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The Assessment


Innovative Alumni Leading Nationally


In Their Own Words

News Roundup Five Questions With... Gifts to Change the Future



As technology evolves, the UAB School of Nursing is utilizing it to improve educational opportunities in the classroom and across all missions. ACADEMICS


Professional education creates progress.......... 10 Inclusive teaching approaches......................... 11 20 minutes of chaos.......................................... 12 NIH grant advancing addiction care.................. 14 Healthy aging with HIV ..................................... 15


page 14 Innovation in Faculty Development page 10

“When we hear cystic fibrosis, we hear lungs, we hear pulmonary function; there's not a lot of focus on reproduction.” -Dr. Sigrid Ladores

page 17 Authenticity in Nursing

Follow us on



Cognitive aging in African Americans .............. 16 Fertility preservation in CF............................... 17 NEWS ROUNDUP

Advisor nationally recognized.......................... 18 Mentoring men in nursing................................ 18 Harper recognized by Sigma............................ 19 Celebrating new Fellows...................................... 19 DONORS

Reflecting on McGuinness' impact .................. 22 Planned gift to support BSN students ............. 23 ALUMNI

Alumna leads in informatics............................. 24 Alumna appointed as nurse executive............. 24 Alumna recognized for national impact........... 25

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EDITOR Jennifer Lollar

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Jessica Huffstutler


WRITERS Holly Gainer, Laura Hornsby Lesley, Emily Kent, Erica Techo, Jennifer Lollar

PHOTOGRAPHERS Frank Couch, Rob Culpepper, Catie Etka, Steve Wood


urses are often acknowledged for their ability to tackle and solve difficult situations in complex health environments for the benefit of patients and families. In fact, nurses are the frontline of safety and quality care, as they not only deliver but also oversee the logistics of patient — and family — centered care. This issue of UAB Nursing tells the story of how UAB School of Nursing faculty, staff and alumni are reimagining academic nursing through excellence in education, technology and innovation — as well as research and partnerships. With a remarkable 2018-2019 in our rearview mirror, I am delighted to share the highlights of how the UAB SON is leading academic nursing excellence with an eye toward the future of nursing and health care.

Excellence across all missions, while integrating existing and emerging technologies and developing leading-edge innovations is essential for delivering quality nursing care in today and tomorrow’s health systems. Nurses must harness their courage, inventiveness and authenticity to lead and practice to their full scope, and innovate change to address health care’s most vexing challenges.

This past year has been exceptional for our faculty, staff, students and alumni as they continue to reach for excellence, as UAB-prepared nurses have done for nearly 70 years. How fortunate and appreciative I am as dean to be able to share and affirm the daily impact of their work on today and tomorrow. I hope you too will be gratified and can imagine with me all the possibilities and potential of UAB nurses as we reimagine academic nursing to provide better health care for the people and communities we serve, now and into the future.

Dean Doreen C. Harper, PhD, RN, FAAN Fay B. Ireland Endowed Chair in Nursing

Letter from the Dean

This issue of UAB Nursing tells the leadership stories of faculty, staff, students and alumni rising to meet, exceed and conquer these demands. The impact of their teaching, practice and research plays out in their outstanding work, outcomes and accomplishments.

Learn about new approaches to pressing issues, including the opioid crisis facing our state and nation, educating nurses through unique interprofessional and community partnerships to be ready to care for some of our most vulnerable populations. Also, learn about how we are using innovative simulations to prepare neonatal nurse practitioners to care for the infants and mothers impacted by addiction. As we look toward the future across our School's missions of teaching, research and service, we invite you also help us look across our past throughout 2020 as we celebrate 70 years of innovation and the UAB School of Nursing. Our 70th Anniversary will culminate in an event in September celebrating 70 years of leadership, excellence and innovation, and give us a broad launchpad as we move into the next decade and the future of UAB nursing education, research and service.



the assessment

School re-designated PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center The UAB School of Nursing has been redesignated as a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) Collaborating Center for International Nursing for the sixth consecutive time, marking its 25th year as a WHO Collaborative Center (WHOCC).

Shirey named to endowed professorship Professor and Associate Dean for Clinical and Global Partnerships Maria Rodriguez Shirey, PhD, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, ANEF, FACHE, FNAP, FAAN, has been named the inaugural holder of the Jane H. Brock-Florence Nightingale Endowed Professorship in Nursing, which was established to recognize a faculty member who exhibits the characteristics and essence of Florence Nightingale. The faculty member selected for the professorship also demonstrates leadership and work that focuses on building clinical and educational partnerships to improve access to quality health care for vulnerable and underserved populations, and who demonstrates innovative leadership and attracts ongoing extramural funding. “Dr. Shirey has clear strengths in developing sustainable, impactful research and clinical service projects and innovative educational programs. With the support of this professorship, she will become even more successful in bridging gaps in health care and inspiring up-andcoming nurse leaders to do the same,” said UAB School of Nursing Dean and Fay B. Ireland Endowed Chair in Nursing Doreen C. Harper, PhD, RN, FAAN. Shirey is known nationally for her well-funded research and clinical partnership work in the areas of leadership and new models of care delivery. Her focus on building clinical and educational interprofessional partnerships to improve access to quality health care and improve health in Alabama and beyond is recognized throughout the world. “I am thankful to Mrs. Brock for establishing this endowed professorship at our School of Nursing to recognize the work and leadership legacy of Florence Nightingale,” Shirey said. “I am honored to be named to this prestigious post and have the opportunity to continue to build partnerships that improve access to quality health care and health outcomes for underserved and vulnerable populations.”



This special designation recognizes the School as a pacesetter in global health initiatives, primary health care and quality improvement in nursing education. “This center continues to help put our School’s global outreach work, here at home and throughout the world, on the map nationally and internationally,” said UAB School of Nursing Dean, Fay B. Ireland Endowed Chair in Nursing, and Director of the UAB PAHO/ WHO Collaborating Center for International Nursing Doreen C. Harper, PhD, RN, FAAN. “Our continued designation as a PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center for International Nursing provides us and exemplary platform to continue this important work for our community, state and the world.” As a PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center, the School acts on PAHO guidelines, working to advance nursing education internationally. This includes attending international meetings, contributing towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and working with research partners around the globe. “We are honored to have been designated for the 25th year, especially as we prepare to celebrate the Year of the Nurse and Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday,” said Associate Professor and Deputy Director of the PAHO/ WHO Collaborating Center for International Nursing, Adelais Markaki, PhD, RN, PHCNS-BC. The School is designated through April 2023 and over the next four years will work toward several goals that strengthen the quality of nursing education and practice. The UAB SON also has many other global initiatives in addition to the PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center work, including international visiting scholar programs, global service learning and integration of global health content across the curriculum.

the assessment

Dawson elected president of the National Black Nurses Association Associate Professor Martha Dawson, DNP, RN, FACHE (BSN 1976, MSN 1984), has been elected as the 13th President of the National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) Inc. for a twoyear term. She is a member of the Birmingham Black Nurses Association chapter of NBNA. “I am prepared, ready and willing to serve and guide NBNA into the future, and place the organization on the global stage as knowledgeable, professional nursing leaders,” Dawson said. “I firmly support NBNA’s commitment to serve African-American communities, increase the number of African-American nurses, improve equity, equality and inclusivity in health education, service, practice and research.” Dawson’s well-recognized career spans more than 40 years in nursing

and health services. She has had an extensive career in health care administration leadership. A member of the UAB School of Nursing faculty since 2008, she has served in a number of roles, including principal investigator for a Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) workforce investment grant. She also led the highly ranked graduate nursing administration specialty track for several years. She is known for her translational work in the areas of career-mobility barriers, leadership development, coaching, health disparities, diversity and workforce planning. Dawson has served in a variety of positions in NBNA and has received numerous leadership awards and honors, including the American Organization of Nurse Executives

(AONE) Prism Award for Diversity and Inclusivity in 2017 for her track record of working to promote diversity and inclusivity within the School and at many levels throughout the community and nation.

Meneses receives posthumous lifetime achievement award from ONS The Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) honored the late Karen Meneses, PhD, RN, FAAN, with the prestigious 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award. This is the first time the organization has posthumously given any of its awards. Meneses was Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship until her unexpected passing in August 2018. The ONS Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a member who makes outstanding contributions to the field of oncology nursing and to ONS. Retired Nurse Practitioner Jennifer Dunn Bucholtz, RN, MS, GNP, from the Sidney

Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins nominated Meneses. Bucholtz and Meneses met in the 1980s at an ONS Congress, and both worked as Clinical Nurse Specialists in radiation oncology and collaborated on numerous radiation oncology nursing projects including publications and presentations. “Dr. Meneses exemplified outstanding oncology nursing practice, education and research,” said Professor and Marie O’Koren Endowed Chair Marie Bakitas, DNSc, NP-C, FAAN. “Her life and work

advanced the frontiers of science and made significant contributions to improving the health and quality of life of oncology patients.” “The loss of Dr. Karen Meneses is still deeply felt in the UAB and oncology nursing communities,” said Dean and Fay B. Ireland Endowed Chair in Nursing Doreen C. Harper, PhD, RN, FAAN. “Her efforts as the Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship led to the UAB School of Nursing becoming a top 15-ranked School of Nursing in NIH Research. She also encouraged many researchers throughout her career who will carry on her legacy. This award recognizes Karen’s many contributions to nursing, research and health care, as well as the lasting impact made by her efforts.”





The evolution of technology and its interaction with education and health care opens new opportunities to learn, collaborate and provide care. The UAB School of Nursing continues to pursue its vision of innovative leaders transforming health by utilizing and integrating the tools and technology that promote excellence in nursing education and high-quality care.

“We are fortunate to have access to some of the latest models of

lifelike manikins and a simulation space that can actually function as a complete acute care hospital unit.” – Dean Doreen C. Harper




hrough its renowned faculty, innovative programs and new, state-of-the-art building, the UAB School of Nursing continues to lead the way in reimagining nursing education.

The School is nationally recognized for its leading-edge academic programs, which not only are on the cusp of the latest trends in education and technology but also are preparing the next generation of professional nurse leaders who will discover and implement the latest findings in nursing and health care. For 2020, U.S. News and World Report ranked five UAB SON graduate specialties in the top

10 and one in the top 15, reflecting the quality of all the undergraduate and graduate programs offered at the School. “These rankings show the sustained impact on nursing and health care of all of our programs and specialties across our education, research and practice missions,” said Dean and Fay B. Ireland Endowed Chair in Nursing Doreen C. Harper, PhD, RN, FAAN. “Consistently receiving top 10 and top 15 rankings among graduate nursing specialties not only illustrates that the UAB School of Nursing provides a high-quality education, but it also shows our dedication to continuous evaluation and improvement of that education and the

breadth and depth of faculty expertise. Our faculty continue to develop and refine all of our programs, integrate the latest technologies and provide the most up-to-date clinical knowledge available.” Since opening its 72,000-square-foot, $32 million building expansion, the School has seen more than 40,000 learners come through its simulation spaces, which include a competency suite with four patient rooms, one operating room and a nurse’s station, a home health suite and a multi-bed simulation room. “We are fortunate to have access to some of the latest models of lifelike manikins and a simulation space that can actually function as a full-blown complete acute care hospital unit,” Harper said. “These resources allow us to expand the horizons of our students within a safe, low-stakes environment, and our faculty and staff are utilizing those resources to the fullest extent.” The expanded simulation space not only opened new opportunities for regular class simulations; there also are opportunities for more unique simulations as well. Each year, the Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner graduate specialty track holds a 20-minute bus crash simulation to provide experience in a mass-injury event. This year, it was held in the new space. “Our ultimate goal is to provide a realistic experience so students can apply the knowledge, skills and attitudes they have learned,” said Assistant Professor and Pediatric Primary Care NP Tedra Smith, DNP, CRNP, CPNP-PC, CNE (MSN 2004, DNP 2011). “A simulation involving manikins and standardized patients in now what essentially is a small hospital, gives them the opportunity to bring everything together and assume the role of a nurse practitioner in a setting that is similar to what they

would encounter in practice.” Over the summer, the School also held its first simulation regarding neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), a withdrawal syndrome that can occur in newborns exposed to certain substances, including opioids, during pregnancy. “The diagnosis of NAS has been around for a while, but as the opioid epidemic has grown, we are reevaluating how we approach managing withdrawal symptoms in newborns,” said Assistant Professor and Graduate Core Course Coordinator Curry Bordelon III, DNP, CRNP, CNE, NNP-BC, CPNP-AC (DNP 2016). “In the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner MSN specialty, we have developed a learning module on opioid withdrawal and the effect on infants. Through the simulation, students apply their didactic knowledge and interact with a simulated mother and baby.”

The School has seen more than


student visitors in its simulation spaces since opening.

Simulation and innovation are key components to modern education, said Associate Dean for Technology and Innovation Jacqueline Moss, PhD, RN, FAAN. As a new generation of technology savvy students enter nursing school,



”Innovation takes trial and error, and at times it can be intimidating.“ – Dr. Nancy Wingo

classroom. This includes “Coffee in the Collaboratory,” a monthly meetup where faculty can brainstorm new activities and different ways to utilize the School’s state-of-the-art technology. “Innovation takes trial and error, and at times it can be intimidating,” said Assistant Professor and Director of Instructional Innovation Nancy Wingo, PhD, MA. “‘Coffee in the Collaboratory’ encourages taking those leaps, sharing successes and supporting each other through the errors. It’s one of the many steps the School has taken to foster a widespread culture of innovation.”

creative classroom practices keep students engaged and allow an additional level of connection to the content. In the School's new Innovation Collaboratory, faculty utilize document cameras to project topics throughout the room. The setup of the room also allows faculty to implement class-wide collaboration and smaller group work, while integrating video, audio and patient images such as CT scans and X-rays. “This has allowed us to expand the integration of simulation and experiential learning in the classroom,” Moss said. “By making these a vital part of our curriculum, students remain highly engaged. By integrating technology in the classroom and using innovative teaching methods, such as allowing students to share their computer screens and gain presentation experience in our Collaboratory, we connect with these students and present information in a way that’s relatable to them. As technology enables students to be more engaged and monitor their own mastery of concepts and skills, we are creating lifelong learners.” Faculty continue to collaborate on new ways to integrate technology and creative practices in the 8


“We also have to prepare students to be ready to use the technology now found throughout all facets of health care — not just in our society,” Moss added. “It touches everything we do in the nursing profession, including electronic health records, telehealth and connecting with patients virtually.” Fulfilling its strategic priority to expand health care to rural and underserved populations, the School has employed the latest equipment in simulation, including lifelike manikins, high-tech medication carts and telemedicine equipment, for several years and focused on telehealth and its importance in closing gaps in care. Throughout Alabama, a shortage of health care providers limits access to primary and specialty care. Telehealth provides critical care to patients within their homes and it is important for nurses at all levels to be familiar with the technology. “Telehealth is the future for how many people will receive their care,” said Smith, who teaches telehealth-centered content at the School. “It is important for our students to be familiar with telehealth equipment and the proper way to deliver care through telehealth because its use will continue to grow.” Prelicensure students first become acquainted with telehealth equipment during simulations, in which they examine patients as a faculty member serves as nurse practitioner and observes via web camera. This mimics a scene often found in modern health care, where a registered nurse examines the patient

and the imaging is sent virtually to an advanced practice registered nurse or physician specialist in a different location. Knowing what trends are on the horizon in nursing and health care comes from a connection to practice. The University of Alabama at Birmingham and UAB Hospital, on-campus partners Children’s of Alabama and the Birmingham VA Medical Center, and a variety of community partners provide countless opportunities for collaboration, faculty practice, observation and research that in turn enhance the classroom experience. The UAB Nursing Partnership with UAB School of Nursing, UAB Medicine and UAB Hospital has been nationally recognized for its efforts. This academic-practice partnership not only provides opportunities for students, but has also improved patient satisfaction rates and clinical outcomes. Across campus, the School of Nursing also collaborates with other schools and departments to encourage interprofessional teams, collaboration and innovative thinking.

As these experiences prepare students to handle growing areas of need, the School also prepares students at all levels to address health care quality and safety concerns to improve care for patients and families. Quality and safety are integrated in didactic content from prelicensure to graduate and doctoral levels, and the School continues to impact care through improvement projects at local hospitals, nurse-managed clinics and through research. “We know there is so much we as a School can impart to the health care professionals in Alabama and the Deep South regarding the importance of being proficient in quality and safety principles,” said Professor and Rachel Z. Booth Endowed Chair in Nursing Pat Patrician, PhD, RN,

In addition to encouraging faculty to continue to grow the number of faculty practices and collaborations with colleagues across all of the its partners, the School is dedicating additional resources to training and evaluating adjunct faculty. The School hosted an adjunct faculty training over the summer, creating a large cadre of potential adjuncts who can share their clinical expertise with students. “This year has seen a new dedication to preparing our adjunct faculty to enter the classroom,” said Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Linda Moneyham, PhD, RN, FAAN. “Not only has our reputation as a leading educational institution meant that we have the pick of the cream of the crop of educators, but we have also found that providing up-front training to these experts in clinical care prepares them to succeed from day one in the classroom. Adjuncts are a great resource for our school and students, as they bring up to date clinical experience and current knowledge into the classroom.” As adjuncts bring a knowledge of daily practice and challenges to the classroom, they also open doors to new learning opportunities for students through preceptorships and partnerships. “There are a lot of practicing nurses with an interest in impacting future generations of nurses through teaching,” Moneyham said. “Supporting and preparing adjunct faculty in this way is the best of both worlds for all involved parties by fortifying the bridge we have between didactic and experiential learning.”

FAAN. “By educating nursing students, nurse educators and practicing nurses, we take steps toward preparing all nurses with the knowledge and skills to help continuously improve the quality and safety of the health care systems in which they practice.” The School also is impacting the education of future nurse leaders through a post-MSN to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Pathway for nurse executives. “We see nursing and health care leadership needs are becoming more diverse and complex. There’s a broader need, and by focusing on these areas, we’re filling gaps in education and creating leaders who can generate solutions for the most challenging and complex problems that health systems face today,” Moneyham said. “By providing them with quality improvement knowledge, critical thinking skills and advanced leadership skills, we educate nurses who enter the field ready to lead at all levels and collaborate across disciplines to solve health care's most challenging issues.”

“By providing [students] with quality improvement

knowledge, critical thinking skills and advanced didactic experiences, we create nurses who enter the field ready to encounter and solve health care's challenging issues...” – Dr. Linda Moneyham




Great things happen when faculty come together.


FACULTY DEVELOPMENT Faculty collaboration advances scholarship, education



hether it is through collaborative discussion on student engagement or a quiet space for scholarly writing, the UAB School of Nursing is dedicated to providing faculty with opportunities for continued growth and professional development. In the summer of 2019, the Office of Research and Scholarship established The Writing Envelope, a monthly workshop that provides an oasis for writing. “Through The Writing Envelope, we create an opportunity for people to write, cell phone off and no email,” said workshop host and Professor Susanne Fogger, DNP, CRNP, CARN-AP, PMHNP-BC, FAANP. “You can enter the room and work in a protected space, a place where creative thoughts can flow.” This emerged from an earlier workshop with the same goals. It evolved to meet faculty needs — including time to write. “We used to focus on didactics, but a lot of that is available online,” said Professor and Interim Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship David Vance, PhD, MGS, MS. “What writers and faculty



need is real time to focus and write, so we shifted to provide an experience where you can remove distractions, ask questions and get immediate feedback.” “We are charged with helping across the School’s missions, and this allows faculty to put what they know on paper and continue a culture of writing,” he added. For faculty taking their first steps toward publishing, Interim Associate Dean for Undergraduate/ Prelicensure Education Gwendolyn Childs, PhD, RN, FAAN, is collaborating with department chairs to develop workshops for faculty in the undergraduate program. “The first step is deciding what to write about,” Childs said. “Your first published piece can be intimidating, but I want our faculty to know that an article doesn’t have to be a large research piece. Pieces on lesson plans and simulations can reach an instructor seeking a new way to explain a complex concept. Those instructors will benefit from their simulation expertise or classroom tactics.” Publications on creative teaching practices have ranged from dressing up as characters from The Wizard of Oz to

creating a board game on the social determinants of health, methods that faculty have used successfully. “Developing these innovative pedagogies are important and help keep students engaged throughout longer lectures and classes,” said Assistant Professor and Director of Instructional Innovation Nancy Wingo, PhD, MA. “We wanted to create a safe space for faculty to discuss and develop new ideas for teaching, so we started Coffee in the Collaboratory.” Coffee in the Collaboratory, a monthly initiative that introduces faculty to new technology, alternative lesson plans and more, is hosted by Wingo and Associate Professor Cathy Roche, PhD, RN (PhD 2012). It opens the door to collaboration and encourages faculty to build new ideas. “We structure these meetups so faculty are encouraged to participate. It’s not a lecture, it’s a discussion,” Roche said. “What happens is people realize how easy it is to implement these ideas. Nurses are very creative and resourceful by nature, and these discussions and ideas are a natural extension of that.”


to teaching

MSN students learn to treat, manage growing issue of neonatal abstinence syndrome WRITTEN BY ERICA TECHO AND EMILY KENT


he conversation around opioid addiction is changing, and so is the care provided to individuals facing addiction or withdrawals. In 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared a national opioid crisis, establishing a multi-point strategy to combat addiction. This includes improved access to treatment and recovery services, supporting research on pain and addiction, and advancing better practices for pain management. At the UAB School of Nursing, faculty are developing innovative approaches to educate students to care for some of the youngest patients impacted by addiction — newborns experiencing neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). Neonatal abstinence syndrome is a withdrawal condition that can occur in newborns exposed to opioids during pregnancy. Its symptoms can be different for every baby and include body shakes, excessive crying, poor feeding and others. The symptoms can last from one week to six months after birth. According to the March of Dimes, NAS can occur even when opioids are used as prescribed by a health care provider.

costs and length of stay, but if we turn to the literature, it shows nonpharmacologic treatments, like swaddling and skin-to-skin contact, can offer some of the same results. Preparing our students to use these approaches helps improve the quality of care for addiction’s tiniest patients.” Within the neonatal nurse practitioner Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) program, students learn to identify infant patients experiencing withdrawal and how to treat them with a holistic approach. This includes integrating the mother in the baby’s treatment plan with a focus on approaches that do not involve medications, including swaddling, feeding, skin-to-skin contact and minimizing noise and light to create a calming environment. While developing the didactic curriculum on NAS, Bordelon also developed hands-on simulation — an opportunity for students to experience and apply their skills in a realistic scenario. During the simulation, NNP students heard the consistent crying of a baby, spoke with a “sleep deprived” mother, and analyzed patient charts to determine the best treatment.

“The diagnosis of NAS has been around for a while, but it has been more in the spotlight in “This simulation encourages the provider to go the last decade because of through a methodical process the widespread discussion when developing a care plan around the opioid crisis,” for newborns with NAS; said Assistant Professor a baby is born suffering from this includes the mother,” Curry Bordelon, DNP, opioid withdrawal Bordelon said. “Non-medMBA, CNE, NNP-BC ication treatment options, (DNP 2016). “Even with however, may require a lot the increasing numbers babies born with of infrastructure and nurse of infants experiencing buy-in, which is why they are NAS in 2014 opioid withdrawal sympnot universally utilized. You toms, there are not wideneed to keep the rooms quiet spread treatment protocols NAS total hospital cost was with low light, low stimulacovering the best ways tion. You also need to have to care for these patients. options for therapy, lactation, Standard medication in 2014 and private rooms. protocols can increase care




"Opioid Use During Pregnancy", cde.gov, Published July 2019

“By teaching our students these methods, they’re able to provide a wider range of care options for these babies and their mothers.” Involvement of mothers is essential, Bordelon added, as skin-to-skin contact and more frequent feedings are two supported treatments. In the past, stigma and preconceived notions often led to lack of maternal inclusion. “For so long, babies with withdrawal symptoms have been approached with preconceived notions — that the family's presence is inconsistent. The stigma associated with these babies and their mothers often influence whether providers include the mother in the treatment plan,” Bordelon said. “Through this simulation and didactic content in the program, students increase empathy for the mothers and learn to build trust and engage them. Now that we have more experience dealing with this population, we’re advocating more for the babies and on their mothers’ side.” This was the first year for the NAS simulation and Bordelon received positive feedback from the MSN students, who commented the realism of the experience and a systematic approach to addressing this growing health crisis. Moving forward, Bordelon said they plan to introduce the simulation earlier in the MSN program, to provide early experience with NAS care. “Unfortunately, there’s no end to the opioid crisis in sight,” he added. “We want students even better prepared for clinicals so if we heighten their exposure and level of learning earlier, at the end, their transition to practice is easier.” FALL 2019 / UAB NURSING


20 min

of chaos Disaster simulation prepares pediatric nurse practitioners for new role ////////


There has been a bus crash. Several children are injured, and due to overcrowding at other area hospitals, some of the victims are coming to UAB School of Nursing.

This is the situation Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner students faced in an on-campus simulation – 20 minutes of chaos.


n a disaster or mass casualty situation, it’s very important that as a care provider, you know your role and develop it. One of the main purposes of this simulation is for our Pediatric Nurse Practitioner students to learn to triage, delegate, work as a team and collaborate in a disaster situation,” said Assistant Professor Steadman McPeters, DNP, CRNP, CPNP-AC, RNFA. During the simulation, 30 Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) students cared for crash victims, played by UAB SON faculty, staff and family. They encountered amputations, foreign body removal, stitches and other circumstances



Assistant Professor and Director of Clinical Simulation and Training Penni Watts, PhD, RN, CHSE-A (PhD 2015), enters the MSN classroom, alerting everyone of the crash. They rush over to the School’s competency suites, where they find four exam rooms with crash victims. They disperse between patients and begin administering care. 00.00

As students assess the victims, they ask questions of faculty already on scene. In the simulation, these faculty members are the nurses and as the nurse practitioners, the MSN students must instruct which steps to take next. 01.44

that are found in real-life disaster scenarios. “Most of these students have experience as an acute care nurse, but the likelihood of them experiencing a mass casualty event in their clinical rotation is very low,” said Instructor and Dual Pediatric Primary/Acute Care Specialty Track Coordinator Jeremy Jordan, MSN, CRNP, CPNP-AC, CCRN, CNE (MSN 2014). “It’s something we hope they never face, but it’s also something we want to prepare them for. We can use simulation to prepare UAB students, to give them all of the tools to handle clinical experiences that are infrequent, but very high stakes.”

“These students are nurses that work in the acute care setting and have some clinical time, but this experience gives them the opportunity to bring all of their experience together and enter their nurse practitioner role,” said Director of Pediatric Partnerships Tedra Smith, DNP, CRNP, CPNP-PC, CNE (MSN 2004, DNP 2011). “It’s about owning their new role as an NP.” Another victim, a teenage male, is rolled into the unit. Some students step away from the current patient and begin to care for the new patient. They assess his needs, asking questions and tending to his wounds. 02.05


In the operating room within the competency suites, students are caring for a crying child. The child, which is a high-fidelity manikin, cries and asks for its mother. All sounds and vital signs are controlled outside of the room through a computer. 03.32

A teenage female has severe lacerations to her leg. Played by a live actor, she is conscious with some other scrapes and bruises, and two students ask questions to assess her state. They determine she needs stitches and begin stitching a moulage cut in her leg. 05.13

Within the new competency suites, students work in separate rooms on their patients. Each room also has a control room, through which high-fidelity manikins and their vital signs can be controlled. 08.34

Flight nurses arrive on the scene and receive a hand-off on the care and condition of an injured patient. They get all of the information they need and wheel the patient away to airlift him to another regional hospital. 15.30

A pregnant mother’s water breaks. She has been wandering through the unit, and after seeing one of her sons injured, begins experiencing labor pains. Students ask each other who has OB and neonatal experience, so that the mother can have the best possible care as labor progresses. 17.07

“The new building brought an additional element of realism into this event,” Jordan said. “Instead of controlling the manikins by standing behind a curtain and speaking, the dedicated control rooms took that element out of the exam room and allowed students to really buy into the simulation.”

“We typically have a mother involved in the simulation, but this year we added in the event of her water breaking. Because our students are geared towards pediatric patients, who are aged 0-21, they had to think of the best way to care for an adult patient, and one who needed specialized care,” McPeters said. “When they started asking out loud who had obstetrics experience, they were showing an initiative to find their team members with the right abilities to help her.”

After a new patient, the bus driver, is rolled into the unit, several nurses rush over to care for him. He is in critical condition and has lost a leg. They must continue chest compressions and use the defibrillator to deliver a shock.

Students are alerted that the simulation has ended, and they can cease care for their patients. Slowly, they step away from the manikins and live patients.



Students work to stabilize a very young patient, only 7 kilos (14 lbs).


20 min

“In the room and in the simulation, it’s amazing to see the expressions on our students’ faces and that sense of accomplishment when things wrap up,” Smith said. “You get to see them come alive in the room.”

After the simulation wraps up, students enter a debriefing conversation about the experience. The debrief allows faculty and students to reflect on the highlights and difficulties of the simulation, and to provide feedback for future practice and future simulations. “As a pediatric nurse practitioner student who wants to work in an acute care setting, this simulation is definitely something that I could experience in the future,” said MSN student Kelsie Bottiggi. “The ability to experience a mass casualty event in a controlled setting allowed us to work on patient prioritization and closed-loop communication in a stressful situation. In addition to using skills we learned in our program, the simulation allowed us to hone those communication techniques that are beneficial regardless of the area we end up working in.”






increase OF OVERDOSE



of all opioid deaths IN ALABAMA


25% increase IN DRUG-RELATED





$2.8 million HRSA grant extending addiction, treatment training for NPs


esearch shows that patients with substance use disorders frequently seek care in primary care settings. Through a four-year, $2.8 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the School is advancing nurse practitioner education to expand the preparation of primary care NPs to screen, treat and refer patients facing these issues to provide patients better care and help combat this growing public health crisis. The grant is specifically tailored to serving patients in rural and underserved communities because they are some of the hardest hit by the opioid epidemic — they lack the health care and other resources to address addiction but have some of the highest rates of abuse. “This project is funded through an Advance Nursing Education Workforce (ANEW) grant and will create a sustainable pipeline of practice-ready primary care nurse practitioners with advanced training in opioid use disorder prevention, identification and treatment,” said Professor and Associate Dean for Graduate Clinical Programs, and ANEW project director Ashley Hodges, PhD, CRNP, WHNP-BC, FAANP (MSN 1997, PhD 2008). “We will prepare 16 primary care nurse practitioners per year, drawing from the family nurse practitioner, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, and adult-gerontology nurse practitioner specialties who have a desire or intent to work in rural or underserved communities, where access to mental health and substance use disorder treatment is limited.” To date, most primary care nurse practitioners are trained to ask about illegal substance use and prescription drug misuse. Advanced training and intervention, however, most often is provided by substance abuse and mental health professionals, Hodges said. The grant provides funding to enhance two of the School’s academic-practice partnerships with Beacon Recovery and Alethia House in Alabama, and supports a newly established relationship with East Central Mental Health Center in Alabama. These community partners, whose clinics focus on substance

abuse treatment, will give students the clinical experiences and training necessary to expand their skillset related to substance use and prescription drug misuse. As a part of the grant, the School also is working with affiliate partner Tuskegee University School of Nursing to identify and recruit current Tuskegee Bachelor of Science in Nursing or graduates who want to become nurse practitioners in one of the grant’s three specialty areas to the UAB SON MSN Program. The Schools also are collaborating to identify training gaps related to rural and underserved populations and necessary steps to better prepare students to provide care in rural Alabama. Hodges added that because many rural Alabama communities do not have access to primary health care, much less treatment for substance use disorders, the nurse practitioners who are trained through the grant and will work in Alabama’s rural communities are improving access to care to populations with primary care and substance abuse needs. “This grant ensures that nurse practitioners who desire to return to rural and underserved communities have advanced, targeted training and the tools to recognize and treat mental health and substance use issues,” Hodges said. “These NPs can meet the needs of Alabama’s underserved communities and eliminate one of the most significant barriers we face in impacting the opioid epidemic, as well as so many other of the state’s pressing and growing health care issues — a lack of access to qualified providers.”




$16.8M NIH U01 grant supporting research on healthy living with HIV WRITTEN BY HOLLY GAINER // PHOTOGRAPHY BY FRANK COUCH


lmost half of the men and women living with HIV in the United States are 50 years old or older, according to the National Institutes of Health. To understand and reduce the impact of chronic health conditions that affect people living with HIV, two national cohort studies have combined to focus on both men and women. The Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) and the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) have operated separately for decades, with MACS studying gay and bisexual men and WIHS studying women at risk for or living with HIV. By combining the two studies to create the MACS/WIHS Combined Cohort Study, researchers hope to spur new scientific discoveries by sharing and comparing data/biospecimens from both cohorts. “By combining the two cohorts, we will be able to ascertain clinical outcomes among HIV patients that in general occur more

frequently and earlier than in the general population,” said Professor Mirjam-Colette Kempf, PhD, principal investigator of the MACS/WIHS site at UAB. “Cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal diseases, pulmonary and sleep disorders, cancer, neurocognitive disorders, and depression are known to be more severe among people living with HIV. Using longitudinal data, we can study co-existing medical conditions and how they manifest themselves differently among people living with HIV in comparison to HIV-negative populations.” The National Institutes of Health awarded UAB a seven-year U01 grant of $16.8 million to operate as one of the 13 clinical sites of the study. UAB has worked with the University of Mississippi Medical Center since 2013 as a WIHS site and will continue to work together as a MACS/WIHS Combined Cohort site, with UAB as the primary location. Through the grant, which is administered by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Insti-

tute, researchers at sites across the country will study 2,283 men and 2,366 women currently enrolled in MACS and WIHS. The goal is to promote healthy aging among individuals living with HIV. “We know that people living with HIV are not aging as well as those without HIV,” Kempf said. “The new MACS/WIHS CCS will provide a unique opportunity to understand and study factors that contribute to the disproportional disease burden among people living with HIV, considering gender, racial/ ethnic, and social/structural differences across the United States.” It also provides the opportunity to add more people to the study. In January 2020, new male participants will be recruited. “The Deep South is the epicenter for the HIV epidemic,” Kempf said. “The more information we can gather, the better we can help patients in the future.”




NIH GRANT STUDYING COGNITIVE AGING IN AFRICAN AMERICANS Wheeler developing tailored educational information and activities to encourage healthy behaviors to promote healthy cognitive aging

From there, a tailored plan will be created for each individual to help maximize their potential role in healthy brain aging in hopes a tailored individual plan will encourage participants to engage in healthy behaviors.



esearch shows African Americans are more than twice as likely than other populations to be diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Despite these statistics, little research has centered on African Americans and what can be done to mitigate their risk factors for developing these cognitive aging conditions. With a two-year, $400,000 R21 grant from the National Institutes of Health, Assistant Professor Pariya Fazeli Wheeler, PhD, using known common risk factors for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, is developing tailored educational information and activities that encourage healthy behaviors among African Americans to lessen their risk of developing these cognitive aging conditions. “Given the growing public health issues of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, this seemed like the right time to translate my existing work in successful cognitive aging with HIV into work that focuses on dementia prevention,” Wheeler said. “As I was thinking about writing this grant and what I wanted my next research steps to be, I completed the UAB Health Disparities Research Training Program (HDRTP). This allowed me to see my idea in a new light. I recognized that cognitive aging in African Americans is an area missed in science so far and chose this focus to further develop my research,” she continued. Study participants will be asked about their exercise, eating, social and other daily habits to help develop their risk factor profile.


African American adults ages 50 to 65 needed


The goal of the project is to determine the effectiveness of the tailored plans versus general education on risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. “We hope with both of the groups receiving dementia education all will improve their dementia risk factor knowledge and brain health literacy. We also hope the individuals with a tailored risk factor profile are more likely to engage in the recommended activities more than those without a tailored profile,” Wheeler said. “If the tailored profile is effective in this study, we can move forward with future, larger studies and see if these actions help prevent or reduce cognitive issues as African Americans age.” Co-investigators working with Wheeler on the grant include School of Nursing Associate Professor Pamela Bowen, PhD, CRNP, FNP-BC (BSN 1988, MSN 1992, PhD 2012) and Professor and Interim Associate Dean for Research David E. Vance, PhD; UAB Department of Psychology Professors Bulent Turan and Olivio Clay; and UAB School of Medicine Professor Virginia Wadley. Bowen’s research focuses on emphasizing physical activity to positively affect overall health within the African American population. Vance and Wheeler have a long history of working together on successful aging with HIV projects, and developed the conceptual model for this R21 together years ago. Following this two-year study, Wheeler hopes to expand the study and apply for an R01 grant. Increased funding would allow for a larger group of participants and a longer study.



WOMEN WITH CYSTIC FIBROSIS Developing clinical practice guidelines for fertility preservation conversations across transplant population WRITTEN BY ERICA TECHO // PHOTOGRAPHY BY FRANK COUCH


hrough a two-year, $150,000 R03 grant from the National Institutes of Health Associate Professor and Honors Program Co-Director Sigrid Ladores, PhD, RN, PNP, CNE, is studying a part of cystic fibrosis many studies overlook — fertility preservation counseling for women with CF. “My bigger umbrella research area is reproductive health in women with cystic fibrosis because it is largely understudied,” Ladores said. “When we hear ‘cystic fibrosis,’ we hear lungs, we hear pulmonary function; there’s not a lot of focus on reproduction. I want to know if and how CF providers talk to women about what needs to be done if they want to have children.” While more than 98 percent of men with CF are born infertile and require assisted reproductive technology to have biological children, fertility rates among women with CF are more uncertain. Women may have normal fertility pre-transplant, but following transplant, the medications they take, including immunosuppressants, carry potential risks to the fetus and the mother. Ladores is focusing this study on pre-transplant women with declining lung function, to see what information is discussed by their providers. Discussion about cryopreservation of eggs or embryos gives women a chance to take the necessary steps to have a biological child post-transplant. “These questions stemmed from women with CF,” Ladores said. “There is a lot of literature regarding fertility preservation in women undergoing chemotherapy. Now, we want to translate that standard of care into the CF world.” “This study aims to capture the perspective of the ‘Three P’s’ — patient, partner and provider — in the conversation around fertility preservation,” Ladores continued. With a total sample size of 190 in this mixed-methods study, Ladores will conduct interviews to deter-

mine the level of conversation around fertility preservation. After the survey data is collected, a smaller group will be invited to do a qualitative interview on the topic. The next step could be an R21 or R01 grant, which could expand the study to include transplant and CF providers or to look at fertility preservation counseling across the transplant population. Receiving this grant was exciting, Ladores said, because it was the first NIH grant for which she applied. Her late mentor, former Associate Dean for Research Karen Meneses, PhD, RN, FAAN; current mentor Professor and Marie L. O’Koren Endowed Chair in Nursing Marie Bakitas, DNSc, CRNP, NP-C, AOCN, ACHPN, FAAN; the team within the Office of Research and Scholarship; and the UAB Gregory Fleming James Cystic Fibrosis Research Center provided support throughout the grant process. “We celebrate all of these grants with the ORS staff because they put in so much effort throughout the submission process,” Ladores said. “This is also a bittersweet award because it was one of the last projects that Dr. Meneses and I worked on together. Researchers receive many denials and rejection letters throughout the grant process, and I’m very fortunate to have a team of supporters working with me through this process.”

"There is a lot of literature regarding fertility preservation in women undergoing chemotherapy.

Now, we want to translate that same standard of care into the CF world.”

LADORES RECOGNIZED BY PHILIPPINE NURSES 2019 has been a banner year for Dr. Sigrid Ladores. She also is this year’s recipient of the Philippine Nurses Association of America (PNAA) Nursing Excellence Award for Research. PNAA is a national organization that is responsive to Filipino-American nurses’ needs and act as a positive force in the world arena of nursing. Ladores joined PNAA’s Central Florida chapter in 2007, where she was a member of the Board of Directors and Co-Chair of the Education Committee and is in the process of establishing the first chapter of PNA-Alabama. She is PNAA Research Committee Chair and established a grant funding program to support the research of PNAA members. “Getting involved in PNAA is important for professional development as a nurse and lifelong learner. However, to me, getting involved is also important to my personal journey as an immigrant from the Philippines whose family members are predominantly nurses,” Ladores said. “Being a part of PNAA gives me a chance to reconnect with my roots and my Filipino heritage, and I could not be prouder.”

- Dr. Sigrid Ladores FALL 2019 / UAB NURSING


NEWS ROUNDUP Academic advisor receives national award Pre-Nursing Advisor Jessica G. Bumpus, PhD, is the 2019 recipient of the Outstanding New Advisor Award – Primary Advising Role from The Global Community for Academic Advising. She also received the UAB Outstanding Academic Advisor – Outstanding New Advisor Award from the UAB National Alumni Society. Bumpus joined the UAB School of Nursing in 2017 as an academic advisor. She previously worked as Transfer Center Coordinator for UAB before serving as Dual Enrollment Coordinator at Jefferson State Community College. As an academic advisor, Bumpus is the first point of contact for students with questions regarding their education. “I love helping students reach their goals and finding ways to promote their success as a

student,” she said. “Dr. Jessica Bumpus has been an outstanding asset to the UAB School of Nursing Office of Student Success,” said Peter Tofani, EdD, LTC(R), Assistant Dean for Student Success. “She is most deserving of these recognitions at the university and national level. She connects with each student and provides expert guidance and recommendations to assist students planning their future. Our students are fortunate to have access to such a dedicated individual.” Bumpus holds a Bachelor of Science in Speech-Language Pathology and a Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education Administration.

Authenticity in Nursing Male nurses are statistically the minority in their field, but faculty at the UAB School of Nursing and a new mentoring program are making sure male students have the tools necessary to succeed. As an initiative of the UAB-based Birmingham chapter of the American Association for Men in Nursing, Associate Professor Greg Eagerton, DNP, RN (BSN 1985, MSN 1991), and Assistant Professor Curry Bordelon, DNP, MBA, CRNP, CNE, NNP-BC, CPNP-AC (DNP 2016), created a new mentorship program, Nursing in Real Life (NiRL), encouraging conversations about diversity, challenges and success for men in nursing. Nursing in Real Life is a monthly informal meeting for open discussions. Meetings include a topic-driven presentation by Eagerton and Bordelon, and then the floor opens for personal stories and questions, which can be on any topic. As nurses with years of clinical, educational and adminis18


tration experience, Eagerton and Bordelon

the questions and concerns nursing students

answer students’ questions and provide insight into nursing.

have,” Bordelon said. “This allows NiRL to serve as a welcoming space for acceptance of the students’ diversity of ideas, points of view and experiences.”

Just as AAMN and its Birmingham chapter are not exclusive to men, NiRL welcomes all nursing students. The program aims to allow students an opportunity to voice their own experiences and opinions to a group of students who celebrate diversity. “Having a diverse population of students provides a more realistic representation of

Bordelon continued, “Bringing together nurses from a variety of backgrounds allows for collaboration of different perspectives of care. The diversity of ideas and experiences ultimately improves the care we can provide and gives insight into nursing in the real world.”

tion to our profession, as well as Sigma,” said Sigma President Beth Baldwin Tigges, PhD, RN, PNP, BC.

Sigma recognizes Harper with International Award Dean and Fay B. Ireland Endowed Chair in Nursing Doreen C. Harper, PhD, RN, FAAN, has been nationally recognized by Sigma International Honors Society of Nursing for her support of the organization, its mission, vision and goals. Sigma honored Harper with the Melanie C. Dreher Outstanding Dean Award for Excellence in Chapter Support, an international award that recognizes deans or chief administrative officers whose contributions to Sigma have gone beyond normal expectations. She will receive the award at Sigma’s 45th Biennial Convention. “Recipients of Sigma’s International Awards for Nursing Excellence are recognized by their peers for their superior achievement and dedication to the advancement of global health. I offer my sincere congratulations to these honorees and thank them for their contribu-

Harper joined Sigma in 1974, and throughout her tenure as Dean she has supported the Nu Chapter at the UAB School of Nursing through allocation of School resources and supporting new opportunities for members. Because of her commitment and belief in Sigma, the Nu Chapter has seen increased attendance at induction ceremonies, more opportunities for professional development and new collaborations thanks to her support. “As a member of the Nu Chapter board, I see the immense support given to our chapter by Dean Harper — but many members are likely unaware of exactly how much she should be credited for our chapter’s successes,” said Nu Chapter Treasurer and retired UAB SON Assistant Professor D’Ann Somerall, DNP, CRNP, FNP-BC (BSN 1995, MSN 1999, DNP 2011). “Never seeking recognition, Dean Harper is persistent in working behind the scenes to open doors for the Chapter and present new opportunities for our members.” She paved the way for UAB SON to support the Nu Chapter’s service project at the Wylam Day Health Care Center in Birmingham by recognizing two faculty members who regularly practice at the Center as volunteers. This not only allows the Nu Chapter and Wylam to provide important care to the Center’s clients, but also to precept baccalaureate and nurse practitioner students, supporting Sigma’s

mission of advancing world health and celebrating nursing excellence in scholarship, leadership and service. This volunteer clinic is a first among all Sigma chapters and has been recognized for its innovation. Harper also promotes scholarship and collaboration by funding doctoral and honors students’ travel expenses to Sigma conferences and supporting faculty and students to attend Sigma’s annual congresses and other global activities. These experiences lead to new partnerships, ideas and professional development. This award also recognized Nu Chapter’s 60 years of leadership and innovation. “Sigma’s mission of advancing world health and celebrating nursing excellence are missions that all nurses hold in high regard,” Harper said. “The Nu Chapter at UAB School of Nursing exemplifies this mission through its dedication to promoting the health of the community, leading scholarship and supporting nursing education at all levels. I am so honored to receive this award, which honors Dean Melanie Dreher’s significant contributions to Sigma and education in her roles as dean and researcher.” “The MCD Outstanding Dean Award for Excellence in Chapter Support signifies my lifetime nursing commitment to developing global leaders and scholars in academics and service,” Harper continued. “Sharing support and resources with Sigma members develops leaders who advance professional excellence in nursing and health care and affords me great personal satisfaction.”

Faculty, student named Fellows of national organizations Three faculty members and one UAB School of Nursing student received the designation of Fellow from national health care and nursing organizations in 2019. Associate Professor and Assistant Dean for Graduate Clinical Education – MSN and NP Pathways Michele Talley, PhD, CRNP, ACNP-BC (MSN 2005, PhD 2015), and Professor and Associate Dean for Graduate Clinical Education Ashley Hodges, PhD, CRNP, WHNP-BC (MSN

1997, PhD 2008) were inducted as fellows of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) in June, bringing the number of individuals from the School who have achieved this prestigious designation to 41. Associate Professor Marisa Wilson, DNSc, MHSc, RN-BC, CPHIMS, FAAN, FAMIA, was inducted as a Fellow of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) in April. Wilson is one of 10 nurses in the inaugural class of 130 Fellows.

Second-year Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) student Traci Solt, MSN, FACHE, NEA-BC, CCRN, CCM, was named as a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE). Solt is Director for Clinical Services for the National Veterans Health Administration Office of Primary Care in Washington D.C.





{ Martha Dawson } New NBNA President discusses importance of diversity, goals for new role Q: How does NBNA support diversity in nursing and health care? A: One of the pillars of NBNA is to address diversity in terms of

improving population health and addressing health care determinants. We strongly believe that in order to increase access to health care and improve population health, we need a diverse nursing workforce. This includes diversity of race, ethnicity, age, gender, education preparation and nursing specialty. Even within our own organization, we promote diversity among our membership; we have African Americans, Caucasians, Hispanics and males, and we are one of the few professional nursing organizations that welcomes both Registered Nurses, Licensed Professional Nurses and student nurses.

Q: How does a diversity of perspectives improve the quality of health care? 2

A: NBNA wants to improve the percentage of under-represented

ethnicities within the nursing profession to bring a broader cultural perspective to our profession for the benefit of our patients. This



Martha Dawson, DNP, RN, FACHE, is a twotime UAB School of Nursing alumna and is Associate Professor in the Department of Family, Community and Health Systems. She has previously held senior-level roles in community hospitals and academic medical centers including Vice President of Clinical Operations and Chief Nurse Executive. Dawson has served as principal investigator, project director and coordinator on Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and foundation grants exceeding $2.5 million. This year, she became president of the National Black Nurses Association (NBNA, Inc.). INTERVIEW BY LAURA LESLEY // PHOTO BY FRANK COUCH

includes but is not limited to supporting Hispanics, Native Americans, Asians and Filipinos as they enter the nursing workforce. Nursing is both an art and a science; the “art” is caring for a patient from a holistic perspective in terms of addressing emotional, physical and health education needs. Therefore, it is important to have nurses caring for patients who can understand their life experiences from their unique cultural perspective.

Q: Describe how your research and past work as principal investigator for a HRSA workforce investment grant will influence your actions as president of NBNA. A: The HRSA Workforce Investment Grant focused on in-

creasing the number of underrepresented groups in the nursing profession. My prior work with diversity and this grant served as the foundation for my work with NBNA in terms of encouraging others to seek a nursing career and to see it as a viable profession. The HRSA grant focused on encour-

Q: What is your vision for the future of NBNA, African American nurses and all nurses from diverse backgrounds? A: My vision is for nurses to continue moving forward as a single voice

when we’re advocating for professional advancements that provide more autonomy and support for our profession. As NBNA President, I want to support nurses’ involvement in moving all of these aspects of our profession forward, and I strive to drive policies external to the practice and academic environments supporting nurses from diverse backgrounds at the local, state and national levels. Rather than shying away from the political aspects of the nursing profession, we have to become comfortable with power and being involved in healthcare policy issues. We must be at the table armed with data and knowledge to help drive decision-making.

What career advice would you give nurses seeking to advance their role and career, especially those from diverse backgrounds? A: First, nurses need to be involved in at least two professional orga-

nizations, such as the NBNA, that are aligned with their career goals because being involved will help to identify influential role models and mentors. Secondly, nurses should be prepared to advance their education, whether through professional continuing education or pursuing formal education culminating in a degree. Nursing is definitely a profession where you have to be committed to lifelong learning, because our environment is rapidly changing due to new diseases and discoveries. There are days when I feel as if I am just beginning my professional career; therefore I am constantly growing and learning.


aging high school students to consider nursing as a career; working with pre-nursing students to help them meet the GPA criteria for admittance into the nursing program; and helping those individuals matriculate through nursing school and successfully graduate and pass their board examinations. Similarly, NBNA is engaged in encouraging nurses to continue their informal and formal education.

BIRMINGHAM BLACK NURSES ASSOCIATION As an official chapter of the National Black Nurses Association, the Birmingham Black Nurses Association, Inc. (BBNA) advocates for high quality, culturally relevant health care for African Americans and other ethnic groups through collaborative partnerships both nationally and throughout the Birmingham community. The organization was founded in 1992, and today it represents more than 150,000 black nurses. BBNA sponsors professional nursing workshops, mentors nursing students, conducts community health fairs, supports community healthcare initiatives and participates in community service projects. One of its core objectives includes recruiting, counseling and assisting African Americans interested in nursing, and encouraging nurses to pursue higher levels of education within their careers. Professional and student memberships are available, providing access to benefits such as networking and leadership development opportunities, access to an online

career center, an invitation to participate in NBNA Day on Capitol Hill and more. BBNA also offers pre-licensure nursing scholarships to exceptional students. Deborah Thedford-Zimmerman, RN, MSN, WOCN, is currently serving as the organization’s 12th president and is a 1986 Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) graduate of the UAB School of Nursing. Another notable 1986 BSN graduate with ties to BBNA is Deborah Grimes, JD, BSN, RN, chief diversity officer for the UAB Health System. She serves as an advisor to the BBNA board. BBNA’s immediate past president, Lindsey Harris, DNP, FNP-BC, is also a UAB School of Nursing alumna, earning her Master of Science in Nursing in 2011 and DNP in 2016. BBNA also recognized UAB School of Nursing Dean Doreen C. Harper as a 2013 BBNA Legend in White.

“Nurses seeking to advance their role and career need to be involved in at least two professional organizations, such as the NBNA and your local chapter,” said Associate Professor Martha Dawson, DNP, RN, FACHE, NBNA president and UAB School of Nursing alumna. “My vision is for nurses to continue moving forward as a single voice when we’re advocating for professional advancements that provide more autonomy and support for our profession.”



Faculty changing the future residency was the first of its kind in the country, and has focused on creating a sustainable pipeline of PMHNPs with Veteran-centered training. In addition to her role as a faculty member, McGuinness has maintained a robust clinical practice at UAB’s 1917 Clinic and helped establish the PMHNP Resident After Hours Clinic at the Birmingham VA Medical Center. She also worked to establish partnerships with Children’s of Alabama, UAB Medicine and the Birmingham VA Medical Center to create a sustainable pipeline of care providers.

IMPROVING MENTAL HEALTH CARE McGuinness leaves lasting impact on health access and education WRITTEN BY ERICA TECHO // PHOTOGRAPHY BY FRANK COUCH


rofessor and Chair of the Department of Family, Community and Health Systems Teena McGuinness, PhD, CRNP, PMHNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN, is retiring from the UAB School of Nursing after 12 years. Her leadership and passion for mental health care leaves a lasting impact on the School, its faculty, students and the communities served by UAB graduates. “Teena McGuinness has served at the UAB School of Nursing with tireless commitment to our vision and mission,” said Dean and Fay B. Ireland Endowed Chair in Nursing Doreen C. Harper, PhD, RN, FAAN. “Her efforts have led to the implementation of numerous initiatives, grants and programs which help meet a critical need for primary mental health providers, and allowed us to better serve Veterans and other vulnerable populations. We have been so fortunate to count her as one of our School’s leaders.” McGuinness joined the School as a professor in 2007, serving as the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Specialty Track Coordinator from 2008-



2011, Honors in Nursing coordinator from 2009-2011, and Family, Community and Health Systems Department Chair since 2013. She also led the development and expansion of the School’s PMHNP Specialty at the graduate level. “Starting the PMHNP program and watching it grow has been such a delight,” said McGuinness. “I firmly believe that psychiatric treatment works, if you can access it. A shortage of care providers and lack of access to care, however, impede vulnerable and underserved populations from obtaining psychiatric and behavioral health care. Through this program, we are meeting the need for a well-educated primary mental health workforce in the state and the country, and working to eliminate barriers to care.” Since its establishment in 2008, the PMHNP Specialty has grown from an initial cohort of three students to 70 students in Fall 2019. The program’s success also supported the establishment of a Veteran’s Affairs Nursing Academic Partnership in Graduate Education (VANAP-GE) in mental health. The

Her commitment to supporting Veterans also extended to a generous gift benefiting the School’s building expansion. McGuinness and her husband, retired Army Col. John McGuinness, MD, named the McGuinness Veterans Conference Room, a collaborative study and meeting space that gives preference to Veteran students. “I wanted this room to highlight Veterans and show that we understand and appreciate their sacrifices to protect our freedom,” McGuinness said. “It’s powerful to see all of the Veterans we have among UAB SON faculty, staff and students, and to see how many there are on UAB’s campus. I’m proud that my work could be a part of helping Veterans, and I am pleased that this conference room continues to serve as a resource for them.” McGuinness’ efforts as a mentor, educator and leader have been recognized by multiple institutions, and she received the 2019 American Psychiatric Nurses Association Award for Excellence in Education, the 2017 Old Dominion University School of Nursing 50th Anniversary Educator Award, and the UAB President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2012. “I’m just thankful I was invited to join the team at UAB School of Nursing,” she said. “There are so many opportunities available through this School and its partnerships. There are even opportunities here that you cannot plan for — the support of Dean Harper and other faculty allows for an unfolding experience, where every day opportunities open to new opportunities.”


ALUMNA gives back


ebe Barksdale Goetter has dedicated her life to serving her community in meaningful ways. Thanks to a generous planned gift to the UAB School of Nursing, her longstanding legacy of service will be carried out for years to come through future nursing students who will receive the Bebe Barksdale Goetter Endowed Scholarship in Nursing. Goetter is a 1974 graduate of the UAB School of Nursing’s baccalaureate nursing program. She worked for many years at UAB Hospital in a variety of clinical roles. In the spirit of promoting service and volunteerism, her scholarship will be given with preference to students who have demonstrated a strong commitment to community service.

to change the future

Planned gift will support future BSN students WRITTEN BY LAURA LESLEY // PHOTOGRAPHY BY FRANK COUCH

serving a term on the UAB National Alumni Society Junior Board. In addition, a great niece of Goetter’s is a pediatric nurse practitioner in Atlanta, Georgia and another is an office-based registered nurse in Pensacola, Florida. “Although I am no longer practicing as a nurse, I maintain my licensure and will always see myself as a nurse,” said Goetter. “UAB afforded me many opportunities in both my education at the UAB School of Nursing and my work at UAB Hospital. Later, moving to a small town in Alabama opened my eyes to the nurse’s ability to bond with and serve the community on an intimate level.”

“I’ve been a nurse for 45 years now,” said Goetter. “Being a nurse has made a profound impact on my life and has taught me that all nurses should see themselves as community caregivers, whether in organized spaces like hospitals or clinics, or being engaged in their communities through service. “The Bebe Barksdale Goetter Endowed Scholarship in Nursing is incredibly special,” said UAB School of Nursing Dean and Fay B. Ireland Endowed Chair in Nursing Doreen C. Harper, PhD, RN, FAAN. “Bebe’s far-reaching volunteer efforts have made a measurable impact on the health of our state, and I am confident that recipients of this scholarship will carry on her legacy of prioritizing community service and caring for underserved populations.” “It is an honor to be entrusted with this planned gift that will offer scholarships to future UAB School of Nursing students in Bebe’s name,” Harper added. Bebe and her husband, William Goetter, MD, left UAB in 1988 and settled in Fairhope, Alabama. There they, along with several others, led efforts to establish the first free clinic in the state of Alabama in 1998. Formed in Bay Minette, the Alabama Free Clinic offers free health care and health education programs to adults who are without health insurance. Since its inception, the clinic has expanded to now include three medical clinics, a wound clinic and a dental clinic serving roughly 600 patients annually across Baldwin County. The Goetters’ involvement both in patient care and volunteer efforts have inspired many friends and family members to pursue nursing careers, including their nephew, Jordan Barksdale. Jordan followed in his aunt’s footsteps, earned his Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the UAB School of Nursing in 2016 and recently returned to earn his Master of Science in Nursing. He currently works at UAB Hospital, and much like Goetter, he remains actively involved with their shared alma mater, even

“It is an honor to be entrusted with this planned gift that will offer scholarships to future UAB

School of Nursing students in Bebe’s name.” - Dean Doreen C. Harper FALL 2019 / UAB NURSING



Harmon’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree from the UAB School of Nursing focused on executive leadership. Now, she is the inaugural program chair for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at Carolinas College of Health Sciences in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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“In these roles, I established ANIA’s education committee, chaired our conference planning committee, directed our blinded speaker selection process, assisted in curriculum development for our informatics certification review course, coordinated nationally broadcasted webinars and facilitated scholarship awards,” Harmon said. “I’m honored to continue serving ANIA as president and working to grow our organization.”

“My professors from UAB’s DNP program were powerful mentors,” Harmon said. “Their knowledge, guidance, role modeling and expertise inspired me and helped me realize that I can exceed my goals and aspirations.”

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Carolyn Harmon, DNP, RN-BC, is president of the American Nursing Informatics Association (ANIA), which consists of more than 3,200 nurses and other health care professionals in informatics practice throughout the nation. Prior to being elected the organization’s president, she served on its national board as president-elect and education director.

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Harmon is experienced in developing curriculum for nursing informatics programs and holds a board certification in informatics nursing. She is also a certified Six Sigma Green Belt, fellow in the Amy V. Cockcroft Leadership Program and 2018 recipient of the South Carolina Palmetto Gold Award. Harmon recently authored a chapter in the ”Handbook of Informatics for Nurses and Healthcare Professionals” on business continuity and has also authored numerous articles in the Journal of Informatics Nursing, Nurse Leader and the Online Journal of Nursing Informatics.


Kelly Goudreau, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, FCNS, FAAN (PHD 2000) Kelly Goudreau is Associate Director Patient Care Services/ Nurse Executive for the Kansas City Veterans Affairs Medical Center (KCVAMC), a role to which she was appointed in April 2017. Her career with the Veterans Health Administration began in 2011 after working in the private sector for several years.



As a Certified Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult Health, of Goudreau is a past president of the tesy Photo cour National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists. She also received the 2010 Brenda Lyon Leadership Award from the organization in recognition of her involvement in nursing leadership initiatives at the local, regional and national levels. Goudreau is a graduate of the VA Executive Career Field Candidate Development Program and has been inducted as Fellows of the American Academy of Nursing and the Clinical Nurse Specialist Institute, respectively. as ns Ka



In addition to her impressive nursing career spanning more than 30 years, Goudreau is an award-winning author. Her textbook, ”Health Policy and Advanced Practice Nursing: Impact and Implications“ was named “Book of the Year” in the Nursing Management and Leadership category by the American Journal of Nursing in 2018. In addition to authoring this textbook, Goudreau has published more than 30 journal articles and is coeditor for two books. “I learned so much from my time as a doctoral student at the UAB School of Nursing,” Goudreau said. “The strength of the faculty and their mentorship is something I carry with me to this day. They emulated servant leadership and it is my pleasure to carry those lessons forward in my role as the Associate Director for Patient Care Services at the KCVAMC.” In 2014, Goudreau received the Marie L. O’Koren Alumni Award for Innovation from the UAB School of Nursing. The award, named for the School’s second dean who developed the first doctorate in nursing program in the Southeast, recognizes alumni who have made innovative contributions to the field of nursing. Goudreau received her PhD from UAB School of Nursing in 2000.

Alumna named among most influential women in corporate America

GRIMES HONORED BY SAVOY MAGAZINE Alumna Deborah Grimes, RN, JD, CHC, CPHQ, has been named one of the most influential women in corporate America for 2019 by Savoy Magazine. Grimes is the chief diversity officer for UAB Medicine and earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from the UAB School of Nursing in 1986. The magazine, which is a national publication celebrating African American culture, released its 2019 Most Influential Women in Corporate America listing in its summer edition. “I am humbled and fortunate for this recognition,” said Grimes. “It has allowed me to highlight my time spent at UAB, which importantly includes nursing.” Prior to becoming the chief diversity officer for UAB Medicine, Grimes served UAB Hospital in leadership roles including vice president of Quality/Regulatory Affairs and chief compliance officer. In addition to her bachelors degree in nursing, she earned a master’s degree from the UAB School of Health Professions and a Juris Doctor degree from the Birmingham School of Law.

“I tell people all the time that the

best thing I ever did was go to nursing school. It started my career in health care, and I have always been excited for the opportunity to take care of patients whether directly as a nurse or indirectly through administration.” - Deborah Grimes (BSN 1986)

“I tell people all the time that the best thing I ever did was go to nursing school,” said Grimes. “It started my career in health care, and I have always been excited for the opportunity to take care of patients whether directly as a nurse or indirectly through administration.” Grimes serves as a board member of the Alabama Kidney Foundation and is a member of the National Black Nurses Association and the Birmingham Chapter, Society of Human Resource Management, Healthcare Compliance Association and the National Association of Health Executives. Grimes was selected as one of the most influential women in corporate America among more than 500 prospective candidates in diverse fields. The selection committee comprised Savoy’s editorial board and community leaders representing academic and business arenas. “A 33-year veteran of UAB Medicine, Deborah has served in many roles as nurse, attorney and administrator,” said Will Ferniany, PhD, CEO of UAB Medicine. “We salute the diversity of experiences she brings to the job each day, and congratulate her on this most deserving recognition.” Like Grimes, other executives selected for the honor have an exemplary record of accomplishments and influence while working to better their communities and inspire others.




Caleb Light is a second semester student in the Accelerated Masters of Nursing Pathway (AMNP) at the UAB School of Nursing.


hen I got to work for my 12-hour clinical shift in the UAB Medicine Labor and Delivery Unit, I was pretty nervous about it. It was my first day on the unit, and with about three hours to go, Dr. Cathy Roche grabbed me and told me I could go into the room for a delivery. As an Accelerated Master’s in Nursing Pathway (AMNP) student, I thought I’d mainly observe the delivery and assist in a more minor way. I did not realize that I would end up being able to share a profound, personal moment with the family in that room. The woman in labor and her husband were from Central America, and while the delivery was going smoothly, the hospital team was having difficulty communicating with them. They spoke a local dialect with about 2 million speakers, and the hospital’s translating device was not functioning properly. Thankfully the husband spoke some Spanish, and so do I, so I did my best to translate that everything was going smoothly. As I talked to the husband, I relayed that delivery was going well, and he would pass that along to his wife. The family did not have prenatal care, so as soon as the baby was born, it was taken aside for a few quick tests. This baby had a really good APGAR score — it was moving around, great color, great breathing. The baby also had a cleft condition, and when the father walked over and saw this, he started crying. I told him everything was fine, that their baby was in great health, but he was worried. He told me everything wasn’t going to be fine, gesturing to his lip. That’s when I assured him it would be OK — their baby would have a full life. From that part of the world, a cleft condition can put limits on your life. Even though I did not speak their local dialect, I was able to relay the amazing impact health care could have on their child’s life. With the resources at UAB, and the available surgeries, a cleft condition is easily managed.



UAB Hospital Chief Nursing Officer Terri Poe (right) recognized AMNP student Caleb Light (center) after he exemplified UAB Medicine and UAB School of Nursing’s core values during his clinical rotation.

Going into the day and going into that delivery room, I did not realize I would

play such a personal role as a nurse, but that’s the great part of this profession. Every day we can go into work and impact a patient’s life or impact their family. - Caleb Light

In the moment, I wasn’t even thinking about what I was doing. My only thought was, “These parents think this kid’s life is already over,” and my first priority was to let them know that it was not. Going into the day and going into that delivery room, I did not realize I would play such a personal role as a nurse, but that’s the great part of this profession. Every day we can go into work and impact a patient’s life or impact their family. At this time, I’m not sure which type of nursing I’ll enter after finishing the AMNP Pathway, but I’m thankful for the opportunities our clinicals provide.

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Join us in 2020 as we not only celebrate the Year of the Nurse and what would have been Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday, we will also celebrate 70 years of nursing leadership, excellence and innovation at the UAB School of Nursing. UAB.EDU/NURSING/70THANNIVERSARY






78+ +




GLOBAL LEADERSHIP (past & present)













50 states






































PHD STUDENTS are receiving full funding Since 2016, 25 students have earned a PhD


in Nursing from The UAB School of Nursing.


PEER-REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS Over the past 3 years, on average,


$4.2 M

$4.8 M

86 faculty had 241 peer-reviewed publications and at least 70% of the faculty published during that time.

$2.196 M $1.5 M

2 POST-DOCS ‘14-’15









working with




2015 – 2016


2016 – 2017


2017 – 2018


2018 – 2019




Length of stay



2014 – 2015


1.5 days


NURSE FAMILY PARTNERSHIP Jefferson County Preterm Birth Rate ....................................... 12% Nurse Family Partnership Jefferson County Clients ............... 8.5%


The UAB School of Nursing Health Network and the School’s professional development programs Watch. Listen. Learn.

reached people in 20 countries worldwide









Taking care of our most vulnerable include...




9 11




TEACHING TOTAL GRADUATIONS (Baccalaureate, Master’s and Doctoral)







More than 1 out of 5 of the nursing graduates in the state of

Alabama graduated from the UAB School of Nursing since 2015.







1 out of 4 minority nursing graduates in the state of Alabama graduated form the UAB School of Nursing.


NCLEX-RN FIRST-TIME PASS RATE 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019



95.6 95.7 96.5 96.7 98.5





#8 #9


# 10


# 12








INNOVATION & IMPACT Leadership across research, education and practice























Profile for UAB School of Nursing

UAB Nursing Magazine - Fall 2019  

UAB Nursing Magazine - Fall 2019