College of Health Sciences and Nursing Hosts Health Care Academy

Belmont’s College of Health Sciences and Nursing recently hosted a one-day session for high school students interested in pursuing careers in health care through the 2016 Maury Academy for Students in Health (MASH).

A two-week summer camp for local students, MASH included individual sessions designed to expose participants to diverse areas of medicine and health care. Students interacted with health care expects including physicians, registered nurses, medical & radiologic technologists, respiratory therapists and pharmacists to learn about physical assessment, casting, suturing, medical terminology and more.

In a post-survey of their experiences at Belmont, one student commented on the University’s use of technology throughout its curriculum saying, “I enjoyed working with the mannequins. They were super cool! I did not know that our world had that advanced of technology. It is quite amazing.”

Belmont University School of Nursing Named on Top 50 List

Belmont’s School of Nursing was recently included on NursingSchoolsAlmanac.com’s top nursing schools list for 2016. With data collected from 3,200 institutions across the nation, 10 percent of schools are included on the organization’s list.

Belmont was ranked No. 28 in the “Top 50 School in the Southeast” (top 3 percent of schools considered) and No. 62 among private nursing schools on the “Top 100 Nursing Schools” list (in the top 5 percent of all schools considered) .

College of Health Sciences & Nursing and College of Pharmacy Collaborate on Interprofessional Lab Simulation

Belmont’s School of Nursing and College of Pharmacy recently collaborated to demonstrate and educate students on their crucial roles in preventing medical errors. Collaboration and communication between health care professionals has been identified as one of the most important aspects of reducing errors and Belmont’s collaborative partnerships illustrates the University’s commitment to preparing its students for their careers.

The inaugural pilot program’s coordinator Dr. Anthony Blash, assistant professor in the College of Pharmacy said the collaboration between nurses and pharmacists allows for identification of potential medication errors, furthering the field’s ability to eliminate errors. Some of the technology available at the bedside to prevent errors and promote patient safety includes medication dispensing cabinets, electronic health records, patient identification through electronic scanners and infusion safety software that provides “dose error reduction.” Each of these is utilized in Belmont’s School of Nursing but, prior to this pilot, pharmacy students and nursing had not collaborated in the reduction of medical errors.

(L to R: Drs. Blash and Hallmark)

L to R: Drs. Blash and Hallmark

Blash and Dr. Beth Fentress Hallmark, director of simulation in the College of Health Sciences & Nursing, provided simulation-based education to first-year pharmacy students in pharmacy’s “Introduction to Drug Information and Informatics” course.

“I know this makes a difference in the professional lives of these pharmacy students,” Hallmark said. “The most powerful comment was when one of the students said she did not realize that nursing students knew so much about medication. Dr. Blash said it best when he talked about the ‘us’ vs ‘them’ mentality in healthcare and how it must be a ‘we’ mentality… this is what prevents medical error.”

Several nursing, business and pharmacy faculty participated in this initiative including Sara Camp, Jean Blank, PJ Ambrefe, Victoria Buechel, Dr. Tammy Legge, Dr. David Wyant and Dr. Kate Claussen.

Nursing Alumnus Honored with Vanderbilt’s Founder’s Medal

Jessica Walker, a Belmont School of Nursing alumnus, was recently honored as a Founder’s Medalist for Vanderbilt School of Nursing where she graduated with her Master’s of Science in Nursing in Vanderbilt’s Psychiatric-Mental Heath Nurse Practitioner program.

According to the Vanderbilt website, the Founder’s Medals have been given since 1877 to the top graduates from each school at the University, in honor of the awards’ benefactor Cornelius Vanderbilt.

Since being at Vanderbilt, Walker received the American Psychiatric Nurses Association Board of Directors Student Scholarship, served as president of the National Alliance on Mental Illness and was very involved locally as she volunteered at Room in the Inn, NAMI of Davidson County and Renewal House. Currently, Walker is enrolled in Vanderbilt’s Doctor of Nursing Practice Program.

Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame Announces 2016 Inductees

Hall of Fame’s second class represents Tennessee’s greatest health and health care pioneers

The Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame announced the six health care professionals selected as the Hall of Fame’s second class of inductees at a luncheon held on Belmont University’s campus Tuesday. With a mission to honor men and women who have made significant and lasting contributions to the health and health care industries, the Hall of Fame was created by Belmont University and the McWhorter Society and is supported by the Nashville Health Care Council, a Hall of Fame Founding Partner.

Chair of the McWhorter Society and Chairman of Medcare Investment Funds Dr. Harry Jacobson said, “This group of six individuals embodies some of the greatest talent our state has ever seen. With representatives from all corners of Tennessee who have made a significant impact on their communities through their work as leaders, practitioners, executives and scientists, the Hall of Fame is honored to name such a deserving group of health care legends as inductees.”

The nomination process began in January and was open to practitioners, executives, entrepreneurs, mentors, teachers, scientists, researchers, innovators or any person with a connection to the health or health care field. Nominees must have:

  • Been born, lived or have worked in Tennessee
  • Made a significant impact and lasting contribution to health care at the local, state, national or international level
  • Exhibit the highest ethical and professional character
  • Serve as an outstanding role model in their community

Among the more than 35 highly qualified candidates nominated, the inductees were reviewed by a Selection Committee made up of health and health care leaders from across the state. Selected inductees represent some of Tennessee’s greatest health and health care pioneers, leaders and innovators.

Inducted individuals include:

  • Jack Bovender: Retired Chairman and CEO of Hospital Corporation of America, Member of the National Health Care Hall of Fame, Credited with the rescue of patients in an HCA hospital during Hurricane Katrina
  • Dr. Stanley Cohen: Recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in medicine and physiology, Faculty Member at Washington University and Professor of Biochemistry at Vanderbilt, Completed research on epidermal growth factors that contributed to discoveries for individual cancer and immune system dysfunction therapiesDr. Colleen Conway-Welch: Dean Emerita of Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, Past Nashvillian of the Year, Served on President Reagan’s Commission on HIV Epidemic and the National Bipartisan Commissions of the Future of Medicare, Founder of Friends of the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Nursing Research
  • Dr. Henry Foster: Professor Emeritus and Former Dean of Meharry College’s School of Medicine, Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Vanderbilt University, President Clinton’s Senior Advisor on Teen Pregnancy Reduction and youth Issues, Pioneered a national model for regionalized perinatal health care systems
  • Dr. Frank Groner: President Emeritus of Memphis’s Baptist Memorial Hospital, Commissioner of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals, Health Consultant to the federal government
  • Dr. Paul Stanton: President Emeriti and Professor Emeriti of Surgery of East Tennessee State University, Served as a member of the Governor’s TennCare Roundtable, Assisted in conducting the first review and recommendation of changes to Tennessee’s Medicaid program

In addition to recognizing Tennessee’s most influential health and health care leaders, The Hall of Fame will serve as an on-going educational resource to document the rich history that has contributed to Tennessee’s position as a leader for national health care initiatives.

Belmont’s President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “It is widely recognized that Tennessee is a central hub for health care in the United States, and with Nashville at the helm, our community has seen many individuals and organizations take significant strides to shape and advance the industry. Meanwhile, Belmont University has taken a significant role in undergraduate, graduate and executive health care education. The induction of these members into the Tennessee Health Care Hall of Fame will help us inspire the next generation of health care leaders, while further promoting Tennessee’s booming success as the nation’s premiere health care hub.”

Created in 2015, the Hall of Fame inducted eight inaugural members last year including Dr. Thomas Frist, Jr., Dr. Thomas Frist, Sr., Dr. Ernest Goodpasture, Jack C. Massey, R. Clayton McWhorter, Dr. David Satcher, Dr. Mildred Stahlman and Danny Thomas.

School of Nursing Takes Pledge on Opioid Education

Belmont’s School of Nursing recently committed to educating advanced practice registered nursing (APRN) students on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, as part of ongoing efforts to combat prescription drug and opioid abuse across the U.S. The commitment was featured in a White House fact sheet today as part of the White House Champions of Change event on Advancing Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery.

Earlier this month, administration asked the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s (AACN) member schools with APRN programs to partner on this initiative. Belmont recognizes that opioid abuse is a pressing public health crisis, and it is critical that students receive education on current standards.

Today, AACN’s President and CEO Deborah Trautman, PhD, RN, FAAN, will offer remarks at the White House to recognize the 191 AACN schools that have taken this pledge. “AACN is proud of the rapid response by our membership when the Administration called to help ensure future generations of providers who prescribe opioids for chronic pain are prepared for the critical work ahead,” said Trautman. “We commend academic nursing’s dedication to ensuring our nation’s future providers are prepared to address opioid abuse and overdose using best practices.”

Belmont’s Associate Dean of Nursing Dr. Martha Buckner said the university is committed to ensuring its graduates are prepared to combat the nation’s opioid abuse problem. “As primary care providers, APRNs are well positioned to be part of the solution to opioid abuse, a serious health problem affecting many Tennesseans,” Buckner said. “Our students will receive a firm grounding in best practices for prescribing as outlined in the CDC’s new guidelines.”

Nursing Students Present at Regional, National Summit

AACN Policy summit 2016

L to R: Dr. Martha Buckner, associate
dean of nursing, Rice and Cook

Doctor of Nursing Practice students Angie Cook and Justin Rice were recently selected to attend the AACN Nursing Policy Summit in Washington D.C., two of only four Tennessee nursing students who were selected to attend. During the conference, the students were immersed in didactic program sessions focused on federal policy processes and nursing’s role in professional advocacy. They also visited with legislative staff from Senator Alexander and Corker’s offices to advocate for nursing in patient health improvement.

Following the summit, more than 90 Belmont nursing students participated in the Tennessee Nurses Association Legislative Summit. Undergraduate, RN-BSN and graduate students gathered in the War Memorial Auditorium with other Tennessee nursing students to learn about the state’s legislative processes. This year’s keynote speaker was ANA president Dr. Pam Cipriano.

Nursing Instructor Acheives Certified Healthcare Simulation Expert Ranking

 Sara CampInstructor of Nursing Sara Camp recently achieved the Certified Healthcare Simulation Expert (CHSE) rank from the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. This certification sets her apart as an expert in the assessment, practice and methodology of simulation and will be instrumental in helping advance the full certification of our simulation program in the Gordon E. Inman College of Health Sciences and Nursing.

There are over 700 other CHSE professionals from 19 countries; Camp is one of only 16 such professionals in Tennessee.

Belmont Alumnus featured in Minority Nurse Magazine

LaQuitta Wilkins, a 2012 Belmont alumna and past member of the Women’s Basketball Team, was recently featured as an “In the Spotlight” of Minority Nurse, a magazine, career resource for nurses and the largest dedicated diversity nursing jobs board, according to the organization’s website.

In the spotlight, Wilkins said her time in nursing school was especially challenging as she was also a member of the basketball team. But she stuck to the task and found time to study between games. Wilkins is quoted as saying, “Even when people told me I couldn’t do nursing school and basketball, I did. You can do it even if you face adversity. If you have a positive mindset you can achieve anything.”

Wilkins is a traveling pediatric RN and was recently named Miss Black Alabama 2016.

Belmont’s Masters of Science in Nursing Graduates Achieve 100 Percent Pass Rate for 12th Straight Year

 All graduates of Belmont’s Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) program for Family Nurse Practitioners (FNP) have passed the nursing certification exam on their first attempt. The most recent class of 22 graduates passed the exam this spring, making this the 12th consecutive year of 100 percent first-attempt success.

Nursing-ExamAssociate Dean of Nursing and Professor Dr. Martha Buckner said, “This is an amazing accomplishment for these students and Belmont’s program. It gives a clear indication of the quality and rigor of our program, and I could not be more proud of our students and their success. I am especially grateful to Dr. Leslie Higgins, director of Belmont’s Graduate Studies in Nursing, whose leadership of the program for the past 18 years has helped us achieve significant growth and outstanding quality within our graduate nursing programs.”

The School of Nursing began offering its MSN degree 20 years ago and with the creation of the Doctorate of Nursing, the College’s graduate programs have grown to a record enrollment of 88 students in the fall of 2015. Prepared to practice in a variety of settings, FNPs provide primary health care to families and individuals of all ages. Graduates from Belmont’s program have gone on to practice in pediatrics, genetics, family practice and public health, among others.

The advanced practice nursing examination for FNPs is administered by the American Credential Center (ANCC) and validates nursing skills, knowledge and abilities. Since 1990, more than a quarter million nurses have been certified by ANCC and over 80,000 advanced practice nurses are currently certified by the ANCC. The certification is accepted by governing boards throughout the U.S. as well as insurers and the military.