The 2013-14 academic year is off and running as we welcomed our new and returning students to the Lydia Green Nursing Program in the School of Health Sciences. The energy and enthusiasm of our students is inspiring!
One of the things I look forward to most with the start of a new school year is the Consecration Ceremony where we welcome and dedicate our new pre-licensure students to the sacred work of nursing. What a gift it is to see the families, friends and other supporters of our students—their pride in their students' accomplishments and their excitement about the journey that lay ahead for them. As one parent shared with me—“Nearly all schools have an ‘end of program’ ceremony; it's really nice to have this tradition for entering the program!” You can see and read more about Consecration in this issue.
In past issues, we’ve shared how we have been planning for growth in our programs. We are pleased that with the support of the University and community partners in practice we were able to expand our pre-licensure enrollment for the class of 2015 to 64 students--an increase of 28%. We have long said the world needs more SPU nurses—and we are working toward that goal. We also have received final approval from the Washington State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission (NCQAC) and our accreditation agencies to move forward with a new MSN curriculum for Clinical Leadership in Practice (CLIP). The CLIP curriculum will complement our existing nurse practitioner programs and offers a direct entry path for nurses with an Associate Degree. We hope to enter our first cohort of ADNs in Spring 2014 who will join their post-BSN colleagues in the program in Fall 2014. With its emphasis on quality, safety and care coordination, the CLIP curriculum will help prepare our MSN graduates to lead in organizations from the bedside to the boardroom.
As I walk around the SPU campus, I cannot help but be amazed by the splendor of the trees and foliage as their color turns from green to the warm hues of autumn. Amidst the trees and the falling leaves, there are banners boldly stating “From this Place.” The stories that fill this newsletter illustrate that charge in so many ways. From global health, to nurse anesthesia and simulation, to clinical informatics in industry—you will see in the stories that follow the many ways that our students, faculty and alumni are doing God’s work in the world and making a difference in the lives of others. We trust that by hearing these stories that you will see the far reaching effects of your investment in the Lydia Green Nursing Program and the School of Health Sciences.
Lorie Wild, PhD, RN, NEA-BC
Dean, School of Health Sciences
Lydia Green Nursing Program
While completing my MSN degree at SPU back in 1993, my plans were to go into a full-time academic position. By the end of my program, I had determined that an academic career was not the best choice for me and was left floundering, thinking now what? While doing some research at the hospital library where I had been an emergency department RN for many years, I came across a new magazine called Computers in Nursing and voilà, I found my direction! About three months later, I moved across the country to complete my post-master's certificate in Nursing Informatics at the University of Maryland in Baltimore (no online education in those days) and have never looked back. After graduation, I worked for a healthcare information technology consulting company for eight years, then as a clinical analyst for my former employer followed by a five year stint as senior clinical informatics specialist for one vendor then moving to my current role as the Chief Nursing Informatics Officer (CNIO) at Rubbermaid Healthcare (yes, that Rubbermaid).
In this role, I serve as the voice of nursing inside the company to research and development, marketing and sales as well as being a workflow consultant to healthcare facilities across the country and occasionally in other countries as well. Although I miss ED nursing, informatics is my passion. I am so looking forward to the day when we are actually using the data we record on patients to improve care, both for individuals and for populations. Informatics is a nursing discipline that requires a solid foundation in direct patient care. I worked in ED, CCU, Med-Surg, LTC, Occupational and Home Health during my career before starting my informatics journey. While one used to be able to get a start via on-the-job experience, more and more advanced degrees are becoming the norm. And the reality is that every nurse needs a basic understanding of data and how to find and use it.
So did I plan out my career step-by-step? No, in fact when I graduated as a new associate degree nurse back in 1977, I had no intention of ever going back to school again! If anyone with a crystal ball had been able to tell me where my journey would lead, I would have strongly suggested psychotropic medication. But if I have learned anything in my 35 years of nursing, it's to keep your eyes open for new opportunities and take risks. Each time you do, you add to your skill set, even if your new adventure is less than a complete success. I once took a nursing management position…for 5 months…not my cup of tea, but I learned a great deal. But choosing nursing was the best decision I have made in my life and I have never regretted it for a single moment.
Another thing that is certainly true….never say never! I have come full circle and now also teach nursing informatics part-time at the MSN/DNP levels. I love sharing my experience and knowledge with the next generation of informatics nurse specialists. I wish each of you the best in your nursing journey and if I can answer any questions for you, my contact information is below.
When nurses travel to developing countries, our attention is immediately drawn to the lack of material items and we tend to focus on the weaknesses of the community. We can go into a community and see everything that is "wrong" and then work hard to try to "fix" it according to American standards, while completely ignoring desires and expressed needs of the people who live there.
While in Guatemala, I wanted the students to assess the strengths and resources as well as the health needs of the community. Their final assignment was to develop a health education project that was sustainable and met the needs that were identified by the community. After talking with nurses, midwives, social workers, health promoters, and women in the village about the health needs of the community, the students were repeatedly told that women needed to know more about women's health issues including pelvic exams and cervical cancer screening. The students agreed to prepare information for the women of the village, and set up a time the following week to give a talk about women's health. The students spent the weekend researching and preparing an informational poster and presentation in Spanish. Twenty seven women came to hear the students. The students spent about 30 minutes presenting information on female hygiene, pelvic exams, and cervical cancer screening; and then spent an hour and a half answering questions that the audience had about women’s health. After the final question was answered, several of the women stood up to thank the students. One woman said the following...
“I want to thank you for coming and taking an interest in our village. I also want to thank you for listening to our needs and sharing this women’s health information with us. We have had other foreigners come here, see our poverty, and then give us material items. Those material items might be useful for a short while but then they break and get thrown in the garbage. This information that you have given us today is not going to break or die, but will continue to live on and make a difference in our lives because we are more knowledgeable and empowered to take care of our health. Not only will this information live on in me, but I will share it with my mother, my sister, my daughter, my neighbor so that they can know and improve their health and the health of the generations to come.”
In Seattle we are lucky to be surrounded by some of the best medical care in the world. As SPU nursing students, we are able to learn from highly skilled nurses in modern, well-equipped hospitals. Although this high quality health care is a reality for us, it is not a reality for much of the world. Because we live and work as health care providers in such a medically advanced city, we do not get a realistic view of health care on a global level and we do not see the health needs that exist for many people who share our world. This summer I had the opportunity to go on a study abroad trip in Guatemala with the SPU nursing program. From this experience I was able to witness how health care is established in a developing country, learn how health is viewed in another culture, and see firsthand the struggles for basic needs that exist just a plane ride away. In preparation, we had a week of Spanish language school and community health theory with our professor Bethany, who taught us how to treat an entire community as our patient and how to approach health problems on a larger scale. Then we were able to go out into rural communities, conduct interviews and assessments, and develop health education sessions based on the needs we observed. We were also able to spend a couple days working in a clinic with a Guatemalan doctor who had a lot of wisdom and practical knowledge to share with us about medicine and Guatemalan culture. This experience taught me so many things about what it truly means to be a culturally competent nurse and an informed, compassionate person. It is hard to put into words the change in perception that comes from experiencing another culture, especially in the arena of health, but I do know that this change is a valuable one that needs to be experienced by more SPU nursing students like myself in the future.
It has been exactly 30 days since I left Guatemala, but I still remember the feeling of chilly mountain air pressing in around me. The air was thin in the village of Magdalena, located at 7,000 ft. in the Sierra Madre mountain range. My team and I stayed there for two weeks, conducting community health assessments and presenting health education materials to community members. We assessed the strengths and needs of Magdalena and the surrounding villages by walking the streets and talking to people. At first, the responses overwhelmed us. We learned that the children drink contaminated water at school because there are no resources available to supply clean water. As a result, most of them are infected with parasites. Nutrition is also a concern. Many families do not eat any of the fruits or vegetables they grow, but rather sell them at the market because they need the income. The health and social problems were so deeply intertwined that we couldn’t address one without facing another issue that was equally complicated. How were we to make an impact in just two weeks? Education turned out to be the answer. We created fun posters and demonstrations to teach people about nutrition, effective hand washing techniques, and how to make water safe to drink. Change in a community takes time, and we realized that the information we presented may take years to become integrated into everyday practice. However, our hope is that the people of Magdalena and the surrounding villages will be empowered to better the health of their families and their community.
Although we taught the Guatemalan people what we knew about health, my team and I learned even more from them. The graciousness and hospitality of our homestay families was so humbling. They gave generously, no matter how little they had. My host family told me, “Nuestra casa es tu casa”, or “our house is your house”, and they meant it. They gave us the biggest room, and would always offer us more food at dinner even if they didn’t have enough for themselves. The children were so full of joy, despite the poverty in which they lived. One of my favorite days was when we visited the elementary school, and all the kids ran out and surrounded us with hugs and smiles. The strength of my host family’s faith inspired and encouraged me. Even though their lives were filled with difficulty, they continually praised the Lord. My team and I were richly blessed by the Guatemalan people, and I will always remember the summer we spent in the Sierra Madre mountains.
Bethany earned her BSN and MSN at SPU, graduating from the Nurse Practitioner program in 2006. She graduated from the University of Washington in 2011 with a Doctorate of Nursing Practice in Community Health Systems, a subspecialty in Transcultural and Global Health, and a Nurse Educator Certificate. From a young age, Bethany felt called by God to be a servant to many nations and felt the desire to serve people in some sort of medical capacity. Thinking about the life of Jesus and caring for the poor with a holistic approach called her to a life as a nurse practitioner.
After earning her nurse practitioner license, Bethany spent several months in Costa Rica learning Spanish and volunteering in a community clinic serving Nicaraguan immigrants. She enjoyed learning the values, beliefs, and health practices of the community and working to negotiate ways to blend their practices with her American nursing knowledge to craft meaningful and holistic care plans.
Bethany currently works as a nurse practitioner at Sea Mar Community Health Center in Seattle as well as teaching full-time in the graduate nursing program at SPU. She has taken SPU undergraduate students to Vietnam twice and recently to Guatemala sharing with them her love of global community health. At Sea Mar, Bethany can see the desire to serve many nations being met as she treats people who have come from many different countries and cultures. Although she initially thought she might work in missions, she sees now that people from all over the world come to her at Sea Mar. Matthew 25: 31-46, Deuteronomy 10:17-19, and Deuteronomy 15:11 confirm God’s call in her life to serve the poor, indigent, and immigrants.
Bethany’s areas of passion both in practice and in teaching include community health, global health, social determinants of health, transcultural nursing, and providing culturally competent care to diverse populations.
This year 64 students took part in our annual Nursing Consecration for Undergraduate Students in the Pre-Licensure Program. Consecration is an event unique to Christian nursing schools, where students are declared or set apart as holy and dedicated to the service of God and welcomed into the nursing profession. Though not all students come to SPU as followers of Jesus Christ, and may come from different backgrounds and faiths, all are given a blessing of the hands and a white New Testament. Bob Zurinsky, Assistant Director of University Ministries gave the Blessing of Hands and Vivian Wilcox of the Gideon’s Auxiliary presented the new testaments at this year’s Consecration. Our alumni speaker this year was Emily Kelly, BSN RN from the Class of 2006 who spoke to a crowd of over 250 people (students and families) in Upper Gwinn Commons. She shared three pieces of advice gleaned from meaningful experiences she had in the nursing program with the new students. Emily encouraged the students to remain connected to their anchors, invest in relationship with each other, and utilize the insight and expertise of their faculty. The new class of undergraduate nursing students planned the event and participated in the Invocation, special music and scripture reading.
I've enjoyed the SHS newsletters and they reminded me that I meant to write a quick note to update you on what I've been up to since graduating with my BS in 2006!
After graduation I spent almost three years working for Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, on a medical thoracic and GI floor (I'd been there summer of 2005 for a Summer III nursing internship with Emily Kelly, Laura Crumly, Rebecca ??, and Nicole Noteboom).
I then took a three-month leave of absence to volunteer as a nurse with Mercy Ships in Benin, West Africa... and ended up staying a total of 15 months! I spent 6 months in Benin and 9 months in Togo. I worked in the post-operative surgical ward as a ward nurse, a charge nurse, and also helped to coordinate the vesico-vaginal fistula (VVF) program on board. Mercy Ships does a variety of surgeries, including maxillo-facial tumor removal, orthopedics, burn contracture release/plastics, cleft lip and palate repair, and VVF repairs (caused by obstructed labor). Working with Mercy Ships and seeing the lame walk and the blind see was really life-changing for me. It re-energized my passion for nursing (which I'd begun to lose in the med-surg world), and it also enriched my faith in unexpected ways.
After Mercy Ships, I returned to the USA to work on a graduate degree. I just graduated with my MSN in Dec. 2012 as a Family Nurse Practitioner through the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
I'm currently working for a small family practice in the Houston area and loving being in primary care.
Since coming back to the USA I've also had a chance to volunteer in Haiti with Samaritan's Purse, both as a nurse and as an NP. They run a really excellent primary care clinic in the middle of a large slum outside Port-au-Prince and really focus on using US volunteers not as health care providers but as educators and teachers for their Haitian staff.
My goal is to get some solid primary care experience and then hopefully head back overseas in some sort of medical missions capacity. I would also consider going back to school for a DNP degree, but we'll see. :)
I very much appreciate the solid nursing foundation that the SPU nursing program gave me. Learning to be both compassionate and competent as a nurse has given me a firm foundation upon which to build the rest of my nursing career. Although that may sound cliche I know that the SPU nursing program was excellent preparation for the "real world."
Please feel free to forward this to any faculty who would have been there when I was a student from 2001-2006. In particular I have fond memories of Ruby Englund and Kathy Stetz, although there are many others I could also name.
Taylor Childs, SHS, is the recipient of a $5,000 Promise of Nursing for Washington Scholarship Award.
Promise of Nursing scholarship funds are raised at regional gala events sponsored by Johnson & Johnson. Contributions come from hospitals and health-care agencies, Johnson & Johnson, and national and regional companies with an interest in supporting nursing education. Scholarships are awarded to qualified applicants attending nursing programs in selected regions throughout the country. The scholarship awards are based on academic achievement, financial need, and involvement in nursing student organizations and community activities related to health care.
The Foundation of the National Student Nurses Association (FNSNA) was created in 1969 to honor Frances Tompkins, the Association first Executive Director. Organized exclusively for charitable and educational purposes, FNSNA awards scholarships to qualified nursing students annually.
The Affordable Health Care Act will usher in a new era of health care access and has already highlighted the overwhelming shortage of primary care providers nationwide. Washington State is not immune to the problem of too many patients and not enough providers and in response to this reality, Community Health Care in Tacoma, WA pioneered one of the nation’s first Nurse Practitioner Residencies. The yearlong residency offers formal mentoring to new graduate Nurse Practitioners as they bridge from graduate education to independent practice. CHC’s program is under the direction of SPU alum Desirée White (BSN 1999, MSN 2004) and is happy to promote their post graduate program as just the seventh in the nation and the first in WA state. Seattle Pacific University’s School of Health Sciences partnered with CHC to provide the first class of NP Residents to CHC’s new program. Rebecca Bergren (BSN 2003, MSN 2011) and Kate Loeffler (MSN 2011) logged nearly 2000 hours of direct patient care, didactic learning and leadership building in the high acuity setting of the Federally Qualified Health Center. On September 26, 2013 Rebecca & Kate graduated as the first two NP Residency graduates in WA state, joining an elite class of less than 45 graduates nationwide. They will now be able to independently provide the high acuity, high quality and compassionate care to the millions of new insured patients waiting for health care in the coming years!
Desirée White, MSN ARNP FNP-BC
NP Residency Program Director
Community Health Care, Downtown Clinic
1102 South I Street, Tacoma, WA 98405
(P) 253.722.1775 (F) 253.597.3815 Email | Web Site
If you are able to give back by precepting a student in the nurse practitioner program, please contact Linda Pedersen, placement coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you in advance for helping nurture and grow new NP’s!
The RN to BSN program has recently partnered with the SEIU Multi-Employer Training Fund and entered a cohort of 17 students at Valley Medical Center this fall. There are three other cohorts in progress with another cohort to enter winter 2014 at Swedish and spring 2014 at Group Health. A curriculum revision is underway to increase the hours spent in community health, relationships are being encouraged through cross-cohort dinners and mentoring, and pinning is coming up in December for 12 students who have nearly completed their projects.
RN to BSN Pizza Dinner
Early in October, two cohorts of RN to BSN students attending class at Valley Medical Center met for a pizza dinner hosted by the School of Health Sciences thanks to a generous donor. Both cohorts attend class on Monday evenings with one group of students about to complete the program and the other group in the first quarter of class. “Having the opportunity to meet students who have almost made it through gives me hope! I actually met two people who work on my unit at Valley” commented one of the students. Students spent time getting to know each other, asking the “real” questions they want answers to, and sharing tips on work, school, and time management strategies.
With the expansion of the pre-licensure program, 14 transfer students and 11 males were admitted to the nursing program – a record number of both!
This fall, 24 students entered the graduate nursing program in Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Educator, and Clinical Nurse Specialist pathways. Beginning spring 2014, a new entry option will be available for applicants in the form of a newly approved extension of the SHS MSN program. Practicing registered nurses prepared at the associate degree level will have the opportunity to accelerate their education and progress seamlessly to complete a Clinical Leadership in Nursing master’s degree in nursing. This program will allow students to expand their careers by developing advanced leadership and care management skills. For more information or to apply contact Beth Van Camp: 206-281-2888 or email@example.com
Kelly Marley and Sarah Bear were award a Johnson and Johnson Promise of Nursing grant for $8,000.00 to Increase Diversity and Nursing Student Retention. This grant will address progression and retention of the pre-licensure and RN to BSN students as well as graduation and licensure of students in the pre-licensure nursing program. SHS is partnering with The School of Teaching ESL (S-TESL), a private, educational non-profit, for the project. Leslie Lehnhoff has been hired to implement the grant and will begin working with students at the end of October. Leslie has a background in nursing and is certified as a TEFL/TESOL instructor. She will also instruct SHS faculty on strategies to promote success with students who are struggling.
SPU Homecoming School of Nursing Reunion
Saturday, February 1, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. in the Emerson Lounge
Please join us and hear from Dr. Lorie Wild, SHS Dean, about what is happening in the Nursing program and the School of Health Sciences. We hope you will come to renew friendships and enjoy food, fun, and fellowship.
Complimentary coffee and refreshments. RSVP by contacting Julie Ann Harrington: firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-281-2606
When you give to SPU’s School of Health Sciences, you help inspire the stories told here and so many more.
Your gift helps ensure SPU’s robust academics and relationship-centered learning that graduates exceptional practitioners, like Lindsay, Cheryl, and Desiree.
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To make your gift today, visit our giving page - click other designation and write in School of Health Sciences, or mail your gift to:
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Seattle, WA 98119-1997
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Drop us a note at email@example.com to let us know what you are doing, jobs, life events, missions trips, we would love to hear from you. The purpose of Nursing Praxis is to share your stories "from this place" and beyond. Please let us know what you are doing. We want to hear from you.
School of Health Sciences Seattle Pacific University
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Seattle, WA 98119-1950