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Penn State

Fall 2019


Penn State Behrend Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Penn State Altoona Bachelor of Science in Nursing Second Degree (B.S.N.) Nurse Practitioner*

Penn State Shenango RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing Nurse Practitioner*

Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner* Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Pracitioner*

Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner* Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Pracitioner*

Penn State University Park Bachelor of Science in Nursing Nurse Practitioner*

Penn State New Kensington

RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Penn State Fayette RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing Bachelor of Science in Nursing Nurse Practitioner*

Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner* Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Pracitioner*

Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner* Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner* Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Pracitioner* Doctor of Philosphy

Penn State Mont Alto RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Penn State Harrisburg Second Degree (B.S.N.)

Penn State World Campus

Penn State Hershey Bachelor of Science in Nursing Nurse Practitioner*

Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner* Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner* Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Pracitioner* Doctor of Philosphy

Penn State Schuylkill RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing Bachelor of Science in Nursing Nurse Practitioner*

Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner* Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Pracitioner*

Penn State Scranton Bachelor of Science in Nursing Nurse Practitioner*

Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner* Family/Individual Across the Lifespan Nurse Pracitioner*

Penn State Abington RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Master of Science in Nursing Doctor of Nursing Practice


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* based on enrollment need

College of Nursing Dean Laurie Badzek, LLM, JD, MS, RN, FNAP, FAAN Editor Morgann McAfee

Marketing and Creative Services Manager

Designer Rachel Weaver

Marketing and Communications Specialist

Contributors Natalie DeSouza

Marketing and Communications Intern

Brooke Killmon

Public Relations Specialist

Josh McAuliffe Marketing Writer

Photography Morgann McAfee

Marketing and Creative Services Manager

Rachel Weaver

Marketing and Communications Specialist

Additional Photos Penn State iStock Office of Development and Alumni Relations Susan Kukic Director of Development and Alumni Relations

Tatum Risch

Assistant Director of Alumni Relations and Programs

Julie Conner

Development and Stewarship Coordinator Penn State Nursing a biannual publication. Articles may be reprinted with permission and proper credit. To make a reprint request email Morgann McAfee at The University is committed to equal access to programs, facilities, admission and employment for all persons. It is the policy of the University to maintain an environment free of harassment and free of discrimination against any person because of age, race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, creed, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), veteran status, sex, sexual orientation, marital or family status, pregnancy, pregnancyrelated conditions, physical or mental disability, gender, perceived gender, gender identity, genetic information or political ideas. Discriminatory conduct and harassment, as well as sexual misconduct and relationship violence, violates the dignity of individuals, impedes the realization of the University’s educational mission, and will not be tolerated. Direct all inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policy to the Affirmative Action Office, The Pennsylvania State University, 328 Boucke Building, University Park, PA 16802-5901, Email: aao@psu. edu, Tel (814) 863-0471. This publication is available in alternative media upon request. U.Ed. NUR 19-31

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Note from the Dean Undergraduate Student Spotlight Graduate Student Spotlight Active Research Alumni Awards New BSN Program


SCAN CODE for a digital version of the magazine or visit

The front entrance of the Penn State Nursing Sciences Building in the Spring of 2019. The beautiful display of purple flowers welcoming visitors is comprised entirely of medicinally used plants: Hypericum, Taxus, Summer Beauty Allium, Stachys. Photo credit: Rachel Weaver


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William Doan

PHILANTHROPY PROFILE Snaps members with THON child


SNAPS Student Nursing Association fundraises for THON

One Nurse’s Legacy Honored with a Memorial Scholarship



Enhancing Age-Friendly Care

Established by Anonymous Donor





Mike Evans promoted to new position

William J. Doan named 2019-20 Penn State Laureate


Gail Latimer



DISTHINGUISHED ALUMNI AWARD Gail Latimer receives two prestigious awards in recognizing her contributions to nursing

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NOTE Dear Colleagues, Alumni, Students, Friends, and Family,


As we kick-off fall and the start of another academic year, I want to thank you

for you being an embodiment of our values. As an institution working to grow nursing leaders across all practice settings and to improve the health of all people, our vision comes full circle with you bringing it to life. Over 800 new

nursing students entered our programs across our multiple campus locations in pursuit of a BSN, MSN, DNP or PhD degrees this year. Our total number

of Penn State Nursing Students across all 12 campus locations and the WC is 2000+! These newest students are energized, and they will make a difference as they care for others both as students now and as our future nurse leaders. As you may know, the college is in an accreditation cycle, a process which requires a self-assessment. While we go through this activity, we are taking the time to reflect on how to best move forward with the growth of our college. We’ve identified a few areas that are ripe with possibility.

Our terrific

faculty are ready for the challenge and already working toward innovative change ideas! With nurse practitioners throughout the nation pushing for greater autonomy, it’s become apparent that we need to deliver a robust curriculum enabling nurses to attain more advanced levels of education within the constraints of today’s busy lifestyles.


m the

It’s no secret that advanced education for nurses leads to better outcomes for patients. With that in mind, we are working toward expanded graduate programs and offerings. We recognize the need for flexible course

offerings and immersive learning experiences, our new offerings will be reflective of this understanding. To complement the expansion of our graduate programs we are also working to develop a more diverse research portfolio with innovation and engaged scholarship serving as guiding frameworks. We believe

the best way to improve overall health and wellness is with novel advancements that are translated into everyday practice. Over the next year we will look to build upon our research strengths in gerontology, sexual assault/awareness, and supporting diverse and rural population health needs. Our college will also participate in two newer exciting university research initiatives related to substance abuse and health ethics. Finally, we will continue to build relationships with our alumni, clinical partners, donors, and other stakeholders, because all of you are critical to our mission. We made great strides in 2018-2019 but there is more to do! I hope you enjoy the new Penn State Nursing magazine. Be well, Laurie


Ralph Leedom Dill, Jr. was always a happy and adventurous man who found pleasure in taking care of others. Born and raised in Wallingford, Pennsylvania, he loved to spend time with his friends, travel, ski, and listen to music. In 1974, he took his talents and passions to Penn State, where he earned his B.S. degree in Health Planning and Administration. Soon after, Ralph realized his passion was best focused in nursing, specifically geriatrics. After graduation, he spent many years as a nursing home administrator, devoting his time to the residents. Ralph was committed to providing exceptional care for his residents and decided to go back to school, continuing his education at West Chester State University and earning his B.S. in Nursing in 1992. Ralph then went on to receive his M.S. in Nursing as a Gerontological Nurse Practitioner from the University of Pennsylvania. At the age of 53, Ralph was unfortunately diagnosed with Posterior Cortical Atrophy, an unusual variant of Alzheimer’s disease. He remained a positive and upbeat man despite his disease, but in August 2015 at the age of 61, he succumbed to his illness. To honor Ralph’s legacy, his sister, Jennifer Dill Podowski and her husband, John Richard Podowski, created the R.L. Dill Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship aims to assist underrepresented students

"We are thankful to the Podowski’s for creating this scholarship in memory of Ralph, a talented and caring nurse." 8

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-Dean Laurie Badzek

in the College of Nursing, who share Ralph’s passion

"We are thankful to the Podowski’s for creating this

and commitment to caring for others.

scholarship in memory of Ralph, a talented and caring nurse.  Jennifer's and John's goal to support

“We wanted to celebrate his memory, and nursing

a nursing workforce that more closely reflects the

was his passion. Some of Ralph’s most joyful years

diversity of our nation is clearly aligned with a

were spent at Penn State, so we thought it was best to

vision that we think Ralph would embrace." said

establish the scholarship with the College of Nursing.

Dean Laurie Badzek.

We hope to make a difference for underrepresented nursing students, such as men like Ralph, in their

Ralph remains a beloved member of the nursing and

nursing career,”” said Mrs. Dill Podowski.

patient community and is missed dearly.

Jennifer, John, their daughter, Elizabeth, and extended family members are all Penn State alumni. Jennifer graduated from the College of Agricultural Sciences and John from the College of Engineering in 1979. Elizabeth, a Schreyer Honors College graduate, received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in biology. “We have all benefitted from our Penn State degree, so we want to be able to help someone else have the same experience and pursue their passion. We feel privileged to be in a position to help, so it’s important to us to give back to the community, and

Je n n i fe r D i l l Po d o w s k i a n d h e r h u s b a n d Jo h n Po d o w s k i a re b ot h Pe n n S t a t e a l u m n i . Je n n i fe r graduated from the College of Ag r i c u lt u ra l Sc i e n ce s and John from the College o f E n g i n e e r i n g i n 1979 .

to continue Ralph’s legacy in the nursing field,” added Mr. Podowski. P E N N S TAT E N U R S I N G M AG A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 9


S N A P S fundraising finishes strong for their THON family and looks forward to next year. Every year, the Student Nursing Association of Penn State (SNAPS) comes together to fundraise money for THON, specifically for their THON family: The Steigelmans. Lucas Steigelman was diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2016 when he was 7-years old. Last year for THON, SNAPS partnered with the Penn State Chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) and raised $32,853.32 for childhood cancer representing Lucas. “He just went for his last spinal tap last month,” Tara Jacobs said. “He will be free of chemo this month hopefully.”

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Undergraduate Feature Jacobs was a graduating senior

“We did every fundraiser you

who became involved in SNAPS

n a m e . Fr o m f r o z e n y o g u r t

since her freshman year. She

fundraisers to blood drives we

moved up the ranks of the

were there raising money for

executive board and was the

Lucas,” Jacobs said.

vice-president for the 2018-2019 school year.

After THON ended in February, the organization still held

She was chosen to represent

fundraising and community

SNAPS as one of their THON

service events up until April to

dancers last year on the floor

prepare for next year's THON.

where she danced for 46 hours straight for the Steigelmans.

Some of these events included a blood drive and participating in

“I danced with my best friends. I never sat there and said this is easy but up until hour 38 I was doing good and I just kept saying this pain was so temporary in my head.” Jacobs said. “My favorite part of THON was being able to stand next to my THON family in the final four hours of the event and seeing all the hard work pay off.” Last year was Lucas Steigelman’s first THON as he was unable

SNAPS helped

$32,853.32 for childhood

to attend the year prior. This

“Relay for Life” which also supports

encouraged Jacobs and other

and raises money for cancer.

SNAPS members to increase the organization’s engagement with

This year, SNAPS encourages

THON last year and for the future

more members to get involved

years as well.

with their organization and THON to support four diamonds

Some fundraising opportunities the organization hosted included a restaurant fundraiser at Primantis, and having a candy gram fundraiser for faculty in the College of Nursing.


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families in need like Lucas.

to raise cancer

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Research Feature




people with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, have unique life experiences and equally as unique healthcare related needs. These healthcare disparities in rural communities provide an opportunity to educate rural providers on age-friendly care, with the potential of improving the quality of life in these communities. With the funding support of the HRSA, researchers from the College of Nursing in collaboration with the The Health Resources and Services Administration

College of Medicine, Primary Health Network and

(HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health

the College of Nursing’s Center for Geriatric Nursing

and Human Services, has awarded Penn State’s

Excellence have created the “PA Collaborative for

College of Nursing and its collaborators $3,750,000 to

Age and Dementia Friendly Care.” The collaborative

support medically underserved regions throughout

will be led by principal investigators, Judith Hupcey,

rural Pennsylvania. This funding will support

professor of nursing and associate dean for graduate

the development of educational programming and

education and research, and Donna Fick, Elouise Ross

training for rural-based healthcare providers and

Eberly professor of nursing and director of the Center

caregivers, enabling them to deliver more age-

of Geriatric Nursing Excellence; and co-investigator

friendly care.

Marie Boltz, Elouise Ross Eberly and Robert Eberly Endowed Chair and professor of nursing.

The Center for Rural Pennsylvania reports that 48


of the 67 counties in Pennsylvania are rural, with

“This collaborative partnership with the Primary

growth projections for the entire state population

Health Network (PHN) potentially will impact older

at 5% by 2030. The center also predicts an increase

adults and their families across PA,” said Hupcey.

in minority and older adult populations in these

“PHN is the largest Federally Qualified Health

rural communities. People living in rural areas are

Center (FQHC) in PA and has over 45 sites (29 are

often faced with limited resources as a result of

primary care) in 16 counties in PA (13 are rural

their location. For example, an older adult in need of

counties). They employ a medical staff of over 150

specialized care may experience difficulty accessing

physicians, dentists, nurse practitioners, physician

that care because rural providers are not typically

assistants, and other health professionals. Annually,

trained to meet their specific needs. Older adults and

they reach over 118,000 patients and families. In

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R OLDER ADULTS IN RURAL PA addition, we are partnering with the Institute for

and related dementia and document the strengths of

Healthcare Improvement, Area Agencies on Aging,

the older adult, not just the deficits.”

and the Alzheimer’s Association.” The Age-Friendly Health Systems Initiative and the The partnership’s goal is to improve the availability

4Ms Framework are national initiatives funded by

of the best care possible for older adults, with a

the John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute

focus on the four elements of the “4Ms” Framework

for Healthcare Improvement in partnership with

of an Age-Friendly Health System: (1) what Matters;

the American Hospital Association and Catholic

(2) Medication; (3) Mentation; and (4) Mobility, and

Health Association of the United States. The aim

to integrate principles of dementia-friendly care

of the initiative is to spread the 4Ms Framework to

into the care of persons living with dementia and

20 percent of U.S. hospitals and medical practices

their caregivers.

by 2020, this new funding from HRSA will help make Pennsylvania providers more age-friendly. To

“The key to age-friendly care is to start by knowing

learn more about the Age-Friendly Health Systems

the older adult, to assess and act on mentation

Initiative, visit the website.

(brain health), keep older adults moving and active and avoid high-risk or problematic medications. As

Using these initiatives as a guide, the researchers

we age, too many medications can cause problems

said they hope to implement a curriculum to educate

with mobility and mentation or interfere with other

and support healthcare providers and caregivers,

health and life goals,” Fick said. “The other critical

while also providing a valuable resource in these

piece with training students and providers is to

medically underserved regions of Pennsylvania.

$3.75 emphasize how to live well with Alzheimer’s disease


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Undergraduate Feature Undergraduate Student Spotlight


Becomes First Penn State Student Elected to the

NATIONAL STUDENT NURSING ASSOCIATION Board of Directors Junior nursing student, Elise Krikorian, knew she wanted to make an impact outside the Penn State classroom and community, so she entered the running for the director of the National Student Nursing Association (NSNA) role. With her goal now realized, she represents the Penn State College of Nursing as our first ever board of directors’ member. “I felt like I had a lot more to learn,” Krikorian said. “Seeing the potential to make an impact in the national nursing community seemed like a great learning experience I wanted to have.” She has continued to make an impact in the way nursing is perceived and bring new topics to light in the nursing community. The NSNA is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to furthering the professional development of nursing students in schools across the United States. Currently, Krikorian is on the board holding a director role while also serving as the Chair of the Population and Global Health Committee. NSNA’s Board of Directors is made up of 9


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nursing students who are elected at the organization’s Annual Convention and one ex-officio Board member elected by the Council of State Presidents. As the director, Krikorian is assigned six state chapters of the NSNA across the country. She periodically checks-in with them to ensure they stay up-to-date with the national level happenings and to support them by organizing thei r fi n anc es , events , or regu lations they must meet . In her position as the Chair of the Population and Global Health Committee, she and other members pitch solutions for addressing population health concerns caused by issues like climate change, natural disasters, and socio-economic inequalities. “I really like being in this chair position because we talk about issues that are not seemingly related to nursing,” Krikorian said. “However, the more you look into it, climate change and global health affects the health of everyone in this world so it should be an issue brought up in nursing and how to help it.” The 2019-2020 theme for the Population and Global Health C ommitt e e is P revention ,

Protection, and Awareness. Their goal this year is finding ways to educate nurses on how they can prevent some of these issues and ultimately protect patients. At University Park, Krikorian is the Fundraising Chair for SNAPS, the Student Nursing Association at Penn State. She joined SNAPS as a freshman and it helped her get involved on the national level her freshman year. “As a freshman, people encouraged me t o at t end t he n at i on a l conference that year,” Krikorian said. “After I went to the conference, I was shocked how connected all these schools were and the power it had to bring issues to light in the nursing world.” After attending the national conference, she began gaining supp or t from her peers and faculty members. “I am impressed by her dedication and commitment to be involved,” said Laurie Badzek, Dean of the College of Nursing. “And lead her peers as we work collectively to improve nursing education and the experience of those who enter our health system and require care.” Although it was a bumpy in the beginning when Krikorian did not get selected for a position at the state level of the Student Nursing Association, she did not back down. After consulting with those around her she worked even harder earning her the spot on the National Executive Board.

This past July, Krikorian was invited to give a presentation at the Future of Nursing 20202030 Town Hall convention, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Future of Nursing campaign is driven by the National Academy of Medicine, they hosted several Town Hall events as a way to gain insight how to advance the nursing profession to help our nation create a culture of health, reduce health disparities, and improve the health and wellbeing of the U.S. population in the 21st century. “Speaking at the convention was surreal,” Krikorian said. “ There were many academic professionals that I met that really inspired me. It was such a rewarding experience.” During her presentation at the meeting, Krikorian talked about issues she thought the committee should research, such as adverse childhood experiences, climate change, and nutrition. Kri korian’s u ltimate goal is to continue to see the nursing community further educate itself and keep evolving so hospitals can be the most efficient when it comes to caring for patients. Back at school, she continues to partake in the many organizations she is involved in such as SNAPS, her involvement in THON, and her service organization: Epsilon Sigma Alpha; all while continuing her studies and National Board positions. P E N N S TAT E N U R S I N G M AG A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 9





has made a gift of $5 million to endow a scholarship for students with financial need in the College of Nursing. It is the largest single gift received by the college in its six-year history. The University will match the gift 1:1 through a recently concluded Open Doors matching program, bringing the scholarship endowment total to $10 million. First preference for awards will be given to students from western Pennsylvania and rural regions of the commonwealth.


“The extraordinary couple who made this gift have been impressed by the excellence of Penn State’s nursing programs,”

- Laurie Badzek

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Undergraduate Nursing Scholarship Feature “The College of Nursing’s potential for impact on the

not be nursing graduates but value the importance

health of communities across the commonwealth

of well-trained health care professionals.

is vast, and these donors have recognized that potential through this remarkable gift,” said Penn

“Nursing is a discipline that touches everyone's

State President Eric J. Barron. “Their support

life at some point, and these generous donors

will help to address the commonwealth’s pressing

are helping to ensure better care across the

need for health care professionals and allow

commonwealth,” said Susan Kukic, director of

recipients to forge meaningful careers in nursing,

development and alumni relations for the college.

transforming their own lives. We’re very grateful

“While they have chosen to remain anonymous,

for this generous gift.”

they are important role models whose vision for the future of our students and our college will, I hope,

College of Nursing undergraduates who must

inspire others to consider how they can support

meet the cost of a Penn State degree with loans

excellence in nursing and nursing education.”

graduate with an average educational debt of more than $42,500, higher than the University average

Kukic welcomes contact from those interested in

of just over $38,000. Recipients of this scholarship

supporting the College of Nursing, and she can be

will receive annual awards of up to $10,000,

reached at or at 814-863-8180.

significantly reducing their debt and allowing them to choose potentially lower-paying jobs in

This gift will advance "A Greater Penn State for

geographic areas and medical fields with the most

21st Century Excellence," a focused campaign that

urgent need for nurses.

seeks to elevate Penn State’s position as a leading public university in a world defined by rapid

“The extraordinary couple who made this gift

change and global connections. With the support

have been impressed by the excellence of Penn

of alumni and friends, “A Greater Penn State”

State’s nursing programs,” said Laurie Badzek,

seeks to fulfill the three key imperatives of a

dean and professor of the College of Nursing. “In

21st-century public university: keeping the doors

particular, they appreciate our work to prepare

to higher education open to hard-working students

a generation of nurses with a solid grounding in

regardless of financial well-being; creating

geriatrics and community health.”

transformative experiences that go beyond the classroom; and impacting the world by fueling

The gift will have special impact for the College

discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship.

of Nursing, which was established as a separate Penn State college in 2013. While it has already awarded 732 bachelor’s degrees , 55 master’s degrees, and 14 doctoral degrees, the college is working to build support among those who may

T o l e a r n m o r e a b o ut “A Greater Penn State for 21st Centur y Excellence ,” visit


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Penn State Scranton Assistant Chief Academic Officer and Associate Teaching Professor of Nursing, Michael Evans, has accepted a high-profile position within the University’s College of Nursing. Evans




recently assistant

de a n of u ndergr a du at e nursing education at the Commonwealth Campuses. In his new role, Evans will oversee the operations of the undergraduate nursing program at various Penn S t at e c a mp u s e s . A m on g other duties , he’ll ensure curricular consistency and quality across the campuses; assist in the development and implementation of effective strategies to recruit a diverse




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Faculty Feature pool of high-quality students;

A full-time campus faculty member

fairness and make sure everyone

and collaborate with faculty and

since 2008 and past recipient of

feels valued and heard.

administrators to fairly, promptly

the University College Teaching

and effectively resolve student and

Award and the 2014 George W.

“I plan to be available for my

faculty issues.

Atherton Award for Excellence in

colleagues as they strive to provide

Teaching, Evans said he began to

a first-class education to our students,” he said.


keep an eye on job postings after

responsibilities of the new job,

his predecessor announced her

Evans will remain based at

departure from the University.

Penn State Scranton, where he’ll

Around mid-summer, he applied

continue to teach baccalaureate

for the position.



and bachelor’s degrees in nursing from Penn State. He has a master’s

and graduate courses within the nursing program.

Evans received both his associate

degree in adult health with a sub“ T h i s w a s s om e t h i n g t h at

specialization in nursing education

immediately interested me, as

from Misericordia University, and

A Penn State Scranton alumnus,

I will get to work with all the

another master’s in education with

E vans said he’s enormously

Commonwealth Campuses that

a focus in professional studies

grateful for the opportunity,

offer undergraduate nursing

from Capella University. In 2016,

noting news of the promotion left

programs as I strive to continue

he earned his doctorate nursing

him “excited, nervous, relieved and

advancing nursing education

from Penn State.

pretty much any other emotion

across the state,” he said. “I feel

you can think of all at once.”

as though I was academically and professionally prepared for the job.

“It was a tough decision for me to leave Penn State Scranton, as I was comfortable in my old job and enjoyed doing it,” he said.

My role as a faculty member at the Scranton campus and my time as the assistant director of academic affairs helped prepare me for the responsibilities and challenges that lie ahead for me.”

Despite the demands of the new job, Evans stressed that he’ll still make time to teach three nursing courses per year. Meanwhile, he’ll continue holding weekly meetings with his research team, although much of his own research will now have to wait until the summer months, he said.

It was a tremendous help to me having the support of all my Scranton and College of Nursing colleagues as I begin this new journey.

Throughout the academic year,

-Michael Evans

the position, Evans would like to

Evans will visit all Commonwealth Campuses that have a nursing program, as well as make several trips to University Park.

ever. However, that suits him just fine, considering he’s getting the chance to serve the University’s mission on a bigger scale.

Among other goals he has for increase the amount of student engagement from undergraduate

“But at the same time, I was excited

nursing students across the

for this new challenge. It was a

campuses through promoting

tremendous help to me having the

more co-curricular and research

support of all my Scranton and

opportunities for them.

“This is a great opportunity for me,” Evans said. “I can remain in the Penn State system and advance my career doing something that I love, while helping to advance our undergraduate programs to ensure we are delivering the highest

College of Nursing colleagues as I begin this new journey.”

No doubt, Evans will be busier than

quality educational experiences In addition, he’ll make it a point to

possible and graduating students

“treat everyone with respect and

that will lead our profession into the future.”

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Undergraduate Penn State Laureate Feature

COLLEGE OF NURSING'S ARTIST-IN-RE “Whether these questions have to do with class, race, gender, education, the environment or, most recently, living with anxiety and depression, my commitment to a collaborative approach to making innovative work is what activates me.” William Doan

— William J. Doan

William J. Doan, professor of theatre in the College of Arts and Architecture and artist-in-residence in the College of Nursing, has been named Penn State Laureate for the 2019–20 academic year. As laureate, he will explore the intersections of art, science and health through interactive exp eriences — including p erformances , workshops and discussions — that address issues of living with anxiety and depression. An annual faculty honor established in 2008, the Penn State Laureate is a full-time faculty member in the arts or humanities who is assigned half-time for one academic year to bring greater visibility to the arts, humanities and the University, as well as to his or her own work. In this role, the laureate is a highly visible representative of the University, appearing at events and speaking engagements throughout the Commonwealth. Doan succeeds 2018–19 Penn State Laureate John Champagne, professor of English and chair of the Global Languages and Cultures program at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College. Doan is a past president of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education and was recently inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre. In addition to articles in scholarly journals, Doan has co-authored


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three books and several plays. He has created solo performance projects at a variety of venues across the United States and abroad. His current work includes a new performance piece, “Frozen in the Toilet Paper Aisle of Life,” part of a larger project titled “The Anxiety Project.” Work from this project includes multiple short graphic narratives published in the Annals of Internal Medicine/Graphic Medicine.


“The intersections of art, science and health are the spaces in which I make performances and graphic narratives, often blending the two into live p er for m a nc e s w it h d r aw i n gs ,” explained Doan. “For me, it is in these spaces where critical questions of aesthetics, ethics and representation lead to sustained collaborations with other artists, scientists, health care professionals and audiences. … Whether these questions have to do with class, race, gender, education, the environment or, most recently, living with anxiety and depression, my commitment to a collaborative approach to making innovative work is what activates me.” Doan notes that his current position as artist-in-residence in the College o f Nu r s i n g h a s c o n s i d e r a b l y expanded his opportunities for crossdisciplinary collaboration and that he will build on those opportunities in his laureate year through work with nursing programs at Commonwealth Campuses. He also plans to use his “Anxiety Project,” which he started several years ago and now includes more than 300 drawings, four graphic medicine publications in the Annals of Internal Medicine, and a 50-minute live performance including 127 of the drawings, to offer a model for understanding anxiety and depression “that is rooted in artistic practice, integrated with science and informed by research.”

P E N N S TAT E N U R S I N G M AG A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 9


Undergraduate Active ResearchFeature


Jocelyn Anderson

With sexual assault on the rise across the globe, forensic nursing has emerged to help curb the harmful effects that victims face. According to the International Association of Forensic Nurses, “forensic nursing is the practice of nursing globally when health and legal systems interact.” Usually, it is a nurse with highly specialized training in areas like forensic evidence and collection, with knowledge of the legal systems and how to interact the evidence found in the hospital with a sexual assault case in the courtroom. The forensic nursing field is expected to have a 26% growth rate in the next decade according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jocelyn Anderson, PhD, a forensic nurse and researcher at Penn State, found her calling in the forensic nu rsing field aft er experiencing a final nursing practicum in a South African intensive care unit.

“I was really struck at the time by the amount of violence that I saw there ,” Anderson said. “ T h er e w er e two kinds of violence t h at we s aw primarily there every day and it was physical, gun violence and sexual assault violence.” She explained that often the victims of sexual assault would come to the intensive care unit after attempting suicide following the attack. “I come from the middle-ofnowhere -Minnesota , a r u ral community where I had not been exposed to that in my training,” Anderson said. Although she was familiar with forensic nursing, her actual realization of the opportunities the field had to offer merged during her weeks in South Africa and led to her enrolling in a forensic nursing graduate program to help victims recover from the trauma. For aspiring nurses like Anderson, after earning a nursing degree and passing the RN licensing exam, there are several forensic nursing certificate programs as well as graduate programs available to get started in the field. After completing these programs, they

began to serve as the first line of treatment to victims. Individuals with training in forensic nursing can become sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs), nurses specializing in domestic violence, child abuse nurses, death investigators, legal nurse consultants, and much more. Following her graduate program, Anderson worked at the Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center as a forensic nurse. “As the forensic nurse responding in these hospitals , we were responsible for providing both forensic and medical care to those patients after a sexual assault.” she explained . “The physical impacts as well as the mental on these patients were the two main aspects we focused on right when they entered through the door.” Anderson also helped patients who wanted to seek criminal justice for the crimes committed a gai nst them . She prov ide d patients with interventions, such as evidence collection and photo documentation, and collaborated with law enforcement officials and attorneys to facilitate prosecuting these sensitive cases.

Connect with Us! @jocelynand @jcandresearch @PSUNursing


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NURSE WORKS TO SUPPORT SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIMS After treating their physical injuries and providing immediate comfort, it is important to collect and preser ve evidence that’s admissible in court. Some of these items could include clothing, bullets, and injuries from the body. Following evidence collection, the forensic nurse can be used as an expert witness in the trial or help the patient with the next steps in the legal process. During graduate school, Anderson had experience as a hospital bedside nurse and recognizes the importance of that role, but she recognized how it was easy to fall into a routine and feel as if she was attending to tasks unlike her job as a forensic nurse. “While it’s a very traumatic time for those patients [sexual assault victims],” she explained. “It is overall so rewarding as a nurse. My role as a nurse to help them in that first step of moving through that trauma and being there to help address whatever steps they are ready to take to move through; that is a very powerful and rewarding place to be.” Anderson stressed that the field of forensic and sexual assault nurses is new but will help provide better care for these victims dealing with trauma after the violence. R e s e a r ch ex a m i n i n g t he s e programs has shown that patients who received care from a specifically trained forensic or sexual assault nurse after an assault were given the appropriate care and medication and more likely to have a sexual assault

kit collected correctly. Therefore, they are also more likely to have their criminal case moved forward and the traumatic experience will be lessened if more nurses were being forensically trained to help these individuals. “This specified training and knowledge is not something that every ER nurse or every trained physician can or should be doing,” she said. Forensic nursing is one of the newest areas of nursing, Anderson explained how challenging that position can be because it means there is less research evidence. C l i n ici a n s a nd r e s e a r cher s must constantly get evidence to demonstrate whether practices and training are working. O r ga n i z at i on s s u ch a s t he International Association of Forensic Nurses help train and certify more nurses globally to be able to equip the skills needed to effectively take care of sexual assault victims. Measures are being taken to widen the field. A bill being proposed would require by 2022 all hospitals to have sexual assault victims be treated by these specifically trained nurses within 90 minutes of them entering the hospital. Right here are Penn State the Sexual Assault Forensic Examiniation-Telehealth Center (SAFE-T Center) is developing and testing unique training and mentoring models for providing access to SANE certified nurses to rural hospitals using telehealth.

T h is Apri l m arks the 18th anniversary of sexual assault awareness month and was started by the National Sexual Violence R e s ou r c e C ent er t o s pr e a d awareness and prevention of sexual assault, harassment, and abuse. In accordance with the month, Anderson stresses the importance of recognizing the problem of sexual assault and being able to provide the help and training needed for trained officials to help victims. She continues her research and clinical practice in sexual assault violence and constantly puts out new proposals to allow students and everyone around the world to be able to use the resources that they are provided to prevent and respond to sexual assault violence. If you want to know more about sexual violence research or are interested in being involved in this work at Penn State, Anderson urges people to come to talk to her or reach out to her research team email:

If you or someone you know have experienced sexual assault and need help or support, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE. Learn more about the SAFE-T Center at their website:

P E N N S TAT E N U R S I N G M AG A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 9


Undergraduate Active ResearchFeature

PENN STATE RESEARCHER EXP Aging she ex p ande d her expertise with aging and the effe cts of psychological stress and stress resp onses on physical health.

Britney Wardecker

E v er y M ay t h e C o l l e g e o f NursingcelebratesMental Health Awareness Month. This past May, Penn State researcher and assistant professor Britney Wardecker took the time to stress the importance of not on ly raising general awareness of mental health but also recognizing how different groups are affected by mental health issues in unique ways. Wardecker’s research focuses on the intersection of mental health and discrimination against the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender) community. After receiving a bachelor of science in psychology at Penn State, Wardecker continued her education at the University of Michigan to obtain her doctorate in psychology, before coming back to Penn State as a National Institute on Aging (NI A) Postdoctoral Fellow, researcher and assistant professor in the College of Nursing. As a postdoctoral fellow in the University’s Center for Healthy 28

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“It was a way for me to gain exp erience in understanding what stress is and how stress links to health,” Wardecker said. “It also led to me gaining experience in LGBT health and aging.” Today, through her research Wardecker has discovered that members of the LGBT community are at an increased risk of developing mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety, compared to non-LGBT individuals. In her findings, LGBT people are also more reluctant to go seek medical help for mental health because of experiences in the past with health institutions and discrimination. The history of mental health care in the U.S. has especially affected older LGBT people who have seen all the stages of discrimination, which may lead to an actual fear of medical facilities. They are also afraid of being discriminated against or stigmatized again, said Wardecker. “For older LGBT people, the AIDS/ HIV crisis has affected their trust

in getting help,” Wardecker said. “And not that long-ago, being LGBT or having an LGBT identity was considered a form of mental illness in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).” Due to this fear of reaching out, mental-health problems are less likely to get treated for members of the LGBT community, said Wardecker. Another part of Wardecker’s research has compared life satisfaction between LGB people and heterosexual people. She found that over a period of 20 years, LGB people had lower life-satisfaction compared to heterosexual people. “Life satisfaction [in her research] was composed of various factors of life,” Wardecker said. “Some of these factors were happiness with your workplace, happiness with your health, happiness with your life in general, and many more.” Wardecker also found that bisexual people had the lowest life-satisfaction of the sexual minority groups. She attributes this finding to their minority status within the overall minority group, as they tend to face a lot of in-group discrimination. For these reasons, Wardecker stressed the importance of people recognizing that different groups have different identities that affect factors such as mental health and life-satisfaction.

PLORES MENTAL HEALTH AND THE LGBT COMMUNITY “The experience of a black lesbian is going to be very different than the experience of a white lesbian,” Wardecker said. “Or an older black lesbian is going to have a very different experience than a younger black lesbian.” T herefore , Warde cker wants people not only to become aware of the stigma of mental health but more importantly become aware of the different groups u n iquely affe ct e d and more at-risk for mental health issues, such as the LGBT community. S ome a c t i on s h av e a l r e a dy been taken to help identify the needs of different groups in Pennsylvania. Wardecker is part of a new commission called the LGBT Aging Work Group, which is supported by Gov. Tom Wolf, the Pennsylvania Department of Aging, and other LGBT aging advocates in Pennsylvania. This new commission directly reports to the governor on LGBTaging issues and other problems faced by LGBT individuals. The first summit of the commission took place last year, directed by Wolf. “The goal is that we can use research that comes out of Penn State to tell the governor where the issues are, where the money should be allotted, areas in Pennsylvania we should be attending to,” Wardecker said. “And really just understanding in all different parts of Pennsylvania, what are the unique struggles that

are faced by older LGBT people in the different counties.”

care about other social issues we have around campus.”

Wa r de cker p oi nt s out t h at Pennsylvania has areas that are very rural, which might not have the same resources for LGBT people compared to resources found in more urban areas.

Working in the College of Nursing, Wardecker plans on using the research she has done to create social action for healthcare providers.

Penn State has Commonwealth Campuses in all different types of areas in Pennsylvania which allows research to be connected and done in all of these places. “We are incredibly lucky that the Wolf Administration has recognized the LGBT community and has specifically prioritized unique challenges faced by LGBT adults,” Wardecker said. In addition to this commission, Wardecker is also on the steering committee for a sexual, gender, and minority research interest group at Penn State. All members are University professors, ranging from the fields of psychology to women’s studies; the goal of the group is to champion LGBT research and LGBT rights on campus. Wardecker urges non-members of the LGBT community to take interest in her research. “Increasing awareness of one vulnerable group helps to shed light on other vulnerable groups,” Wardecker said. “I think that when you get people to care about LGBT issues, they are also more likely to

“I am applying my psychology expertise to healthcare settings to understand what it looks like to be a nurse, understand what it looks like to be an LGBT patient, and then bringing the two together to create an experience that is very positive for both parties,” Wardecker said. She has already begun to brainstorm ideas on how she can help to change the healthcare settings to be more inclusive to LGBT people, such as having health-care providers wear a rainbow ribbon, or other initiatives that will make LGBT community members feel more accepted and comfortable with their surroundings. “It is really easy to sit here and have research ideas and thoughts, but at the end of the day I would really like to make social change and actually implement my research findings to make LGBT people’s lives better,” Wardecker said.

Connect with Us! @BritWardecker @PSUNursing

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UndergraduateAlumni Distinguished FeatureAward






T he A merican Organ i zation

board of directors, chair of the

Distinguished Alumni Award

of Nurse Executives (AONE)

AONE Foundation Board and

next month.

presented its Lifetime Achievement

president of the Pennsylvania

award to Penn State alumna,

Organization of Nurse Leaders.

Gail Latimer. AONE is a professional nursing organization for nurses who design, facilitate and manage care. It holds over 9,000 members spanning across the country and provides leadership, professional de velo pment , a dvo c a c y a nd research to advance nursing practice and patient care, promote

Latimer was part of the 1983 graduating class of Penn State w ith a ba chelor’s degree in nursing and now serves as Chair of the College of Nursing's Dean's Advisory and Development Council and is a member of the University's Global Advisory Council. Pen n St at e’s D i sti n g u i she d Alumni Award is awarded by the Alumni Association and according

nursing leadership excellence and

to their website is given to “the

shape public policy for health care.

achievements of outstanding alumni whose "personal lives,

The award honors a member

professional achievements, and

of AONE who is regarded by

community service exemplify the

the nursing community as a

objectives of their alma mater."

significant leader and someone

Latimer received the award during

who has held leadership position

the opening plenary in San Diego

“G ai l h as c onsist ently b e en

in AONE and other organizations

at the AONE’s annual meeting.

available as a resource for the

they are involved with.

College and an advocate for our In addition to having received

work,” Laurie Badzek said, the

As for her role in AONE, Latimer

this award , Latimer will be

current dean of the College of

has served as a member of the

presented with the Penn State’s

Nursing. “She is the epitome of a Penn State nurse.”


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The award is presented during

information technology and the

for Nurse Executives at the

c er emon ie s held i n M ay at

electronic medical record, provides

University of Pennsylvania. She

University Park.

the platform for the collection

also has a Master of Science in

of big data that will be helpful

Nursing from Indiana University

L at i mer i s a n i ndep endent

in solving the complex problems

of Pennsylvania.

healthcare consultant and was

faced in health care today.”

formerly the CNO of Siemens Corporation.

In 2014, she established the Gail E. Latimer is a strong advocator for

Latimer Trustee Scholarship in the

clinical IT use across the world

College of Nursing to help nursing

D u ring her time Siemens

and provides consulting services

students with financial need.

Corporation, Latimer was a leader

to Allegheny Health Network.

In addition to this award she has been a recipient of many other

in creating the new design of

“Gail has consistently been available as a resource for the College and an advocate for our work,” - Dean Laurie Badzek

clinical information systems.

She is also a fel low in the

honors including the College

With this design, patient care and

American College of Healthcare

of Nursing’s Shirley Novosel

daily nursing has become faster

Executives and American Academy

Outstanding Nursing Alumni

and more efficient.

of Nursing and completed the

Award and the university’s Alumni

Johnson & Johnson/ Wharton

Fellow Award.

“ H e a l t h c a r e t e c h n o l o g y, ”

Fellows Program in Management

Badzek said. “specifically health

P E N N S TAT E N U R S I N G M AG A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 9


Undergraduate Alumni Award Feature

SHELLENBARGER RECEIVES 2019 SHIRLEYNOVOSEL DISTINGUISHED NURSING ALUMNI AWARD Teresa Shellenbarger has been selected as this year’s Shirley Novosel Distinguished Nursing Alumni Award recipient. This award was established to honor Shirley Novosel who is remembered for her caring, professional style and commitment to the nursing profession. Shellenbarger received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Penn State in 1985, her master’s degree in nursing from Southern Connecticut State University, and her doctorate in nursing from Widener University. As a faculty member at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) and the doctoral program coordinator, she serves as a role model to students, nurses, educators and colleagues alike through her advanced pedagogical and research knowledge, commitment to the nursing profession, mentoring of students and colleagues, and overall excellence in nursing and nursing education. The National League of Nursing (NLN) recognized her sustained and signi􀂦cant contributions to nursing education by inducting her as an inaugural fellow in the Academy of Nursing Education. In recognition of her commitment to excellence in nursing education, IUP recently honored her with the title distinguished university professor, a highly selective award that recognizes her outstanding contributions. Shellenbarger has authored more than 50 scholarly publications and nine book chapters on cutting-edge education topics including technology, leadership, scholarly writing, and faculty role development. She has engaged in numerous curriculum development proposals, most notably c o - aut hor i n g a 6 0 - cr e d it doctoral program, and she developed a fast-


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Teresa Shellenberger

track program for nurses w ith cli n ica l doctorates . She also is the founding director for the College of Health and Human Ser vices O􀂨ce for Research and Scholarly Excellence at IUP, where she serves as a mentor for college faculty in the pursuance of scholarly activities and launching networking and collaborative initiatives for researchers. In addition to serving on numerous NLN task forces, committees, think-tanks and work groups, Shellenbarger was elected by the more than 40,000 individual members and 1,200 institutional members to serve on the Board of Governors for this long established and well-respected professional nursing organization.

SPRANKLE NAMED THE 2019 PAULA MILONE-NUZZO NURSING ALUMNI VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR volunteering at Penn State in the College of Health and Human Development and College of Nursing. Your volunteerism is inspiring, and the College of Nursing Alumni Society would not have been the same without your wisdom and leadership to pave theway for future volunteers,” said one of her nominators. Sprankle has been a dedicated volunteer for the nursing program for 14 years, serving as president of the alumni society when the nursing program was housed in the College of Health and Human Development. Her years of experience on the HHD Board, serving as a member, committee chair, and society president were invaluable to the College of Nursing. Jennifer served on the College of Nursing Alumni Society Board during the probationary period and served as Jennifer Sprankle

the first At Large Member of the College of Nursing Alumni Society’s Executive Board. “Jennifer’s insight and experience as a volunteer leader were integral to me as I served as the co-chair of the Probationary Board and then as president

Jennifer Sprankle, was selected as this year’s Paula Milone-Nuzzo Nursing Alumni Volunteer of the Year. This award, established in 2018, is presented annually by the Penn State Nursing Alumni Society to an alumnus/alumna who has provided outstanding volunteer service to the College of Nursing. Volunteer

of the College of Nursing Alumni Society Board,” Sprankle’s nominator added. In addition to her bachelor’s degree in nursing, Sprankle holds a master’s degree in nursing from Villanova University.

service can be in the areas of mentoring students, board and council service, serving as a preceptor for students enrolled in any education program in the college, etc. “True love and gratitude are what keeps Jennifer coming back for more when it comes to P E N N S TAT E N U R S I N G M AG A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 9


Post-Doctoral Scholar publishes work on

Personality and Problem-Solving in Older Adults For some dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is an inevitable biological outcome of aging. However, new research suggests that simply their own self-reflection of personal problem-solving skills and individual personality traits can impact their daily cognitive functioning and potentially mitigate the manifestation of their disease. In a 2016 study, it was stated that psychological mechanisms better describe why some older adults experience, or report, more subjective cognitive problems. Similarly, older adults with higher depression a n d a n x i e t y s y mp t om s r at e t h ei r intellectual perception more negatively. While inherent psychological processes play a role, individual p ersonalit y has also b een linked to how older adults view their problem-solving skills in later life. In a 2013 study, it states that stable, complex patterns of how one thinks, feels , and acts – uniquely accounts for the individual’s subjective cognition function. These functions, or lack thereof, can present daily problems and ch anges in mental performance and are indicative of Alzheimer’s Dementia (AD) disease progression.


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Graduate Student Spotlight in the Aging and Mental Health Scientific Journal for his research study on personality determinants of subjective executive function in older adults. Bell collaborated with Penn State College of Nursing assistant professor and Associate Director of Education, Nikki Hill, and psychology associate professor at the University of A labama , Despina Stavrinos. “ B y 2 0 5 0 , t h e pr e v a l en c e o f Alzheimer’s is going to double and along with that is going to be an estimated economic impact of over one trillion dollars. Even at the current 5-billion-dollar economic cost, we’re barely managing it” Said Bell. “I’m interested in timehopping backwards and looking at the earliest points of trait and characteristic development and knowing how they affect your Alzheimer’s risk.” The research study conducted by Bell and his partners investigated the effects of temperament and the Big Five personality traits - openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism – and how they can affect an individual’s cognitive function over time, with potential implications for Alzheimer’s Disease risk and development. “Research is showing that an individual’s personality stabilizes by adolescents and carries over into adulthood, and before that temperament is stabilized as a toddler.” Bell said. Bell and his research partners hy p o t h e s i z e d t h a t t h e m o r e cognitive control an individual has, the better the individual will perform in function execution, like remembering car keys or a phone number; while negative

affect would be related to declined function execution. “Neuroticism and negative affect translate a predisposition to distress when you don’t achieve something, and those things are related to worsening cognition over time” T hey obt ai ne d thei r res earch information from two samples of a large Southeastern community using flyers and advertisements on the university’s webpage for s t udy opp or t u n it ie s . E l i g i ble participants were to be 65 years of age or older and able to pass a cognitive test, which assessed their orientation in space and time, recollection of words, response to simple knowledge questions, and completion of mental arithmetic. “ O f t en p e o ple de s cr i b e t hei r cognition in terms of memory, but a lot of times that’s not actually the problem. Things like someone’s processing speed or how they strategically use their memory more accurately depict their cognitive function” Bell said. After participant assessment and observation, Bell and his partners observed how personality affected subjective cognitive function with key observations. Notably, older adults with higher conscientiousness reported better subjective cognitive function execution, which helps people stay on task and focus on relevant information. Similarly, conscientiousness and openness were ass o ci at e d w ith fewer subjective memory problems in older adults. C onver s ely, Neu r otici sm b e s t predicts and increases subjective memory problems and inflates complaints in older adults over

time . Higher neu roticism and negative affect is also associated with poorer executive function, episodic memory loss, and higher Alzheimer’s disease risk. “Most of my work has looked at personality coping and stress , factors that look at earlier life span. This is my first time approaching research in older adults and it has helped me find my purpose in research as a developmental psychologist” said Bell. “The College of Nursing has a lot of clinical input in this area, so it has been really helpful to work with them in an interdisciplinary sense and understanding how to translate my theoretical approaches into a clinical practice” The research findings hold i mp or t ant i mplications for improving understanding, and ultimately clinical assessment, of subjective cognition. Understanding that distressful inclinations are associated with more reported problems in executive function can help healthcare providers make more well-informed care decisions for those with Alzheimer’s disease. “I hope that people take away that objective cognitive tests, like clinical battery tests and memory games are very useful and they have the ability to pick up on whether an a du lt h as an i mp ai r ment . Unfortunately, once someone does have an impairment there’s not much we can do, so it’s important to do those early on” Bell said. Bell and his par tners lo ok to further research the impact of health conditions and examine if enhanced negativity coupled with reasoning disengagement predicts problems in subjective executive function over time.

P E N N S TAT E N U R S I N G M AG A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 9


Undergraduate Feature Commonwealth Campuses



As the nation experiences a prolonged shortage of

recognized as a responsive program that graduates

nurses, prospective college students will have a new

registered nurses who are prepared to meet the

opportunity to earn a bachelor of science in nursing

demands of an ever-changing health care industry.

(BSN) degree. The new degree at Penn State Schuylkill

Penn State BSN graduates are future nursing leaders

through the College of Nursing will begin enrolling for

positioned to impact practice, education and research.

the pre-licensure program in fall 2020. The program extension was approved by the Pennsylvania State

“We are excited to offer the only four-year nursing

Board of Nursing and Penn State leadership.

degree in Schuylkill County. Our county and region are known for excellent health care, our

“Offering the BSN at Penn State Schuylkill will

future graduates will support the missions of these

ensure Penn State is helping meet the nursing

organizations to promote the health and wellness

shortage across the entire commonwealth,” said

of the community,” said Marianne Adam, associate

Penn State Schuylkill Chancellor Patrick Jones. “We

teaching professor and Penn State Schuylkill’s

are happy that Penn State Schuylkill will have the

nursing program coordinator.

opportunity to bring this greatly needed program to our region of the state.”

In addition to offering the only BSN program throughout the county, Penn State Schuylkill


As part of President Eric Barron’s vision for "one

has a RN to BSN (registered nurse to bachelor of

university, geographically dispersed," the program

science in nursing) program that enables students

will maintain the high-quality education, standards

to effectively “level-up” their nursing credentials.

and policies in place at the Commission on Collegiate

The health care industry, while enduring the

Nursing Education-accredited University Park

long-standing nurse shortage, has also required

campus and other Penn State campuses (Altoona,

higher education levels of its nurses. In an effort

Behrend, Fayette, Mont Alto and Scranton) offering

to meet demands of industry and provide quality

the program. Penn State’s Nursing program is widely

education, accessible throughout the state, Penn

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State Schuylkill, the College of Nursing, and the

After the BSN program, students will be eligible to sit

University will continue to identify opportunities

for the National Council Licensure Examination for

to carry out these invaluable opportunities.

Registered Nurses. The College of Nursing’s overall pass rate for this exam is 95% based on first-time test

“Penn State Schuylkill has a long history of

takers in 2018. Students from the program also will

providing quality nursing education in our RN to

be positioned to enroll in a master’s level program.

BSN program, and the addition of the BSN degree will allow us to continue this tradition while meeting

For more information on the BSN program at

a significant need in Schuylkill County,” said Darcy

Schuylkill, contact Marianne Adam, associate

Medica, director of academic affairs at Penn State

teaching professor and Schuylkill’s nursing program

Schuylkill. “We are grateful for the support of the

coordinator, at 570-385-6061 or, or

College of Nursing and the Office of the Vice President

learn more about the Schuylkill campus nursing

for Commonwealth Campuses in the implementation

program at

of the BSN at Schuylkill.”

P E N N S TAT E N U R S I N G M AG A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 9



Undergraduate and graduate scholarships that open doors, support recruitment, and reduce student debt. Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence is a university wide effort to strengthen our commitment to our historic land grant mission and

apply it to the 21st century challenges facing our students, our country, and our world. It takes a significant commitment to develop the next generation of nursing clinical experts, researchers, educators, and leaders. Our students will graduate from the College of Nursing and be asked to address complex challenges that will require innovative thinking, a collaborative spirit,


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Transformative experiences that change lives: study abroad programs, lab experiences with ground breaking faculty research, nursing conferences and leadership programs, and “real world� service in non-profit organizations.

and a drive for providing excellent care. We seek always to find the means to advance the already extraordinary culture of the College of Nursing to an ever-higher level of sustainable excellence in the twenty-first century. We are asking our alumni and friends to become our partners in this goal by considering the many ways you might help to support these top priorities of the College of Nursing:

Coming in Spring 2020: Innovation in nursing practice, research, and education and translating evidencedbased best practices into clinical settings.

Join Dean Laurie Badzek and alumni, faculty, and friends for our annual Spring Alumni Weekend, April 3-5 at University Park Dean Badzek will host a special “Alumni Insights� reception in Hershey, Pennsylvania (date TBD)

Special named endowments that support the advancement of the College of Nursing and engender a nimble and responsive education enterprise.

P E N N S TAT E N U R S I N G M AG A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 9


The Pennsylvania State University 201 Nursing Sciences Building University Park, PA 16802-6501

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