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Nursing Students Partner with Blue Cross of Idaho to Improve Community Health

Community and Population Health Nursing StudentsStudents in Mark Siemon’s community and population health nursing course completed an assessment of residents in Kuna, Idaho for and in partnership with the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health’s High Five Children’s Health Collaborative grant.

The High Five community health grants are designed to help Idaho communities increase physical activity, improve access to healthy and affordable foods, create healthier schools and childcare facilities, educate parents to make healthier choices, and promote policies that help prevent children and youth from becoming overweight and obese.

The students developed a community survey to assess the perceptions of Kuna residents on the different High Five goals, and they pilot tested the Family Nutrition and Physical Activity (FNPA) survey to see if it could be used to measure change in family influences on children’s nutrition, physical activity, and home environment that may increase children’s risk of becoming overweight or obese as part of the High Five grant evaluation plan.

The students found that the majority of residents who were surveyed felt that childhood obesity was a problem in their community, and a majority also believed that children in their community were not getting enough exercise or physical activity. A strong majority also supported a proposed municipal bond issue that would provide funding for a sports complex which includes an indoor swimming pool, a Boys & Girls Club and a YMCA in Kuna.

The results from the FNPA survey found that very few of the residents who responded to the survey reported family or home environmental risk factors that would contribute to or increase the risk of children and youth being overweight and obese. However, screen time behavior (more than two hours on TV, games, or computer per day; whether the family limits the amount of TV their children watch; and whether they allow their children to watch TV in their bedroom) scored worse than other categories.

The students presented their results to representatives from the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health, and included a recommendation to continue to monitor Kuna’s development through the High Five Idaho program, particularly focusing on the results of the proposed bond and development of physical activity programs and events for children and families.  The students also recommended that Blue Cross continue to use the FNPA tool to determine effectiveness of High Five Idaho interventions on the family and home environment and that interventions be developed to reduce screen time among children. The nursing students involved in the project were: Shantyl Betty, Rebecca Cotterell, Hillary Dorsey, Brad Goll, Brandon Kruse, Julianne Padron, Katie Rambo, Kiley Shipley, Crystal Steffler, and Alexandra Waddell. The representatives from Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health were very impressed and appreciative of the students work, and they expressed the desire to continue the collaboration between the High Five grant program and Boise State University.

Researchers Seek Breastfeeding Survey Participants

Jane Grassley

Jane Grassley

Kelley Connor

Kelley Connor

Kelley Connor and Jane Grassley, associate professor and professor in the School of Nursing, are interested in helping moms who are pregnant learn about breastfeeding. They have created Healthy New Moms, a quest-based learning experience using the 3D Gamelab platform.

Participants can choose from 11 quests that are grouped under three main topics: Deciding about Breastfeeding, Feeding Your New Baby, and Getting Support. As participants complete quests on their smart phone, tablet or computer, they earn experience points, badges and rewards.

To help the researchers determine if this is a fun and helpful way to learn about breastfeeding, they are doing a research study with women who are ages 15 to 24 years old and pregnant. Participants will receive a $30 Amazon gift card for completing two online surveys.

If interested in participating or in finding out more about the study, e-mail Kelley Connor, or call Grassley at 426-1670.

Boise State Nursing Students Volunteer at Saint Alphonsus Annual Neonatal Intensive Care Anniversary Harvest Party

St. Alphonsus Harvest PartyKaren Godard, nursing faculty, along with seven junior Child and Family Nursing course students volunteered at the 12th annual Saint Alphonsus Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Graduate Anniversary Party at the Riverside Hotel’s ballroom on Oct. 20. The harvest party served as a chance for families to reunite with their former caregivers.

Families attended the party with their children dressed in Halloween costumes. More than 500 people attended the popular event. Students assisted with guest registration, child-themed games, arts and crafts, and interacting with children of all ages. The Saint Alphonsus staff greatly appreciated the students’ assistance and encouraged their attendance next year, as it allowed the professional nursing and medical staff much needed time to visit with the families and graduates.

School of Nursing Students Help to Protect St. Luke’s Employees from Flu

Students from Boise State’s School of Nursing were recruited to help with the influenza immunization campaign for Elks-Rehab and St. Luke’s employees in Boise. Over 30 seventh semester students along with Boise State clinical instructors, Cathy Deckys, Debbie Dobbs, Mark Siemon, and Lucy Zhao, vaccinated Elks-Rehab and St. Luke’s employees to ensure they remain healthy. As a result, their patients and co-workers are also at lower risk of influenza. Pam Foreman, St. Luke’s Employee Health Manager, helped to arrange the clinical experience for the students.

Nursing Faculty to be Co-Chair for Professional Issues Panel on Workplace Violence and Incivility

Dr. Cynthia Clark 2014 PhotoThe American Nurses Association (ANA) has selected Cynthia Clark, professor in the School of Nursing, as a co-chair for the Professional Issues Panel on Workplace Violence and Incivility. The goal of the panel is to develop a position statement on workplace violence and incivility and to provide evidence-based, detailed guidance for registered nurses and employers to promote healthy workplaces.

Two other co-chairs named to the committee include Deena Brecher, president of the Emergency Nurses Association, and Cole Edmonson, chief nursing officer at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, Dallas. The co-chairs will convene the activities of the steering committee and advisory committee later this month and will complete its mission and goals in approximately nine months. For more information, visit

Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Program Receives Accreditation

The Master of Nursing Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP) degree program at Boise State University received extended accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) in August. The Boise State University Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science programs are also accredited by ACEN.

An AGNP is an advanced practice nurse who specializes in the care and treatment of individuals from adolescence to death, excluding the care of pregnant women. Boise State’s AGNP program requires 50 credits and 700 supervised clinical hours for graduation and can be completed anywhere from three to seven years. Once licensed, an AGNP can, among other things, perform comprehensive and focused physical examinations, diagnose and treat common acute illnesses and injuries, and manage chronic health problems. (more…)

Nursing Faculty and Students Advocate for Peruvian Sheepherders’ Health

Surrounded by more than 2,000 sheep and a few dogs, two men, originally from Peru, alternate between caring for the sheep and tending to their base camp in the foothills and mountains of southwest Idaho. The sheep graze miles from civilization and the men have no form of transportation other than their own feet. If either man were to need urgent medical care, it would take hours for him to get to a hospital or urgent care clinic as the men also have no access to a phone.

Sheep Herding

Nursing Students in Quiroz’s Community and Population Health class experience herding life following a flock of sheep. Photo by Betzi Quiroz.

Though she is just starting her second year at Boise State, Betzi Quiroz, clinical assistant professor in the School of Nursing, has been working with Peruvian sheepherders in Idaho for more than 20 years. Quiroz emigrated to the U.S. from Peru after her father worked as a sheepherder in Idaho. He became a citizen and moved his family to Boise. Every weekend the Quiroz family would travel throughout Southwest Idaho, sometimes on horseback, to bring homemade food to the sheepherders.

“For the past 22 years, I have seen tremendous changes that have occurred within the sheep industry and especially the many injuries that these herders would suffer at work due to inclement weather, lack of potable water, wildlife, non-existent knowledge of gun use, and their semi-nomadic lifestyles,” said Quiroz. “The number of individuals suffering from diabetes and hypertension has more than doubled in the 22 years I have known them. There is genetic predisposition but their illness worsens at a faster pace due to limited choices for nutritionally-dense foods and almost non-existent medical supervision.” (more…)

Director of School of Nursing Named Transcultural Nursing Scholar

Ann HubbertAnn Hubbert, director of Boise State’s School of Nursing, has been named a Transcultural Nursing Scholar by the Transcultural Nursing Society. Hubbert was recognized during the society’s annual conference, held Oct. 22-25 in Charleston, S.C.

Hubbert’s career focus in nursing administration and education has been working with populations and cultural health issues. She has been a Certified Transcultural Nurse since 1999, and her expertise has been aimed at education, services, and research for underserved cultural populations to reduce health disparities and improve health status and access to care. Her work in these areas has received the annual recognitions of two national and international nursing societies: The American Holistic Nurses’ Association, as Nurse of the Year, and the Transcultural Nursing Society’s Leininger Leadership Award. In addition, the Catholic Health Association’s top honor was received by the international program she created in partnership with the Indian Health Service which is focused on spirituality and healing. She has also been sponsored as a member of the Comanche nation for her work with partnerships among tribal nations, Indian Health Services, and Western health care services. She is a national consultant for inter-professional programs, health care systems, and colleges on transcultural health. (more…)

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. (more…)

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. (more…)