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.

Concordia University Texas Brings Nurses to Community with Mobile Medical Missions Van

Concordia University Texas Brings Nurses to Community with Mobile Medical Missions Van

Concordia University Texas School of Nursing students are now utilizing a medical van to better serve their community. Their mobile Medical Missions Van operates as a pop-up clinic that provides free, basic healthcare to two counties and has plenty of space for medical supply storage and seating for clients and nurses.

Students first put the van to use last month to help individuals living under an Austin bridge, setting up foot-washing stations while a local ministry provided fellowship and food. Though these community healthcare activities are strongly helped by the use of the mobile medical clinic, nursing students have been working on projects like these since 2015, as part of their requirement for their Community Health course.

Concordia’s Nursing program director Dr. Greta Degen, RN, told CTX Blog: “The biggest impact the van has is that it allows Concordia nursing students to become the first stop for people in the community who are wrestling with a medical issue. Students can use their nursing knowledge to screen and educate individuals on their health issue or medication before needing to go see a doctor or visit an emergency room.”

Mobile medical clinics like this are used globally, especially in areas devastated by war, natural disasters, and humanitarian crises. The clinics provide a way for healthcare professionals to get medical treatments and supplies to people cut off or isolated from communities, and are especially helpful in areas lacking in public transportation.

To learn more about Concordia University Texas School of Nursing and their mobile Medical Missions Van, visit CTX Blog.

NYU College of Nursing Names Inaugural Vernice D. Ferguson Professor in Health Equity

NYU College of Nursing Names Inaugural Vernice D. Ferguson Professor in Health Equity

The NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing recently named Jacquelyn Taylor, PhD, PNP-BC, RN, FAHA, FAAN, the inaugural Vernice D. Ferguson Professor in Health Equity. Vernice D. Ferguson (1928-2012) was a distinguished nurse leader, educator, and champion for the health of all people.

Ferguson received her baccalaureate degree in nursing from NYU, before going on to pioneer leadership positions for nurses and elevate the nursing profession through advocating for increased opportunities, respect, and wages, as well as fostering nursing research. She also served as the chief nurse executive for the Veterans Administration, president of the American Academy of Nursing and Sigma Theta Tau International, and she was recognized as a Living Legend in the American Academy of Nursing.

In recognition of her leadership and service to the nursing profession, NYU’s College of Nursing established an endowed professorship in her name: the Vernice D. Ferguson Professor in Health Equity. Taylor’s work in this role will focus on the social factors that contribute to health disparities for common chronic conditions among underrepresented minority populations in the United States and abroad. She is also in the midst of conducting a study on the genomics of lead poisoning in Flint, MI.

Taylor’s work has been highly praised in the past, including being awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers by President Barack Obama in January 2017, the highest honor awarded by the federal government to scientists and engineers.

To learn more about Dr. Taylor and her new role as Inaugural Vernice D. Ferguson Professor in Health Equity at NYU, visit here.

Johns Hopkins Nursing Faculty Sarah Szanton Named Director of Center for Innovative Care in Aging

Johns Hopkins Nursing Faculty Sarah Szanton Named Director of Center for Innovative Care in Aging

Sarah L. Szanton, PhD, ANP, FAAN, professor and director of the PhD program at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing (JHSON), has been named director of the Center for Innovative Care in Aging. Szanton is set to take over the roll in February 2018 from Laura Gitlin, PhD, who founded the center in 2011.

Patricia Davidson, PhD, MEd, RN, FAAN, dean of JHSON, tells Nursing.JHU.edu, “Dr. Szanton is a rising leader nationally and across the globe for her research and innovative solutions for aging populations.  We are excited for her to be the next leader of our center.”

Szanton has served as associate director for policy within the Center for Innovative Care in Aging since 2015. She also holds joint appointments within Johns Hopkins and is an adjunct faculty member for international universities including the American University of Beirut and the University of Technology, Sydney.

An expert researcher and practitioner in gerontology, Szanton will lead the Center’s efforts in advancing and supporting the well-being of older adults and their families using innovative approaches, policies, and practices. She is already doing so through her Community Aging in Place—Advancing Better Living for Elders (CAPABLE) program, which combines home visits from a nurse, occupational therapist, and handyman to help equip low-income older adults to live more safely in their homes. Her program has helped decrease disability, depression, and improve self care for participants.

To learn more about Szanton’s CAPABLE program and new role as Director of the Center for Innovative Care in Aging at Johns Hopkins, visit here.

Rasmussen College Launches Evening and Weekend Practical Nursing Program

Rasmussen College Launches Evening and Weekend Practical Nursing Program

Rasmussen College recently announced a new Practical Nursing program (PN) to open on its Tampa/Brandon, FL campus. The diploma courses will be offered on evenings and weekends beginning in April 2018 to help accommodate growing healthcare needs in the community and ensure that those seeking nursing education can find programs that fit into their schedules.

The Tampa Metro area has seen high demand for LPNs with 72 percent growth in demand compared to five years ago according to the labor analytics firm Burning Glass. The PN diploma program has been approved by the Florida Board of Nursing and will also offer flexibility and cost savings through Flex Choice, a learning option that allows students to combine traditional courses with optional self-directed assessments.

Eymie Fitzgerald, Rasmussen College Tampa/Brandon campus Dean of Nursing, tells PRNewswire.com:

“Like most communities nationwide, the Tampa metro is feeling the need for highly skilled LPNs, a need that has shown dramatic growth in the past five years. In addition to preparing graduates for the NCLEX-PN exam, the Rasmussen College PN Diploma program provides students with hands-on training in a supportive environment led by experienced nurse faculty. The program has no pre-nursing course requirements or wait list, so qualified students can be on their way to a career as an LPN and help fill the growing needs of the community in as few as 12 months.”

To learn more about Rasmussen College’s new evening and weekend Practical Nursing program, visit here.

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