News and Events
College of Nursing gives students 'spooky' assignment to stress patient safety
For Halloween week, the College of Nursing transformed their Simulation Laboratory into a "Hospital Room of Horrors" as a teaching tool for upper-division students. Read the story here.
Adamshick Receives 2013 Novosel Award
Pamela Zenz Adamshick, associate professor of nursing at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pa., received the 2013 Shirley Novosel Distinguished Nursing Alumni Award, presented by the Penn State Nursing Alumni Society, at the College of Nursing’s third annual Homecoming brunch on Oct. 13.
Cushman Recognized as Outstanding Yale Nursing Alumna
Congratulations to Dr. Peg Cushman, assistant professor, who was one of 90 outstanding Yale School of Nursing alumni recognized at the school's 90th anniversary kickoff weekend Oct. 5. The nurses highlighted "are representative of the thousands of Yale nurses who have made and will continue to make significant impacts on all aspects of health care and in the lives of people across the world."
2013 Homecoming Brunch
Sunday, October 13
10:00 a.m. to Noon
College of Nursing Simulation Lab, Ground Floor, HHD East Building
11:00 a.m. — Presentation of the 2013 Shirley Novosel Outstanding Nursing Alumni Award to Pamela Zenz Adamshick, Ph.D., RN, PMHCNS-BC
We look forward to seeing our alumni there!
SON is now the Penn State College of Nursing
The Penn State Board of Trustees approved the School of Nursing's change of status to a College of Nursing, effective immediately, at its meeting September 20. Read the story here.
Harrisburg Nursing program receives donation from Select Medical
In September, Penn State Harrisburg received a substantial donation from Select Medical in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, to benefit its Nursing program. The funds will be used to staff the program's nursing simulation laboratory, fund nursing scholarships, and create programs for high school students to explore nursing careers. We express our appreciation to Select Medical for their support and commitment to our Nursing program.
SON receives HRSA grant for interprofessional education
The School of Nursing has received a $1.12 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to support interprofessional education and collaboration between students in the school’s Nurse Practitioner program and medical students in Penn State’s College of Medicine. Read the full story on Penn State News.
Hartzell Recognized through "Honor Your Caregiver" Program
Student nurse Kara Hartzell was recently honored for her work on the Med/Surg unit at Cole Memorial Hospital in Coudersport, Pa. The "Honor Your Caregiver" program gives patients and their families the opportunity to show their gratitude to a caregiver who played a special role in their care. Kara received a certificate, pin, and letter from a patient who felt that she provided care that exceeded expectations. Kudos to Kara for making a difference in patients' lives.
Hartzell Recognized through "Honor Your Caregiver" Program
Sawyer Receives Funding from Soistman Endowment
Assistant Professor Amy Sawyer has received funding for her sleep research from the College of Health and Human Development's Fran and Holly Soistman Faculty Development Endowment. Read the story at Penn State News.
Fick Presents Keynote Address at ADS Annual Meeting
Distinguished Professor of Nursing Donna Fick presented a keynote address at the American Delirium Society (ADS) annual conference in June in Indianapolis, Indiana. Her talk was titled "Delirium Superimposed on Dementia: Innovations, Challenges, Opportunities, and Real-World Application."
Donna Fick presenting keynote address at the American Delirium Society (ADS) annual conference
Sawyer Presents Research Findings at SLEEP 2013
Amy Sawyer, assistant professor of nursing, presented the findings of a new study at SLEEP 2013, the 27th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC, on June 5 in Baltimore, Maryland. The research abstract was published recently in an online supplement of the journal Sleep. Results show that bedtime regularity before starting continuous postiive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is an important factor that may influence treatment compliance in adults with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Read the Penn State News story here.
SON Faculty to Retire June 30
Two longtime faculty members of the School of Nursing will retire on June 30, 2013.
Mary Beth Clark
Mary Beth Clark started her 38-year career at Penn State as a teaching assistant in 1974. She served as an instructor before being promoted to assistant professor in 1990. Dr. Clark served as coordinator of the neonatal nurse practitioner program and NNP grant project director before assuming her current role as assistant professor and Hershey campus coordinator in 1998. She has served on various committees, presented at numerous conferences, published manuscripts, and been awarded several grants, the most recent being in the area of advancing interprofessional education between the College of Medicine and the School of Nursing.
Mona Counts joined the School of Nursing in 1999 as an associate professor with tenure and the Elouise Ross Eberly Professor of Nursing. Her research interests include rural community health care, primary care in rural populations, and cultural competence in delivery of primary care. She co-founded the Primary Care Center of Mt. Morris, Inc. (PCC) and, later, their mobile clinic to address to health care problems of people within the southwestern Pennsylvania communities near which she lives. The PCC has become a model for health care around the country. Dr. Counts has been an advocate for nurse practitioner rights and a leader for systems change. She is a Fellow of both the American Academy of Nursing and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.
We thank both Dr. Clark and Dr. Counts for their many years of service, accomplishments, and dedication to the School of Nursing.
Lorah Dorn Joins School of Nursing Faculty
Lorah Dorn, Ph.D., has joined the School of Nursing faculty as a full professor, effective May 1, 2013. Previously, Dr. Dorn was professor and director of research in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. Dr. Dorn's research focuses on biobehavioral issues during puberty and their impact on health and development, primarily in girls. Specific studies focus on the outcomes of mental health variables, including psychopathology, as well as physical health variables, including bone density. Dr. Dorn is an important addition to our growing focus on child health, and we are pleased to welcome her to the School of Nursing.
Katie Liss Wins Undergraduate Thesis Award
Graduating senior and Schreyer Scholar Katie Liss placed first in the 2013 Undergraduate Thesis Award Competition for her thesis, "Heart Failure Patients' Experiences of Living With Heart Failure." The competition was keen and we are very proud of Katie for representing the School of Nursing! The annual competition is coordinated by the Penn State University Libraries.
Timothy Groh Selected for Presidential Leadership Academy
Timothy Groh, a Schreyer Scholar and student in the Nursing B.S. program at University Park, has been chosen for the prestigious Presidential Leadership Academy administered through the Schreyer Honors College. This is a tremendous opportunity for Tim as well as an honor for him and the School of Nursing. Congratulations!
New Dual-Title Ph.D. To Begin in Summer 2013
Beginning in summer 2013, the School of Nursing will offer a dual-title Ph.D. in conjunction with the Bioethics program administered by the Rock Ethics Institute in Penn State's College of the Liberal Arts. The dual-title Ph.D. in Nursing and Bioethics will provide doctoral students with the skills and knowledge to fully engage ethical issues, conduct original bioethics research, and produce related scholarship. For more information, e-mail Judith E. Hupcey or call 717-531-4211.
Graduate Students Excel at 2013 ENRS Scientific Sessions
Susan J. Loeb began her term as president of the Eastern Nursing Research Society at the organization's 25th Annual Scientific Sessions April 17–19 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Several School of Nursing graduate students were recognized for their research achievements:
- Cara Bicking Kinsey, M.S.N., RN, won the ENRS/Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science Dissertation Award for her dissertation, "Effect of prior perinatal loss on maternal depressive symptoms and maternal–infant bonding."
- Casey Pinto, M.S., CRNP, received first place for Doctoral Student Oral Presentation for "Development of a tool to determine functional status of heart failure patients."
- Nikki Hill, M.S., RN, placed second for Doctoral Student Oral Presentation for "Cognitive reserve in persons with delirium and dementia: Lifetime patterns and correlates."
- Barbara Birriel, M.S.N., CRNP, won second place in the Early Doctoral Student Poster Competition for her poster, "Outcome-based criteria for initiation of veno-arterial extracorporeal oxygenation: An integrated review."
- Erin Carton, B.S.N., RN, placed third in the M.S. Student Poster Competition for her poster titled "The forgotten mourners: Addressing health care provider grief—A systematic review."
Congratulations to all on these exceptional achievements!
Kolanowski Receives Grant for Nursing Home Project
Ann Kolanowski is one of two project directors for a project titled "Toolbox for Improving Behavioral Health in Nursing Homes," recently funded by a $15,000 grant from The Commonwealth Fund in New York City.
Kimberly Van Haitsma, vice president of research and director of the Polisher Research Institute at the Madlyn and Leonard Abramson Center for Jewish Life in North Wales, Pennsylvania, is the other project director.
The project's goal is to develop a collection of resources for nursing home staff to help them implement nondrug approaches to managing common behaviors in residents with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.
"Ninety percent of people with dementia will hit, scream, become verbally abusive, or resist care at some point in the disease trajectory," Kolanowski says. "These behaviors can be difficult and dangerous to deal with, and are associated with risk for nursing home placement, more rapid functional decline, and physical abuse.
"The major approach to care for these behaviors has been a pharmacological one, most notably the use of a class of drugs known as antipsychotics," Kolanowski continues. "Research has demonstrated that these drugs not only have limited effectiveness in reducing disruptive behaviors, they also carry a significant risk for death, particularly in older adults with cognitive impairments like Alzheimer's."
To provide alternative behavior-management approaches, the project team will identify peer-reviewed, expert-endorsed resources such as educational programs, literature, websites, and video or slide presentations. These materials will be compiled into an accessible format for use by busy nursing home staff.
The grant, which runs through June 2013, was supplemented by a $10,000 gift from The John A. Hartford Foundation.
Donna Fick Named Distinguished Professor at Penn State
Donna Fick has become the first School of Nursing faculty member to be awarded the prestigious title of Distinguished Professor at Penn State. The University reserves this title for a very limited number of full professors who have demonstrated the most exceptional record of teaching, research, and service. It is given to those who have demonstrated national and international leadership through notable contributions to research published in leading journals; prestigious awards and citations; and a substantial record of invited lectures or performances delivered at prestigious institutions.
Among her many significant accomplishments, Dr. Fick currently serves as editor of the Journal of Gerontological Nursing and is a Fellow of both the American Academy of Nursing and the Gerontological Society of America. Her numerous awards include the John A. Hartford Geriatric Nursing Research Award from the Eastern Nursing Research Society, the Fran and Holly Soistman Faculty Development Award for Innovation in Health Care from Penn State, and the Springer Award in Geriatric Nursing for Publication in Applied Nursing Research from the Springer Publishing Company.
In 2012, she co-chaired the update of the American Geriatrics Society's Beers Criteria for medications to avoid in older adults. These criteria have been adopted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid as a HEDIS® quality measure and incorporated into the electronic medical record at medical centers and HMOs worldwide.
Dr. Fick's program of research focuses on improving detection and management of delirium superimposed on dementia in older adults and inappropriate medication use. Her current research, two R01s funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research through 2015, focuses on early nurse detection of delirium superimposed on dementia in the hospital setting, and (with Dr. Ann Kolanowski) a single-component cognitive intervention for delirium in post-acute care.
Dr. Fick is co-director of the John A. Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence at Penn State, one of eight such centers in the United States.
We are tremendously proud of Dr. Fick for this exceptional achievement.
Penn State School of Nursing Unveils New M.S.N. Program
Penn State now offers an M.S.N. program with two emphasis areas and six options for advanced nursing roles. Two of these options, Nurse Administrator and Nurse Educator, can be completed totally online through Penn State World Campus. For more information, e-mail Janet Fogg or call 717-531-1340.