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School of Nursing News

Boise State Partners with Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center to Improve Patient Care

Boise State School of Nursing has partnered with Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise to provide a unique opportunity to nurses working for Saint Alphonsus.

Seven Registered Nurses with associate degrees who work for Saint Alphonsus are receiving a new scholarship to complete their bachelors degree in Boise State School of Nursing’s RN-BS Online/Distance Completion Track. The scholarship will cover tuition, electronic fees, and books for nursing courses for up to two years.

The RN-BS Online/Distance Completion Track was started in 2008 to help nurses with their associate degree earn their bachelor’s degree. The track currently has more than 700 students enrolled and has graduated more than 375 students.

Saint Alphonsus is the first healthcare organization in Idaho to develop a scholarship designed for registered nurses with associate degrees to pursue their baccalaureate degrees. In 2008, the Institute of Medicine and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released a report, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health,” that advocated for eighty percent of nurses to hold a bachelor’s degree by 2020. Baccalaureate nursing programs provide additional competencies in community and public health, gerontology, care coordination, and more that associate degree and diploma nursing programs do not include. These skills, as well as experience with technology, policy development, and organizational systems, are necessary as the healthcare environment becomes more and more complex.

In describing the reason behind starting the scholarship, Sherry Parks, vice president and chief nursing officer for patient care services for Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise said “Developing the nursing workforce for current and future needs requires strong partnerships between education and practice. We at Saint Alphonsus are excited to continue our collaborative relationship with Boise State School of Nursing and look forward to working together in providing new opportunities to advance nursing.”

“The scholarship enables students to achieve their academic dream of completing their bachelor’s degree at Boise State by decreasing their financial stress,” states Vivian Schrader, chair of the RN-BS Online/Distance Completion Track and the Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner and Doctor of Nursing Practice Programs. “Saint Alphonsus has confidence in the quality of our program.”

Nursing Faculty Presents Research at International Rural Health Conference

Mark SiemonMark Siemon was given the opportunity to present his research on the difference in team climate between registered nurses (RNs) who work with state-certified community health workers (CHWs), and RNs who work with non-state-certified CHWs. His presentation, titled “State Certification of Community Health Workers and Nurses Perception of Team Climate”,  was on the first day of The International Rural Health and Rural Nursing Research Conference held at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana on July 29 – 31.

Siemon used SurveyMonkeyⓇ, an online survey development cloud, to develop an internet-based survey called Team Climate Inventory (TCI). The TCI was distributed nationally using a technique called snowball sampling where study subjects who received the survey directly can then recruit additional subjects from among their acquaintances. Study participants completed a questionnaire about their team’s climate and demographic questions about themselves and their organizations.

Siemon explains the implications of his research: “Decreased federal and state funding for health programs in many states has contributed to a decrease in public health services in many communities, especially in rural areas. This research adds information on one factor of organizational change that may assist in developing innovative policies for health care delivery reform for rural communities.”

“Registered nurses are the largest part of the professional health care workforce; their ability to collaborate and work with community health workers is critical to the integration of community health workers into existing health care organizations,” Siemon states.

Technology Fund Provides State-of-the-Art Equipment for New Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Program

AGNP Students, Roxy and Addie, with SAM II

AGNP Students, Roxy and Addie, with SAM II

The first cohort of Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP) students gathered on campus in July in the School of Nursing’s Practice Lab for the first summer session. The session was enhanced by technology made available by the Stemmler Technology Fund for Nursing Department Laboratories, which was created by Brandy and Bertram Stemmler.

With money from the Stemmler Technology Fund, the school was able to buy a Sam II Auscultation Manikin, a SimScope, and an OtoSim otoscopy training and simulation system.

The Sam II Auscultation Manikin is a cardiac respiratory trainer that allows faculty to control heart, lung and bowel sounds on a manikin head and torso. By working with Sam II, students become acquainted with uncommon sounds that may indicate disease or medicine complications.

AGNP Student Using SimScope

AGNP Staff Members Nancy (left) and Kaylin (right) Demonstrate the SimScope’s Function.

A SimScope is a stethoscope that uses programmable sound patches to simulate the sounds that indicate diseases such as pneumonia. An actor portraying a standardized patient wears patches over auscultation sites, where primary care providers listen to heart, breath and bowel sounds.

Janet Willhaus, one of the faculty members who worked with the cohort this summer, states that the Sim Scope “allowed us to portray individuals with illness even when the actor/standardized patient was totally healthy. We programmed the Sim Scope to give lung sounds as if the patient had pneumonia and trained the standardized patient to behave and give answers as if they were ill. The students took the visits very seriously and the Sim Scope helped them identify the problem because we did not have to ‘pretend’ the lung sounds were coarse as they should be with pneumonia. My thanks to the donor for enabling us to use this device. It really adds to the realism of the learning for the students.”

AGNP Students Use Otosim

AGNP Students Demonstrate Otosim’s Function.

The OtoSim otoscopy training and simulation system allows students to accurately practice diagnosing ear problems through experiential learning with a realistic ear model that receives projected images. The students look at the model ear, with realistic feel, shape and composition, including various ear canal complexities. Meanwhile, the faculty can project a variety of high-resolution images of ear diseases to the model ear.

“The College of Health Sciences Simulation Center provides nurse practitioner students with an authentic, hands-on experience allowing them to put theory into practice. Providing our students with state-of-the-art task trainers, like OtoSim, brings their learning to life,” said Becky Bunderson, director of the College of Health Sciences Simulation Center. “The on-campus clinical lab experience provides opportunity for deliberate, repetitive practice that leads to a better prepared practitioner.”


Close-Up View of SimScope and SimScope Patches

“The Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Program at Boise State offers state-of-the-art simulation equipment and provides students with the highest quality educational materials and training models technology has to offer,” said Dawn Weiler, AGNP program coordinator for the School of Nursing.

The students found the time spent on-campus with its simulation experiences, technology, and innovative teaching methods to be invaluable in learning assessment techniques.

College of Health Sciences Student Organizations Earn Three of Five Homecoming Parade Awards

  • Student Nurses Association Homecoming 2014 Float

    Student Nurses Association Award-Winning Float

    SNA sedates the Cajuns with giant needles on their float.

  • Student Association of Radiologic Technologies Homecoming 2014 Float

    Student Association of Radiologic Technologies Award-Winning Float

    SART uses their knowledge of imaging science to radiate the Cajuns on their float.

  • Student Association for Respiratory Care Homecoming 2014 Float

    Student Association for Respiratory Care Award-Winning Float

    SARC showcases the respiratory system on their float.

The College of Health Sciences did very well in the 2014 Homecoming Parade float competition. The parade took place on Saturday, Sept. 20 before the Broncos took on the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns. Students built floats with members of their group to compete and earn money for their organizations. Out of the five available awards, the College of Health Sciences student clubs earned three. The President’s Award- Best Overall and $500 went to the Student Nurses Association. The Student Association of Radiologic Technologists earned the $200 Grand Marshal’s Award, and the Student Association for Respiratory Care earned the $100 Creativity Award. Each of the student groups will have the awarded amount transferred into their organization’s account by the end of Oct.

Faculty Releases Video on Corozal Belize Peace Village Initiative

Karen BreitkreuzKaren Breitkreuz, faculty in the School of Nursing, has released a video about the experiences of students who participated in year two of the Boise State–Corozal, Belize Peace Village initiative.

Breitkreuz, along with Anthony Songer, professor in the Department of Construction Management, led sixteen Boise State students enrolled in a service-learning class, titled “Global Citizenship and Social Responsibility, to work with Chan Chen primary school in the Corozal district in Belize over spring break in March 2014. This was the second year in a collaborative effort by the Colleges of Engineering and Health Sciences, the Honors College, and the University Foundations program to provide Boise State students unmatched educational, cultural, and professional engagement and enrichment.

While the students conducted a “Healthy Lifestyles” camp for the school children, built a chicken coop and renovated a playground, Breitkreuz interviewed the students on film. She has since created a video showcasing the transformative cultural and service experiences of the Boise State students.

Watch the video below:

Nursing Faculty Celebrates 10-Year Milestone with Free Clinic

Dawn WeilerDawn Weiler, associate professor and coordinator of the Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Program  at Boise State University, will be celebrating a ten year milestone for The Friendship Clinic in Boise. The clinic was founded in 2004 in the back of All Saints Episcopal Church with a simple mission: to provide free basic care for low-income people, especially the working poor. Weiler, also a nurse practitioner, has been with the clinic since the beginning, providing care to those who cannot afford it.

Boise State University and The Friendship Clinic have had a close relationship for many years. Even before the clinic opened its doors in October 2004, much of the preliminary work to establish the need for and develop plans for the clinic were projects taken on by senior nursing students in the Community Health and Leadership courses and by students from the Business and Marketing programs. Since that time, the clinic has had the privilege of working with a multitude of students across campus and beyond.

The clinic was also nominated for an Idaho Nonprofit Excellence Award this year and recognized at the Nonprofit Excellence Awards Dinner on Sept. 23.


Endowed Chair Consulted on Recently Released, Landmark National Simulation Study

Suzan Kardong-Edgren

Suzan Kardong-Edgren, Jody DeMeyer Endowed Chair for Nursing, was a part of the team of authors on the recently released National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). “National Simulation Study: A Longitudinal, Randomized, Controlled Study Replacing Clinical Hours with Simulation in Prelicensure Nursing Education” was published in the NCSBN’s Journal of Nursing Regulation in August. It is the most comprehensive research to date that examines the use of simulation in nursing education.

The longitudinal study included incoming nursing students from 10 prelicensure programs across the U.S. who were randomized to one of three study groups: (more…)

Nursing Alumna Honored with National Award for Certified Perinatal Loss Care Professionals

Jennifer JonelyJennifer Jonely, a spring 2014 graduate of the Master of Science in Nursing program at Boise State, will be awarded the 2015 Certified in Perinatal Loss Care of the Year Award. This annual award recognizes the exceptional work of perinatal loss care professionals from across the country who have made contributions in one or more of the following areas of hospice and palliative care: clinical practice, education, leadership, and research.

“Jennifer passionately serves our community through her work caring for families who experienced the loss of a baby during pregnancy or at birth,” said Jane Grassley, School of Nursing faculty and Jonely’s advisor. “She was an outstanding student in our Nursing of Populations Masters program and we are very proud of Jennifer’s achievement.”

Jonely will receive the award during the National Board of Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurses Annual Certification Recognition Event on February 26 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania during the 2015 American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association Annual Assembly.

School of Nursing Welcomes New Chair Denise Seigart

Denise SeigartDenise Seigart has joined Boise State University’s School of Nursing as the chair of the undergraduate nursing and masters of nursing of populations programs.

Seigart previously served as the associate dean for nursing education at Stevenson University in Baltimore, Maryland and as a professor and administrator at Mansfield University in Mansfield, Pennsylvania. She has also served as a visiting professor at Volograd University in Russia.

Seigart earned her bachelors in nursing from Niagara University, her masters in Community Health Nursing at Binghamton University, and her doctorate in Human Service Studies at Cornell University. (more…)

Nursing Faculty Delivers Loewenberg School of Nursing Distinguished Lecture

Dr. Cindy ClarkSchool of Nursing professor Cynthia Clark will deliver the Loewenberg School of Nursing Distinguished Lecture at the University of Memphis on Sept. 26.

She will discuss “Igniting the Power of Civility in Nursing: Fostering Healthy Workplaces.”

Clark, founder of Civility Matters, has won awards for her groundbreaking work in civility. Her theory-driven interventions, empirical measurements, theoretical models and reflective assessments provide methods to prevent, measure and address uncivil behavior and create healthy workplaces.

Her book, “Creating and Sustaining Civility in Nursing Education,” received the 2013 American Journal Book of the Year Award for Professional Issues in Nursing. She is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and the recipient of numerous teaching, research and service awards.