Mobile Menu

School of Nursing News

New Open School Chapter of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Proposed for Boise State

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) held its first Open School Chapter meeting at 6 pm on Wednesday, Jan. 28 in the Student Union Building’s Bergquist Lounge.

An IHI Open School Chapter is a face-to-face, interprofessional group. It brings students from different health professions programs together through a shared interest in learning about quality improvement and improving care for patients. IHI Open School Chapters exist on university campuses or in health care organizations, creating a forum for like-minded students and residents to interact and help each other gain skills to improve care.

The IHI chapter meeting reflects the new initiatives in the College of Health Sciences. The College is currently encouraging students to interact with peers and faculty from other disciplines as part of the curriculum in the college. Interprofessional courses and projects are interspersed throughout the college’s course offerings and the number of interprofessional encounters is expected to increase as more faculty develop interprofessional educational experiences and implement them as part of their courses.

The event was organized by Mark Siemon, assistant professor at the School of Nursing, to increase awareness of the IHI Open School Chapters, and to work with students on the development of an IHI Open School Chapter at Boise State University. The students who attended the meeting provided feedback on how to increase participation in future IHI Chapter events including: incentives to increase participation, incorporating into course curriculum, increasing marketing and promotion of the chapter, mass emails to students about future events, having more professors involved and talking about the IHI Chapter in classes, determine scope and target audience for the chapter, developing a Facebook page for the chapter to promote events, finding a student project lead, encouraging involvement through professional organizations, movie night showing a healthcare related film, and reaching out to District Health Departments. All of the students felt an IHI Chapter at Boise State University would provide more opportunities for students from different programs to learn about how to improve our current healthcare system using tools and resources developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

Siemon has submitted an application to IHI for the creation of an Open School Chapter at Boise State. Siemon is collaborating with Jaime Sand and Sarah Toevs, faculty in the School of Allied Health Sciences Department of Community and Environmental Health, Max Veltman, assistant professor in the School of Nursing, and Jody Lester, associate professor and chair in the Department of Respiratory Care on the development of an interprofessional Finishing Foundations 400 course for Health Science majors. The course uses the IHI Open School courses in patient safety, improvement capability, quality, cost, and value, person- and family-centered care, triple aim for populations, and leadership, along with team based case studies to promote student learning about the triple aim of healthcare reform, which includes improving the patient experience of care, improving populations, and reducing the per capita cost of health care.

Applications for Fall 2015 Due March 1, 2015

Fall 15 Application form BS Program

School of Nursing Faculty Receives Advocate Award from Education Management Solutions

Bunderson_BeckyBecky Bunderson was recently recognized with the Advocate Award by Education Management Solutions (EMS) for her role in advocating learning through simulation. Bunderson received the award on Jan. 5 at the International Society for Simulation in Healthcare Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.

EMS is an industry pioneer in simulation-based solutions for healthcare training environments ranging from clinical simulation management software and hardware to counselor education. They serve as the driving force behind numerous consumer-centered innovations that continue to move the clinical simulation market forward with breakthrough technologies.

Each year, EMS nominates three individuals who work in businesses employing EMS products across the nation who are pioneering advocates in clinical simulation education. The nominees are then voted on by EMS customers, all of whom are simulation specialists.

Bunderson holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Washington State University in Nursing, and a Master of Science degree from Boise State University with an emphasis in Educational Technology and is currently the Director of the College of Health Sciences Simulation Center.

School of Nursing Graduates Rank Highest in Idaho NCLEX Passing Rate

Last year, out of every school in Idaho, Boise State had the highest passing rate, at 93.5 percent, for first time exam takers of the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). NCLEX is an examination administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing that determines if it is safe for graduated nursing students to begin practice as an entry-level nurse.

While nursing school exams are knowledge-based, the NCLEX-RN tests application and analysis using the nursing knowledge learned in school. Graduates are tested on how they can use critical thinking skills to make nursing judgments.

Since 2008, Boise State first time exam takers have continually passed above the Idaho average and only once fell below the national average of 89.6 percent. Overall, Boise State students have been doing well on the exam, scoring better than 92 percent.

Luther Raechal Gains Recognition as a Distinguished Certified Healthcare Simulation Operations Specialist

Raechal_LutherLuther Raechal, professional staff  in the School of Nursing, has become one of only 21 people in the world to receive a Certified Healthcare Simulation Operations Specialist (CHSOS) certification.

In order to be eligible to receive a CHSOS certification, individuals must: participate in healthcare simulation in an operations role; have focused simulation expertise about  learners in undergraduate, graduate, allied health, or healthcare practitioners; have a bachelors degree or equivalent experience; and have two years of experience in a healthcare simulation operations role. Successful certification involves completion of an online application, submission of three references, and successfully passing a standardized national exam.

“The Operations Specialists are as varied and unique as the centers who employ them. Some have titles that include Simulation Technicians, Simulation Technology Specialists, and Simulation IT Specialists. Regardless of the title, the growing field of simulation operations is the result of the increasing demands for skills, knowledge and abilities to meet the operational needs of busy simulation centers and labs. The CHSOS communicates to current and future employers that they have the best that this field is offering to them,” said H. Michael Young, chair of the CHSOS subcommittee. These first individuals who have received this distinction have demonstrated the knowledge and skills required to support and deliver quality healthcare simulations.

The new CHSOSs come from Israel, Qatar, and the United States. With this CHSOS certification, Raechal will receive formal professional as well as international recognition of his specialized knowledge, skills, abilities, and accomplishments in simulation operations. It also confirms his commitment to continued professional development and lifelong learning.

Raechal holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point in biology with minors in Chemistry and Resource Management. He has worked at The Missouri Botanical Garden and the Nature Conservancy of Hawaii as well as St. Louis University, Washington University, Monsanto, and a regional hospital. He is currently a simulation technician for the School of Nursing.

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