Page 1

Medical University of South Carolina


Lifelines College of Nursing

Thinking Ahead: Educational Innovation

Spring | Summer 2013




TOP 20



Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs


U.S. News & World Report




2012 NCLEX-RN exam pass rate

graduation rate for all programs

underrepresented minority rate

{ 3000

# of simulation activities by our students


Current Enrollment - 440 (183)


(43) (159)




Educating over 250 future primary care nurse practitioners & educators

94% 97%

of graduating students believe they made the right choice in selecting CON of current students believe they are receiving a high quality education



Ranked 21st in funding among U.S. colleges of nursing



FUNDED GRANTS education research $ 3,879,764 $ 1,061,707

practice $ 256,531


Fellows of the American Academy of Nursing (FAAN) on faculty at CON



,395 9patient

encounters by faculty practitioners




of CON’s revenue comes from state appropriations

FULL-TIME FACULTY revenue expenditures


$652,900 in student scholarships


of faculty believe they made the right choice in selecting MUSC CON.

A publication of the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing

MUSC Nurses Change Lives

Lifelines Volume XI, Issue 1 • Spring/Summer 2013

Gail W. Stuart, Dean Jo Smith, Editor Beth Khan, Design & Production Mardi Long, Director of Student & Alumni Affairs Laurie Scott, Director of Development

Published by

99 Jonathan Lucas Street Charleston, SC 29425

Have feedback? Send comments to: Jo Smith Lifelines Editor MUSC College of Nursing 99 Jonathan Lucas St., MSC 160 Charleston, SC 29425-1600 (843) 792-3941

POSTMASTER: Send corrections to Lifelines, MUSC College of Nursing, 99 Jonathan Lucas St., MSC 160, Charleston, SC 29425-1600. © Copyright 2013 by the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing. All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be reproduced without permission from the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing.

Dean’s Column


t has been said that the two institutions most resistant to change are academia and health care. The belief in “business as usual” probably accounts for the high costs and sometimes questionable outcomes of these endeavors. I am proud to say that our MUSC College of Nursing has fully embraced change and the idea of disruptive innovations, as you will see in the pages of this issue of Lifelines. In fact, in the past 10 years we have literally transformed this College of Nursing from one that was small, contained and comfortable in its niche to one that is diverse, dynamic, and on the cutting edge of the changes that are taking place in education, research and health care. This is reflected in our three impressive achievements in 2012 that set us apart from other colleges of nursing across the country: / Ranked in the top 20 Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs by US News and World Report / Ranked 21st in NIH research funding among all colleges of nursing nationally / Leading the state by educating over 250 future primary care nurse practitioners and nurse educators So you may be wondering how did we accomplish this transformation? The answer is clear and simple. First, we have a true team here in the College – working together to move each aspect of our work forward both individually and collectively. Second, we have a vision of greatness linked to preparing nurses who will shape the future of health care. Third and most important, we have a faculty and staff who embrace change, are willing to take risks, have a thirst for both quality and innovation, and are truly dedicated to the success of our students. Together, we are constantly searching for new and better ways to do our work. We live with the understanding that change means growth, adaptation, experimentation and risk-taking. We have learned that it’s easy to come up with new ideas but the hard part is letting go of what has worked for us in the past but will soon be out of date. We also have learned that one of the pitfalls of success is the belief that what we did yesterday will be fine for tomorrow. Here at the MUSC College of Nursing we believe that learning and innovation go hand in hand and we truly are “thinking ahead.”

Gail W. Stuart, PhD, RN, FAAN Dean and Distinguished University Professor

Contents features A Decade of Leadership. . ........ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Looking back on the past 10 years with Dean Gail Stuart at the helm Thinking Ahead: Educational Innovation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Discovering innovative ways to educate the finest professional nurses

departments Dean’s Column.. ............................................................................................................ 1 Around the College................................................................................................ 15 Focus on Faculty......................................................................................................19 Student Spotlight . . ..................................................................................................22 Alumni connections. . ............................................................................................. 24 giving back.. ............................................................................................................... 26 Lines of Life................................................................................................................ 28

A decade of leadership

In virtually every area, the MUSC College of Nursing has prospered and grown under the exemplary decade-long leadership of Dean Gail Stuart.



Graduates first PhD in Nursing student

MUSC appoints Dr. Gail Stuart dean of the College of Nursing


Appoints the Ann Darlington Edwards Endowed Chair in Nursing


State pledges $1.5 million for clinical simulation lab

Raises $1.5 million in private funds for clinical simulation lab

Doubles BSN enrollment, admits 50 students twice a year


Raises $4 million to double enrollment of BSN program


Graduates 100 BSN students

Creates Nursing Technology Center to support online learning

Publishes first issue of Lifelines magazine

Establishes Stethoscope Ceremony for new BSN students

Places PhD program entirely online Creates the Center for Community Health Partnerships

Establishes the Hispanic Health Initiative

“As a leader, Dean Stuart has brought vision, energy, innovation, and determination

to the College of Nursing. At the same time, the entire Medical University campus has benefited from Dean Stuart’s strong interprofessional focus and pioneering work in using technology to advance the educational experience.

- Dr. Raymond Greenberg, MUSC president



Spring | Summer 2013


2010 Appoints CoEE Endowed Chair and launches Technology Applications Center for Healthful Lifestyles

2008 College of Nursing celebrates 125th anniversary

1 2 5


anniversary 1883 - 2008

past, Embracing the future. envisioning the

2009 1 of 6 sites in U.S. selected for Veteran’s Administration Nursing Academy

American Psychiatric Nurses Association awards Dean Stuart the Distinguished Service Award

SC Commission on Higher Education approves opening of DNP program

Establishes the Janelle Lester Othersen Visiting Professorship in Nursing

CON admits 47 students to DNP program

Travels to Liberia with the Carter Center to develop curriculum to train mental health nurses

of South Carolina Medical University g College of Nursin

State of the art clinical simulation lab opens

Among first nursing schools to receive Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing Scholarship funds

CON ranks 48th in NIH funding among Colleges of Nursing

Dean Stuart appointed to NINR National Advisory Council

CON ranks 21st in NIH funding among Colleges of Nursing


CON earns top 20 ranking: Best Online Graduate Nursing Program

CON ranks 30th in NIH funding among Colleges of Nursing Relocates CON offices to Harborview Office Tower to begin renovation

Obtains approval and funding for renovation of CON building

CON partners with Johnson & Johnson’s Campaign for Nursing’s Future to help alleviate nationwide nursing shortage

Co-chairs Joining Forces task force to develop faculty tool kit to assist the needs of Veterans and their families


Publishes 10th edition of her textbook, Principles and Practice of Psychiatric Nursing


thinking ahead educational innovation


s part of the only academic health sciences center in South Carolina, the MUSC College of Nursing is on the cutting edge of health care practice, education and discovery. We excel not only in education, but also in the use of innovative technologies to enhance learning. We continue to discover innovative ways to educate the finest professional nurses who care, cure, and create new knowledge in improving the health of individuals, families, and communities and who are actively shaping the health care of tomorrow. >



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Disruptive Innovation > Digital music has eliminated vinyl records. Cell phones have nearly extinguished traditional landlines. Digital cameras are destined to eliminate the film processing industry. These are examples of disruptive innovation, which is defined as the process of developing new products or services to replace existing technologies and gain a competitive advantage. Disruptive innovation is a term coined by Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen in his 1997 book, The Innovator’s Dilemma. In the book, he describes disruptive innovation as a process by which a new product or service takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of an existing market and then relentlessly moves up the market, eventually displacing established competitors.

{ { “The most powerful mechanism of cost reduction is online learning. All but the most prestigious institutions will effectively have to create a second, virtual university within the traditional university…” Clayton M. Christensen & Henry Eyring, The Innovative University

In nursing, an example of a disruptive innovation is MinuteClinic, the retail health care division of CVS Caremark. In 2003, QuickMedx, located in 10 supermarkets and office buildings in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, was a convenient, walk-in health care clinic that used nurse practitioners to treat common ailments. That same year it changed its name to MinuteClinic. Two years later, MinuteClinic expanded nationally by partnering with CVS Corporation. This partnership changed the health care delivery model by responding to consumer demand, thus making access to high-quality medical treatment much easier for more Americans. Today, MinuteClinic is the country’s largest walk-in medical clinic, with 600 locations in 25 states. The health care centers are staffed by masters-prepared and doctorally prepared, board-certified nurse practitioners who specialize in family health care and are trained to diagnose, treat and write prescriptions for common family illnesses. MinuteClinics are now inside 29 CVS pharmacies in South Carolina offering acute illness treatment, vaccinations and prevention and wellness services seven days a week. College of Nursing alumna, Susan Stabene, APRN, FNP-BC, (MSN ‘08, BSN Stabene at MinuteClinic ‘02) is the nurse

practitioner and clinical practice manager for MinuteClinic in Charleston. “The patients I speak to are impressed with the ease of the visit, the professionalism provided by our nurse practitioners and the convenience of e-prescriptions that can be filled in the store or at another location if the patient desires,” says Ms. Stabene. “My practice at MinuteClinic allows me to use my advanced practice nursing skills in a setting where I not only treat the individual but manage their entire patient experience.” In 2011, Mr. Christensen joined co-author, Henry Eyring, to apply his concept of disruptive innovation to higher education in the book, The Innovative University: Changing the DNA of Higher Education from the Inside Out. Mr. Christensen explains that the disruptor to the traditional university might be a recession, which can lead to the rise of for-profit schools or the prevalence of high-quality online programs. The authors suggest that to avoid the pitfalls of disruption and turn the scenario into a positive and productive one, universities must change their institutional “DNA.” According to the authors, online learning is a classic disruptive innovation that has occurred in education. Over the last decade, the College of Nursing has emerged as a leader in online nursing education, with the graduate program earning a top 20 ranking in US News and World Report’s 2013 Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. The PhD program is offered entirely online and has grown to be one of the largest in the country. As millions of Americans continue to gain health care coverage for the first time under the Affordable Care Act, the College of Nursing is educating doctorally prepared advanced practice nurses who can provide primary care for these individuals through its online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. This doctoral program and the PhD program, fill the critical need for both nurse practitioners and nursing faculty. In addition to our online graduate education we doubled our BSN enrollment to address the nursing shortage in South Carolina.

What is

DisRuptive Innovation ?

Disruptive innovation is the act of bringing a simpler product closer to the consumer at less cost but equal or improved quality.

examples of


Inn DisRuptive

Steve Jobs loved music. He wasn’t a musician or a sound engineer. He wasn’t a music producer and his primary focus was not on selling music to the masses. However, he changed the consumer music experience and the music industry when Apple released the iPod. With his business and technology knowledge, he launched a business model that forever changed the industry as well as its customers. “Turning bricks into clicks.” That was the mantra of many banking analysts in the late 1990s when they boldly predicted the demise of banks’ brick and mortar branches. Their outlook was that banking consumers were going to abandon the branch in favor of alternative outlets, such as ATMs, the Web and more recently, mobile devices. Air travel was once considered unaffordable for many business travelers and families. Today, Southwest Airlines, JetBlue and other low-cost carriers have landed into the market thus making air travel commonplace, and often cheaper than taking the train.

Spring | Summer 2013



innovations > in undergraduate education

Dedicated Education Unit > Nurse executives, clinical nurses and nurse faculty at MUSC partnered to initiate an innovative clinical education model called the Dedicated Education Unit (DEU). A commitment was forged to develop the pilot project focusing on the DEU as a model for providing quality clinical education, as well as promoting excellence and evidence-based nursing on the unit. So what is a DEU and how does it differ from what we already do in clinical education? A DEU can be described as a well-organized, stable unit, noted for exceptional patient care. Nurses on the DEU with excellent teaching skills, knowledge and expertise serve as clinical preceptors/instructors and expand the teaching capacity of the College of Nursing. The ancillary personnel are focused members of the team and actively involved in the learning experiences of the students. It is evident on this type of unit that everyone on the interprofessional health care team embraces the students as part of the team and culture of the unit. This innovative clinical education model facilitates our senior students’ transition into the roles and responsibilities of the professional nurse. The students in the DEU Model completed all clinical hours and assignments just like the students in the Traditional Model. Rather than working with a faculty member in a 1:7 ratio in the Traditional Model, each student in the DEU was assigned to a clinical preceptor with clinical and teaching expertise, who worked days, nights and/ or weekends. The student worked in a one to one relationship with their assigned clinical preceptor during the preceptor’s normal shifts, which included three 12-hour shifts per week for five weeks, for a total of 152 clinical hours. Three additional weeks were allocated for make-up hours (if needed), additional leadership/management activities, project presentations and case study seminars. Clinical preceptor training at MUSC was the primary way

of preparing the hospital nurses for their role as clinical preceptors. In addition to a detailed self-paced computerized clinical preceptor educational program and in-services, the clinical preceptors received a one to one orientation to the curriculum and teaching/learning strategies by the faculty. Frequent site visits to the students/clinical preceptors continued throughout the semesters to be sure that the DEU was functioning as developed by the partners and questions were answered as they arose. When asked if the capstone clinical experience was beneficial to the clinical preceptors in assisting with their own professional growth, all comments were extremely positive. “The consistency of one to one clinical preceptor to nursing student relationship gave me an opportunity to recognize my own strengths and weaknesses as a preceptor and provided me opportunities to improve and grow in that role,” wrote one preceptor. Another said the experience enhanced her teaching skills and led to more in-depth teaching with patients. When asked if the DEU clinical experience better prepared the seniors for a position as a new graduate, again all responses were positive. “Students gave very detailed reports, used evidence-based practice bundles, and delegated appropriate tasks to clinical associates,” read one response. Another preceptor noted the students collaborated with various professionals from the interprofessional team, and that there was integration of evidence-based nursing research in practice. The senior students were thrilled with the experience and have stated that experiencing the role of the professional nurse in “the real world” was the best way to see what they will be doing when they begin their careers after graduation. They all stated that it was wonderful to be working on a unit that was so welcoming and relished in helping the students learn to be a part of a health care team. One student noted, “I can say with confidence that I am excited to start my career. This experience has increased my

innovations > in graduate education



Spring | Summer 2013

Flipping the Classroom > Nursing is more than a lecture recorded on Tegrity, bullets on a PowerPoint, multiple choice test items, dictation style class notes, and rote memorization. Nursing is entering a patient setting and being able to connect, communicate, think, reason, problem solve, manage resources, anticipate, protect and advocate. This essential skill set is not an automatic “deliverable” for a nursing program. The student and faculty must engage in the interactive, experiential and dimensional process of learning. To gain this essential skill set we have “flipped” the classroom leading to the demise of the lecture as we have come to know it. There is no one model or standard definition for “flipping” the classroom. Key terms include reverse teaching, backwards classroom, and blended learning. A “flipped” classroom is a specific type of design that uses technology to provide lectures that occur outside the classroom and learning activities that move inside to the class. It was first introduced in the K-12 classrooms with the literature now expanding to higher education. The College of Nursing does not have a defined or prescriptive method for “flipping” the classroom. The undergraduate faculty are presenting materials in a manner that facilitates application with connections of concepts to patient care. The classroom strategies include case studies and application questions during class, group activities, peer presentations, YouTube - the sky is the limit. Clickers provide a timely vehicle for determination of material comprehension. Nancy Duffy, DNP, RN, CEN, CNE, director of the undergraduate program states, “It’s not the death of the lecture, but rather thoughtful, planned use of lecture time with interactive dialogue and learning.” The challenges for the student are that they must flip their learning expectation from everything I need to know, to the discovery of knowledge and how to use it. This can be unsettling. For faculty, this learning environment requires thoughtful planning and far more preparation time than just a standard PowerPoint lecture. Dr. Duffy explains, “The plan going forward is to evaluate student-learning outcomes along with faculty and student feedback in order to fine-tune the flipped approach. Our goal is a safe, quality nurse providing care in all types of settings.”

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stamina for time spent on the clinical floor, working the ‘standard’ three 12-hour shifts per week, and increased my determination to further my career and education.” Since the inception of the DEU at MUSC, Roper/St. Francis Healthcare and the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center also have partnered with the College of Nursing with an additional nine units actively involved as DEUs. Looking ahead, the College of Nursing will strive to continue developing these types of DEUs and forming partnerships with strong patient care units in the Charleston area.

“I was able to follow a patient through pre-op care, watch her abdominal hysterectomy surgery, and complete her postop care until discharge... all experiences I have not faced in my traditional rotations. Having this experience prepared me to feel more comfortable with transitioning into a new graduate position.” Erica Haynes, BSN Student

Simulated Interprofessional Rounding Experience (SIRE) > The MUSC initiative of Creating Collaborative Care has stimulated the development of classroom experiences that enhance student knowledge of interprofessional teamwork. Through collaborative efforts the Simulated Interprofessional Rounding Experience (SIRE) was created. This effort involves the complex care of a patient, a high fidelity manikin, and students from the Colleges of Nursing, Medicine, Pharmacy, and Health Professions working together as a team, demonstrating evidence-based communication strategies and acknowledging and correcting medical errors should they occur. In 2012, 36 accelerated BSN students participated with students from the other three colleges in the SIRE project. SIRE provided the opportunity for each student to apply their unique skill set and knowledge towards the care of acutely ill high fidelity manikins. According to Dr. Duffy, “The evaluations of SIRE suggest the standardized team training curriculum improved student self-perceived abilities in communication and overall interprofessional team skills in a simulated health care setting.”

MUSC students from nursing, medicine, pharmacy and health professions assess a human patient simulator in a simulated interprofessional rounding experience.

Spring | Summer 2013



innovations > in graduate education

Immersions >

MyFolio > All DNP students are required to develop an online professional portfolio in a program called MyFolio. Using MyFolio, students create an electronic portfolio to collect a wide range of performance data to review with mentors. The development and maintenance of a professional portfolio reflects a



Spring | Summer 2013

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The American Association of Colleges of Nursing provides the framework for the College of Nursing’s Graduate curriculum through the Essentials of Master’s Education for Advanced Practice Nursing and the Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Practice Nursing. As part of the MSN/DNP program of study, students come to campus for mandatory two to three day intensive experiences called immersions. The immersion provides course synthesis, specialized learning experiences and competency evaluation. It also serves as a capstone to the student’s online semester of work and typically happens at the end of the health assessment and advanced care management courses. Students’ clinical skill competencies are evaluated by faculty using simulated patient experiences by actors within a clinical scenario. Competency evaluations allow faculty to provide feedback and mentoring so that the student can reflect and integrate the skills and knowledge they learned in their courses. This exercise also enables faculty to assess students’ expected progress and ongoing preparation for graduation, as well as post-graduation certification. Throughout the immersion, interprofessional experts provide interactive didactic experiences. Gigi Smith, PhD, APRN, CPNP-PC, director of the MSN/DNP programs, explains, “These experiences allow the faculty and other experts to role model collegial interactions, share clinical pearls, and reinforce current evidence-based practice in order to further promote students’ role development as nurse practitioners.”

students’ responsibility for their own learning, actively constructing how competencies are met, while faculty provide guidance, teaching and mentoring. Within specific courses, DNP students complete learning activities online then integrate the course objectives to assist them in building a practice improvement project (PIP). The purpose of the PIP is to begin the student’s professional commitment to translate research into practice to improve health care. The project implements innovations in clinical practice, applies evidence-based interventions, and proposes changes to care delivery models. The PIP is a facultyguided scholarly experience that demonstrates “As a student who is new evidence of critical to online learning it was thinking and ability to reassuring to learn that, apply research principles despite distance, through problem identechnology can help tification and proposal create an intimate development, implemenlearning environment.” tation and evaluation. - PhD Student An example of this is the scientific review in their evidence-based practice course that outlines the state of the science on a topic of their project. These learning activities are completed and included in MyFolio. The practice improvement project is built within this online portfolio system and each section is approved as it is developed. The development of the portfolio is a “thread” that runs through the courses. Each course is interconnected “to be continued” in the development of the practice improvement project and portfolio. In clinical courses, the students download the patient mixes, common diagnoses and time logs into the MyFolio

system as a permanent record of the clinical work they have completed. The final course in the DNP curriculum, called Residency, utilizes MyFolio for students to document all final requirements in order to graduate with a DNP degree. This includes at least 10 scholarly activities completed during the program, competency assessment for their degree, reflective journaling on patients and practice, and the final poster and publishable paper. Upon graduation, students can download their online portfolio to their personal computer files so it can be presented to future employers as well as utilized for evidence of their professional development.

Problem Based Learning > To strengthen primary care we must develop innovative educational programs that are able to educate larger numbers of providers to meet our growing and complex health care needs while insuring providers are able to deliver quality cost-effective care. Problem-based learning (PBL) is a strategy that enhances students’ ability to critically apply knowledge to actual clinical problems. Robin Bissinger, PhD, APRN, NNPBC, FAAN, associate dean for academics explains, “In utilizing a problem-based learning approach to education, students collaborate in an effort to analyze and solve unfolding clinical problems that are fluid and reflect real-life situations.” Dr. Bissinger continues, “This type of learning format challenges the students to ‘learn to learn,’ engaging them in complex and challenging clinical problems online. In these scenarios the students must outline the prevalence, incidence, risk factors and preventative strategies within the context of cultural diversity, ethnicity, race and gender differences. They must find and utilize evidenced-based practice guidelines and information to prevent, diagnose and treat patients and work to assist them to self-manage and make behavioral lifestyle changes to improve health outcomes and quality of life.” The generation of complex PBL scenarios that encompass the realm of clinical practice include chronic illness (e.g. diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, obesity, mental health), domestic violence, end of life, social determi-


nants of health, ethics, geriatrics, and pediatrics, and require different faculty expertise. Traditional graduate nurse education programs assign faculty to teach courses expecting them to provide information in areas that they may not have expertise. PBL reflects collaboration among advanced practice nurses with various proficiencies fostering collegial relationships. “To enhance the active, interactive and collaborative learning platform in our program, it is essential to innovatively change the way the didactic clinical courses are assigned to faculty. It is important to build scenarios that emphasize longitudinal, integrated experiences with patients and families that assist students to care for underserved populations along a continuum of care,” says Dr. Bissinger. To that end, a new approach and educational model is being developed so that faculty are assigned to develop and run a PBL scenario based on their expertise in one of the key clinical situations instead of own the full course. Faculty are facilitators and build their scenarios across the wellness-illness continuum so students experience how patients are cared for across the lifespan. Scenarios build across the curriculum within the courses from semester to semester. Dr. Bissinger relates, “With diverse faculty expertise this scaffolding model provides students the opportunity to learn from experts in their field. The ultimate goal is to have expert faculty assigned to work in short, focused PBLs over 4-6 weeks while continuing to do clinical, quality improvement, and/ or research work. Scenarios will build in the clinical courses assisting the students to develop clinical reasoning skills and promote self-directed life-long learning.” Scientific information and technology continue to advance our knowledge and skills, however, providers must know how to access this new information and rapidly incorporate it into their practice. As patients live longer they will experience acute and chronic illnesses that necessitate primary care providers who can promote health and the management of illnesses through excellent assessment and interventions using motivational interviewing, self-efficacy, and selfmanagement.

“The method of learning by case studies helps students both learn and practice how nursing is done in real life. I like this tremendously as compared to lecture presentation of material. I also like the requirement of students coming to campus for check offs at various times. I am encouraging RNs who are considering applying to a nurse practitioner program to strongly consider MUSC.” - Linda Smith Shealy, FNP, clinical preceptor

Spring | Summer 2013




Using excellent assessment, planning, intervention and evaluation of patient care includes understanding evidencebased practice. The PBL process includes learning the skill of finding, assessing, and implementing the most current evidence for their decisions. Students assess quality issues as well as patient population needs within the clinical practice they are in and each course clinical scenario using critical appraisal guidelines.

The College of Nursing’s DNP Program student body has a different demographic profile than the PhD program. The average age of our DNP students is 31 and 77 percent are postBSN. Most of these students are recruited from the accelerated BSN program and are able to fast track to our advanced practice clinical degree. The same marketing and recruiting strategies are now being used for our PhD students, encouraging nurses to consider becoming a nurse scientist early in their career development. The national trend recently has concentrated efforts to increase the numbers of BSN graduates through increased funding mechanisms. “The increase in BSN graduates will increase the pool of younger, talented students for advanced education. A challenge for us is to attract talented, early career nurse graduates to PhD and DNP programs before they move on to other career opportunities,” says Dr. Gilden. Younger students often have different barriers to retention in advanced and especially online programs than do older students. To address that, Dr. Gilden’s grant is providing additional supportive retention efforts through the Next Generation of Nursing Leaders (NGNL) Program. The online program offers knowledge building, mentorship, socialization, and skill sets to successfully navigate scholarly life.

Growing the Next Generation of Nursing Leaders >

Residency Week >

Gail Gilden, ScD, RN, PhD program director, through funding from Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), is leading the initiative to grow the next generation of young nurse leaders from our online PhD and DNP programs. These leaders will be the vanguards in solving health care disparities among rural and underserved populations in our complex health care environment. “The need for young cohorts of doctorally prepared nurses is critical to the profession,” says Dr. Gilden. “Nursing leadership is steadily aging, and during the next 10 years faculty retirement is expected to peak when our faculty workforce nears an average of 62.5 years. Yet we are not seeing an influx of younger nurses to fill those places in scholarly and leadership roles,” she explains. The aging of nursing faculty is not just a reflection of an older population, but it also is because nurses typically enter doctoral education at a later age than other disciplines, in fact, a full decade later than other health professional students. This is mainly due to the lockstep way nurses traditionally progress to PhD study, first by entering basic practice, next by completing a masters degree, and finally by mid 40’s seeking doctoral education. The average age of the College of Nursing’s PhD student is 46 and 85 percent of those students entered the program as post-MSN students. Given full time course work, the typical PhD graduate will begin his/her postdoctoral career by their early 50’s. This translates to 10 fewer years of scholarly productivity and leadership for the profession, compared to PhDs of other disciplines. 12


Spring | Summer 2013

A fundamental part of the PhD program success is the annual residency week. This is an on campus session for new and continuing students to interact face to face with faculty and staff. The purpose of residency for new students is to become oriented to the program, the faculty and peers, campus resources, and the MUSC online learning environment. New students leave knowing how to access the appropriate resources necessary to support his/her learning; and how to develop distant relationships with faculty, staff, and peers that will grow over the next several years of learning, and hopefully lifelong. Students become oriented to their course work for the first year, spend time with their faculty advisor, and leave with a trajectory for the whole program. Continuing students have the opportunity to present their current research ideas and receive critique from faculty and peers. Faculty mentors provide small group sessions on research study management, career guidance, dissertation progress, funding opportunities,



“All faculty should be commended for making themselves as available as they did during PhD Residency Week. Once again - they continue to reinforce my thoughts that choosing MUSC is truly one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.” - PhD Student

and grant application. Students individually meet with their dissertation chairs and committee members to gain feedback on their research progress. The residency schedule allows time for information exchange, but also for meaningful social interaction with others. Some evenings offer social events such as the Dean’s Dinner and others are free for students to plan. Continuing students host a “student only” event for new students to encourage peer relationships and practical mentoring. Building relationships is cited by students as a major resource in maintaining good progress and keeping our program attrition extremely low compared to other programs. While faculty and students describe the week as intensive, they mutually agree it is motivational, team building, and a key element of success in an online program.

{ { “As I near candidacy, I have been reflecting on my training at MUSC, and I recognize that I have received a quality education that some of my peers in other PhD programs have not.” - PhD Student

Scholarly Communities of Practice > Currently, the College of Nursing enrolls 55 PhD students and 159 DNP students and all are instructed and mentored by 41 tenure track full time faculty, some of whom cross-teach in both degree programs. Based on the number of students and the variety of research and clinical interests, there is the question of faculty time and the agility of faculty mentors to address the multiple interests of students. Dr. Gilden saw this as a clear opportunity to capitalize on the shared learning that can occur by integrating the common skill sets and perspectives of the PhD and DNP programs. She explains, “Since both programs are delivered in online format, the constraints of scheduling and distance are eliminated in designing collaborative experiences.” Thus, included in her HRSA grant, Dr. Gilden proposed the concept of Scholarly Communities of Practice (SCOP) to organize shared learning. The term “Communities of Practitioners” (CoP) is a concept coined by Etienne Wenger, founded on the thinking that practitioners, or users of knowledge, share a common passion in an area of competence and are interested in sharing their knowledge with others in the group. The College of Nursing has developed communities of practitioners in the scholarly realm, or Scholarly Communities of Practice (SCOP). Dr. Gilden explains, “The general mission of a SCOP, regardless of the theme (e.g. chronic or acute disease), is to provide an electronic forum for interaction among students

and faculty and a place to store new knowledge or access to new knowledge.” The teamwork among members of a SCOP includes the exchange of ideas, brainstorming, identification of opportunities and risks, networking of resources, and defining and re-evaluating priorities. SCOP expands the mentorship of each student from a single faculty advisor or instructor to that of a whole group of participants who are interested or expert in the same topic. Interprofessional learning activities are required and embedded into our curriculum, and interprofessional guests are invited to the SCOP groups. Nursing faculty are working within the infrastructure of the MUSC campus project, Creating Collaborative Care, to develop interprofessional learning activities among the disciplines. Dr. Gilden reports, “A secondary and very important gain is that SCOP allows for collaboration and inclusion of interested accelerated undergraduate students, especially those who are attracted or committed to doctoral work.”

Conclusion > The College of Nursing takes great pride in its leadeship in innovative nursing education. But, how do we know that utilizing these innovative teaching and learning techniques are truly providing the best education for our students? The numbers provide the proof. As you can see on the inside cover of this magazine, the College of Nursing is excelling in academics with an overwhelming majority of students stating they believe they made the right choice in selecting the College of Nursing and that they are receiving a high quality education.

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The Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing seeks

ASSOCIATE DEAN FOR RESEARCH The associate dean for research (ADR) is responsible for developing a visionary strategic plan for research, mentoring and facilitating faculty research, managing a full service-oriented research center, and providing research expertise. The ADR is part of the senior administrative team and directly reports to the dean of the College of Nursing. The position rank is at the associate or full professor. Qualifications include an earned doctorate in nursing or related health field, significant record of extramural research funding and peer-reviewed publications, demonstrated expertise in mentorship of faculty, and experience in academic administrative leadership. THE MUSC COLLEGE OF NURSING ... • ranked 21st by the NIH in funding among U.S. colleges of nursing • resides within a leading academic health sciences center • plays a pivotal role in MUSC’s South Carolina Clinical and Translational Research Institute (SCTR) • houses the Center for Community Health Partnerships (CCHP) and the Technology Applications Center for Healthful Lifestyles (TACHL) TO APPLY • Qualified applicants apply to: (only electronic applications will be accepted). Position also can be searched by requisition ID at The requisition ID# is 048648. • For more information: Teresa Kelechi, PhD, RN, FAAN, Department Chair Phone: 843-792-4602 | Email: MUSC is an equal opportunity employer supporting workplace diversity m/f/v/d.

Around the College


Raising the bar

CON Climbs in Research Funding The College of Nursing has placed 21st among over 700 US nursing schools on the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) research funding list, ranking higher than any other college on MUSC’s campus. This is the third time the college has achieved a national NIH ranking, coming in 30th in 2011 and 48th in 2010. With a number of large NIH grants awarded in 2012, College of Nursing faculty brought in about $3.5 million in research funding. With this funding, the college continues to make a difference in improving the quality of health care and in the advancement of nursing research. “This national ranking attests to the outstanding outcomes of our nursing program here at MUSC,” says Dean Gail Stuart, PhD, RN, FAAN. “Our innovative and dynamic faculty, staff and students are clear leaders, not only in the region but nationally.”






CON Earns Top 20 Spot Among Country’s Best Online Programs The MUSC College of Nursing’s online graduate program is ranked in the top 20 in the country of US News and World Report’s Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. US News & World Report evaluated several factors to rank the best online nursing degree programs, including faculty credentials, graduation rates, and student services and technologies.


30 40 50

#48 not ranked






Dean Visits the Kiwis

On March 4-8, 2013, the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL) met in Auckland, New Zealand. Dean Gail Stuart, PhD, RN, FAAN, attended in her role as chair of the Board of Directors of the Annapolis Coalition of the Behavioral Health Workforce. This meeting was focused on innovation across the lifespan. IIMHL provides an international infrastructure to identify and exchange information about effective leadership, management and operational practices in the delivery of mental health services. It encourages the development of organizational and management best practice within mental health services through collaborative and innovative arrangements among mental health leaders from seven countries.

Charleston: World’s #1 Destination Last year, readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine voted Charleston the top tourist town in the United States. This year, they went one better. The magazine announced its readers have now voted Charleston the top tourist destination in the world. The designation is based on a poll of about 47,000 readers of the magazine who judge cities on a five-point scale. The categories include ambiance, friendliness, lodging, restaurants, culture/sites, and shopping.

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Around the College


Saying Goodbye is hard to do

Peggy Sires Retires from College of Nursing

You have the opportunity to make someone’s dream come true by giving to the College of Nursing Annual Fund. This unrestricted fund supports a wide range of resources designed to support enhanced learning through the university, including: student scholarships, faculty fellowships, emergency loans, student travel and student research. To learn more, contact Laurie Scott, director of development, at (843) 792-8421 or

After 20 years of dedicated service, Peggy Sires retired from the College of Nursing on April 1. Originally assisting in student recruitment, Peggy’s role expanded to include all of student services - admissions, enrollment management, reporting, and graduation (her favorite activity of the academic year). No matter how the role changed, the one constant was her unbridled passion for people and meeting their needs. Working with Peggy was always a joy. Her ability to see the humor of life and her infectious laughter helped maintain an environment that was open and fun. After countless Halloween parties (complete with outrageous costumes - seen at right), birthday parties, and dishes of “dog dip,” it was time for Peggy to enjoy her husband of 43 years (44 in August), four children, their spouses, and nine grandchildren. “Toodling” on the boat, taking cruises, working on special projects, (which surely includes painting and rearranging furniture), and of course, babysitting, are now filling her days and nights. Mardi Long, director of student and alumni relations, shares, “Student services misses her smiling face, sense of humor and contagious laughter. Her bubbly personality permeates everything she does.” “I will never be able to think of Halloween and not smile as I remember Peggy and her many awesome costumes,” shares Dr. Sally Stroud, professor emeritus. “There isn’t an employee who better embodied hard work and concern for others,” says Carolyn Page, director of student services. “Students felt so comfortable and welcomed because of her warm personality. She always had a smile on her face and is one of the most selfless, caring people I know,” says Alyssa S. Cogdill, CPNP, clinical instructor and CON alumna.

Mary (right) with scholarship recipient and BSN student, Carolyn Ramos (‘13).

The Annual Fund is an unrestricted fund that helps nursing students by paying for financial aid awards and emergency scholarship funds, technology course development, student seminars, and much more. Please consider giving to the College of Nursing Annual Fund.

Around the College



Stuart Co-Chairs Tool Kit Task Force

In summer 2012, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) joined with the Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) in an effort to enhance the resources of nurses working with veterans as part of the Joining Forces initiative, with a particular focus on nursing education. Dean Gail Stuart, PhD, RN, FAAN, co-chaired the Task Force that developed the Enhancing Veterans’ Care (EVC) Tool Kit. The task force included a wide range of representatives from the Veterans Administration, the U.S. Military, and professional nursing education. The Tool Kit describes resources and exemplars that can assist faculty with the implementation of curriculum elements that will appropriately address the unique needs of the veterans and their families. TAKING ACTION TO SERVE A M E R I C A’ S M I L I TA R Y F A M I L I E S The goals of this Enhancing Veterans’ Care Tool Kit are to: • Provide key educational resources that will assist schools as they engage in curricular development to incorporate quality care of veterans and their families. • Suggest focused, innovative learning strategies for teaching students how to care for veterans and their families. • Detail a repository of resources that are relevant to all nurses who care for veterans and their families. This EVC Tool Kit will be updated on a regular basis to keep it current. For more information, visit

STATS There are an estimated 22.2 million Veterans in the U.S. – 8 percent are women. • More than 2 million U.S. troops have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan since September 11, 2001. • About one in three U.S. service members returning from Iraq or Afghanistan experience signs of combat stress, depression, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or symptoms of a traumatic brain injury (TBI). •

Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans who used VA care, 48 percent were diagnosed with a mental health problem.

• Of those who had PTSD or depression and sought treatment only slightly over half received adequate treatment. •

Only 53 percent of returning troops who screened positive for PTSD or major depression sought help from a provider for these conditions in the preceding year.

• Only 57 percent of those with a probable TBI had been evaluated by a physician for a brain injury in the preceding year. • From 2005 to 2010, on average, one service member has committed suicide every 36 hours. • 349 – Number of U.S. military suicides in 2012, more than the 295 troops killed in combat in Afghanistan during the year. • Mental and substance use disorders caused more hospitalizations among U.S. troops in 2009 than any other cause.



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Children of deployed military personnel have more school, family, and peer-related emotional difficulties, compared with national samples.

Although 53 percent of recent Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans receive their health care through the VA, many Veterans and their families will seek care in community settings from primary care and community mental health clinicians.

Focus on Faculty


Faculty awards & Recognition

Bissinger, Pope Inducted into Academy The American Academy of Nursing inducted College of Nursing faculty members, Robin L. Bissinger, PhD, APRN, NNP-BC, FAAN, associate dean for academics and associate professor and Charlene A. Pope, PhD, RN, MPH, CNM, FAAN, associate professor, to membership during the Academy’s 39th Annual Meeting and Conference held in October in Washington, DC. Induction as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) is one of the most Charlene Pope (left) & Robin Bissinger at the 2012 American Academy of Nursing Annual Meeting prestigious honors in the nursing field. Those nominated for induction into the AAN Fellowship are recognized leaders who have made significant contributions to nursing and health care. Today, there are eight faculty members and five emeritus faculty of the College of Nursing who are members of the academy.

Edlund Appointed Mentor Champion Barbara Edlund PhD, APRN, ANP-BC, professor, was appointed mentor champion for the College of Nursing’s new Career Development Plan (CDP), developed by Drs. Elaine Amella and Teresa Kelechi with input from faculty. In her new role, Dr. Edlund will lead the charge in operationalizing and overseeing all aspects of the CDP. Some of these activities include developing the orientation and training modules for mentors and mentees, organizing the CDP “roll out,” organizing the evaluation metrics to determine success, and participating in university-level mentorship conferences and meetings.

Palmetto Gold Honors Faculty The Palmetto Gold Nurse Recognition Program was initiated in 2001 when a group of nursing leaders representing various nursing organizations met to develop plans for a program to recognize excellence in nursing practice. In April, the program celebrated its 12th anniversary. College of Nursing faculty recognized during the annual gala in Columbia included Carrie Cormack, MSN, APRN, CPNP-BC, Jennifer Shearer, PhD, RN, CNE, Shannon Smith, DNP, Cormack RN, ACNS-BC, CGRN, Amy Williams, MSN, APRN, CPNP-PC, and Pamela Williams, JD, PhD, RN. To date, the College of Nursing has 32 (84 percent) nursing faculty who have been selected to receive the Palmetto Gold.



A. Williams

P. Williams

Williams Receives Faculty Development Award Tiffany Williams, DNP, APRN, CPNPPC, instructor, was selected to receive the Southeastern Virtual Institute for Health Equity and Wellness (SE VIEW) Junior Faculty Development Award. Through a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Defense, MUSC established SE VIEW to develop educational and outreach programs and conduct community-based research on health disparities. The Junior Faculty Development program is designed to accelerate and enhance the professional development of underrepresented minorities in the area of health disparities and health services research. Dr. Willams plans to use her award to support her ongoing childhood obesity-centered, health disparities focused research and related professional development activities. Spring | Summer 2013



Focus on Faculty


Faculty awards & Recognition

Smith Appointed MSN/DNP Director

Amella Named Best Practices Fellow

Georgette “Gigi” Smith, PhD, APRN, CPNP, PC, assistant professor, was appointed director of MSN/ DNP programs on March 1. In this role she provides leadership in all aspects of the MSN/ DNP programs, assuring the quality of the programs of study. “Gigi is a leader in her field and an outstanding clinician,” says Dr. Robin Bissinger, associate dean for academics. “She has been the lead faculty for the pediatric nurse practitioner program for several years and has demonstrated her expertise and leadership in this program. It will be exciting to see the direction she takes the MSN/DNP program in as we continue to excel as a leader in online advanced practice education nationally.” Dr. Smith joined the faculty in 2004. In her clinical practice she provides care for pediatric patients with neurological problems in the Pediatric Neurology Clinic at MUSC, specializing in the care of children with epilepsy.

Professor Elaine Amella, PhD, RN, FAAN, was selected as one of two MUSC Women’s Scholars Initiative Best Practices Fellows. In this role, Dr. Amella, along with Leonie Gordon, MD, College of Medicine, will work to educate the campus about the effects unconscious bias has in decision-making related to hiring, promotion, and leadership opportunities. Drs. Amella and Gordon developed a PowerPoint presentation describing the steps decision-making groups can take to minimize the effects of unconscious bias and are presenting the information to MUSC’s high-level search, appointment, promotion and tenure committees. They also plan to provide education to admissions committees, department chairs, Faculty Senate, Student Government Association, and other groups on campus.

Cason Tapped for Leadership Program Melanie Leigh Cason, MSN, RN, CNE, clinical instructor, was selected for the National League for Nursing’s Leadership Development Program for Simulation Educators, a one-year leadership institute program supported by a gift from Johnson & Johnson. This initiative is designed for those interested in assuming a leadership role in the research or administration of simulation programs in nursing education. Ms. Cason was chosen for this program based upon her experience with simulation and her ability to work with other faculty in developing the use of simulation in nursing education. Currently, she is the collaborative partner coordinator for HealthCare Simulation South Carolina. Cason has years of experience as a critical care nurse, a hospice nurse, hospital supervisor, and nursing instructor. She has been a recipient of the South Carolina Nurses Foundation Palmetto Gold Award for Nursing Excellence as well as the South Carolina League for Nursing Award for Excellence. She is currently pursuing a PhD in nursing.



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Health Program Wins National Awards Over the past five years the Healthy Charleston Challenge (HCC) program has been helping tri-county residents develop healthy habits and make permanent lifestyle changes in order to decrease their risk for developing chronic disease. Participants work in teams utilizing a personal fitness trainer, nutritionists and mentors to meet weekly weight loss goals. In October 2012, the program marked a milestone surpassing 20,000 pounds lost since the program was established. The success of the HCC program has not gone unnoticed. Last fall, the program was recognized with two national awards. Club Industry, a media source for fitness business professionals, presented its 2012 Best Behavior Modification Program to HCC in Las Vegas, NV. The program also won the 2012 Program Innovation Award from The (L to R): MUSC Wellness Center Director Bobby Shaw, Janis Newton, and Sheila Medical Fitness Association Smith from the College of Nursing at the during its annual meeting in MFA Awards Ceremony in New Orleans. New Orleans, LA in November. Sheila Smith, PhD, RN, associate professor, has been involved with the program since its inception and traveled to New Orleans along with MUSC Wellness Center’s Bobby Shaw and Janis Newton to accept the award.

Bryant Receives Prestigous RWJ Commmunity Leadership Award Debbie Chatman Bryant, DNP, RN (MSN ’02, DNP ’11), assistant director for cancer prevention, control, and outreach, Hollings Cancer Center, and clinical instructor, is the recipient of the 2012 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Community Health Leaders Award. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation established the award to recognize individuals who overcome daunting obstacles to improve health and health care in their communities. Dr. Bryant works to improve healthy behaviors and to lower cancer risk among those living in South Carolina’s Low Country. As a nursing administrator, she discovered that many lowincome or uninsured patients were not receiving diagnosis or treatment until it was too late. To reach patients in need of cancer diagnosis and treatment, she expanded an outreach program using trained “lay navigators” to help residents overcome barriers to receiving the care they needed. The unique feature of this program is a voucher system that covers copayment costs. Following an abnormal screening, each client— regardless of ability to pay—is immediately navigated to a financial counselor and receives a diagnostic test at the Hollings Cancer Center. Today, there are more than 200 outstanding Community Health Leaders from nearly all states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. This award elevates the work of the leaders by raising awareness of their extraordinary contributions through national visibility, a $125,000 award, and networking opportunities.

CON Welcomes New Faculty In February 2013, Mathew J. Gregoski, PhD joined the faculty as assistant professor. He also is a research scientist in the Technology Applications Center for Healthful Lifestyles (TACHL) at MUSC. Dr. Gregoski received his Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Elon University, his Masters of Science in experimental psychology from Augusta State University, and his doctorate in kinesiology from the University of Georgia. He completed formal training at the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) Summer mHealth Institute, the OBSSR summer Randomized Clinical Trials Institute, the National Institutes of Health National Institute of Nursing Research Summer Genetics Institute, the National Heart Lung Blood Institute’s Population Studies Workshop, and a National Institutes of Health post-doctoral research fellowship in vascular biology at the Medical College of Georgia. Dr. Gregoski maintains a leading role in researching a range of topics from genomes to smartphones in the pursuit of developing personalized medicine interventions to aid in the reduction of health disparities among minority populations.

Gregoski Receives Post-Doc Fellowship Dr. Gregoski has been awarded a $50,000 Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Adherence Improvement by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America Foundation. A MUSC Postdoctoral Scholar at the time of submission, Dr. Gregoski will use this award to continue his work to test a low-cost, novel medication adherence program for uncontrolled hypertensive patients using a modified mobile health (mHealth) platform, i.e., mobile phones. “In South Carolina we have an escalating amount of chronic disease patients,” says Dr. Gregoski. For the vast majority of chronic illnesses, medications are an effective tool for management and the prevention of long-term complications, but the patient prescription adherence rate is roughly only 50 percent. Given that we know over 91 percent of the population have cell phones, and over 50 percent have smartphones, I am proposing a low-cost system that only requires the use of a mobile phone, a low-cost blood pressure monitor and a weight scale.” Frank Treiber, PhD, Endowed Chair for the South Carolina Centers of Economic Excellence Technology Applications Center for Healthful Lifestyles (TACHL) will serve as Dr. Gregoski’s mentor on the project. “I believe that with the benefit of the PhRMA foundation grant, Dr. Gregoski will become a highly successful academic scientist and make transformative contributions to personalized medicine in increasing adherence,” notes Dr. Treiber.

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Student Spotlight


Scholarship Recipients

Exchange Club scholarships The Exchange Club has selected April Dove and Erica Haynes to receive a $1,200 scholarship. The Exchange Club looks specifically for Dove students from the tri-county area who have at least a 3.0 GPA and a track record of community service. Ms. Dove, Class of May 2013, was elected president of the Haynes Multicultural Student Nurses Association and has been active in Junior Doctors of Health, an organization that provides healthy living tips to children. Ms. Haynes, Class of May 2013, has been a volunteer and program assistant for the MUSC Center for Healthcare Disparities. Through this network, women who meet the criteria are given free breast examinations, cervical cancer screens, and mammograms. Ms. Haynes also is a medical volunteer for the Challenge Walk for the National Multiple Sclerosis Association and the Cooper River Bridge Run.

Ruth Jaqui Skudlarek Scholarship Accelerated BSN student, Carolyn Ramos, Class of May 2013, received the Ruth Jaqui Skudlarek Scholarship Award and was recognized at convocation. Ms. Ramos, fluent in Spanish, was selected for the Hispanic Health Initiative (HHI) Scholars Program, and volunteers for the HHI by interpreting and preparing lectures to meet the needs of Latino women. Before enrolling at MUSC, Ms. Ramos had chosen 22


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a path of community activism, having worked with the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators in Washington, DC.

Charleston Co. Medical Society Alliance Scholarship Brian Harley, Class of May 2013, is the recipient of the Charleston County Medical Society Alliance Scholarship. Mr. Harley was inducted into Sigma Theta Tau and served as a College of Nursing representative on the MUSC Student Government Association. Prior to his enrollment at the College, Mr. Harley earned a bachelors degree from the University of South Carolina with a major in biology. This scholarship, also known as the Sally Thompson Seignious Scholarship, is given to a native of Charleston County.

Roper-St. Francis Patron Scholarship Kelli Schoen, Class of December 2013, has been selected by the nursing leadership at Roper-St. Francis to receive a $30,000 scholarship. This scholarship requires recipients to work one year following graduation at Roper-St. Francis Healthcare. A stellar student, Ms. Schoen has a previous degree from Furman University where she majored in German. She has studied abroad in Germany and South Africa. She completed CNA training at the Advance Nursing Institute in Greenville, SC prior to her enrollment at MUSC. This past semester, she demonstrated leadership by tutoring classmates and serving on the MUSC Student Government Association.

Palmetto Gold Scholarships John Paguntalan, PhD student and nurse, received the Palmetto Gold Renatta S. Loquist Graduate Nurse Scholarship in April. Mr. PagunPaguntalan talan is currently employed as a clinical nurse specialist/nurse practitioner at Self Regional Hospital in Greenwood, SC. At Self Regional Hospital, Mr. Paguntalan has been the chair of the Evidence-Based Practice Council, Magnet Team Leader for Quality and Research, and a hospital IRB member. He is the past president of the local Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society chapter. He has developed, coordinated, and evaluated implementation of programs to improve patient safety and quality care. A Palmetto Gold Scholarship also was awarded to Jake Schubert, Class of May 2013. He was elected president of the College’s Student Schubert Government Association (SGA) and served on the MUSC SGA. In these leadership positions he proved to be an excellent communicator with faculty, expressing student needs, concerns, and thoughts for improvement. He also worked closely with faculty to initiate a Men in Nursing Club at MUSC. A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in landscape architecture, Mr. Schubert volunteered countless hours for the MUSC Urban Farm Project. He taught workshops in the community as well as worked with the urban farm project director to expand the farm beyond the MUSC campus. Many of his drawings have been presented to the MUSC Board of Trustees and prospective donors.


FLIGHT NURSE’S MEMORY LIVES ON IN SCHOLARSHIP McCrudden Chosen for The Tony Pirraglia Nurse Scholarship

The MUSC family was shocked on January 19, 2002 when Anthony “Tony” Pirraglia, 47, a liver transplant coordinator and Meducare flight nurse, was shot and killed while trying to help a car wreck victim on Cannon Street. Shortly after Tony’s death, the transplant staff came up with the idea for a scholarship to honor their friend. The Tony Pirraglia Nursing Scholarship was finally awarded in October 2012. Jennifer McCrudden, a certified diabetic educator and DNP student, was presented with a $5,484 check. The scholarship, which came directly from donations made by individuals on campus, was awarded by Medical University Hospital Authority Chief Nursing Officer Marilyn Schaffner, PhD, RN. “I was really looking to honor Tony and his family,” Schaffner said. “Everything lined up perfectly. We had a nurse who works at MUSC, who L to R: Maria Pirraglia, RN, daughter of Tony; Marilyn Schaffner, RN; is a student in the graduate program at the College of Nursing, and we’re Jennifer McCrudden, RN; and Cindy Pirraglia, wife of Tony. recommitting our memory to Tony.” “When I met (McCrudden), I knew she deserved it,” Tony’s daughter Maria said. “She threw her arms around my mom and hugged me and gave my mom flowers.” “Mr. Pirraglia died by being a good Samaritan and doing what he loved,” McCrudden said. “He was selfless. This scholarship is helping me with my continued education as nurse. I hope I can make him and his family proud.”

by Ashley Barker, MUSC Public Relations Excerpts from article printed in the Nov. 30, 2012 issue of The Catalyst. Reprinted with permission.


Surviving the Storm | CON Students Participate in Disaster Training

In December 2012, nursing students Kelli Schoen, Emily Eling, Kelly Creech, and Lindsay Odell participated in a hands-on mass casualty disaster training drill in the MUSC Harper Student Center. “No one else in the country is doing disaster training like this,” states Lancer A. Scott, MD, an assistant professor at MUSC and director of the Center for Health Professional Training and Emergency Response (CHPTER). “There are many disaster and mass casualty training programs that contain a didactic portion; but the critical component that is missing from almost all of these programs is an actual physical performance assessment that puts the skills of a participant to the test in a loud and chaotic environment.” The CHPTER training event started with several small group in-class exercises L to R: Lancer A. Scott, MD; Lindsay Odell; Kelli Schoen; to practice scene assessment and patient triage, then concluded with the groups Emily Eling; Kelly Creech; and Jake Schubert. engaging in a hands-on physical performance assessment. Overall the event was a great success. Jake Schubert, fourth semester BSN student and an event facilitator, noted how incredible it was to see the transition of skills and confidence in the participants over such a short time. “The live simulation activity created such a loud and chaotic environment that made the impact even more realistic and unforgettable,” he says. College of Nursing participants also found the training beneficial. “This hands-on training should be part of every nursing school,” states Ms. Schoen, a second semester BSN student. Recent BSN graduate Ms. Odell also found the training worthwhile as it relates to her current job search. “I have been interviewing for community nursing jobs, and employers ask if I have any disaster or mass casualty training,” she reports. The Charleston area is vulnerable to a variety of man-made and natural disasters, a possibility that the public would rarely consider. Large industrial facilities, container ship traffic, and military installations are just a few elements that elevate the likelihood of an adverse occurrence in the area. In addition to man-made scenarios, natural threats exist in the form of flooding, hurricanes, and earthquakes. Only 38 percent of nurses report having had any type of disaster training. Dr. Scott emphasizes that “you can’t have homeland security without health care security,” and that is what CHPTER hopes to alleviate with its effective disaster training. by Jake Schubert, College of Nursing accelerated BSN student Spring | Summer 2013



Alumni Connections


Class Notes

[ 1963 ] Dianne M. Smolen retired June 30, 2012.

[ 1971 ] Beth Ulrich’s, BSN ‘71, book, Mastering Precepting: A Nurse’s Handbook for Success was recognized as a 2012 Book of the Year by the American Journal of Nursing.

plan’s quality improvement, utilization management, case management, credentialing and outreach services teams. She held the role of senior director of quality improvement from 2006 to 2011 before becoming Select Health’s vice president of operations.

[ 2005 ]

Lilly Cooper, BSN ‘93, nurse manager on 7 Buxton at Roper/St. Francis Hospital was a Palmetto Gold recipient for Spring 2013.

Charles Hossler, PhD ‘05, was appointed associate dean for South University Ground Based Programs in the College of Nursing and Public Health in June 2012. He became acting dean a month later. His office is located on the Savannah campus.

[ 1999 ]

[ 2006 ]

[ 1993 ]

Danielle (Cluver) Isbell, BSN ‘99, received her MSN in December 2012 from the University of Cincinnati. In February 2013, she became a certified nurse midwife.

[ 2001 ] Jamie M. Sicard, BSN ‘01, graduated with highest honors with a Masters of Science in Nursing in Clinical Nurse Leadership from the University of Alabama’s Capstone College of Nursing.

[ 2002 ] In January 2013, Rebecca Engelman, MSN ‘02, was named executive director of LaCare, a Medicaid managed care plan serving Louisiana and part of the AmeriHealth Mercy Family of Companies (AMFC). Ms. Engelman came to LaCare from its sister health plan, Select Health of South Carolina, where she was part of the team that launched the business in 1996. She started as Select Health’s senior director of medical services, where she led the development of the 24


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In September 2012, James F. Lawrence, PhD ‘06, presented at the annual conference of Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association in Las Vegas, NV and received its national award for Excellence in Geriatric Education. Later that year, he was inducted into the Seton Hall University School of Nursing’s Hall of Fame. In January 2013, Dr. Lawrence was elected to serve a two-year position as the state president of the United Advanced Practice Registered Nurses of Georgia (UAPRN), heading 13 local chapters and representing approximately 1,700 advanced practice nurses throughout the state.

[ 2009 ] Ashley Green, BSN ’09, moved to Chicago, IL after graduation and worked in a cardiology step-down unit at Weiss Memorial Hospital where she stayed until August 2011. She then backpacked through Europe before moving home to Charleston where she now works in the MUSC cardio-

thoracic ICU. On a personal note, Ms. Green and her boyfriend recently traveled to Iceland where they climbed a volcano, dove in the Silfra rift and snowmobiled over glaciers, in addition to meeting her family who still live there. The two are currently training to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, tentatively planned for next summer. As for the future, Ms. Green plans to pursue a PhD in forensic anthropology with hopes of one day becoming a medical examiner or coroner. She also has a strong interest in bio-archaeology, which she plans to incorporate into her PhD research.

[ 2010 ] Jesica Archie, MSN ‘10, BSN ‘07, gave birth to healthy baby boy named Robert Jackson “Jack” Archie on November 27, 2012. Ms. Archie is happily married to Robert Justin, an engineer at SCE&G. After a wonderful maternity leave she returned to work at MUSC in pediatric orthopaedics where she works as a pediatric nurse practitioner.

[ 2012 ] Anna Calhoun, BSN ‘12, is working on the cardiac critical care unit at Providence Hospital in Columbia, SC. Kahlil Demonbreun, DNP ‘12, has been quite busy since graduation. He was named the 2013 South Carolina Area Health Education Consortium Preceptor of the Year; appointed to the South Carolina Nurses Association APRN Chapter as the member at large; appointed to the South Carolina Board of Nursing Advance Practice Committee; appointed to the Preceptor and Student Advisory Committees for the Institute for

Primary Care Education and Practice at MUSC and USC. Cameron Matthews, BSN ‘12, has been accepted into Emory’s New Grad Residency Program on the Progressive Care Unit. Jill Norris, BSN ‘12, is working at Kindred Hospital in Mt. Pleasant, SC. After graduating in May 2012, Jenelle Quenneville, BSN ‘12, moved to Wilder, VT. She is a perioperative nurse at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) which houses a 23-suite operating room. Ms. Quenneville was accepted into Dartmouth’s 10-month perioperative training program. She was trained in ENT/plastics, vascular surgery, orthopaedic surgery, general surgery, pediatrics, cardiothoracic, transplant, and GU/GYN in both the “circulatory” and “scrub” roles. For fun, she’s enjoying life study-free, spending time in the New England snow (skiing, sledding, etc.) and hopes to plan a medical mission trip with one of the surgeons at DHMC sometime very soon.

[ Passages ] Florence Ennis Monfort Roper, ‘39 March 16, 2013 | Tampa, FL Agnes Griffith Wade, ‘44 July 1, 2012 | Mt. Pleasant, SC Miriam Ragan Simpson, ‘49 January 2, 2013 | Rock Hill, SC Audrey Ann Watts Brown, ‘57, ’81 February 3, 2013 | Mt. Pleasant, SC Barbara Gene “Bobbie” Moore, ‘64 February 23, 2013 | Lebanon, SC Antionette “Ann” Franklin Garrett, ‘64 December 19, 2012 | Jacksonville, NC Audrey George Joseph, ‘90, ’94 July 2012 | Florence, SC

2010 PhD Graduate Receives R01 Funding from NIH Leslie A. Parker, PhD, NNP-BC, clinical assistant professor, College of Nursing University of Florida, received RO1 funding from NIH for her project titled, “Routine Aspiration of Residual Gastric Contents in Very Low Birth Weight Infants.” This study is a randomized controlled study investigating the risk and benefits of routine residual gastric content aspiration prior to every feeding in infants who weigh less than 1250 grams at birth.

We love when our alumni make us proud You often make us proud so let us share your achievements and accomplishments —personal or professional— in Lifelines. Send us an update—whether it is about a new job, a promotion, an award or even a new family member— and we love to include it in our next issue. Send news and photos to: (include your name, degree and class year) Jo Smith, Lifelines Editor MUSC College of Nursing 99 Jonathan Lucas St., MSC 160 Charleston, SC 29425 or via the web at

Julia Breeden-Moore, ‘05 September 21, 2012 | Charleston, SC Spring | Summer 2013





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Too much of our work amounts to the drudgery of arranging means toward ends, mechanically placing the right foot in front of the left and the left in front of the right, moving down narrow corridors toward narrow goals. Play widens the halls. Work will always be with us, and many works are worthy. But the worthiest works of all often reflect an artful creativity that looks more like play than work. ~ James Ogilvy

Lines of Life

Make a Gift that Helps One Person Help Many Only one obstacle stood between Tiffany Williams and her doctoral degree: Paying to put herself and her teenage daughter through college at the same time. Today, thanks to a scholarship, Tiffany holds a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from the MUSC College of Nursing and works as an instructor in the same building where she once studied. She brings to her students 21 years of experience in pediatric nursing and a passion for working with obesity prevention, teen parenting and special-needs patient care. The MUSC College of Nursing has provided South Carolina with the finest education, research and medical care since 1883. The college relies on scholarships to ensure that it attracts top students like Tiffany. A Charitable Gift Annuity (CGA) provides a fixed income, plus valuable tax savings. Funding a scholarship with a CGA also helps ensure that the most qualified students, no matter their financial circumstances, attend the College of Nursing. For more information on supporting students like Tiffany with a charitable gift annuity, please contact Laurie Scott at or (843) 792-8421.


PAID 99 Jonathan Lucas Street MSC 160 Charleston, SC 29425-1600

Permit # 293 Columbia, SC

Online E x celle n ce TOP 20 Best Online Gr aduate Nursing Progr a m by US News & World Report

Educating and inspiring nurses to become leaders of tomorrow through accelerated BSN, MSN, DNP and PhD programs. The College of Nursing is on the cutting edge of nursing education, research, and practice. It shines in the use of innovative technologies to enhance learning, including our dynamic online programs of study. Most importantly, our nursing graduates assume leadership roles throughout the state and beyond and actively shape the health care of tomorrow. Changing What’s Possible in Nursing Education

Lifelines - Spring|Summer 2013  

MUSC College of Nursing magazine

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