Esteemed Johns Hopkins School of Nursing (JHSON) faculty member Shawna Mudd, DNP, CPNP-AC, PPCNP-BC, CNE, has been named associate dean for academic affairs. She will oversee curriculum quality and development, instructional design, clinical placements, and more.
“Dr. Mudd’s leadership and longevity at the school will be critical in this new role. She will help us boldly innovate our programs and provide unparalleled learning experiences for our students,” says JHSON Dean Sarah Szanton, PhD, RN, FAAN.
As a faculty member since 2011, Mudd has most recently served as the Interim Associate Dean for Educational Quality and Innovation. During this time, she actively contributed to developing and coordinating the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) dual pediatric primary/acute care NP track. She also served as the DNP Curriculum Subcommittee Chair and Chair of the Faculty Assembly.
Mudd’s career has been dedicated to children’s health in acute and primary care settings. She has built unique expertise in the intensive care unit. She has served as a pediatric nurse practitioner in the pediatric emergency department, a child abuse consultant, and a provider of specialized primary care to children of mothers with substance use disorders. Her most recent work focuses on developing innovative teaching methods and models of education and exploring business aspects of healthcare management.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as the new Associate Dean for Academic Affairs,” says Mudd. “This will be an exciting challenge, and I am eager to collaborate with our faculty, staff, and students to create positive change and keep the school on a path of excellence.”
When patients present with a specific type of heart attack (non-ST elevation acute coronary syndrome) or chest pain related to coronary heart disease (unstable angina), they often undergo several tests—many being invasive—and then they may be sent to other facilities for even more procedures.
It’s time-consuming, it can be confusing to the patient, it can be stressful on the patient’s body, and when combined, can lead them to abandon care.
Sarah Slone, DNP, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN began to address this problem from an implementation science standpoint in her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) project. She aimed to streamline the process of existing care options from acute symptom presentation in the hospital to discharge.
But ultimately that raised a new question:
Can we determine best practices for when patients need catheterization (an invasive procedure) so that we can establish a standardized approach and identify barriers to care that may exist?
“Any invasive procedure carries risk,” Sarah says. “There are non-invasive options like stress tests, information that can be gleaned from a patient’s presentation and previous lab work, and newer options with CT scanners.”
Now she’s pursuing the question from a discovery science standpoint. Her Ph.D. research examines “care pathways” from acute symptom presentation to various methods of invasive and non-invasive testing, to establish best practices for when patients are most in need of these procedures.
From Implementation to Discovery
Sarah Slone graduated from the DNP Executive Track in May 2019, then started the Ph.D. in August 2020. She is in a new Johns Hopkins School of Nursing program that offers an alternative pathway to Ph.D. for nurses who have earned a DNP. Students can transfer credits and earn their Ph.D. in about three years compared to about five years.
The DNP Executive Track is online with on-site immersions, but Ph.D. students must live in Baltimore. So Sarah moved from South Carolina to Baltimore, alone, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She considered delaying her start but didn’t want to let the time go to waste. And even before the move, the family living situation was complicated.
“My husband is an interventional cardiologist who works in a hospital. At the beginning of the pandemic, we had to decide if we wanted to live together since he would be at risk of being exposed. Our son is in college, but he returned home because of COVID. He decided that he wanted to remain in the house as well,” Slone says.
Now in her second semester, Sarah reflects that the Ph.D. is not harder, but different than the DNP.
“The DNP enriched my perspective as a nurse scientist, but I learned that questions arise from evidence-based practice, and I needed a Ph.D. to explore that further.”
—SARAH SLONE, DNP, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN
“I’ve already grown a lot in terms of research,” she continues. “I came in with a specific idea of what I wanted to do and was able to develop my research project with my mentors into something not just fundable, but something that can grow into a wider program of research.” Sarah’s DNP mentor was Dr. Deborah Baker, Senior Vice President for Nursing of Johns Hopkins Health System and her Ph.D. mentors are Dr. Cheryl Dennison Himmelfarb and Dr. Kelly Gleason.
Sarah recommends that, if you are considering a Ph.D. and have a DNP, define your research questions early. “The sooner you can do it, the better you can align assignments, so they build and benefit you throughout the program.”
A Passion for Research
Sarah always had a passion for research—from working as a research assistant in a plant pathology lab in high school to initially studying biochemistry in college. She took some time off from undergrad to have a family and later decided to pursue a BSN. Upon graduation, she worked as an ICU nurse for five years, then became a family nurse practitioner, followed by work in general and trauma surgery. She discovered a passion for cardiovascular care when the 36-hour shifts in trauma surgery became too much (especially with a young family!) and the cardiovascular service was hiring.
“It’s fascinating,” Sarah says. “Cardiovascular disease remains the number one cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. There’s so much opportunity to improve the lives of patients.”
Nursing school is often a challenge, but it can be particularly hard if you need to have a lung transplant during your junior year. Such was the case with Nurse of the Week Brianna Fogelman.
“I had collapsed lungs…I developed pneumonia,” recalls the Delaware thoracic nurse. “I pretty much was on 10 liters of oxygen–the highest; my husband had to wash me up, had to shower me–I couldn’t walk. I remember going to take my final with my chest tube in my chest and going to school with all of that.” Two weeks before her wedding, Fogelman checked in at Johns Hopkins for a lung transplant. “I was dying…they were trying to wait until after my wedding to do my transplant, and in my mind, I’m like ‘oh I’m going to walk down the aisle with my wedding dress and my oxygen on’…I was just unrealistic, and I was just so wrapped up in not believing that I had to have a transplant.”
Fogelman had her operation in June 2019 and returned to school for her senior year in August. Then, after graduation she had a brilliant interview and was hired on the spot for her dream job: she is now working as a thoracic nurse at the hospital where she had had her lifesaving operation, Johns Hopkins. Fogelman was delighted. “They kind of saw how I was struggling and how I was so determined to finish school on time; I guess I kind of gained their respect that way. Hopkins was pretty much on my side about everything, and they were just really understanding, and they understood that I didn’t want to sulk. Whatever happened, I wanted to be grateful; I wanted to live and I wanted to live my life, so they just backed me 100%.”
As she works with her patients on the Hopkins thoracic ward, Fogelman tries to instill them with her positive attitude: “When you are able to get a second chance at life, it’s like you have a different meaning and a different vision about life and about what matters and what doesn’t matter. Even if you’re in a difficult situation–like me–declining very rapidly, not knowing if you’re going to live the next day…get rooted in something that will keep you going, get rooted in something that will bring support…just make sure you try to have a positive attitude no matter how hard things get.”
For more on Breanna Fogelman’s story, visit WDEL.com.
Campbell, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor in the Johns
Hopkins School of Nursing (JHSON), has created the Danger Assessment, a
groundbreaking instrument that effectively assesses the risk of an abused woman
to be seriously injured or killed by her intimate partner. JHSON has signed a
licensing agreement with the Veterans Administration (VA), now offering all VA
clinical staff access to the Danger Assessment training.
Campbell led a training session on how to the use
the instrument for 800 members of the VA’s clinical staff nationwide. VA
employees can also access the training online to obtain certification and
increase the amount of staff competent in the use of this evidence-based
LeAnn Bruce, PhD, national program manager of the VA’s Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Program (IPVAP), tells newswise.com, “The VA recognizes the Danger Assessment as the gold standard of lethality assessments. This training partnership will result in the development of a cadre of clinicians throughout all VA medical centers who are extensively trained to effectively support the mission to provide ongoing education and have the means to identify those who are at risk so safety planning and intervention can be provided.”
According to Dr. Campbell, research comparing the
prevalence of domestic violence/intimate partner violence between the general
population and veterans is limited but studies suggest combat veterans
diagnosed with PTSD have a higher prevalence of intimate partner violence than
those who have not been diagnosed. The concern with intimate partner violence
among veterans is not just about the prevalence but also with its potential to
exacerbate other problems that veterans often face, including physical and
mental well-being, homelessness, and risk of suicide and homicide.
The Danger Assessment includes a calendar to help
assess the severity and frequency of battering in the past year and a 20-item
instrument that uses a weighted system to score yes/no responses to risk
factors associated with intimate partner homicide, including past death
threats, partner’s employment status, and access to a gun. The Danger
Assessment is freely available to the public but the weighted scoring
instructions are reserved for individuals who have been trained and
certified in the use of the Danger Assessment.
To learn more about Johns Hopkins Nursing professor
Jacquelyn Campbell’s Danger Assessment for assessing risk of intimate partner
violence, visit here.
Patricia Davidson, PhD, MEd, RN, FAAN, dean of JHSON, tells newswise.com, “We are proud to be recognized again for our purposeful dedication to embedding diversity, equity, and inclusion into our mission, education, research, practice, and service.”
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are embedded into the mission at JHSON, and help drive the school’s innovation and success. This past year, JHSON has lived its mission for excellence in diversity, equity, and inclusion in joint effort with its robust Diversity and Inclusion Committee. The committee seeks to increase cultural competency skills and diversity of faculty, students, and staff, while providing opportunities for diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, strategies, and feedback. The school also centers on “local to global” educational programs that offer collaborations with students and faculty from across 25 different countries.
JHSON’s faculty population are 29 percent racial and ethnic minorities and 12 percent men. The student population are 39 percent racial and ethnic minorities and 12 percent men. The school was also recently named a 2019 Best School for Men in Nursing by the American Association for Men in Nursing.
Other diversity highlights from the past year include the recognition of Phyllis Sharps, PhD, RN, FAAN, as 2019 Black Nurse of the Year by the Black Nurses Association of the Greater Washington, DC Area, Inc.; the diversification of education opportunities, which includes a nurse anesthesiology program and more online options; a committed and focused faculty research program in areas of health equity; and more.
To learn more about the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing receiving the 2019 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, visit here.