GWU Receives 2.5 Million for Veterans’ BSN Aid Program

GWU Receives 2.5 Million for Veterans’ BSN Aid Program

The George Washington University School of Nursing has just received the largest philanthropic gift in the school’s history. Through the William and Joanne Conway Transitioning Warriors Nursing Scholars Initiative, $2.5 million in financial aid is being made available to help eligible military veterans working toward a BSN degree. The gift is expected to support more than 65 students over the next five years.

Donors William Conway, co-founder of The Carlyle Group, and his wife Joanne are long-time supporters of nursing education. School of Nursing Dean Pamela Jeffries commented, “The Conways’ commitment to our military veterans is unwavering, and so is ours at the GW School of Nursing. As we celebrate our 10th anniversary, it’s gifts like these that enable us to grow our veteran student population and provide the resources they need to succeed.”

The aid program will be welcomed by veterans. Despite the assistance available through military benefits such as the GI Bill, many vets still find it a challenge to support themselves and their families when they re-enter the civilian world and attempt to pursue a degree. The Conways are happy to offer a helping hand. “The Transitioning Warriors Nursing Scholars Initiative is designed to reward the brave men and women of our armed forces who seek to continue their service to our country as civilian nurses,” Mr. Conway stated. GWU President Thomas LeBlanc responded, “We are grateful to the Conways for enabling this investment when our nation’s nursing workforce and veterans need it most.”

Founded 10 years ago, the George Washington University School of Nursing is currently the sixth ranked school in the US News and World Report assessment of online graduate nursing programs. The gift was presented in May, while the school was celebrating its 10th anniversary.

For further details on this story, visit GWToday at the University website.

Purdue Global Nursing Dean Marilyn Wideman Retires

Purdue Global Nursing Dean Marilyn Wideman Retires

On May 29, Nursing Dean Marilyn Wideman retired from Purdue University Global after accumulating a legacy of notable achievements during her tenure.

​Wideman’s accomplishments while leading the online university range from rewriting the Master of Science in Nursing program—which gained the program a 10-year full accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education—to executing a series of plans that have elevated Purdue Global NCLEX scores to a level that is consistently above the national average.​

Marilyn Wideman

Marilyn Wideman has retired as Dean of the Purdue University Global School of Nursing

Dean Wideman also played a key role in a number of other innovations at the Purdue Global School of Nursing. Her efforts led to the introduction of a number of new programs, including:

  • A two-step Bachelor of Science in Nursing that permits students to complete their BSN degree in less time as they take bachelor-level courses as part of the associate nursing degree program.
  • The joint Master of Science in Nursing and Master of Business Administration in collaboration with Jeffrey Buck, dean of the School of Business and IT
  • An MSN nurse practitioner specialty in adult-gerontology acute care

Purdue Global Chancellor Frank Dooley lauded Wideman’s contributions, saying, “The work she accomplished will continue to benefit our students, which is ever so important during these challenging times, especially for health care professionals. Marilyn has laid the important groundwork for us to forge ahead as educators.”

On June 1, Purdue Global inducted Melissa Burdi, associate dean of undergraduate programs, as the new Dean of the School of Nursing. Burdi paid tribute to her predecessor, noting, “It is an honor and a privilege to carry on the work that Marilyn has started… Marilyn was a transformational leader who had a gift to be able to relate to both our team and students. She pushed us to be the best versions of ourselves.”

With regard to the future, Dean Burdi commented, “We have embraced the opportunity to address a significant amount of positive disruption as a result of recent pandemic events and will continue to respond to this evolving landscape with agility and speed. Creating an exceptional experience and positioning our students for success in meeting their goals remains our top priority.”

For further details on this story, visit the Purdue University newsroom.

Susan Bakewell-Sachs Appointed New Chair of AACN Board

Susan Bakewell-Sachs Appointed New Chair of AACN Board

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing has announced the appointment of Susan Bakewell-Sachs, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean and vice president for nursing affairs at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) School of Nursing as Chair of the AACN Board of Directors. 

During her two-year tenure as Board Chair, Dr. Bakewell-Sachs says she plans to “support coalition building and AACN’s leadership around addressing faculty and workforce needs, building inclusive learning environments, and accelerating the move to competency-based education to improve practice, research, and education.”

Known nationally both as a scholar and as a clinical expert in the care of premature infants, Dr. Bakewell-Sachs has previously taken the lead in a number of key positions in faculty and advocacy. Among her previous roles, she has served as director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) New Jersey Nursing Initiative, chair of the New Jersey Association of Baccalaureate and Higher Degree Programs, member of the March of Dimes National Nursing Advisory Council, and on the steering committee of the Oregon Action Coalition. Dr. Bakewell-Sachs was an RWJF Executive Nurse Fellow, Cohort 2007, where her leadership development project focused on strategic effectiveness and nursing education.

Upon her appointment by the AACN, she stated, “As Board Chair, I look forward to working collaboratively to continue AACN’s lead role in academic nursing during this extraordinary time and to supporting nurse leaders across the country. AACN will remain a catalyst for excellence and innovation in nursing education, research, and practice,” said Dr. Bakewell-Sachs. “I am fully committed to working with my fellow Board members to advocate for quality nursing education and research while amplifying the impact AACN has on improving the nation’s health and health care.”

For further details on the 2020 AACN Board of Directors and Nominating Committee, visit the AACN website.

Frontier Nursing University Wins Second Consecutive HEED Award for Excellence in Diversity

Frontier Nursing University Wins Second Consecutive HEED Award for Excellence in Diversity

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine has just recognized Frontier Nursing University’s commitment and accomplishments for the second consecutive year. FNU has now added the 2019 Health Professions HEED (Higher Education Excellence in Diversity) award to their shelf alongside their award from 2018.

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine's 2019 HEED Awards
About the Health Professions HEED Award

“The Health Professions HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees and best practices for both; continued leadership support for diversity; and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” said Lenore Pearlstein, co-publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. The magazine is the oldest and largest publication on this topic in higher education and is well-known for its annual Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Awards.

Pearlstein adds, “As we continue to see a record number of Health Professions HEED Award applicants each year, nearly every school tells us they use the application itself as a tool to create new programs and to benchmark their accomplishments across campus. The process allows them to reflect on their successes and also determine where more work needs to be done. We also continue to raise the standards in selecting HEED institutions.”

Diversity Impact at Frontier Nursing University

FNU’s history of emphasizing and valuing inclusion was formally instituted nine years ago, when it instituted the Diversity Impact Program in 2010. Each summer, FNU holds the Diversity Impact Conference for nurse practitioner and nurse-midwifery students plus faculty and staff to foster collaborative discussions, address health disparities, and find proactive solutions to improve minority health among underrepresented and marginalized groups.

FNU’s diversity initiatives span all facets of the university, but one of the most telling and important data points is the percentage of students of color enrolled at FNU. In 2009, that number was 9 percent. In 2019, it has grown to 23 percent.

“We are incredibly proud to receive the prestigious HEED Award again this year,” said FNU President Dr. Susan Stone. “To receive this award two years in a row is a wonderful honor. Our graduates serve people of all races and cultures and are increasingly coming from diverse backgrounds. It is imperative that our students, faculty, and staff have cultural awareness and competency in order to effectively advance our mission. The HEED Award confirms the value of our efforts and validates our continued emphasis on diversity and inclusion within the culture of FNU.”

INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine is the oldest and largest diversity publication in higher education today and is well-known for its annual Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award. In addition to its online job board, INSIGHT Into Diversity presents timely, thought-provoking news and feature stories on matters of diversity and inclusion across higher education. Articles include interviews with innovators and experts, as well as profiles of best practices and exemplary programs. Current, archived, and digital issues of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine are available online at insightintodiversity.com.

For further information on Frontier Nursing University and the Health Professions HEED Award, visit the FNU site.

We Need More Job Shadowing in Healthcare

We Need More Job Shadowing in Healthcare

Job shadowing is a long-standing tradition. High schools often have dedicated shadowing days, during which students can come and spend time with people working in careers that the students find interesting. While a few hours isn’t really enough to know if you like, love, or hate a job, it’s a start.

In healthcare, it can be especially important to spend time shadowing. In fact, PA schools want applicants to have hundreds of hours of documented shadowing time. I’m certain medical schools now want the same. I don’t know about other healthcare fields, such as dentistry, physical therapy, or pharmacy, but I suspect they want to see it as well.

We have created a system where shadowing is expected for acceptance in professional schools even as some hospitals make it very difficult (or impossible) to shadow. In some instances, it’s about concerns over privacy. In others, it’s simply that the number of people who desire to shadow is so large that it’s very difficult to get a time slot. And in others, it’s that there are medical, PA, or nurse practitioner students and residents rotating through the hospitals as part of their graduation requirements. In other words, it’s just dang crowded. As such, high school or even college students, trying to shadow, are at the bottom of the list.

In many career fields, it’s easy enough to shadow. If mom is an attorney, her son or daughter can sit in the courtroom or come to the office. If dad is a plumber, it’s easy enough to tag along and watch (or practice on projects at home). Teachers encourage students to shadow, and assorted business people do as well. Law enforcement often allows ride-along sessions. Even moms or dads in military careers have days when family can come on base and see what life is like in their jobs. I could go on, but the fact remains that from what I’ve seen, it’s much easier to shadow in other fields than in medicine. (If I’m wrong and this is a new trend everywhere, please leave a comment and educate me!)

The problem with medical careers that require graduate degrees is that the path to those schools is long, arduous, and expensive. And they require careful planning, sacrifice, and intentionality to create a resume and application that is more likely to stand out from the others. In this case, it would make so much more sense for shadowing opportunities to be much more available and easy to access.

It’s extraordinarily hard for a student to know if he wants to commit to 14 years of education based on a couple of hours walking around in a clinic. Admittedly, I have had some shadowers who probably got the message pretty quickly. Once I had a university student who followed me in the ED for four hours. At the end, he said, in a fatigued voice, “Don’t you guys ever sit down?” Not the perfect attitude if you really want to go into medicine. (Although maybe he ended up a radiologist with a nice chair in a dark room.)

We need to offer more shadowing, not less. Especially in an era of growing physician shortages in both primary care and specialties. We need to encourage students to pursue careers that have made our lives so rich and meaningful. And we need to urge hospitals, clinics, and offices to make those opportunities available as well.

If we want good healthcare; heck, if we want healthcare at all, we have to have physicians, PAs, and all the rest. And in order to have those essential persons, as it stands, they’ll have to shadow.

Every other job field seems to get it.

It’s time we do too.

Edwin Leap, MD, is an emergency physician. He practices full-time in a rural community hospital in South Carolina. He has spent many years practicing in rural and critical access facilities, including work as a locums provider for Weatherby Healthcare. He is a writer and blogger. He and his wife have four children. See more at edwinleap.com.

This post appeared on KevinMD.

UNLV to Develop Continuing Education Nursing Programs Through State Grant

UNLV to Develop Continuing Education Nursing Programs Through State Grant

The Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) has rewarded the University of Nevada Las Vegas School of Nursing with a $900,000 grant. UNLV will put the grant toward expanding new advanced training opportunities and continuing education for nurses.

UNLV received the grant to develop nursing certificates designed to meet specific needs around the state, such as teaching, specialty care, and clinical research.

“We are excited to be able to expand the skills and competencies of Nevada nurses as clinical research nurses, genetics counselors, and clinical preceptors,” Angela Amar, professor and dean of the UNLV School of Nursing, shared with the UNLV News Center. “This funding allows us the opportunity to advance the health of Nevada citizens by increasing the capabilities of our nurses.”

The grant support, which originated from the GOED’s Workforce Innovations for a New Nevada program, is a continuation of UNLV’s plans in recent years to work on solving the state’s continually evolving medical needs. The UNLV School of Nursing has seen an admission increase of 50 percent since fall 2017 for BSN candidates. The school also has one of the top-ranked online master’s degree programs, and is also home to the Clinical Simulation Center of Las Vegas (CSCLV). The CSCLV, a technologically advanced educational facility, provides nursing and medical students opportunities to practice their skills through various simulations.

“At the UNLV School of Nursing, we educate nurses to provide the highest quality care for the citizens of Nevada,” Amar said. “The developing Las Vegas medical district and UNLV medical school make it important that nursing grows also. The increase in enrollment furthers our ability to meet the health care needs of our diverse population. With a critical need for highly trained nurses across our region and state, expanding our BSN class sizes will increase the number of graduates who can meet this demand.”

The planned certificate programs, which include Certified Nursing Assistant Instructors, Clinical Research Administrators, and Health Information Technology and Data Analytics, were developed in partnership with several health care organizations across the state, such as University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, and Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada. These partners will help with job placement for all certification program participants.

The Valley Health System, University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada, and the Kenny Guinn Center for Policy Priorities. Health care employer partners, along with projected industry growth, will ensure successful placement of participants following their completion of the various programs, to ensure these nurses provide the best possible care to Nevada patients.

For more information about UNLV’s School of Nursing, click here.

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