University of Texas at El Paso Appoints Leslie K. Robbins, PhD, Dean of the School of Nursing

University of Texas at El Paso Appoints Leslie K. Robbins, PhD, Dean of the School of Nursing

Effective last month, Leslie K. Robbins, PhD, has been appointed dean of the School of the Nursing at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). Robbins had been serving in the role in an interim capacity since September 2019.

As dean, Robbins holds the Charles H. and Shirley T. Leavell Endowed Chair II in Nursing. Robbins brings a rich 40 years of experience in nursing to her role as dean, with a focus on nursing administration and nursing education. She has been with UTEP since 2009 and played a key role in efforts to establish the university’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program in 2010.

Prior to serving as interim dean, Robbins was Associate Dean of Graduate Education and Professor of Nursing; she also held the Orville E. Egbert, MD, Endowed Chair in Nursing and Health Sciences. Robbins holds a master’s degree in nursing from UTEP and a doctoral degree in nursing from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. She is a certified adult psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner, and an adult psychiatric and mental health clinical nurse specialist.

Robbins tells elpasoheraldpost.com, “I feel honored and privileged to serve as dean of the UTEP School of Nursing. UTEP has a long history of educating highly qualified nurses and nursing leaders, and I look forward to continuing that tradition. With support from the school’s faculty, students and staff, we will continue to expand our impact on health care practices in the region by growing our undergraduate and graduate programs, creating new health-related research opportunities and developing strong community partnerships.”

To learn more about Leslie K. Robbins, PhD, being appointed dean of the School of the Nursing at the University of Texas at El Paso, visit here.

University of Texas at Tyler Announces New Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program to Address Critical Need in State

University of Texas at Tyler Announces New Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program to Address Critical Need in State

The University of Texas at Tyler (UT Tyler) College of Nursing and Health Sciences has announced a new mental health nurse practitioner program aimed at addressing the mental health challenges in Texas. The Master of Science in Nursing–Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Program was recently approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

The new program will be offered primarily online with facilitation of clinical experiences taking place in students’ local communities. Program curriculum will highlight telehealth, mobile medical clinic management and disaster management, and provide rural health clinic opportunities so students can effectively prepare to meet the healthcare needs of vulnerable populations with limited resources.

Dr. Yong “Tai” Wang, UT Tyler College of Nursing and Health Sciences dean, tells jacksonvilleprogress.com, “As has been well documented, forecasts are predicting significant increases in psychiatric/mental health care needs. Rural areas will be even more at risk due to the misdistribution of health providers who choose to live and work in urban locations. The Master of Science in Nursing-Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner degree will meet a crucial need in East Texas and the state.”

The PMHNP program will prepare students to diagnose and treat common psychiatric disorders across the lifespan and offer short-term psychotherapy. Graduates will have advanced physical assessment skills, including being able to administer prescriptive psychotropic medications, psychotherapy, crisis intervention, case management, and consultation.

With more than 500,000 Texans suffering from serious and persistent mental illness and one in five Texans experiencing a mental health condition each year, the PMHNP degree is uniquely prepared to bridge the gap between physical and mental health care.

To learn more about the new mental health nurse practitioner program being offered at UT Tyler to address a critical need in the state, visit here.  

Mass Shootings: How Docs and Nurses Heal

Mass Shootings: How Docs and Nurses Heal

Some healthcare professionals see blood, mangled bodies, and death every day, yet certain days are worse than others. As when, for instance, a dozen police officers are gunned down or 20 kids are killed in their elementary school in a mass shooting. Because public mass shootings happen nearly every 6 weeks in America, these tragedies are having a more frequent impact on the healthcare workforce.

Research data are sparse. One study surveyed 24 surgical residents working at Orlando Regional Medical Center in Florida in 2016. On June 12 that year, a gunman shot 49 people to death and wounded 53 others at the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub. Three months later, rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depression were two and four times greater among the 10 residents on call that night versus the 14 off-duty residents. Though the differences didn’t reach statistical significance, assessments were revealing. A survey of the same residents 7 months after the mass shooting found that PTSD persisted in those affected in the on-call group but completely resolved in the off-call residents.

As part of an ongoing effort by MedPage Today to explore job stress and burnout among healthcare professionals, reporter Shannon Firth talked at length with physicians and nurses who shared personal experiences with mass shootings and how they affected their lives and careers.

Three Encounters With Mass Shootings

“After I Saw What I Saw, I Really Thought to Myself, ‘I Hope I’m Not Broken:'” Richard Kamin, MD (Sandy Hook school shooting, 2012)

“The Worst Night of My Professional Career:” Brian Williams, MD (Dallas police sniper attack, 2016)

“I Still Get That Pit Feeling in My Chest of, I Can’t Believe This is Happening:” Megan Duke, RN, CEN (San Bernardino terrorist attack, 2015)

MedPage Today intern Amanda D’Ambrosio assisted with reporting for these stories.

Originally published by MedPage Today.

UT Tyler Expands Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program to Address Nursing Shortage

UT Tyler Expands Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program to Address Nursing Shortage

The University of Texas (UT) at Tyler recently announced that it will be expanding its Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program to accept more students in an effort to address the shortage of nurses in Texas and beyond.

From 2011-2018, the School of Nursing admitted 2,116 students while turning away 2,361 qualified applicants due to a lack of space and faculty. The expansion of the BSN program will allow for an additional 180 students to be admitted each academic year and will also accelerate the rate at which the program produces nurses into the workforce.

Dr. Barbara Haas, School of Nursing executive director, tells news-journal.com, “With the expansion, students will graduate an entire semester earlier than was possible under the previous model. Not only will we be able to accept more applicants, but we will also get them out into the workforce faster.”

Beginning in spring 2020, the program will offer a 12-month, year-round BSN program which will be made up of three 15-week semesters. Applicants will be admitted in the fall, spring, and summer semesters, and attend full-time for four consecutive semesters.

To learn more about UT Tyler’s announcement to expand its Bachelor of Science in Nursing program to accept more students in an effort to address the shortage of nurses in Texas and beyond, visit here.

Texas A&M College of Nursing Announces Center of Excellence in Forensic Nursing

Texas A&M College of Nursing Announces Center of Excellence in Forensic Nursing

Texas A&M University recently announced that the College of Nursing has received approval for its Center of Excellence in Forensic Nursing, transitioning the forensic nursing program into a state- and federally funded center. The new designation will help expand the capabilities and funding resource opportunities, pushing forward the College of Nursing’s initiative to advance forensic nursing education, outreach, and research.

Forensic nursing is a specialty role focused on the intersection of health care, criminal justice, and the legal system. Registered nurses and advanced practice registered nurses can specialize in forensic nursing, allowing them to provide specialized care in the areas of interpersonal violence prevention, intervention, investigation, and post-trauma care. Areas of practice within this specialty include sexual assault, death investigation, corrections, disaster aftermath, risk management, intimate partner violence, child maltreatment, elder mistreatment, and human trafficking.

Nancy Fahrenwald, PhD, RN, PHNA-BC, FAAN, professor and dean of the Texas A&M College of Nursing, tells today.tamu.edu, “The Center of Excellence in Forensic Nursing will accelerate multidisciplinary efforts to devise and implement comprehensive strategies that address interpersonal violence across the life span. We are now in the best position to engage scholars throughout The Texas A&M University System to develop and disseminate new knowledge, positively impacting health and social outcomes for those affected by violence.”

Texas A&M’s new Center of Excellence in Forensic Nursing allows for an expansion of the college’s Master of Science degree and graduate certificate in forensic nursing programs. The Center will also provide interdisciplinary and professional education course trainings available to health care providers, law enforcement agencies, social workers, and others seeking advanced education in treating victims of violence.

To learn more about the newly designated Center of Excellence in Forensic Nursing in the Texas A&M University College of Nursing, visit here.

Nurse of the Week: First-Generation Community Health Worker Maria Elena Valdez Prepares for Nursing Career

Nurse of the Week: First-Generation Community Health Worker Maria Elena Valdez Prepares for Nursing Career

Our Nurse of the Week is Maria Elena Valdez, a first-generation community health worker who is preparing to graduate from nursing school at the end of this year and embark on her career as a nurse.

Valdez was born in Eagle Pass, Texas to seasonal immigrant workers from Coahulla, Mexico. She traveled between Mexico and the US with her parents when she was young while her father worked in Wisconsin fields in the summers and then took his family to Mexico each winter when the work season ended. Her parents had a better plan for her future so they eventually settled in San Antonio, which now feels like home to Valdez.

During her junior of high school, Valdez started volunteering for the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Pathway to Health Professions program, which is housed under the Policy Studies Center within the UTSA College of Public Policy. She earned her associate’s degree from Northeast Lakeview College and enrolled at UTSA in fall 2017 where she studied to earn her certification as a community health worker. She can now practice in the field while she works to obtain her bachelor’s degree.

Valdez is currently leveraging her Community Health Worker certification at the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio where she counsels emergency room patients so that they leave the hospital with better awareness of the resources available to them at home. She will graduate from UTSA in December with her Bachelor’s of Science in Community Health from the College of Education and Human Development.

Miguel Bedolla, the director of the UTSA Health Career Opportunity Program, tells utsa.edu, “Maria Elena is absolutely committed to serving the population of San Antonio, she has already been certified by the State of Texas as a Community Health Worker through the Pathways to Health Professions Program, she is one of the best students in the program and is unwaveringly committed to be an excellent nursing professional.”

To learn more about Maria Elena Valdez, a first-generation community health worker who is preparing to graduate from nursing school at the end of this year and embark on her career as a nurse, visit here

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