018-19 academic year.

CWRU President Barbara R. Snyder tells CrainsCleveland.com, “Carol has demonstrated exceptional leadership in multiple roles at the university and Frances Payne Bolton. We deeply appreciate her willingness to contribute her talents and skills yet again to support the school during this time of transition.”

The School of Nursing is expected to begin its search for a new dean in September. In the meantime, the university and nursing faculty are pleased to welcome Musil into the position.

To learn more about Carol Musil and her new role as interim dean of the Case Western Reserve University School of Nursing, visit here.

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing Receives $1.28 Million Grant for Future Faculty

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing Receives $1.28 Million Grant for Future Faculty

The Vanderbilt University School of Nursing (VUSN) recently received a $1.28 million grant from the US Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP) to help increase the number of qualified nursing faculty in US colleges and universities. The grant will support Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) students at VUSN who plan to become nursing faculty.

Linda Norman, DSN, FAAN, Valere Potter Menefee Professor of Nursing and dean of VUSN, tells Nursing.Vanderbilt.edu, “The American Association of Colleges of Nursing estimates that nursing schools turned away more than 56,000 qualified applicants in 2017. Lack of faculty was one of the reasons. This loan forgiveness program encourages and equips our DNP graduates to teach nursing and be a part of the solution to that need.”

Eligible DNP students who plan to teach after graduating can receive an NFLP award to underwrite up to 85 percent of the tuition, books, fees, and associated costs for attending VUSN if they are employed as faculty in any school of nursing in the US for four years following graduation.

In addition to their regular DNP coursework, NFLP recipients at the university will also take courses focused on nursing education to bring additional value to their degree upon graduating. To learn more about VUSN’s $1.28 million grant to help future nursing faculty, visit here.

Fast Facts for the Clinical Nursing Instructor: What They Never Tell You

Fast Facts for the Clinical Nursing Instructor: What They Never Tell You

“The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called ‘truth’.”  – Dan Rather

For those of you teaching nursing and those aspiring to teach nursing, there has never been a time when Dan Rather’s words resounded more loudly than they do today. Although compassion for others will always remain its essence, nursing continues to become more complex. Therein lies the challenge for each aspiring and current clinical nursing instructor!

How do we ensure that our students’ hearts remain firmly invested in the patient as a person, while the pull and stream of technology steers them away from the bedside? Truth is our most powerful tool. Truth in teaching the ideals of nursing and the true realities of nursing in today’s health care environment is our most difficult task.

If you are reading this blog, then you are possibly a clinical nursing instructor now, or may be thinking of becoming one. Either way, see how you score in answering a few questions below that are commonly posed to both aspiring and seasoned clinical instructors alike:

Place a T for true and F for false next to the following statements. Then, review the answers that follow below.

  1. I will need to prove my clinical competency on a daily basis.
  2. I will contribute to the nursing profession.
  3. I must be friends with my students.
  4. All of my students will like me.
  5. All of the unit’s staff nurses and aides will be happy to take guidance from me.
  6. I need to spend time on the clinical unit, and become familiar with the staff and the nursing systems before I bring my students to the clinical setting.
  7. I must know every detail about every patient that my students are assigned to.
  8. I must personally supervise every procedure and all interactions between my students and patients.
  9. I will earn more money in this position as a clinical instructor than as a staff nurse.
  10. All of my students will be motivated learners.

In the book that I co-authored with Eden Zabat Kan, Fast Facts for the Clinical Nursing Instructor, we share our combined classroom and clinical site teaching experience of over 50 years. In our book, you will find invaluable guides to such topics as:

  •  Preparing for your clinical teaching assignment
  • Getting to know your nursing students: Who are the best and who are the rest
  • The performance appraisals: Clinical evaluations
  •  Managing the clinical day
  •  Satisfaction in the role

Here are the answers to 5 of the quiz questions, please see chapter 1 in our book for the remaining answers.

  1. False. Some of you are transitioning from practice as expert staff, others are tenured professors, and advanced practice nurses. Whatever your background, remember that you are there to supervise and guide novice learners. Learning to refrain from doing the procedure yourself will be a challenge. Your role is not to prove your competency daily but to enhance student learning by supervising and not performing skills. Use strategies like questioning, role playing, and discussions to improve student thinking and problem solving skills.
  2. True. Whether as a part-time or full-time professor, you are contributing to a profession that is in great need of successful instructors who can teach students how to effectively care for patients.
  3. False. If you go into clinical teaching thinking that you can be “friends” with your students, then your tenure in this role will be short. Friendships with students can lead to difficult situations, particularly during evaluation periods. Keep personal information about yourself to a minimum.
  4. False. Face it; we all want to be liked by our students. Stay away from focusing on where you are liked or disliked. Instead of focusing on “like” or dislike” be that instructor that fosters the “aha” moment with your questions and guidance.
  5. False. Remember you are a GUEST on the unit. Your goal is to teach students. You can use any example on the unit as a teaching experience. Incorrect nursing examples often can teach the most to your students. You need some degree of humility as you foster growth in your student, and maintain working relationships with the nurses and staff on the units that you teach.

There is not a better job than that of being a clinical nursing instructor! Your legacy will continue as a nurse in each of the students that you teach.

Have fun and good luck.

Texas A&M University Names Nancy Fahrenwald New College of Nursing Dean

Texas A&M University Names Nancy Fahrenwald New College of Nursing Dean

Texas A&M University recently named Nancy Fahrenwald the new dean of the College of Nursing, scheduled to take effect June 1. She has served as dean and professor of South Dakota State University’s (SDSU) College of Nursing since 2013, where she oversaw enrollment growth in undergraduate and graduate programs.

Dennis Hedge, provost and vice president of academic affairs at SDSU, tells BrookingsRegister.com, “On behalf of the administration, faculty and staff at South Dakota State University, I would like to thank Nancy for her service to our university and state. Dr. Fahrenwald has been a visionary leader for the betterment of nursing and health care during her time at SDSU, and her impact will be felt for many years. She continued a legacy within the College of Nursing of preparing health-care professionals to have a positive impact on their local communities and throughout the world.”

Fahrenwald received her BSN from SDSU, MSN at the University of Portland, and PhD in Nursing from University of Nebraska Medical Center. Prior to becoming a nurse educator, Fahrenwald pursued clinical specialization as a public health nurse, serving in community health nursing roles in South Dakota and Washington. She also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi, Africa, working on AIDS prevention and community health teaching.

Fahrenwald is also a nurse researcher who has impacted education on organ donation and transplants within American Indian populations, tobacco-free school policies, and tobacco-cessation programs for rural citizens. She has helped form a transdisciplinary rural health research team to provide improved health in the state and region. She is also a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.

Excited for the new position at Texas A&M and the opportunity to serve another university, Fahrenwald feels well prepared by her experience at SDSU. To learn more about her nursing career, visit here.

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