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School of Nursing Receives Grant to Pilot SBIRT Online Curriculum

Denise Seigart

Denise Seigart, associate director of the undergraduate nursing and master of nursing of populations programs in the School of Nursing, has received a grant of $10,000 to work with NORC at the University of Chicago to implement and evaluate the University’s Integrating Adolescent Substance Abuse Brief Screening Referral and Treatment (SBIRT) program as part of the School of Nursing’s existing curricula.

Seigart will be working with other faculty in the School of Nursing, School of Allied Health Sciences Department of Community and Environmental Health, and University Health Services.Through this grant, the School of Nursing will receive technical assistance to aid the implementation process of the SBIRT program and participate in evaluation.

SBIRT is a comprehensive, integrated, public health approach to the delivery of early intervention and treatment services for people with risky and dependent alcohol use, treatment and ongoing recovery supports. Screening quickly assesses for presence of risky substance abuse, follows positive screens with further assessment of problem use, and identifies the appropriate level of treatment. Brief intervention focuses on increasing insight and awareness regarding substance use and motivation toward behavioral change. Referral to treatment provides those identified as needing more extensive treatment with access to medications, primary care counseling or specialty care as needed by patient.

NORC at the University of Chicago is an independent research institution that delivers data and analysis to guide business and policy decisions. NORC has partnered with the Council on Social Work Education, the Center for Clinical Social Work, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, and Kognito, an organization designed to improve health through virtual simulation, to engage schools of social work and nursing in a learning collaborative to develop and evaluate interactive, competency-based SBIRT education. The project is funded by a grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

Social Work Alumni Mentioned in Idaho Statesman Article on Homeless Veterans

Anna Johnson-Whitehead (2005) and John Randall (2012), graduates of the Master of Social Work program, were mentioned in an article in the Idaho Statesman, “Homeless Veterans: Boise Property Manager a Quiet Leader in Opening Doors”, in Jan.

Johnson-Whitehead currently oversees Boise’s Healthcare for Homeless Veterans Program. Randall works as a licensed and certified social worker and department of housing veterans affairs supportive housing resource specialist for Boise’s Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

The article discusses the issues that veterans in Boise face while applying and being approved for housing in the area, and what people in the community are doing to improve the situation and advocate for veterans. Read the full article here.

School of Nursing Faculty Publishes in Journal of Holistic Nursing

Marty DowneyMarty Downey, associate professor in the School of Nursing, along with the Wood River St Luke’s Research Fellowship team, published an article in the Journal of Holistic Nursing in Oct. 2015.

The article, “Effects of Healing Touch on Postsurgical Adult Patients”, outlines a study designed to determine whether a healing touch treatment would have an effect on pain, anxiety, blood pressure, and pulse rate in adult postoperative out-patients. The study consisted of two groups of out-patients, one being treated with traditional nursing care and one being treated with healing touch in addition to traditional nursing care

Healing touch is an energy-based approach to health and healing. The goal of healing touch is to restore harmony and balance in the energy system, enhancing the client’s ability to self-heal. The human energy field is affected by healing touch as it facilitates balance by using intention and light touch between practitioner and patient to promote relaxation and self-healing.

According to their results, healing touch treatment was at least as effective as traditional nursing care for reduction of pain and more effective in reducing anxiety. However, neither group showed any difference in blood pressure or pulse after treatments. The results of the study showed that healing touch is an appropriate modality to decrease anxiety, may be appropriate for pain reduction, and may decrease the amount of narcotics needed postoperatively. The findings support the use of healing touch as an effective complementary intervention for surgical outpatients, however, the authors recommend additional research. Read the full article here.

BroncoFit: Students’ Best Friend for Improved Health

The BroncoFit initiative combines existing health and wellness opportunities with new student opportunities.

University Health Services has long offered students medical, counseling and wellness services, including health coaching, dietician counseling, and peer education programming about a variety of topics. Students also have access to an e-magazine, Student Health 101, which includes information about healthy lifestyle habits and on campus resources and activities. Still, the BroncoFit initiative continues to increase the ways students can engage in wellness promotion on campus.

Each fall, students in Health Promotion 440 organize a health fair for the campus community. Many vendors representing a variety of wellness dimensions handed out information and samples to a larger number of participants – more than 600. Preventative Health, a local company provided biometric screenings to participants at no cost, with proof of insurance. Test results were shared with each participant with recommendations on how to follow up with their primary health care provider. Other vendors offered hearing screenings and fitness assessments.

This spring, first year housing residents will have the chance to participate in the Ride Your Way to Wellness challenge. During this challenge, students will form teams to learn and practice different dimensions of wellness through daily activities. With a fun theme of an amusement park, participants will earn tickets for completing the daily activities. At the end of each week of the challenge, the team with the most tickets will win a prize. The element of teams will encourage students to interact with one another, as social well-being is a dimension of health.

April will bring a new celebratory week to campus – BroncoFit Week: April 18-23. Each day will celebrate and educate the campus community about the BroncoFit initiative and the dimensions of wellness. The week will culminate with the annual event, Yoga on the Blue, on the 23rd.

Increased participation, positive results and programming will increase as BroncoFit progresses and expands.

Boise State Nursing and Gaming Professionals Win National Education Award

Student using system while technology experts watches on a monitorBoise State faculty Anthony Ellertson, director and clinical associate professor of the Games, Interactive Media and Mobile program, and Ann Butt, clinical assistant professor in the School of Nursing, received the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) Outstanding Work Award for their Virtual Reality Nursing Simulation for Patient Safety in Nov. during the WCET annual meeting in Denver, Colorado.

The wearable technology allows nursing students to practice psychomotor nursing skills on virtual patients with significant cost savings compared to more standard training. The system uses Oculus Rift virtual reality headgear and a custom haptic system (manipulation through touch), similar to popular video game technology, to put nursing students in the virtual patient’s room in order to practice common nursing procedures. The combination of Oculus Rift and this haptic system enables a student to see and interact with (touch, hold or grip) objects in the virtual environment, allowing for complex simulations (like catheter insertion) to realize significant cost savings compared to the same training on a simulation manikin.

“It used to be we had more time and opportunity for students to learn skills at the bedside, but now patients have shorter hospital stays and there are fewer clinical opportunities,” said Butt. “Simulation is a great enhancement to in-hospital clinical training.”

WCET Outstanding Work Award 2015Butt is interested in deliberate practice and simulation and she incorporated the pilot of this technology into her dissertation. Deliberate practice theory recognizes that the more you practice a task consciously with a goal in mind and receive immediate feedback on performance, the better you’ll be at that particular skill. Boise State nursing courses incorporate deliberate, repetitive practice into most of their clinical courses, but students must rely on faculty for feedback on the quality of their practice of particular skills. The Oculus Rift and haptic system allows students to receive immediate feedback from the game in the form of points.

“The students enjoyed using the system, which also utilizes game-based learning,” said Butt. “They spent significantly more time-on-task than students that practiced traditionally. The students who participated in the pilot study last spring are expressing interest in using the game again. We’re excited to continue to develop this system for use by our nursing students. When you get into the system and step into this virtual world, you realize the potential for learning is enormous.”

Boise State School of Nursing and Simulation Center Recognized Nationally

Simulation, the imitation or representation of one act or system by another, is becoming a more popular teaching tool for health care educators. A growing body of research is assessing the efficacy of simulation in healthcare education. Boise State’s School of Nursing has been acknowledged in multiple research articles as a leader for faculty development focused on simulation education.

In July 2014, the Journal of Nursing Regulation released a landmark study, which recommended that fifty percent of clinical hours can be replaced with simulation in prelicensure nursing education with no change in the quality of education. “The 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” acknowledges Becky Bunderson, director of the College of Health Sciences Simulation Center, and the School of Nursing faculty, staff and students for their work in piloting the scenarios later used in the study.

Additionally, the School of Nursing is recognized as an exemplar for faculty development in simulation in the “NCSBN Simulation Guidelines for Prelicensure Nursing Programs,” which was published in the Jan. 2015 issue of the Journal of Nursing Regulation.

In fall 2015, Boise State began a Healthcare Simulation Graduate Certificate program to help healthcare educators become stronger, more efficient simulation facilitators in their courses. Eleven students representing half a dozen states from across the country enrolled in the first cohort and the program’s faculty and staff receive consistent inquiries from all over the nation, as well as Puerto Rico and Saudi Arabia. The program was listed as one of the preliminary programs in the U.S. that are helping educators with continuing education and preparing them for Simulation in Healthcare certifications in “After the National Council of State Boards of Nursing Simulation Study – Recommendations and Next Steps,” a featured article in volume 12, issue 1 of the Clinical Simulation in Nursing Journal. The article is a summary of a panel discussion on the results and significance of the NCSBN Simulation study at the 14th annual International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning Conference, held in Atlanta, Georgia.

The School of Nursing also partners with the National League for Nursing to offer a popular simulation conference on the Boise State campus every two years which features nationally and internationally known keynote speakers. The next conference will be in April 2016.

For more information about simulation, visit

For more information about Boise State’s Healthcare Simulation Graduate Certificate, visit

Center for the Study of Aging Partners with Treasure Valley YMCA to Battle Parkinson’s

Sarah ToevsSarah Toevs, director of both the Master of Health Science Program and the Center for Study of Aging, will be working with the Treasure Valley Family YMCA Healthy Living Center (HLC) to evaluate the HLC’s Delay the Disease Parkinson’s Program pilot study.

The Delay the Disease Parkinson’s Program is designed to empower people with Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders by increasing physical function while utilizing humor, enthusiasm, and optimism to help motivate participants. It is anticipated that participation leads to increased self-confidence and independence, decreased risk of falls, minimized fatigue, reduced rigidity, and improved mobility.

Toevs will be collaborating with the HLC to observe the impact of Delay the Disease on functional health and quality of life for both participants and their caregivers.

Based on previous participants, those enrolled in the Delay the Disease study are experiencing significant functional improvement. The hope is to capture these same functional results while capturing new additional data.

Through this study, the HLC will be engaging the Wood River YMCA, in Sun Valley, Idaho, and actively seeking 40 new participants. The purpose of the eight month pilot study is to evaluate the effect the Delay the Disease Parkinson’s Program has on disease limitations and the ability to maintain quality of life standards.

The participants will be asked to complete a physical evaluation and a quality of life survey. Caregivers will complete a survey assessing their role as a caregiver. Assessments and surveys will be completed three times within the eight month duration.

Center for Study of Aging to Co-Sponsor Family Caregiver Conference

The fifth Annual Family Caregiver Conference designed to support family caregivers will be held Saturday, Feb. 20 at Boise State University.

Every day, thousands of Idahoans work 24/7, with love and dedication taking care of a family member who is elderly or has a physical or intellectual disability or mental illness. For some, caregiving lasts a few years. For others, particularly parents of children with physical or emotional disabilities, it lasts a lifetime. These caregivers are the largest workforce in Idaho.

The Caregiver Conference features presentations by health and legal professionals, an expo of more than 40 community resource organizations, and participant networking opportunities. This unique full day event provides practical information that helps family caregivers, those supporting loved ones of all ages, from two – 102, navigate the challenges of providing care.

The conference is the result of collaboration between Friends in Action, Idaho Parents Unlimited, and Boise State University’s Center for the Study of Aging and Family Studies Program.

The event opens at 8:00 a.m. and concludes at 4:00 p.m., and includes lunch and parking, all for just $30. Registration is required by Feb. 16 by calling Friends in Action at 208-333-1363.

Major sponsors of the 5th Annual Family Caregiver Conference include AARP Idaho and Regence.

For additional information or to schedule an interview contact: Sarah Toevs, 208-426-2452 ( or Kelle Sweeney, 208-333-1363 (

Health Initiative Provides Assistance for Healthy Employees

As part of the Bronco Fit initiative, employees have been busy participating in health programs on campus. More and more options in University Health Services are becoming available to employees, with medical, counseling, and wellness staff all providing services.

Employees have full access to the health center on campus. Health Services offers both walk-in and scheduled appointments. Faculty and staff are able to receive primary care and urgent care services, as well as medical massage, individual and group counseling, and more.

Employee-only wellness classes for the spring term include “Stretch and Tone,” a group walk, and “The First Step,” a coaching and support group for those looking to be active. These free classes are each offered one day a week, on different days, during the noon hour throughout the term.

Wellness Services also hosts a challenge each semester. The “5-a-Day Fruit and Vegetable Challenge,” the most successful one so far, will be offered again, starting in Feb.

Health Services has contracted with a local company, Preventative Health, that offers health screening and vaccination services in the Treasure Valley to administer wellness screenings to employees on campus throughout the year. The wellness screening allows participants to learn their values on a number of biometric tests, including cholesterol, blood glucose and blood pressure. They are also able to talk to a nurse practitioner during their appointment, and they receive a full report with all of their biometric values and a recommendation of when to follow up with their primary care provider. More than 500 employees have already taken advantage of this opportunity.

One hundred and eighteen people joined the Boise State friends and family team for the Fit One race on Sept. 26. The team was the second largest at the event.

Programming and positive results is expected to increase as Bronco Fit progresses and expands.

School of Nursing Moves from ACEN to CCNE National Accreditation

The School of Nursing degree programs have received five-year accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), who accredits exclusively baccalaureate and postbaccalaureate programs. The accredited programs are the Bachelor of Science in nursing, including the on-campus bachelor’s degree in nursing program and the online RN-BS Completion Track; the Master of Nursing; the Master of Science in nursing; and the Doctor of Nursing Practice. The accreditation is retroactively effective as of March 11, 2015, the first day of the CCNE on-site evaluation.

Historically, Boise State’s School of Nursing programs have been accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), which accredits all types of nursing programs including associate and licensed practical nursing programs. “As a result of changes in the academic focus of the nursing program, and with the addition of the doctoral program, the CCNE is a more appropriate fit for Boise State,” said Ann Hubbert, director of the School of Nursing. “The School of Nursing is very pleased that after a lengthy and intensive application process our academic programs received recognition by CCNE for their quality and integrity. We are proud of the role we play in educating nurses, nurse practitioners and nurse leaders.”

CCNE is an accrediting agency that contributes to the improvement of the public’s health by assessing and identifying programs that engage in effective educational practices. In this way, CCNE ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs, thereby influencing the quality of nursing services provided to the public. CCNE serves the public interest through a voluntary, self-regulatory process, supports and encourages continuing self-assessment by nursing programs, and supports continuing growth and improvement of collegiate professional education.

Boise State University School of Nursing is focused on academic excellence, meaningful scholarly pursuits, and service to our profession and to our community. The Boise State nursing faculty are supportive teachers, passionate about nursing, and experienced educators with a wide range of clinical and academic expertise. Whether courses are taught online, in the classroom, or in a clinical setting, teaching and learning are highly interactive and multidimensional and the curriculum is designed to facilitate experiences that help students to incorporate theoretical concepts into practice.

Since the school’s two new graduate certificates were in the planning stages during the CCNE site visit in March, they were not included in the accreditation review. The Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Graduate Certificate program and the Healthcare Simulation Education Graduate Certificate program will be reviewed for CCNE accreditation at the next site visit in 2020.

For more about CCNE, visit their website at
For more about Boise State University School of Nursing, visit