Belmont University School of Nursing was well represented in a new slate of officers elected recently by the Tennessee Nurses Association (TNA) at their annual assembly. Dr. Sandy Murabito, Assistant Professor of Nursing, was selected as the President-elect for organization's governing body. In addition, Tracy Wilson, Instructor of Nursing, was elected to the nominating committee and senior nursing major Daniel Maison was elected president of the Middle Tennessee Association of Student Nurses.
“This is wonderful recognition for nursing at Belmont," said Dr. Cathy Taylor, Dean of the Gordon E. Inman College of Health Sciences & Nursing. "I have no doubt Ms. Wilson and Mr. Maison will excel in their new roles, and Dr. Murabito will provide the strong leadership the TNA presidency demands. She is an experienced advocate and will prove to be a worthy champion for Tennessee nurses.”
“This year’s meeting ushered in a new strategic direction for the Association,” claimed TNA President Frances Sills. “Each of these members bring experience and passion for the nursing profession and I am confident they will guide this organization to new levels of excellence.”
Dr. Murabito will serve as President-elect until next year's assembly in October and then serve as President for 2015-2016.
School of Nursing instructor Sara Camp gave a peer reviewed presentation of her work on end of life simulations for undergraduate nursing students at the National League for Nursing Technology Conference held in Nashville in October. She will also present aspects of this work at the Tennessee Simulation Alliance Conference in November.
“Helping students learn to provide holistic care at the end of life is a priority in nursing education. Opportunities for students to learn deeply about this may not present themselves in routine clinical rotations. Simulation creates a powerful opportunity for this learning to take place. Our students have received tremendous benefit from the end-of-life simulations and I’m so pleased that Ms. Camp is disseminating this work.” said Associate Dean of Nursing, Martha Buckner.
With an emphasis on experiential learning, Belmont’s School of Nursing provides students with the opportunity to participate in human simulation labs. For Nursing Instructor Sara Camp’s Adult Health II students, this meant taking part in an End of Life lab that simulated the death of a patient, with a volunteer acting as a grieving family member.
When the participating students arrived, they were aware of their patient, Lisa’s, prognosis. Equipped with her report, they were tasked with guiding Lisa and her family member through her final stages of life. As Lisa’s heart rate and pulse slowed, the volunteer family member’s questions sped up. Similar to what would occur in a hospital setting, students were responsible for providing care and comfort for the patient, while assisting the family during a particularly challenging time.
Belmont University Web and Marketing Developer Jon Blankenship participated in the simulation because of a personal connection he has to caregivers who specialize in end of life treatment. His father was recently diagnosed with end stage colon cancer and through the experience, “the one constant we have is how wonderful Dad’s nurses are to him and to us,” Blankenship said. The opportunity to contribute to the education of a nurse who could play that same role for a family in the future was what made Jon sign on. For those nurses, “there aren’t enough thanks to give,” he said.
Camp is committed to equipping students with the skills needed to care for the family system, not just the patients they are assigned. Often, nurses are expected to be experts on caring for patients in their final stages of life in a hospital, regardless of their training or comfort level. Camp said many bedside nurses aren’t confident in the end of life training they have received and because of that, are not adequate resources for new nurses to turn to. “Given that the end of life is such an important event in the life of our patients and their families, it seems irresponsible to leave this to on the job training,” she said.
Senior nursing major and simulation participant Blair Bailey would agree. “It is nice to have practiced skills in lab, prior to actually performing the skills in the hospital,” she said. “I will definitely be able to take what I learned from this simulation and take the experience into the real world as a nurse.”
In a debrief following the simulation, senior nursing major Mark Wolter, discussed the challenge of moving from a proactive treatment mentality to one that comforts the family and patient through the final stages of life. Because of Lisa’s signed DNR and DNI, once the final stages of life had come, there was no medical intervention that could be done. Instead of working to raise a heartbeat once it had dropped, the care team was responsible for ensuring the comfort and ease of both the patient and the family. “At this point in a patient’s care, you are treating everyone close to the patient, and you realize the impact that you can have as a nurse in keeping the situation as peaceful as possible,” he said.
Through this and countless other simulations included in Belmont’s program, students are given the opportunity to practice their skills through first hand experiences, preparing them for clinicals and post-graduation careers. Wolter said he is grateful for the emphasis Belmont puts on experiential learning and knows the program continues to advocate for more and more opportunities. “I’m a nail and hammer kind of learner, so that has helped me in a profound way,” he said. “The experiences I have had while at Belmont are beneficial because I have had varying experiences that I will build from in my first job and first few years as a nurse. I am thankful.”
Assistant Professor of Nursing Dr. Erin Shankel has presented her work on tele-monitoring and app-based symptom management in pediatric asthma at two recent national conferences. She presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners in June and at the national Doctor of Nursing Practice conference in October.
Associate Professor of Nursing Dr. Carrie Harvey along with nursing graduate students Cassandra Gladkowski, Chelsey Medley, Heather Nelson and Angela Price published a manuscript in the September issue of Journal for Nurse Practitioners, the premier peer-reviewed journal for nurse practitioners. The manuscript was titled “Opioids versus physical therapy for management of chronic pain.” They presented an extensive review the literature and critique of the evidence.
Also, nursing faculty Dr. Jamie Adam and Dr. Leslie Folds published a manuscript in the October issue of that same journal titled “Depression, self-efficacy and adherence in patients with type 2 diabetes.” Their research explored various factors that affect diabetes adherence, finding that as depressive symptoms increase, self-efficacy behaviors decrease.
Dr. Brianna Witherspoon, adjunct faculty member in the School of Nursing, presented a scientific poster titled “ACNP Intensivists – Evaluating A Model of Care” at the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) National Magnet Conference in Dallas Texas last week. Witherspoon’s work described patient outcomes such as mortality rates and intensive care unit length of stay before and after acute care nurse practitioners (ACNPs) joined the critical care team. Witherspoon teaches adult health clinical and lab in the undergraduate nursing program.
Belmont School of Nursing students and faculty were featured in a recent edition of the Freedom’s Promise newsletter for their work during this summer’s study abroad trip to Cambodia. The nursing program has long partnered with Sihanouk Hospital Center of HOPE in Cambodia but is now working more and more with Freedom’s Promise to help with their efforts.
Freedom’s Promise’s mission is to prevent human trafficking and child exploitation in Cambodia through individualized community development programs resulting in trafficking-free safe zones. Through one of their programs, Belmont students interacted with villagers on a daily basis and taught them life-saving hand washing techniques. They also increased the quality of community health by providing education sessions focused on nutrition and disease prevention.
Dr. Susan Taplin, assistant professor of nursing and 2014 DNP graduate, leads the program’s efforts in Cambodia and has traveled there with students for more than 10 years.
“If you don’t take care of the illness first, you’re not going to get anywhere else. Teaching them something as simple as hand washing can increase their life expectancy and quality of life. You and I have always known to wash our hands, and we don’t know what it’s like to not have that education,” Talpin says.
Dr. Jamie Adam, assistant professor of nursing, presented her work on innovative teaching to the Healthcare Educators Networking Conference in Cambridge, United Kingdom, Sept. 2. Her presentation was titled “The flipped classroom approach: Evaluating student and faculty experiences.” The conference provided a unique experience for attendees from various healthcare disciplines to participate in sessions related to educational innovation, clinical practice, interprofessional learning and simulation. Attendees included educators from nursing, OT, PT, allied health, psychology and others representing both inpatient and outpatient settings. Participants remained within their chosen theme for the day to enjoy continuity of discussion and debate among faculty from all over the world. Dr. Martha Buckner, associate dean of nursing, said, “Dr. Adam’s work with the flipped classroom allows her to engage students more actively, encouraging them to clarify and apply knowledge. I am so pleased she is receiving both national and international attention to her work.”
Two Belmont alumnae and one current Belmont student were recently contestants on the game show “Family Feud.” Sarah Morgan is a School of Nursing alumna, and Bethany Thomas graduated from Belmont’s physical therapy program. Lindsey Thomas is currently enrolled in the pharmacy program at Belmont. All three women are also related to Professor of Media Studies Dr. Rich Tiner.
The family auditioned in June at the Hotel Preston in Nashville. The Thomas family episode was taped this summer and aired this past Tuesday.
NurseJournal.org has ranked Belmont University No. 12 among the Top 50 Most Social Media Friendly Nursing Schools of 2014.
For its ranking methodology, NurseJournal.org evaluated hundreds of nursing schools to see which have the strongest presence among social media platforms. The formula was weighted to put more emphasis on the social media platforms that are most popular with nursing schools. The highest possible score is 100, with 32 points for Facebook, 15 for Nurses Lounge, 14 for Twitter, 12 for YouTube, 12 for LinkedIn, 6 for Google, 4 for Pinterest, 4 for Flickr, and 1 for Instagram. Belmont scored a 65.4 on the ranking scale.