National Nurses Week

May 10, 2013

This week, I'm happy to join the rest of the country in recognizing National Nurses Week, which is devoted to celebrating nurses and all that they do. Each year, the week begins on May 6, also known as National Nurses Day, and runs through Florence Nightingale's birthday on May 12.

But more than just celebrating nurses and the amazing things they do every day, I think this week is a time to recognize how the KU School of Nursing is advancing the profession. The School of Nursing is educating students for changing roles as clinicians, educators, researchers and leaders. The school is earning a national reputation as a place for innovative research and is a respected advocate for the nursing profession.

This semester, 713 future nurses are enrolled at the School of Nursing. They are educated, trained and supported by 123 total faculty and staff. Next week, 156 of our students will graduate with doctorate's degrees, master's degrees, BSNs and post-master's certificates; they join 73 others who graduated with similar degrees in August and December.

The only person who might possibly be more proud than I am to congratulate these nurses is Dean Karen Miller. On Monday, Dean Miller treated the school's faculty and staff to a buffet lunch in the School of Nursing Atrium. But the day also involved rigorous intellectual activity, with 12 graduating seniors from the baccalaureate program presenting research results from studies they conducted this past year. 

I want to list each of the topics in the 10th annual Nursing Honors Presentations so that you can all see the breadth of our nursing students' research:

Development of a Health-Promoting Self-Management Intervention for HIV-Positive African American Women (Laura Allen)

Implementing E-Books: Faculty and Student Experiences (Jennifer Guevel)

Symptom Occurrence/Severity and Care Strategies for Symptom Relief in Children During Treatments for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia [A.L.L] in Thailand and the U.S.A. (Jenna DeGennaro)

Difference in Job Satisfaction Among Advance Practice Nurses (Doug Brady)

Effects of Ubiquinol in Reducing Mesenteric Microvascular Inflammation and Mitochondrial Damage Following Hemorrhagic Shock and Fluid Resuscitation (Emily Brandmeyer)

Is there an APP for that? APPS for Adults with Special Needs (Meghan Malone)

Weight and Tension Study: Feelings about Weight Tension Scale Pilot (Megan Godwin)

Assaults on Nursing Personnel (Branka Johnson)

The Effect of RN Workgroup Job Employment on RN Workgroup Intent to Stay (Lora Joyce)

Satisfaction with End-Of-Life Care and Communication: Relationships between Family/Residents and Staff Perspectives (Erin Jessie Kruse)

Perspectives of Northern Uganda Health Providers about how Cultural Beliefs and Practices Affect Birth Outcomes (Kaitlyn DeBacco)

Emotional Tone Coding Using an Abbreviated Rating Scale (Rebecca Sims)

I want to extend my congratulations to these students, their faculty mentors, and in particular, Dr. Geri Neuberger, the BSN Nursing Honors Program Coordinator. Over the 10 years of the presentations, the program has now graduated 91 students who are already making discoveries that will change the world and build healthy communities. Graduates of last year's BSN honors program are working in ICUs here at The University of Kansas Hospital, at Children's Mercy Hospital, and in other cities and states, and are in fairly prestigious master's and doctoral programs.

Meanwhile, other nursing faculty are earning national and international recognition for their research:

Frontiers: The Heartland Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (our Clinical and Translational Science Award, or CTSA), is the only such grant in the country to have a nurse researcher in the prestigious role of co-principal investigator: Lauren Aaronson.

Laverne Manos is the lead investigator on a $1 million, three-year grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration to develop a new interdisciplinary model for the transition care of patients discharged from The University of Kansas Hospital's pediatrics unit.

Carol Smith is the recipient of a three-year, National Institutes of Health grant for a study titled "Mobile Technologies Assisting Patients & Family Caregivers in Healthy Living." Dr. Smith was also inducted into the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame.

Ubolrat Piamjariyakul was awarded $50,000 through the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute for a study on how to reduce heart failure re-hospitalization in African Americans with family home care.

Nelda Godfrey, Janet Pierce, and Kristine Williams were inducted this year as new fellows of the American Academy of Nursing.

Rita Clifford is one of this year's KU Women of Distinction.

Nurses of KU, we are so proud of you. Thank you for everything you have done and will do to improve health care for all.

Last modified: May 10, 2013