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RN-BS Completion Track Graduates Largest Class Since Startup in 2008

This spring, the Boise State School of Nursing’s RN-BS completion track graduated its largest class to date at 86 students. In total, the program has graduated 638 students from 23 different states, and the overall retention rate for the program sits at 85.25 percent with a 69.5 percent on time graduation rate.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, baccalaureate prepared nurses are well-prepared to meet the demands placed on today’s nurses. They are valued for their skills in critical thinking, leadership, case management, and health promotion, and for their ability to practice across a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings. In 2008, the Institute of Medicine and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released a report that advocated for eighty percent of nurses to hold a bachelor’s degree by 2020. The RN-BS completion track is well on its way to helping make that report a reality.

The Boise State track continues to recognize the need for baccalaureate prepared nurses and the need for a program that supports nontraditional students. The track, in place for six and a half years, supports registered nurses who wish to complete a bachelor’s degree but have professional and personal commitments to consider when returning to school. Approximately 75 percent of the students are Idaho residents, and 40 percent of the students report learning about the program from a friend or colleague. The staff includes: chair, five professional staff, one administrative assistant, one technical records specialist, and 30 faculty from all over the United States.

Said Vivian Schrader, professor and chair of RN-BS Completion, AGNP and DNP Programs, “I suspect that our success is due to the student-centric approach and customer service delivered to busy professional students returning to school. Staff and faculty treat students like they matter and are not just a number in an online program.”

Cynthia Michalik-Collings, a student in the RN-BS Completion Track, said,  “My program advisor, Maura Rasmussen, has provided me personalized and practical advice to support my educational goals, even as my goals have changed from a working nurse/part-time student to full-time student. I feel I have the support and guidance needed to be successful navigating the RN-BS program and that my success matters (to them).”

Back row, left to right: Bonnie Dodson, Corey Nelson, Maura Rasmussen, Betty Miller. Front row, left to right: Sandi Gregory, Vivian Schrader, Tamara Martinez-Anderson

Back row, left to right: Bonnie Dodson, Corey Nelson, Maura Rasmussen, Betty Miller. Front row, left to right: Sandi Gregory, Vivian Schrader, Tamara Martinez-Anderson

Free Wellness Screenings on Campus in October, November

Life can get busy, and there’s not always time to schedule a wellness screening with a medical provider. As a part of BroncoFit, Boise State is bringing wellness screenings to you. The weeks of Oct. 26 and Nov. 9, Preventative Health will host health screening clinics on campus. Consider taking 15-20 minutes to check up on your health. These screenings are free with verifiable insurance.

The screening will cover the following tests:

  • Lipid Panel
  • Thyroid Test (TSH)
  • Complete Metabolic Panel (CMP)
  • Complete Blood Count
  • Prostate Screening (PSA) Male
  • Hemoglobin A1c (Diabetes)
  • Blood Pressure
  • BMI (Body Mass Index)
  • Wellness Visit (H&P)

Additional labs will be performed as clinically indicated. An eight-hour fast is preferred for Lipid Panel & CMP, although black coffee, tea, and water are fine to drink. The links below will take you to the sign-up page for each date.

Oct. 26-30

  • Monday Oct. 26: Norco (Room 114) – register online here
  • Tuesday Oct. 27: SUB (Farnsworth) – register online here
  • Wednesday Oct. 28: COBE (Imagination Lab) – register online here
  • Thursday Oct. 29: REC (second floor classroom) – register online here
  • Friday Oct. 30: Bronco Gym (Room 215) – register online here

Nov. 9-13

  • Monday Nov. 9: SUB (Farnsworth) – register online here
  • Tuesday Nov. 10: REC (second floor classroom) – register online here
  • Wednesday Nov. 11: COBE (Imagination Lab) – register online here
  • Thursday Nov. 12: Yanke (Research Park room 510) – register online here
  • Friday Nov. 13: Norco (Room 114) – register online here

If you have additional questions, please contact Holly Levin, 426-2694 or, or Preventative Health at (208) 853-2273.

Nursing Students Represent Boise State at WIN


Cara Gallegos

Mark Siemon

Mark Siemon

This year, eight nursing students were selected to represent Boise State at the 2015 Western Institute of Nursing (WIN) conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico on April 22 – 25. Cara Gallegos and Mark Siemon, assistant professors of the School of Nursing, facilitated the experience.

Each year, students from Boise State are invited to submit an abstract for a poster presentation to WIN. The abstracts are reviewed by faculty, and if selected, the student creates a poster to present. The mission of WIN is to bring together a diverse community of nurses in a shared commitment to advance nursing science, education, and practice to improve health outcomes. Topics ranged from the use of high fidelity simulation in baccalaureate programs to the use of acupuncture during labor.

“I attended the WIN conference during my seventh semester. Overall it was an awesome experience! I was nervous about our poster presentation, but it was actually really fun. Everyone was friendly and excited to share and learn about different areas of research. I realized in talking to other nurses and students at WIN that our nursing education is going to open the door to a vast number of opportunities, more than I ever imagined. I would definitely recommend WIN to other students. We learned about interesting research being done in our field, attended informative education sessions, networked with students, nurses, and educators, and spoke with graduate school recruiters from all over the west coasts” said a student.

“I went to WIN during my seventh semester. WIN was not what I expected. I thought that it would be a good experience and fun to travel with my fellow classmates. I did not expect it to be such an inspiring experience. There were grad schools with booths where I was able to speak with representatives of the schools and get an idea of what they had to offer. It made me feel very excited for grad school opportunities and what that entailed. I was also very inspired by all of the research presentations. It inspired me to keep (research) as a big part of my career as a nurse. I would definitely recommend WIN to another student! I’ll never forget the camaraderie that was gained with my classmates and the stimulating future-dreaming it induced in me,” said a student.

Athletic Training Faculty Examines Effectiveness of Stretching Technique Shoulder Overuse Injuries

Baseball, softball and volleyball players make a lot of overhead movements, which leaves their throwing shoulder and elbow at risk for injuries due to overuse. More and more youth baseball players are experiencing serious arm and shoulder injuries, such as rotator cuff and labrum tears and ulnar collateral ligament breakdown in the elbow. Some of these injuries require surgery to repair, but some are common in athletes in these specific sports and may be preventable, such as injuries as a result of glenohumeral internal rotation deficit (GIRD).

Research is showing that athletes  can help prevent these negative overuse effects by stretching themselves properly to restore the internal rotation in the shoulder. Other researchers have looked at the cross-body and the sleeper stretching techniques, both stretching techniques that athletes can use without assistance from a clinician, such as an athletic trainer.

Boise State’s Dave Hammons, director of the athletic training program in the School of Allied Health Sciences, Department of Kinesiology has been looking at whether or not a previously untested stretching technique, the prone-passive technique, may help prevent GIRD.

Dave Hammons demonstrating the prone-passive technique.

Dave Hammons demonstrating the prone-passive technique.

In the prone-passive technique, the athlete lies face down on a table while a clinician moves the shoulder into internal rotation while stabilizing the scapula. Hammons thinks that the prone-passive technique may be another tool for athletes to use to prevent GIRD.

“Many baseball players, and even clinicians gravitate towards the sleeper stretch, however the cross-body has been demonstrated through prior research to elicit a greater improvement in internal rotation when compared to the sleeper stretch. The key is that those stretches can be conducted without assistance,” said Hammons. “We found the prone-passive technique was as effective as the cross body technique, but further research should focus on just baseball players who tend to exhibit higher levels of GIRD. I believe a different treatment approach for treating the soft tissues of the posterior shoulder should be used when treating those with significant internal rotation deficit and the prone-passive technique does this by applying a torsional stress versus the tensile stresses created by the cross-body technique.”

Hammons recently presented his findings, “Treatment Considerations for GIRD in the Overhead Athlete,” at the 2015 world congress for the World Federation of Athletic Training and Therapy (WFATT)  in St. Louis, Missouri on June 21. WFATT is a coalition of national organizations of health care professionals in the fields of sport and exercise injury/illness prevention and treatment. The federation promotes the highest quality of health care and functional activity through the collaborative efforts of its members. The annual congress for the federation brings together athletic therapists, physical therapists, physiotherapists, medical doctors and other physical rehabilitation professionals from around the world.

Additionally, the Journal of Sports Medicine and Allied Health Sciences will publish Hammons’ study in its September issue.

Respiratory Care Open House Oct. 30

Respiratory Care Program open House  icon of lungs and stethoscopeThe Department of Respiratory Care will host an open house from 3-5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30, in the Health Sciences Riverside Building (950 Lusk St). A respiratory care practitioner treats and manages a patient’s breathing. Boise State respiratory care students already have earned a reputation locally for their knowledge, professionalism and competency, and as eight students’ recent out-of-state clinical rotations prove, that reputation is spreading across the Northwest.

This is your chance to learn about admission requirements and the application process for the respiratory care program, talk to advisers and professors, tour the lab and get a free lung volume measurement. Food and prizes provided. Free parking is available, simply pick up a permit from the respiratory care department when you arrive.

Terri Soelberg Elected to Board of Directors for National Organization for Research Development Professionals

Terri SoelbergTerri Soelberg, director of the College of Health Sciences Office of Research, was elected to a four-year term on the board of directors for the National Organization for Research Development Professionals (NORDP). She will also serve as co-chair of the Member Services Committee and will maintain her role with the MSC Metrics Committee.

Research development professionals facilitate connections between faculty from multiple disciplines and support efforts to secure external  research funding. In addition, they initiate and nurture critical partnerships throughout the institutional research enterprise and with external stakeholders. The NORDP develops and shares best practices that span administrative boundaries within organizations and beyond, in order to foster interdisciplinary research excellence.

“I am excited to be part of the leadership team for this great organization,” said Soelberg. “There is a wonderful diversity of institutions and consultants who participate in NORDP. Many on the board are from large, research intensive universities. It is a great opportunity to represent the perspective of emerging research universities and to work with some of the national leaders in the field.”

Soelberg has a bachelor of science in business administration from the University of South Carolina-Spartanburg and a master of education degree in human relations counseling from Northern Arizona University. She is a Certified Research Administrator, one of two in the State of Idaho. The designation of Certified Research Administrator (CRA) signifies that an individual has met eligibility requirements of the Research Administrator Certification Council and has demonstrated knowledge of the fundamental information necessary for a person to be a professional research or sponsored program administrator. She has worked in higher education for sixteen years. Prior to coming to Boise State, she held the position of assistant to the dean for the College of Engineering at Northern Arizona University and was the program coordinator for a National Science Foundation grant focused on under-represented students in STEM disciplines.

School of Nursing Volunteer at Camp Hope Idaho

Left to right: Max Veltman, associate professor, School of Nursing; Dr. Paul McPherson, MD, medical director of the CARES Program at St. Luke's Children's Hospital; Jake Gere, staff nurse at St. Luke's Children's Hospital; and Kona Estes, Boise State nursing Student

Left to right: Max Veltman, associate professor, School of Nursing; Dr. Paul McPherson, MD, medical director of the CARES Program at St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital; Jake Gere, staff nurse at St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital; and Kona Estes, Boise State nursing Student

In June, Max Veltman, associate professor in the School of Nursing, along with Boise State nursing student Kona Estes, and recent nursing alumnus Jake Gere, served as volunteer staff members for Camp Hope Idaho.

Camp Hope Idaho is a specialized summer camp where physically and/or sexually abused children can participate in a weeklong camp and engage in specialized activities to help them deal with some of the many issues with which they often struggle. This is the third year in a row that Boise State nursing students and faculty have worked with this special summer camp.  

According to the National Center for Children Exposed to Violence, childhood exposure to violence has a devastating impact on children, affecting emotional growth, cognitive development, physical health and school performance. Exposure to violence at a young age has been significantly linked with increased depression, anxiety, anger, and alcohol and drug abuse, and with decreased academic achievement. Children who experience violence either as victims or as witnesses are at an increased risk of becoming violent themselves. These children are significantly more likely to have involvement with the juvenile justice system, committing crimes at younger ages and nearly twice as often as their peers who have not been similarly exposed to violence.

Camp Hope Idaho is based at Trinity Pines, near Cascade, Idaho. Campers are recruited out of the Nampa Family Justice Center through the center’s connections with counselors and local community shelters. This year 20 campers, ages 10 – 13, were able to participate in many activities seen in most residential summer camps such as hiking, swimming, rafting on the Payette River, rope courses, and zip line activities. Additionally, Camp Hope offers many specialized group and individual activities for campers to help them cope with issues seen in this population.

The vision for Camp Hope is to break the generational cycle of family violence by offering healing and hope to children who are victims of family violence and giving them the opportunity to build relationships with other children with similar experiences. It also provides them with a safe, fun and engaging camping experience.
For more information, about the Nampa Family Justice Center, visit For more information about the National Family Justice Center Alliance, visit

Karen Breitkreuz Presents at the ICN Conference

Karen Breitkreuz

Karen Breitkreuz, assistant professor of the School of Nursing, presented her model for educating the socially responsible global citizen at the 2015 International Council of Nurses Conference in Seoul, South Korea on June 19 – 23.

Her presentation was titled “Nursing Students as Global Citizens” and shared a formal approach for developing students as well-equipped global citizens through an international service-learning experience. The presentation highlighted how nursing students can participate in unique nursing experiences while collaborating with the larger interdisciplinary group. Overall, the presentation was received very well by the international nursing community.

Breitkreuz completed her master’s degree in nursing at the University of California, San Francisco, in 1996, with a specialization as an International Cross-Cultural Community HealthClinical Nurse Specialist. In May 2009, Breitkreuz graduated from Teacher’s College, Columbia University, Executive Program for Nurses, with a Doctorate in Education.

Kinesiology Graduate Receives Boise State Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award

Audrey CoonAudrey Coon, a Boise State graduate, won the 2015-2016 Boise State Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award for her thesis, “Predicting College Women Rowers’ Motivation and Persistence: A Self-Determination Theory Approach.”

Coon, who graduated May 2015 with a Master of Science in Kinesiology with a Behavioral Emphasis, is now enrolled in the Master of Arts, Interdisciplinary Studies program and is employed as a graduate assistant by the Department of Kinesiology. Her thesis research focuses on understanding how college women rower’s motivation and persistence in the sport are influenced by psychosocial and contextual factors.

Coon’s interest and appreciation for rowing was sparked after walking onto Western Washington University’s varsity rowing team. After graduating, she was hired as an assistant rowing coach at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Coon later worked for two years as the assistant women’s rowing coach at the University of Portland where she was primarily in charge of working with first-year rowers and recruitment.

Coon witnessed attrition in the team firsthand and was concerned that the programs and coaches weren’t doing enough to ensure rowers stuck with the sport. Coon felt as though universities were starting rowing teams in an effort to satisfy their compliance with Title IX, but were failing to ensure athlete persistence in the sport. Coon truly believes in the positive impact that rowing can have on an athlete’s life, and decided to tackle this problem as part of her thesis research. Her thesis will be submitted as a Boise State nominee to the Western Association of Graduate Schools award competition and can be read here.

The thesis competition resulted in two awards for degrees completed between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015. Each graduate program nominated a student for the award in humanities, social sciences, education, and business.

“I am truly honored to receive this award. Pursuing my research interests has been an incredible and gratifying experience. I am grateful for the support and guidance of my advisor, Dr. Nicole Bolter, and my thesis committee members Dr. Shelley Lucas, Dr. Yong Gao, and Dr. Tyler Johnson. Thank you as well to the kinesiology department and the College of Health Sciences for their support of student research,” said Coon.

Community and Environmental Health Faculty Present Research

Jaime Sand

Jamie Sand

Jaime Sand, associate professor in the School of Allied Health Sciences Department of Community and Environmental Health, and Linda Osgood, assistant professor in the School of Allied Health Sciences Department of Community and Environmental Health and director of College of Health Sciences Interprofessional Education, presented at the American Health Information Management Association’s Assembly on Education Symposium in Austin, Texas in July.

Linda Osgood

Linda Osgood

Their presentation, titled “Integration of HIIM Students Into a Team-Taught Interprofessional Capstone Course”, discussed the integration of Health Informatics and Information Management students into an interprofessional capstone. The presentation included a summary of student experiences, faculty reflections, and lessons learned. The symposium included other presentations including: adaptive leadership, information governance, data analytics, interprofessional education, electronic health records, and interoperability.