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Around the KU School of Nursing

Catch-up on news and other updates you may have missed from the KU School of Nursing.

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Nelda Godfrey inducted as a Fellow in the Academy of Nursing Education

Nelda Godfrey, Ph.D., ACNS-BC, RN, FAAN, associate dean of innovative partnerships and practice, was inducted as a Fellow in the Academy of Nursing Education. Nelda joined 16 new fellows from the United States and Canada honored for their innovation, research and leadership in advancing nursing education by the National League for Nursing. The Academy of Nursing Education membership now totals 302. These leading nurse educators teach in a range of programs across the spectrum of higher education and are affiliated with leading teaching hospitals and other organizations committed to advancing the quality of health care in the United States and nationally. Wanda Bonnel, Ph.D., RN, GNP-BC, ANEF, associate professor, is also a Fellow in the Academy of Nursing Education.

$3.4 million expansion planned for Salina Health Education Center

Plans are now underway for a $3.4 million expansion of the Salina Health Education Center in Salina, Kansas, which serves as the home for the Salina campuses of both the KU School of Nursing and KU School of Medicine. When plans were originally developed to establish a new Salina medical campus for KU in 2016, the project was intended to house only the medical school. In 2017, the KU School of Nursing announced plans to also establish a program in Salina and both schools were able to share space in the Salina Health Education Center when the building opened in June 2018. The first two classes of nurses in the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 school years were capped at 12 students. The fall of 2019, the entering class expanded to 18 students. The entering class will again expand to 24 students for the 2020-2021 school year.

Jerrihlyn McGee named vice chancellor for diversity, equity and inclusion at the University of Kansas Medical Center

Jerrihlyn McGee, DNP, RN, CNE, has been named vice chancellor for diversity, equity and inclusion for KU Medical Center. In this newly created role, McGee will serve as the chief diversity officer and will lead and coordinate diversity-related initiatives for all three schools (health professions, medicine and nursing) and on all three campuses of the KU Medical Center (Kansas City, Salina and Wichita). She will develop and oversee programs, services and initiatives designed to enhance the organization's cultural competence and the successful recruitment, professional development and retention of students, faculty and staff from diverse and under-represented population groups. McGee also will chair the Diversity and Inclusion Cabinet. McGee is currently a clinical assistant professor and program director for graduate leadership programs in the KU School of Nursing.

KU School of Nursing class of 2021 dons white coats at Nightingale Ceremony

At a ceremony held Aug. 23 in the Ad Astra room of the Health Education Building at the University of Kansas Medical Center, the KU School of Nursing class of 2021 officially began their journey into the nursing profession.The students participated in the Nightingale ceremony, during which they each received their white clinical coats and Gold Humanism pins and were inducted into one of three academic societies named after influential nursing leaders. They also, as a group, recited the KU Oath of Commitment. The KU School of Nursing class of 2020 comprises 131 students who have completed two years of college and who enter the school as juniors. They will earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The 18 students from the Salina campus of the KU School of Nursing, the third class from that campus which was established in 2017, also made the trip to participate in the ceremony.

Retired nurse leaves $4.2 million gift for nursing scholarships

A retired nurse who grew up in the small town of Whitewater, Kansas, left a $4.2 million gift from her estate to create scholarships for generations of nursing students at the KU School of Nursing. Margaret Ann Zimmerman created a scholarship fund in her name in the KU School of Nursing. The fund will provide support for postdoctoral students and full-time doctoral students. It also will assist in recruiting students in the undergraduate nursing honors program and the Nursing Pathways diversity program. Sally Maliski, dean of the KU School of Nursing, said the generous donation will, among other purposes, assist the school in attracting top talent for its doctoral programs.

Lisa Larsen named dean of KU School of Nursing‒Salina

Lisa Larson, Ph.D., RN, assumed the role of campus dean for the School of Nursing in Salina. Dr. Larson originally joined the School of Nursing as the assistant dean of academic affairs in 2017. As campus dean, Dr. Larson is focusing on increasing student enrollment and overseeing the educational and operational activities of the School of Nursing campus. She will also continue to play an instrumental role in the ongoing growth of the school and will lead efforts to prepare the Health Education Center in Salina to eventually accommodate 48 nursing students.

Teri Kennedy invested as Ida Johnson Feaster Professor in Interprofessional Practice and Education

Teri Kennedy, Ph.D., MSW, LCSW, ACSW, FGSA, FNAP, was invested as the Ida Johnson Feaster Professor in Interprofessional Practice and Education with the University of Kansas School of Nursing. Kennedy joined the KU School of Nursing faculty in October 2018 and was subsequently appointed associate dean of interprofessional practice, education, policy and research. Before coming to KU, she spent over two decades at Arizona State University, where she served as director of the office of gerontological and interprofessional initiatives with the School of Social Work and faculty lead for interprofessional clinical partnerships for the center for advancing interprofessional practice, education and research with the College of Nursing and Health Innovation. Kennedy's role at the KU School of Nursing is to elevate, advance, and sustain interprofessional practice and education (IPE), in which students from different disciplines learn about, from, and with each other.

KU School of Nursing-Salina graduates first class of students

In May 2019, nine students became the first graduates from the KU School of Nursing’s program in Salina, Kansas. The KU School of Nursing opened the Salina campus in 2017 largely in response to the shortage of nurses in the state, particularly in sparsely populated areas where it can be difficult to attract health care providers and keep them there. The idea was to put a KU School of Nursing in a central area near many rural communities so that people who live there, and are therefore more likely to stay, can attend. The students in Salina follow the same curriculum as their counterparts in Kansas City and connect live with nursing classes in Kansas City via interactive television. Classes are broadcast to Kansas City from the Salina campus as well. The Salina program accepts students into its BSN program who have completed two years of undergraduate nursing education at any regionally accredited college or university.

KU School of Nursing hosts 2019 Midwest Nursing Research Society conference

The KU School of Nursing hosted the 43th annual Midwest Nursing Research Society conference in March 2019. Nearly 900 nursing scholars and students attended from 36 states and five countries. The Midwest Nursing Research Society is a 13-state regional organization that promotes nursing science and helps foster the next generation of nurse researchers. Consistent with the theme of this year's conference, "Nursing Research at the Forefront of Healthcare Crises," the event was bookended by keynote addresses about the nation's opioid crisis. Peggy Compton, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, the van Amerigen Endowed Chair of the Department of Family and Community Health at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, presented nursing-centered research about addiction, pain and the opioid misuse epidemic. Melanie Simpson, Ph.D., RN-BC, OCN, CHPN, CPE, pain management team coordinator at The University of Kansas Health System, closed the conference with a lecture about the need to address the competing healthcare crises of chronic pain and opioid misuse simultaneously, in a patient-centered way that both maximizes benefit and minimizes risk.

KU School of Nursing delivers Project ECHO series on stress

Melissa Hoffman, DNP, APRN, and Cara Busenhart, Ph.D., APRN, delivered an interactive presentation in May 2019 on the effect stress has on the mental health of pregnant women and mothers. The presentation by Hoffman and Busenhart was the third of a four-session teleconference series on stress delivered by the KU School of Nursing via Project ECHO (Extension for Community Health Outcomes), a program housed in the Center for Telemedicine and Telehealth at the KU Medical Center. Titled "Stressed Out: Identifying and responding to chronic stress in our patients and ourselves," it was the first ECHO series to be presented by the KU School of Nursing. Project ECHO was designed as a form of continuing education that uses teleconferencing and the web to enable primary care physicians and other clinicians, especially those in remote areas, to learn from and dialogue with specialists, particularly those at academic medical centers such as KU. The nurse-presenters of the "Stressed Out" ECHO created an online toolkit of resources so participants would have access to resources after the teleconference was over. The toolkit is searchable by patient population and contains links to screening tools and apps as well as general mental health information.

Elizabeth Young receives Phyllis Keeney Lawrence Teaching Award

Elizabeth Young, MSN, RN, CNE, clinical assistant professor at the KU School of Nursing, is the 2019 recipient of the Phyllis Keeney Lawrence Teaching Award. The award, which was established at the KU Endowment Association, honors Phyllis Keeney Lawrence, a registered nurse who was killed by a drunk driver in a 1997 automobile accident. She was 32 years old at the time of her death. Lawrence received a bachelor's degree in nursing from KU's School of Nursing in 1990. The award is given to a KU School of Nursing faculty member who demonstrates a superior record of teaching performance, makes significant contribution to curriculum development, and utilizes innovative approaches in teaching.

2019 KU School of Nursing Summer Program

KU School of Nursing welcomed students from Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools (KCKPS) for a third year for the HealthStart & Life Sciences Initiatives program. The event is a collaboration between the KU School of Nursing, PREP-KC and KCKPS, where KCKPS students and teachers are introduced to the health science programs offered by the KU Schools of Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. This year’s program theme was Exercise Science and Nutrition.

The 2019 program was updated to include some new activities, including a Day in the Life of a Nurse ‒Speed Dating Style; A Case Study ‒ Escape Room Style; cardio-pulmonary and orthopedic Labs; 4) physical therapy activity stations; and an audiology station.

Students spent time with nutritionists and two notable KU School of Nursing researchers, whose work directly impacts the students’ community. Jerrihlyn McGee, DNP, introduced a new mentoring program, geared toward underrepresented and first-generation college students interested in degree programs offered by the KU Schools of Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy. Pamela Barnes, Ph.D., MBA, discussed the KU School of Nursing’s new Passport/Pipeline initiative for attracting underrepresented and first-generation college students to nursing.

KU School of Nursing

University of Kansas Medical Center
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