Nursing Program Expanded at Eastern Mennonite University

Nursing Program Expanded at Eastern Mennonite University

Eastern Mennonite University has recently grown its nursing program, in order to increase admissions and help with the nationwide nursing shortage. The Lisa Haverstick Memorial Nursing Laboratory was expanded and upgraded to allow the school to admit 16 more nursing students each academic year.

“We always have a wait list of qualified people who are unable to get into our program,” EMU Associate Professor Laura Yoder shared with With the expansion of the Nursing Laboratory, the average graduating class for the undergraduate nursing program will increase from 48 to 64 students, easing the wait list.

EMU has offered nursing degrees for over fifty years, including undergraduate and graduate nursing degree programs and a doctoral program in nursing practice. Yoder shared that the private liberal arts college sees nursing as a calling, considering both the nurse-patient relationship and the faculty-student relationship throughout their nursing programs.

“We’re very concerned about values and what it means to think about the common good, and doing health care in a way that serves those who are in need and have difficulty accessing care,” Yoder said. “Many EMU nursing students serve low-income patients, refugees and immigrants.”

The nursing program expansion costs roughly $245,000. With $90,000 already raised, EMU anticipates raising the rest of the funds by the end of 2018.

New Simulation Lab Strengthens Nurse Education at Midland University

New Simulation Lab Strengthens Nurse Education at Midland University

Midland University and Methodist Fremont Health opened a new $1 million simulation lab earlier this summer, providing simulated learning to medical students. The lab, constructed inside of Methodist Fremont Health Center, is used both by medical professionals and Midland University students.

Located in a modern wing of Fremont Health Center, the lab includes five hi-fidelity Gaumard Manikins. Deborah Brester, MSN, RN, a professor at Midland University, has already seen how students are greatly benefiting from having access to simulated learning in addition to their classroom education. “The lab complements the traditional clinical experience by allowing our students to experience real-life scenarios,” Brester said. “You can simulate an entire birthing experience, cardiac arrest ­— anything. You can give IVs and draw blood. Instructors can even speak through them and simulate distress.”

Brester, who is currently leading Midland’s mother/baby nursing class, is also using the simulation lab for her own doctoral dissertation, as she pursues her Ph.D. in nursing education at Midland.

“We can create scenarios that [students] may not otherwise ever be exposed to in a clinical setting,” she shared. “This builds a tremendous amount of confidence and enhances critical thinking skills that they’ll use throughout their careers.”

The Gaumard Manikins use “Care in Motion” simulation technology, which allows students to treat the Manikins like actual patients in different environments. In addition to the manikins, students are able to practice on the same equipment that Fremont Health medical professionals use every day.

“The simulation lab represents our vision to provide relevant opportunities, dynamic experiences, and innovative programs for Midland students by working from the marketplace back,” Midland University President said. “Marketplace relevancy is twofold: educational programs that prepare our students for the careers of today and tomorrow, and partnership with organizations in our community to create opportunities for continuous employee development.”

To learn more about Midland University’s nursing program, click here.

UNMC College of Nursing Receives $91.5K Grant for Geriatric Services

UNMC College of Nursing Receives $91.5K Grant for Geriatric Services

The University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing recently received a $91,500 grant from Women Investing in Nebraska (WIN) for geriatric and dementia services. The grant was given specifically to the UNMC Geriatric Cognitive and Mental Health Project for Rural Nebraska.

The project is being managed by UNMC assistant professor Dr. Nancy Meier, who teaches adult gerontology and psychiatric mental in the nurse practitioner programs. She explained that many older patients have to travel further for specialized services, which limits their access to care. “One of the reasons for my applying for this grant is that in the 11 Panhandle counties, almost 20 percent of the population is 65 or older,” Dr. Meier told the Scottsbluff Star-Herald. “That means almost 1 in 5 individuals living in the Panhandle are over the age of 65, yet there is really a lack of providers who have specialty in being able to evaluate them from a psychiatric standpoint, as well as geriatric.”

The grant will help Dr. Meier and other UNMC nurse practitioners get trained on performing geriatric assessments and psychiatric evaluations on patients in their own homes, in order to help access to care and help the nurse practitioners better see and understand their patients’ living situations, backgrounds, and other important details.

“I work with them to provide the details on what I think is the problem,” Meier shared with the Scottsbluff Star-Herald. “We are very specific into the needs of that older adult. Our goal is that they will be able to stay longer at home. Our goal is to be able to help them take care of the problem or give them a reference to another provider, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy or the right resource so that they are healthy and stay healthy.”

This grant from WIN is a huge boost for the program, which will also provide caregiver assessments, dementia education, and mobile services. This comes in addition to a four year, $2.6 million grant gifted in July to the UNMC College of Nursing by the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration, aimed at improving engagement of registered nurses in patient management.

For more information about the grant awarded to the UNMC Geriatric Cognitive and Mental Health Project for Rural Nebraska, click here.

Research of the Week: Duties to Self – The Nurse as a Person of Dignity and Worth

Research of the Week: Duties to Self – The Nurse as a Person of Dignity and Worth

This week we’re featuring Duties to Self: The Nurse as a Person of Dignity and Worth, from Creative Nursing. Author Marsha Fowler, PhD, MDiv, MS, RN, FAAN, explained how the shift in nursing education has informed current nurses how to take care of themselves while furthering their careers. Read more below:

Until the mid-1960s the vast majority of nursing education took place in hospital-based “diploma programs.”  This means that there are still some nurses, active today, who graduated from those programs before nursing moved into colleges and universities.  That move resulted in the loss of a treasure trove of early nursing textbooks from the late 1800s to the mid-1960s as these books were not brought over into universities. It is a captivating literature that includes everything from recipes for gruel, porridge, and possets to treatments such as hot abdominal stupes, applying a scultetus binder or mustard plaster, swaddling a baby, and in later years managing a patient in an iron lung. It is also a literature that gives as much time to ethics as it does to nursing education and practice.


This ethical literature is absolutely captivating as it is both strikingly different from what one sees in the contemporary bioethics literature and it is utterly nursing focused and harmonious with nursing’s values, ideals, and aspirations.  There are many wonderful and informative strands within this ethics literature, but one prominent thread is the nurse’s obligation to care for herself (and himself today).  This self-care thread covered everything in the nurse’s life—rest, recreation, nutrition, sleep, friendships, uplifting reading, going to movies, taking vacations, saving for retirement, personal as well as professional self-development and, of course, a constant and intentional growth of one’s nursing knowledge and skill. It is striking that today’s bioethics literature does not “care for the nurse” herself or himself.  It is even more striking that, given the great importance of this obligation in the first 100 years of nursing ethics literature, that nurses today so often neglect their own needs.

You can read more of Dr. Fowler’s research on the history of nursing and self-care here. To subscribe to Creative Nursing, click here.

Alumnus Donates to St. Cloud State University Department of Nursing Science

Alumnus Donates to St. Cloud State University Department of Nursing Science

The St. Cloud State University Department of Nursing Science recently received a $1 million gift from Jim Maciej, a former student, earlier this month. The gift will be put toward providing the latest technology for students, like nursing-simulation labs and related technology infrastructure.

Maciej, a 1973 graduate of SCSU’s nursing program, wanted to give back in order to strengthen the students’ education. “In a way it really isn’t about us,” Maciej told University Chronicle. “It’s about the current nursing students who are in the program now and those that will be trained for future generations.”

The gift has already been put to good use by the SCSU Department of Nursing Science. A new baby simulator machine was recently purchased to replace an outdated model. To show their appreciation for the gift from Maciej and his wife Ann, a retired nurse, the SCSU Department of Nursing Science will name a wing after them: the “Jim ’73 and Ann Marie Maciej Nursing Education Suite.”

“This gift will absolutely transform the experience of our students in nursing and give faculty the tools they need to ensure the success of our students,” SCSU President Robbyn Wacker shared with the St. Cloud Times. “We are honored that Jim and Ann Marie have made SCSU’s nursing program their philanthropic priority.”

For more information about the $1 million gift and St. Cloud State University’s Department of Nursing Science, click here.

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

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