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Discovering Pain Managment Research

Healthcare Innovations

Study Abroad Experiences



Spring 2016


Volume 17

Contributors and Reviewers Regina M. Cusson, Suzanne French, Kathe Gable, Thomas L. Long, Jacqueline McGrath, Grace Merritt, Victoria Schilling and Barbara J. Slater.

Project Lead & Designer Barbara J. Slater Junior Designer: Suzanne French

Back cover: Freshman nursing student, Rachel Calabro, studying in the Widmer Wing Auditorium.

Inside front cover: Student Nurse Association (SNA) President, senior Patricia Madrio conversing with fellow classmate.

Inside back cover: Nursing student Samantha Poveda in the Widmer Wing simulation lab.

CONTENTS From the Dean’s Desk ...............................................................2 The Future of Nursing - Jacqueline McGrath.......................3 Center for Advancement of Managing Pain (CAMP) .......4-6 Maruca on Effective Screening for Substance Abuse ........7 Tikoo, Center for Quantitative Medicine ........................8 SON Accomplishments ..........................................................9 Expanding Study Abroad Initatives ..................................10-11 Nursing ROTC & Veterans ......................................................12-13 CEIN/BS Program Soaring........................................................14-15 Nursing Innovations Grows to 4-Year Program ...............16-17 Student Highlights .............................................................18-19 Faculty News & Scholarship ..................................................20-26 Staff Feature ..............................................................................27 Alumni News and Class Notes ...............................................28-32 Donor Bertie Chuong Simulation Support.........................33



FEATURES Center for Advancement in Managing Pain Approved ... p. 4

Health Information Technology with Minakshi Tikoo ... p. 6

UConn ROTC Nurses ... p. 10

CEIN/BS Program Enrollment Soaring Popularity ... p. 14


UNISON Smartphone? Smart site. UConn Nursing Mobile

Unison is published each year for the alumni, faculty, staff, students, and friends of the School of Nursing at the University of Connecticut. Its purpose is to inform alumni, friends, prospective faculty, and students of the School’s programs, activities, and faculty accomplishments. You can also find additional information on our website at: If you have any questions about this publication, or the School of Nursing, contact us at (860) 486-3716 or by email to

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Dean’s Desk


e have been discovered….. and we are reaching out to the global community.

Did you know: • That there are approximately 20 applicants for each seat in the freshman nursing class? • That I visited Beijing and Taiwan before presenting as an invited speaker at the University of Hong Kong’s 20th anniversary celebration, while also recruiting support for a proposed interdisciplinary leadership and research immersion to begin at UConn in summer 2017? (See pp. 10-11.) • That research grant funding has increased due to the influx of talented researchers like Dr. Angela Starkweather? (See pp. 4-5.) • That almost 40% of graduating seniors have engaged in a study abroad experience? (See pp. 10-11.)

Regina M. Cusson, PhD, NNP-BC, APRN, FAAN , Dean & Professor

• That the healthcare innovations program has expanded to joint projects with the schools of engineering and business ….and that the innovations curriculum is expanding to engage all levels of nursing students? (See pp. 16-17.) • That the new commander of the UConn Army ROTC unit is a nurse? (See p. 12.) • And that the faculty who joined us in August include the former president of NAPNAP, the Director of Health IT for the State of Connecticut , and one of NINRs ambassadors? (See pp. 5, 8, and 11.) These are all signs that our school of nursing is making strides in reaching out to the world outside of Storrs, Connecticut, and that the world is interested in what we have to offer. UConn School of Nursing has always provided an excellent nursing education and a great value. Today students have even more opportunities by engaging with world-class faculty who challenge them to reach beyond their comfort zone. It is not unusual to see faculty working with small groups of students on a research project long after classes have ended. Or to get requests from students and faculty for additional support for their research, either for a pilot project or travel to present at a conference or additional funds to complete an honors project. We are on the move, so stay tuned for more exciting developments.

Regina M. Cusson, PhD, NNP-BC, APRN, FAAN Dean & Professor 2 Unison


Jacqueline M. McGrath, PhD, RN, FNAP, FAAN Associate Dean, Research and Scholarship


he demographic data are troubling. While the average age for assistant professors across all disciplines beginning their careers at a research university is 35 to 39, the average age of an assistant professor in nursing is 51. Nurse researchers have shorter academic careers than their colleagues in other departments.

But what if we could shorten the time to a doctoral degree by full-time study and intensively preparing new doctoral graduates? This is the promise of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing scholarships recently awarded to the UConn School of Nursing, as well as our Jonas Scholars and post-doctoral fellowships. Our current Jonas Scholars are Lisa Harrison, Lisa Sundean, Christopher Yi and Thomas Julian. According to Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship Jacqueline McGrath, “Robert Wood Johnson Foundation awards are very competitive, even more so than the Jonas Scholarships. Our application was a success for two reasons: our increasing research presence, along with our willingness to seek consultation to improve our application.” “We also have been willing to adapt our PhD program to support a three-year completion for these students,” McGrath observed. “How we mentor doctoral students is also very strong and was an attribute of our application that made it successful.” Post-doctoral fellowships ensure that recently graduated PhDs are able to develop productive research agendas, submit successful grant applications, and begin to publish their results and thus, beginning their research careers as assistant professors ready to hit the ground running. Faculty applicants who complete a post-doctoral fellowship are given additional references for hiring in tenure track positions. “Currently, we have funding for a post-doctoral student through our research partnership at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center,” McGrath explained. “This was negotiated in the partnership contract to increase the presence of nursing research at Connecticut Children’s, which is how UConn School of Nursing alumna Dr. Carrie Ellen Briere’s position is currently funded.” Alumna and Assistant Clinical Professor Louise Reagan is currently on leave as a post-doctoral fellow in the New York University School of Nursing. Dr. Ruth Lucas served as a post-doctoral fellow at the School of Nursing before beginning her assistant professor position. Unison 3

SON CAMP team members from left: Xiaomei Cong, PhD, RN, Associate Professor; Kyle Baumbauer, PhD Assistant Professor; Angela Starkweather, PhD, RN, ACNP-BC, CNRN, FAAN, CAMP Director, Professor; and Erin Young, PhD, Assistant Professor.

Interdisciplinary Research for Evidence-Based Practice


fter several years of preparation and strategic faculty recruitment efforts, the UConn School of Nursing this year has launched the Center for Advancement in Managing Pain (CAMP), an interdisciplinary translational research and clinical implementation center. School of Nursing senior pain researcher Associate Professor Deborah Dillon McDonald, a specialist in chronic pain in older adults, in collaboration with Dr. Xiaomei Cong, a nurse researcher in neonatal procedural pain, developed the initial proposal for an interdisciplinary research and clinical application center. 4 Unison

When the UConn administration approved CAMP, the School of Nursing’s faculty began intensive national recruitment efforts. In 2014, two researchers conducting pain studies in animal models were jointly appointed to the School of Nursing and the UConn Health Center: Dr. Erin Young, a pain geneticist, and Dr. Kyle Baumbauer, a pain physiologist. Dr. Renee Manworren, nurse scientist at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, joined the team, studying pain genetics in pediatric and adolescent populations. In 2015, she was awarded a Center of Excellence in Pain Education grant, which is developing, implementing, and evaluating interprofessional modules to help clinicians address pain management.

CAMP’s unique niche is its focus on pain management from the cellular level to the systems level. — Angela Starkweather

A year later, nurse researcher Dr. Angela Starkweather took the reins as CAMP’s first director, recruited from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. She is continuing her National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)-funded research study on genetics of pain sensitivity and established two biobehavioral pain laboratories for CAMP, now a University-designated center. As a Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research Ambassador, Starkweather will advocate for nursing science and was selected to further NINR’s goals educa by educating Congressional leaders healt and healthcare professionals, in order to improve f research funding, by emphasizing the impact that scie nurse scientists and nursing research have made improv Americans’ health. to improve According to Starkweather, “CAMP’s unique niche is its p management from the cellular level to focus on pain

Grant News

>>> Assistant Professor Dr. Renee Manworren, a nurse scientist in pain and palliative care medicine at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, received a $914,350, five-year NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse contract establishing the UConn Center for Advancement of Managing Pain as an NIH Center of Excellence in Pain Education. School of Nursing co-investigators include Dr. Kyle Baumbauer, Dr. Xiaomei Cong, Dr. Deborah Dillon McDonald, Dr. Thomas Van Hoof, and Dr. Erin Young. The funding will be used to accelerate and extend the dissemination of UConn’s curricular resources to improve fundamental education of healthcare professionals in interdisciplinary pain management.

the systems level. We are also forging new partnerships across health care systems to assess how we can make a difference in pain management through patient and family support, policies and logistical issues. These efforts have led to many exciting interdisciplinary collaborations. We are also keeping an eye on policy issues involving pain management in the State of Connecticut as well as nationally.” “While acute pain is a protective mechanism meant to help us survive, we know that there are ways to help reduce the pain associated with medical procedures, like immunizations, blood draws, and intravenous catheters,” Starkweather explained. “By doing so, we can reduce the associated stress response, aversion to medical procedures and can facilitate motivating patients to get the screening tests or primary prevention measures to keep them healthy. The sequelae of chronic pain are much more profound and effects can be seen in virtually every system of the individual.”

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Erin Young& Kyle Baumbauer

Build The

Pain Management Certificate Program

Pain Management Certificate Breaks New Ground One of only a few select programs of its kind worldwide, the UConn School of Nursing’s new pain management certificate exemplifies the relationship between practicebased research and evidence-based practice. Two research scientists in the School’s Center for Advancement in Managing Pain, Dr. Erin Young and Dr. Kyle Baumbauer, developed the four-course certificate in collaboration with other nursing faculty. “This will uniquely provide nurses, healthcare professionals and other students with a great foundation to build on for their future work, either in the lab or the clinic,” explained Young. The certificate is designed to fulfill a large portion of the post-graduate education requirements to be eligible for nursing certification in pain management, but the courses were designed to be of broad interest to both clinicians and research scientists working with pain or its management. A pain geneticist and a pain physiologist, Young and Baumbauer will bring their expertise to the four pain management courses in the certificate sequence. At the same time there are personal rewards. “I gain a lot of insight into my research by teaching others about the foundational concepts and questions related to our understanding of pain,” explained Young. “While teaching these courses may not directly require application of my research, we do cover concepts related to individualized care that incorporates genetic predisposition and susceptibility to painful conditions. The part that I am looking forward to most is working with students until they have their ‘ah ha’ moments about how the concepts we cover apply to their practice or research.” 6 Unison

In addition to the pain management certificate, UConn has been designated as one of ten Centers of Excellence in Pain Education by the National Institutes of Health Pain Consortium.

Grant News

>>> Assistant Professor Kyle Baumbauer, a pain physiologist in the Center for Advancement of Managing Pain (CAMP), received a $155,797 award from the National Institute on Neurological Disorders and Stroke for his proposal “The Functional Consequences of Spinal Cord Injury on Cutaneous Nociceptors.” This award is based on an R03 grant application submitted in June 2015 with Dr. Erin E. Young, assistant professor and CAMP pain geneticist, as co-investigator. The goal of the two-year study is to target specific sensory neurons for both scientific study and for the eventual development of therapeutic interventions.

Nursing responds to the


he data are staggering. According to Connecticut’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, 415 people died of heroin overdoses in 2015. Connecticut’s Senator Richard Blumenthal has called the opiate and heroin crisis a “public health hurricane.”

Opiate Crisis In her work with incarcerated citizens, Maruca observes that “mental illness is disproportionately represented in corrections where an increasing number of persons with mental illness, including those who have co-occurring substance abuse disorders, have come into contact with the criminal justice system over the past decade.” Well over half of inmates in state prisons and local jails have mental health problems.

Pictured above Professor Annette Maruca with senior students (from left) Leah Buress, Elayna Lindblom, Hawlatou Bah and Disha Changela.

“Biochemical and neuroanatomical brain alterations occur with chronic substance use and influence a person’s vulnerability to addiction,” Maruca explained. “Unlike the common belief that a person can ‘just stop using,’ research has shown that chronic use causes changes in the brain reinforcing the need for the substance.”

Mental health nurse Dr. Annette Maruca, assistant clinical professor and an associate in the School of Nursing’s Center for Correctional Health Networks, knows this reality from her practice. “Substance use disorders and mental illnesses are linked and share both risk factors and protective factors,” she explained. “Up to half of persons with a serious mental illness will develop a substance use disorder at some point in their lives.”

There is hope, however. “A community evidence-based intervention is Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT),” Maruca said. “Combining SBIRT with on-site medication-assisted treatments could become a routine practice in hospital settings to help address the opioid epidemic and prevent overdose deaths.”

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The adoption of the electronic health record isn’t the end goal. The focus is, how do we improve the care that we deliver by using these systems.

— Minakshi Tikoo, Center for Quantitative Medicine


he nursing profession is justly proud of its ethos of caring and holistic healing. However, nursing is also built on a foundation of careful attention to documenting and analyzing statistical information about a patient or patient population. Florence Nightingale was, after all, the first female Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society and an honorary member of the American Statistical Association.

Minakshi Tikoo

Accordingly, Dr. Minakshi Tikoo, professor in residence and director of health information technology, has been appointed to the School of Nursing to assist in biomedical informatics curriculum development and delivery for nursing students. She is also director of business intelligence and shared analytics for the Connecticut Department of Social Services. Prior to her appointment here, she was assistant professor in UConn Health’s department of community medicine and health care. 8 Unison

“Nurses have a unique perspective in the delivery of care,” Tikoo explained. “And are usually very close to the patients but also the family and caregivers. I think this will result in potential collaboration to submit grants with a unique focus.” Tikoo’s profoundly interdisciplinary work has a foundation in her equally interdisciplinary academic background, including graduate degrees in education, family therapy, and human ecology, as well as biomedical informatics. Regarding her research agenda Tikoo explained, “My area of research is somewhat new in its focus on applied informatics and state policy. I study the impact of health information technology implementations on health outcomes.” Interprofessional collaboration is one benefit of this joint appointment. “I collaborate with locally based health care organizations and many state-agency partners,” Tikoo explained. “I also collaborate with colleagues from the Center on Aging.” “I think it would be important to underscore that the technologies in health information technology are in their infancy,” Tikoo reminded us. “And there is going to be a tremendous amount of change and innovation that we will see in this area in the next decade.”

CCNE Accreditation



The UConn School of Nursing was recently awarded re-accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) following a rigorous yearlong self-study process and onsite evaluation and assessment of the school’s curriculum. “Earning the CCNE re-accreditation is a testimony to the diligence and professionalism of our faculty and staff,” said Dr. Regina Cusson, dean of the School of Nursing. “Their commitment to continuous quality improvement of our programs is validated in this external peer review. I congratulate our faculty, staff, mentors and students for influencing the positive outcome of this evaluation.” The CCNE re-accreditation includes the baccalaureate and master’s programs for a ten-year term. Last year the DNP and post-master’s programs received initial accreditation for a five-year term, the maximum awarded for the first accreditation review.

Top 5 Graduate Nursing Programs in New England

The UConn School of Nursing is now ranked in the top 5 of graduate nursing programs in New England and top 10% nationally by U.S. News & World Report in its 2016 edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools.” “This is an amazing accomplishment in a very short period of time and all due to the excellence of our faculty, staff, students, community partners and alumni at the University of Connecticut’s School of Nursing,” said Dean Regina M. Cusson. “As a dean, I couldn’t be more proud.” The U.S. News & World Report “America’s Best Graduate Schools” rankings are calculated annually for nursing schools’ graduate programs. Ranking data are compiled through surveys of deans, administrators, and faculty from schools of nursing that are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission. For this year’s ranking, 519 nursing schools with master’s or doctoral programs were surveyed.

National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence

UConn School of Nursing has been chosen to be a National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence. Recognizing the centrality of nurses to the care of older adults, since 1996 the John A. Hartford Foundation has committed over $74 million to prepare gerontology nurse researchers, educators, practitioners as well as gerontology nursing curricula. Its purpose is to “enhance and sustain the capacity and competency of nurses to provide quality care to older adults through: faculty development, advancing gerontological nursing science, facilitating adoption of best practices, fostering leadership, and designing and shaping policy.” “The UConn School of Nursing already has two nationally recognized centers of excellence – in pain management and in correction health,” said Dean Regina Cusson. “But this Hartford Foundation distinction recognizes our growing capacity in educating the next generation of nurses expert in the care of older adults.”

Check out our other accomplishments at Unison 9

Dean Regina Cusson in Taipei Medical University, Taiwan.

“For many students, this time may be the only opportunity they ever have to travel abroad,” explained Dr. Mikki Meadows-Oliver, associate clinical professor and coordinator of global nursing education programs. “Often they are leaving home for the first time, experiencing new customs, traditions, and social settings in their host countries.” “These experiences allow students to step outside their comfort zone,” Meadows-Oliver said. “They are learning within the security of our structured, supportive academic program. There are both personal and professional benefits of education abroad for the new nurse graduate. “Students create lasting relationships with fellow students while studying abroad,” Meadows-Oliver explained. “And these experiences may be attractive to employers, making our students more competitive on the job market.” Short-term education abroad experiences include a four-week nursing research course at University College Dublin during the summer between undergraduates’ sophomore and junior years.

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There are also capstone experiences in students’ final semester: an end-of-life and palliative care seminar in Ghent, Belgium, and an introduction to health systems in the People’s Republic of China, including a survey of traditional Chinese medicine in Hong Kong and Beijing.



ince the School of Nursing inaugurated the first full-semester clinical and didactic education abroad program in the United States less than a decade ago, students now have opportunities both for a full semester or for a variety of shorter education abroad experiences.




In December 2015, Dean Cusson traveled to Hong Kong to present at the 20th anniversary of the University of Hong Kong School of Nursing. While there, she also visited nursing schools in Beijing and Taiwan to begin a dialog about student and faculty exchange programs, especially a new interdisciplinary leadership and research summer intensive. She found her Asian colleagues to be very receptive to collaborative relationships with UConn School of Nursing. “Particular benefits from short-term education abroad include allowing students to experience a health care delivery system different from that in the United States,” Meadows-Oliver explained. “Students are also able to immerse themselves in a different culture even if for only a short time. They are able to experience a different way of life than what they would normally experience.”

Parti Particular benefits from short-term education abroad include allowing students to experience a health care delivery system diff erent from that fferent in the United States. — Mikki M Meadows-Oliver d

Mikki Meadows-Oliver, Nursing education and practices vary widely around the world. The scope of practice differs in different national settings. However, education abroad students learn what is common to global nursing, including holistic care to patients and families. At the same time UConn School of Nursing students provide patient and family education in their host communities. A complex and varied education abroad program is not without its challenges to administrators, faculty, and students. “Administrators and faculty have to make sure that our students are receiving an equivalent education to that of their peers on campus,” Meadows-Oliver said. “We accomplish this by sending our own School of Nursing faculty for the clinical education abroad experience in Cape Town, South Africa, and the clinical education away experience in Puerto Rico.” Careful formal agreements between the School of Nursing and University College Dublin, facilitated by the University of Connecticut’s education abroad office, give full credit for the four-week summer course there. Challenges for students include missing family and friends during a full-semester abroad, while shortterm experiences require special accomodations with faculty in didactic and clinical courses. The School of Nursing’s education abroad opportunities now include a two-and-a-half week experience in Cape Town for CEIN/BS students. Recently approved and now in the planning stages is a community health capstone experience in Cape Town to begin in the spring 2017 semester.

PhD, RN, FAAN Coordinator of Global Nursing Education Programs, Associate Clinical Professor


hile serving as an LPN in the U.S. Army Reserves, Dr. Mikki Meadows-Oliver was motivated to return to school and further her career in nursing. Leaving Yale University with an RN/ MSN and MPH, she joined UConn’s School of Nursing in pursuit of her PhD. At the time, she also had a clinical practice at Yale-New Haven Hospital where many of her patients were adolescent mothers. Recognizing their unique challenges, Dr. Meadows-Oliver focused her PhD research on the needs of adolescent mothers, particularly those in homeless shelters. Following defense of her dissertation, Dr. Meadows-Oliver joined Yale University as a clinical faculty member in their pediatric nurse practitioner program with a joint appointment in Yale-New Haven Hospital’s pediatric outpatient clinic. She was also heavily involved with their study abroad programs in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, which prepared her perfectly for UConn’s expanding education abroad opportunities. Having returned to UConn, this time as associate clinical professor, Meadows-Oliver is now the coordinator of Global Nursing Education Programs, which offers prospective nurses the knowledge and appreciation necessary to provide care for patients with a variety of cultural perspectives. Meadows-Oliver has also served as president of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, which provided her with the opportunity to grow as a leader, to network with other leaders in healthcare organizations, and to provide her with a greater appreciation for the importance of policy and regulation in healthcare profession. Unison 11

Commander Tanya Wahlberg (left) with senior nursing student Abigail Blakeman.

Army Nursing ROTC M any of the attributes of a great nurse— courage, grace under pressure, a capacity for quick, sound judgment—are also the attributes of military leaders, as exemplified by Lieutenant Colonel Tanya Wahlberg, RN, professor of military science and the new leader of UConn’s Army ROTC unit, which celebrates its onehundredth anniversary this year. “From the time I was about 14 years old I wanted to find a way to help others and the medical profession was a way for me to do that,” Wahlberg explained. “I originally thought I would get my nursing degree and after a few years go back to medical school. However, once I started my nursing practice I realized very quickly that I liked the role nurses played better than what an MD would provide. I wanted to maintain the closer relationship with my patients.” An Army ROTC scholarship was a way to pay for her nursing education at the University of San Francisco, while Wahlberg soon found that,

“I learned what it meant to be a soldier and the great service we provide to the country, but the true meaning is what we do for our fellow soldiers and officers. We truly care about the families of our soldiers and want to provide help when families are struggling.”

Wahlberg’s account resonates with that of undergraduate nursing student Abigail Blakeman, who was drawn to nursing by the opportunity to provide personal health care but who found something else in the UConn ROTC. “I immediately found a set of ‘parents away from home’ within the cadre of the rotating staff officers and noncommissioned officers who run the program,” Blakeman explained. “Accountability, teamwork, friendships, and an active lifestyle changed me into a better version of myself. The Army wants well-rounded students to become officers. I became more professional and academically driven.” >> >>

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SAVE THE DATE Commissioning Ceremony May 16, 2016

A Although the older veterans’ service was  decades ago, their recollections are vivid and inspiring. g — Miliicent Malcolm, GOT Care! Project Director

Veteran Pinning GOT Care! Serves Military Veterans When Dr. Millicent Malcolm, assistant clinical professor, was developing the grant-funded Geriatric Outreach and Training with Care (GOT Care!), she had in mind a particular population: aging military veterans whose past service and service-related health issues are not always visible. Last year, Malcolm and UConn Nursing and ROTC student Abigail Blakeman participated in a Connecticut Veterans Wartime Service Medal pinning ceremony honoring World War II Army Air Force veteran Leo Boyko. They were assisted by Malcolm’s son William Malcolm, another ROTC cadet. The ceremony took place at the Portland Care and Rehabilitation Center in Middlesex, Connecticut. The program now hosts two pinning ceremonies every academic year. “Our pinning ceremonies are above and beyond our actual grant project, but are a way we have decided to give back and recognize our older veterans. Although the older veterans’ service was decades ago, their recollections are vivid and inspiring.  It is not only rewarding to see

the beaming faces of the veterans recognized, but also a wonderful way to connect the new emerging service people to those who went before them, enhancing the connection of military service between these generations,” said Malcolm.      Led by nurses, GOT Care! provides interprofessional education to undergraduate and graduate students in health fields in the care of vulnerable older persons. This program also advances care for military veterans, by including education and practice in targeted assessments. GOT Care! practice is informed in part by the American Academy of Nursing’s Have You Ever Served in the Military? initiative, which urges healthcare practitioners to ask that simple question of patients. ### For additional more information on our GOTCare! Program visit:

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CEIN Program

Pictured above (from left) Dean Regina Cusson

From left: CEINChristine /BS student Harry with and alumna Meehan ‘74Falcigno, with seniors in the nursing leadership class. and CEIN/BS Director Nancy Manister, CEIN/BS students Michelle Hogan and Greg Orfitelli.

Soaring Popularity

“From tiny acorns mighty oaks do grow,” according to the popular proverb, and a decade after its inception CEIN/BS (originally called Master’s Entry into Nursing or MEIN) has grown from one site in Storrs to four, including Waterbury, Stamford, and Avery Point. Designed as an eleven-month intensive didactic and clinical program for students who had already earned bachelor’s degrees and who had met the science prerequisites, MEIN admitted many older adults who were undergoing career transitions. The program also facilitated entry into UConn Nursing’s master’s programs. Upon completion of the program students qualified to sit for the NCLEX exam. Several years into the program, however, the School of Nursing’s administration discovered that some healthcare institutions required bachelor’s degrees in nursing. Fortunately, strategic thinking with the UConn administration resulted in the awarding of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing upon completion of the program. CEIN/BS was reborn.

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Employers value the high standards of our program and recognize our students as being very professional. — Director Nancy Manister

The demographics of students today have also changed. As CEIN/BS Director Dr. Nancy Manister observed, “More and more we are attracting students who are younger, and some are coming right from their undergraduate programs. Our current class ranges in age from 21 to over 55 years, with more than half in their midtwenties. A quarter of our students are male, reflecting a nationwide trend of males entering the nursing workforce.” Those who are in the midst of career transitions bring special gifts to the program. “For students coming right from a baccalaureate program, some changed from a health related career trajectory and others decided too late in their college career to change their major to nursing,” Manister explained. “Students with work experience bring a tremendous richness and maturity to the program and are able to share these with classmates and apply their world view when they frame patient case studies. Our program has several students with military backgrounds, and some have served in the Peace Corps.” Because the program is very demanding, admission is highly competitive. The average GPA of students is 3.4 for undergraduate classes, and 3.6 for program prerequisites. CEIN/BS graduates likewise find themselves very competitive on the job market. “We have seen an increase in the number of CEIN/BS grads gain employment by the time of graduation,” Manister explained. “By March, well over half of the December 2015 graduates had full-time positions already. Some had two and three job offers. Employers value the high standards of our program and recognize our students as being very professional.” Students at all four locations have the same quality learning experiences. “Each campus now has two fulltime faculty and a simulation laboratory for high and low fidelity simulation experiences,” Manister said. “Students spend time at the beginning of each course developing related skills in a controlled environment. Our students have a higher percentage of clinical experiences than some of our competitors, and we feel that this makes our students stronger.”

Nancy N. Manister DNS, CNS, APRN Director, School of Nursing CEIN/BS Program, Associate Clinical Professor


ew director of the School of Nursing’s CEIN/BS program Associate Clinical Professor Nancy N. Manister earned her BSN from Wagner College in New York, a master’s degree from Pace Uni-versity with research on maternal-infant health, a postmaster’s family nurse practitioner cer-tificate from Pace University, and later a DNS from City University of New York. Manister has been a nurse educator since 2004, teaching at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, New York, and later at Fairfield University. Her clinical practice began as a staff nurse in a neonatal intensive care unit and nursery, then progressed to private practice lactation consulting and a nurse clinician at Mount Sinai Hospital.  She has also had a clinical practice at Concordia College Health Office in Bronxville, acting as the assistant director of College Health Service for primary care of faculty, staff and college students, while maintaining a private practice caring for community clients. In addition to her new position at UConn, Manister is a nursing research consultant to Stamford Hospital. She recently completed the Sigma Theta Tau International - Nurse Faculty Leadership Academy, a 20-month intensive leadership development experience. Unison 15

” High Touch Meets High Tech: Healthcare Innovation Program Expands


ursing has always been a hands-on health profession. Over the past century and a half, the reach of nurses’ hands has been extended by technological innovations enabling nurses to assess, diagnose, and monitor patients’ care more quickly and effectively. Traditionally nurses have been the professional consumers of healthcare technologies and the educators of patients in their use. However, that role has begun to change in the UConn School of Nursing’s Healthcare Innovation program, which engages undergraduate students in critical thinking, problem solving, entrepreneurial initiative, and technology literacy. Three years ago, senior students in their final fall semester identified a clinical problem, worked together in teams to develop concepts, and 16 Unison

identified markets. At the annual ATHENA research day each group pitched its concepts to a panel of expert judges in a round of presentations that resembled ABC’s popular Shark Tank reality show. The initiative was conceived in a casual conversation over coffee with Dean Regina Cusson in 2011 when School of Nursing alumna Christine Meehan had come to campus to receive the School’s Carolyn Ladd Widmer Award for Leadership at the annual Reflections of Excellence event. Meehan described her own experiences in nursing and in healthcare businesses, including hospital-based practice, working for medical device and pharmaceutical companies, her own medical device startup company, and angel investing in women-owned medical companies.

Healthcare Innovations

The expansion of our healthcare are innovations to a 4 year program will not only advance student nurse urse education, education but global healthcare. healthcar — Dean Regina Cusson “We talked a great deal about how nurses are very well suited to see the opportunities for healthcare improvement but don’t know how to make those changes happen,” Meehan explained. “So we envisioned teaching nursing students the skills to take their ideas from concept to actual prototype or service reality.” The first year’s pilot demonstrated the feasibility of such an initiative and enabled the official launch and expansion of Healthcare Innovation. Last year and this, seniors and juniors met in their teams during the fall and spring semesters to identify clinical problems or deficiencies, honing their concepts and presentations during the spring term for presentation at ATHENA. Among the challenges that Meehan sees for the program’s expansion is that “you actually have to show that there is an evidence-based benefit to the change you are proposing.” The next stage of expansion is proposed for sophomores and first-year students until the theme is threaded throughout the four-year baccalaureate curriculum.

This ground-breaking program has recently turned to a collaboration with the UConn School of Engineering. “We have selected several projects from our junior class of nursing to work with the biomedical engineering and the management and engineering for manufacturing programs during the 2016-2017 academic year,” Meehan explains. Another collaboration includes the UConn Entrepreneurship and Innovation Consortium. And the School’s clinical simulation labs will also play host to a “makerspace” for technology entrepreneurship. Healthcare Innovation has been recognized with a Provost’s Grant for innovative pedagogy that will provide instructional resources to enhance the program’s effectiveness and measure its outcomes. And the UConn Foundation has created a Healthcare Innovation fund for donations to support the initiative.

Please contact our development team for additional information about supporting the Nursing Innovation Fund: Kristen E. Willis, CFRE Associate Director of Development for Health Sciences 860.486.6539

Amy Chesmer ‘94 Senior Director of Development for Health Sciences 860.486.1763

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Highlights The School of Nursing is proud to announce three undergraduates for the prestigious UConn University Scholar Program, which supports students as they design and pursue in-depth research and craft an individualized plan of study. Victoria Sylvestre (pictured left), 2016 University Scholar, will study “Type 1 Diabetes and Health Care Providers: Understanding Social Perceptions, Sigma, and Shame,” to improve working with adolescents, promoting more effective self-care and subsequently decreasing the risk of complications later in life. Her nursing faculty advisor for this project is Dr. Ruth Lucas, assistant professor. Jessica Laprise (pictured middle), 2015 University Scholar, has conducted “The Identification of Pediatric Healthcare Providers’ Knowledge and Attitudes Regarding Pain,” which will be used to evaluate educational needs and facilitate the planning for interventions to increase sensitivity and competence in caring for pediatric patients with pain. Her nursing faculty advisors for this project were Dr. Jacqueline McGrath, associate dean for research, and Dr. Cheryl Beck, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor. Shaina Forte (pictured right), 2015 University Scholar, conducted the study “A New Instrument, the Accumulated Pain/Stressor scale, Measures How Early Life Stress Alters the Gut Microbiome of Preterm Infants,” which measured the accumulated stressors that preterm infants are subjected to in the neonatal intensive care unit, investigating the gut microbiome patterns of these neonates by fecal analysis and examining the relationship of cumulative early life stress and microbiome patterns. Her nursing faculty advisors for this project were associate professors Dr. Xiaomei Cong and Dr. Deborah Dillon McDonald, both members of the Center for Advancement of Managing Pain. View more about our Scholar Program:

Nursing Student’s Op-Ed Featured in Media UConn nursing senior Cassandra Arpin’s op-ed essay “We Underestimate Deadly Eating Disorders” was published in the Hartford Courant. Composed for her writing section of NURS 3715W Nursing Leadership last fall, Arpin’s essay focuses on how society underestimates eating disorders, which actually have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Arpin’s professor in the writing discussion section, Assistant Clinical Professor Lisa-Marie Griffiths, encouraged her to seek publication. What Arpin found most surprising through her search of the research literature was that “only 1 in 10 individuals with an eating disorder will receive some type of treatment. Of these individuals, only 30% will receive treatment at a center that specializes in eating disorders.” Arpin also wrote, “I think this is because our society just does not understand the severity of eating disorders. [Eating disorders are] complicated because they have both physical and mental components that need to be treated. Most people only view these illnesses as a physical issue, which is something that needs to change. You cannot simply restore the weight of an anorexic patient and expect him or her to be cured. It’s much more than that.”  Arpin hopes to pursue a career as a mental health nurse in the future, and would like to focus on eating disorders one day. “People struggling with mental illness usually have difficulty advocating for themselves,” Arpin explains. “And I feel as though I have the ability to empathize with my patients and be the voice that they need to help them recover.” She says, “I am able to see the strength and resilience in each of my patients, and I look forward to the day that the rest of society is able to do the same.“ 18 Unison


Nurses show Stethescopes #nursesUnite

Controversy erupted in September 2015, when co-hosts on ABC’s women’s talk show The View were discussing the Miss America pageant. Miss Colorado, nurse Kelley Johnson, had appeared in nursing scrubs with a stethoscope around her neck for the talent portion where she discussed her profession. Co-host Joy Behar asked, “Why does she have a doctor’s stethoscope on?” This sparked a movement across social media sites. Nurses came together to discuss this issue around their profession not being taken seriously, to voice their nursing pride, and to show that nurses also use stethoscopes. The Facebook group, Show Me Your Stethoscope, now has over 700,000 members.

UConn School of Nursing students joined in the public education campaign, including Taylor Bomely and Lacey Mantovani (pictured here with other SON students) quoted below:

“Together we rallied nursing students, ranging from first year to senior students, nursing faculty members, and the dean to show our support for the #NursesShowYourStethoscope movement occurring in light of the comments made about nursing on The View.” “Students came together in either scrubs and stethoscopes or a nursing lab uniform, or for the underclassmen who do not yet have uniforms, just anything they have that represents UConn nursing. After all, nursing is all about advocating not only for our patients, but for each other as well, and we are so proud to be part of such an incredible movement. We are in school for years being taught to be proficient in the art and science of nursing. All nurses and nursing students are in it together, and that’s the beauty of this profession: teamwork.”

Share Award

Samantha Poveda has received a 2016 Social Science, Humanities, and Arts Research Experience (SHARE) award for her project entitled “The Influence of Comfort Measures on the Infant’s Microbiota in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). “ Poveda worked with her faculty mentor, Dr. Xiaomei Cong, associate professor and a member of the Center for Advancement of Managing Pain, for 10 hours per week during the spring semester on a faculty project. The UConn SHARE program supports undergraduate research apprenticeships that give students the opportunity to develop research skills and explore research interests early in their college careers. Unison 13 19 Unison


Meet our Directors New w DNP Program Director Dr. Joy Elwell, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, CNE, FAANP associate clinical professor, is the newly appointed director of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program. Elwell has been on our faculty since 2013. Prior to that, she was a faculty member at the Frontier Nursing University, and held previous faculty positions at Concordia College, Pace University and the College of Mount Saint Vincent. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and has maintained a private clinical practice for many years with expertise in travel health. She is well-known for her policy expertise and brings a strong national leadership background to the role as DNP director.

> > > >

Nancy Manister, DNS, CNS, APRN Associate Clinical Professor, Director of CEIN/BS Program - p. 15 Mikki Meadows-Oliver, PhD, RN, FAAN Associate Clinical Professor, Coordinator of Global Nursing Education - p. 11 Angela Starkweather, PhD, RN, ACNP-BC, CNRN, FAAN Professor, Director of Center for Advancement in Managing Pain - p. 5 Minakshi Tikoo, PhD, MBI, MS, MSc Professor in Residence, Director of Health Information Technology - p. 8

New Faculty Appointments Melissa Rembish, MS, assistant clinical professor for CEIN/BS Stamford and Waterbury campuses, earned her BS in ‘96 and her MS in ‘01 from UConn School of Nursing with a concentration in nursing administration. She has served as an adjunct faculty member and clinical instructor for UConn since 2008. Rembish was employed at the Hospital of Central Connecticut for over 20 years in multiple leadership positions in both management and education. She is certified in Nursing Professional Development and has participated in many statewide partnerships promoting collaboration among multiple organizations within the state.

Carol Ann Wetmore, MSN, RN, CEIN/BS assistant clinical professor for Stamford and Waterbury campuses. Carol completed her master’s degree in nursing from Yale University School of Nursing in 1994 with her specialty in nursing systems and policy, and a BS both in nursing from UConn School of Nursing and in management from UConn School of Business in 1982. She has been a clinical instructor and preceptor since fall of 1994. She has held a number of leadership positions both in clinical practice as well as private industry and is currently the owner and founder of the geriatric care organization Shoreline Seniors L.L.C. in Stratford, CT. Her clinical and research interests include resource utilization and student learning environments.

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Teaching Today >>> with


<<< Past

Dr. Thomas Lawrence Long, associate professor in residence in the School of Nursing, attributes to his parents his introduction to historical study. “When I was growing up, my family didn’t have much disposable income and my father was earning a bachelor’s degree part time throughout the year,” Long explains. “So we took short vacations over long weekends to places like Yorktown and Williamsburg.” This year he has been appointed interim curator of the Dolan Collection of Nursing History and teaches the senior course Nursing’s Past as Prologue, where he has assigned each student an artifact or document that they will study to write up blog articles to be posted weekly in 2016 and 2017. His aim is to make the Dolan Collection more visible and accessible, including showing how it can be used in other nursing courses. He has recently published “The Midwife’s Calling: Martha Ballard’s Diary and the Empire of Medical Knowledge in the Early Republic,” and his previously published “Nurses and Nursing in Literary and Cultural Studies” is about to be republished in a volume for the Routledge Press series, Major Themes in Health and Social Welfare. To learn more, visit:

Distinguished Professor Dr. Cheryl Beck Introduces Doctoral Students to Historical Methods Each fall term, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor Cheryl Tatano Beck, a world-renowned qualitative and mixed-methods researcher, introduces UConn School of Nursing Ph.D. students to historic archives and documents in her qualitative methods course. Preparing her students in advance with a discussion of alumna Mary Ann Cordeau‘s 2000 doctoral comprehensive examination paper “The Water-Cure Experiences of the Wolcott Family,” Beck arranges for a tour of the UConn Archives and Special Collections with Betsy Pittman, University Archivist and the archivist for nursing history collections. Archivist Pittman explains, “The materials in the Dolan Collection pertaining to Civil War nursing are the most frequently requested nursing materials we hold.” And she also reminds us that this “collection also complements our ongoing interest in documenting the experiences of nurses during times of war or military nurses, particularly those with an association to the University of Connecticut or Connecticut in general.” Unison 21


Online Neonatal Program UConn School of Nursing now offers an online neonatal nursing master’s degree program, developed by Associate Clinical Professor Dr. Sandra Bellini. This is a 44-credit online part-time or full-time program for a degree preparing nurses as neonatal nurse practitioners (NNP). This program is taught by UConn School of Nursing faculty who are experienced neonatal practitioners actively working in the field, like Bellini. Coursework is on line with three on-campus visits required throughout the program. NNP graduates are eligible to take the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner exam given by the National Certification Corporation for the Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Specialties. NCNS graduates are eligible to sit for the Neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist exam given by AACN Certification Corporation. For more information on the program visit:

Community Health Projects Dr. Juliette Shellman, associate professor, has received a $10,000 award from the John A. Hartford Foundation for Hartford Change AGEnts to Improve Mental Health Care in the Community. The goal of her project is to train and evaluate the delivery capacity of older adults to implement Peer Reminiscence Intervention for Minority Elders (PRIME).  PRIME is based on integrative reminiscence, which has been shown to be an effective method to decrease depressive symptoms in older adults. Dr. Shellman’s previous studies indicated resistance to participation in mental health studies due to a mistrust of researchers.  Thus a community-based, culturally tailored peer-led reminiscence intervention was developed to address the mental health disparities that exist for older Black adults. Results from this work will inform the next step of the reminiscence research program to test PRIME in a randomized controlled trial study.  To contact Dr. Shellman on her community research, email or visit:

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Scholarship FACULTY Child and Parent Health PublicaƟons Fava, E., Hull, R., Baumbauer, K. M., & (Abou) Samra, H., Dutcher, J., McGrath, J. M., Foster, M., Klein, L., Djira, G., Hansen, J. & Wallenburg, D. (2015). The effect of a skin-to-skin holding on NICU stress in mothers of late preterm infants: A randomized controlled trial. Advances in Neonatal Care, 15(5), 354-364. doi:10.1097/ ANC.0000000000000223 (Abou) Samara, H., McGrath, J. M., Fischer, S., Schumacher, B., & Hanson, J. (2015). The NICU parent risk evalua on and engagement model and instrument (PREEMI for neonates in intensive care units. Journal of Obstetrical, Gynecological and Neonatal Nursing, 44(1), 114-126. doi:10.1111/1552-6909.12535. Beck, C. T. (2015). Middle range theory of trauma c childbirth: The ever–widening ripple effect. Global Qualita ve Nursing Research, 2, 1-13, doi:10.1177/2333393615575313 Beck, C. T. (2015). Postpartum mood and anxiety disorders: Case studies, research, and nursing care. Washington, DC: Associa on of Women’s Health, Obstetrics, and Neonatal Nursing. Beck, C. T., LoGiudice, J. & Gable, R. K. (2015). Shaken belief in the birth process: A mixed methods study of secondary trauma c stress in cer fied nurse-midwives. Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health. 60, 16-23. Braga, M. S., Kabbur, P., Alur, P., Goodstein, M. H., Roberts, K. D., Satrom, K., Shivananda, S., Goswami, I., Pappagallo, M., Briere, C. E. & Suresh, G. (2015). Current prac ce of neonatal resuscita on documenta on in North America: A mul -center retrospec ve review. BMC Pediatrics, 15, 184. doi:10.1186/s12887-015-0503-8 Briere, C. E. (2015). Breas ed or bo le-fed: Who goes home sooner? Advances in Neonatal Care, 15(1), 65-69. Briere, C. E., Lucas, R., McGrath, J. M., Lussier, M. & Brownell, E. (2015). Establishing breas eeding with late preterm infants in the NICU. Journal of Obstetrical, Gynecological and Neonatal Nursing, 44(1), 102-113. doi:10.1111/1552-6909.12536 Briere, C. E., McGrath, J. M., Cong, X., Brownell, E., & Cusson, R. (2015). Direct-breas eeding premature infants in the neonatal intensive care unit. Journal of Human Lacta on, 31(3), 386-392. doi:10.1177/0890334415581798 Cartagena, D., McGrath, J. M., & Masho, S. W. (2015). Differences in modifiable feeding factors by overweight status in La no infants. Applied Nursing Research. (epub ahead of print) doi:h p://dx.doi. org/10.1016/j.apnr.2015.09.005 Cartagena, D., Ameringer, S., McGrath, J. M., Jallo, N., Jallo, N., Masho, S. & Meyers, B. J. (2015). Factors contribu ng to infant overfeeding in lowincome immigrant Hispanic mothers. Applied Nursing Research, 28(4), 316-321.

>>> Casavant, S. G., McGrath J. M., Burke, G., & Briere, C. E. (2015). Caregiving factors affec ng breas eeding dura on within a neonatal intensive care unit. Advances in Neonatal Care, 15(6), 421–428. Cong, X. (2015). Heel s ck test for obtaining blood samples in neonates: Both swaddling and heel warming may help, but heel warming appears to provide greater pain reduc on. Evidence Based Nursing. (epub ahead of print) doi:10.1136/eb-2014102048. Cong, X., Henderson, W. A., Graf, J., & McGrath, J. M. (2015). Early life experience and gut microbiome: The brain-gut-microbiota signaling system. Advances in Neonatal Care, 15, 314-323. doi:10.1097/ ANC.0000000000000191 Cong, X., Ludington-Hoe, S. M., Hussain, N., Cusson, R. M., Walsh, S., Vazquez, V. Briere, C. E., & ViƩner, D. (2015). Parental oxytocin responses during skinto-skin contact in pre-term infants. Early Human Development, 91(7), 401-406. doi:10.1016/j. earlhumdev.2015.04.012 D’Agata, A. L., McGrath, J. M., & Young, E. (2015). Gene c varia on and premature infant stress in the NICU. Advances in Neonatal Care, 15(3), E6-7. doi:10.1097/ANC.0000000000000184 Hardy, W., D’Agata, A., & McGrath, J. M. (2016). Iden fica on of the infant at risk. In S. Ma eson, & J. E. Smith (Eds.), Core Curriculum for Maternal Child Nursing (5th ed., pp. 363-416). St Louis, MO: Elsevier, Saunders. Judge, M. P., Chang, L., & Lammi-Keefe, C. J. (2015). Evidence of developmental con nuity from birth to one year: Sleep, temperament, problem-solving, and recogni on memory. Advances in Neonatal Care, 15(2), 125-133. Kanhadilok, S., & McGrath, J. M. (2015). An integra ve review of breas eeding influencing factors in adolescent mothers. Journal of Perinatal Educa on, 24(2), 119-127. Lucas, R. (2015). Rela onship between maternal body mass index and infant breas eeding behaviors on exclusive direct breas eeding. Journal of Gynecological, Obstetrical and Neonatal Nursing, 44(6), 772-783. doi:10.1111/1552-6909.12755. Lucas, R., Judge, M., Sajdlowska, J., Cong, X., McGrath, J. M., & Brandon, D. (2015). Effects of maternal body mass index on infant breas eeding behaviors and exclusive direct breas eeding. Journal of Obstetrical, Gynecological and Neonatal Nursing, 44(6), 772-783. doi:10.1111/15526909.12755 Lucas, R. L., McGrath, J. M., & Brandon, D. (2015). Do preterm infant breas eeding behaviors impact exclusive breas eeding at 4 weeks a er discharge? Advances in Neonatal Care, 15(3), E10-11. doi:10.1097/ANC.0000000000000180. McGrath, J. M., Diallo, A. F., Paque e, R. J., & Samra, H. A. (2015). Integra on of developmentally suppor ve and family centered care interven ons during the golden hour. In R. Bissinger (Ed.), Golden hour: The handbook for care of the very low birth weight infant (pp. 315-324). New York, NY: Springer.

McGrath, J. M., & ViƩner, D. (2015). Behavioral assessment. In E. Tappero, & M. E. Honeyfield (Eds.). Physical assessment of the newborn (5th ed., pp. 193-219). CA: NICU INK. Newnam, K. M., McGrath, J. M., Sayler, J., Estes, T., Jallo, N., & Bass, T. (2015). A compara ve effec veness study of con nuous posi ve airway pressure-related skin breakdown when using different nasal interfaces in the extremely low birth weight neonate. Applied Nursing Research, 28(1), 36-41. Tuthill, E. L., McGrath, J. M., Graber, M. Cusson, R. M., & Young, S. L. (2015). Breas eeding selfefficacy: A cri cal review of available instruments. Journal of Human Lacta on. (epub ahead of print) doi:10.1177/089033441559953 Vazquez, V., & Cong, X. (2015, November/ December). Maternal and paternal knowledge and percep ons regarding infant pain in the NICU. Neonatal Network, 34(6). 337-344. ViƩner, D., Casavant, S., & McGrath, J. M. (2015). A meta-ethnography: Skin to skin holding from the caregiver’s perspec ve. Advances in Neonatal Care, 15(3), 191-200. doi:10.1097/ ANC.0000000000000169 PresentaƟons Beck, C. T. (2015, November). Secondary trauma c stress: Is there a cost of caring? Invited address, 31st Annual Perinatal Progress Conference, Wheaton Franciscan Women and Infants, Milwaukee, WI. Beck, C. T. (2015, November). Trauma c childbirth: In the eye of the beholder. Invited address, 31st Annual Perinatal Progress Conference, Wheaton Franciscan Women and Infants, Milwaukee, WI. Beck, C. T. (2015, November). Failure to rescue: Chronic impact of trauma c childbirth. Invited plenary address, 2nd Biennial Perinatal Mental Health Conference, Chicago. Beck, C. T. (2015, October). Trauma c childbirth and its resul ng PTSD: The ever widening ripple effect. Invited address, GOLD Perinatal Online Conference. Beck, C. T. (2015, October). Birth trauma: In the eye of the beholder. Invited address, Northern New England Perinatal Quality Improvement Network (NNEPQIN), Lebanon, NH. Beck, C. T. (2015, October). Another scar to my soul: Secondary trauma c stress in obstetrical healthcare providers. Invited address, Northern New England Perinatal Quality Improvement Network (NNEPQIN), Lebanon, NH. Beck, C. T. (2015, June). Secondary trauma c stress: Is there a cost of caring? Invited address, American College of Nurse Midwives Annual Conven on, Washington, DC. Beck, C.T., LoGiudice, J., & Gable, R. K. (2015, June). Shaken belief in the birth process: A mixed methods study of secondary trauma c stress in cer fied nursemidwives. American College of Nurse-Midwives Annual Conven on, Washington, DC.

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Scholarship FACULTY Child and Parent Health (continued) D’Agata, A. L., McGrath, J. M., & Young, E. (2015, April). Gene c varia on and premature infant stress in the NICU. NANN Research Summit, Sco sdale, AZ. Daley, A. M., Polifroni, E. C., Beck, C. T. & Sadler, L. S. (2015, March). Treat me like a normal person! Adolescents’ expecta ons of the health care providers: A metasynthesis. Na onal Associa on of Pediatric Nurse Prac oners 36th Annual Conference on Pediatric Health Care, Las Vegas, NV. Lucas, R. L., McGrath, J. M., & Brandon, D. (2015, April). Do preterm infant breas eeding behaviors impact exclusive breas eeding at 4 weeks a er discharge. NANN Research Summit, Sco sdale, AZ. McGrath, J. M. (2015, April). Care of the neonatal brain: Everything we do ma ers. Na onal Associaon of Neonatal Therapists, Litchfield, AZ. McGrath, J. M. (2015, May). Neonatal brain care: Everything we do ma ers. Newborn Intensive Care Unit, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Phoenix, AZ.

Corrections Nursing

>>> Panosky, D., & Shelton, D. (2015). Evalua ng an adolescent behavioral program: Leadership, educaon, achievement, and development for adolescent female offenders in correc ons. Journal of Forensic Nursing, 11(3), 144-153.


Shelton, D. (2015). Health promo ng prisons in the era of mass incarcera on in the US. Archives for Psychiatric Nursing, 29(3), 194. doi:10.1016/j. apnu.2015.01.001.

Diaz, D. A., Maruca, A. T., Kuhnly, J .E., Jeffries, P. R., & Grabon, N. (2015). Crea ng caring and empathic nurses: A simulated ostomate. Clinical Simula on in Nursing, 11(12), 513-518.

Shelton, D., Reagan, L., Weiskopf, C., Panosky, D., Nicholson, M., & Diaz, D. (2015). Baseline indicators and implementa on strategies in a statewide correc onal nurse competencies program: Mid-year report. Journal for Con nuing Educa on in Nursing, 46(10) 455-461. doi:10.3928/00220124-2015.

Grant, R., Ki o, S., Sajdlowska, J., Miller, N. E., & Van Hoof, T. J. (2015). Terminology in con nuing educa on: A hybrid methodology for improving the use and repor ng in con nuing educa on. Journal of Con nuing Educa on in the Health Professions 35 (Suppl 2), S45-S50.

PresentaƟons Maruca, A. T., & Shelton, D. (2015, June). A booster interven on in a correc onal ins tu on: A pilot study. Annual INASCL Conference, Atlanta, GA. Panosky, D., & Shelton, D. (2015, October). Correconal nursing stress: A review of differences among correc onal nurses. 14th Biennial Interna onal Custody and Caring Conference, Saskatchewan, Canada.

PublicaƟons Barta, W. D., Shelton, D., Cepelak, C., & Gallagher, C. (2015). Promo ng a sustainable academic-correc onal health partnership: Lessons for systemic ac on research. Systemic Prac ce and Ac on Research, 29, 1-24. Ferszt, G. G., Miller, R. J., Hickey, J. E., Maull, F. & Crisp, K. (2015). The impact of a mindfulness based program on perceived stress, anxiety, depression, and sleep of incarcerated women. Interna onal Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 12, 11594-11607. doi:10.3390/ ijerph120911594. Kamath, J., Wakai, S., Zhang, W., Kesten, K,. Shelton, D., & Trestman, R. (2015). Adapta on of the Texas implementa on medica on algorithm for bipolar disorder in adult female offenders. Interna onal Journal of Offender Therapy and Compara ve Criminology, 57(2), 251–264. doi:10.1177/0306624X11427537 Maruca, A. T., Kuhnly, J. E., Diaz, D. A., & Jeffries, P. R. (2015). A content analysis of the simulated ostomy experience in undergraduate nurses. Nursing Educa on Perspec ves, 36(6), 287-291. doi:10.5480/15-1578 Maruca, A. T., & Shelton, D. (2015). Addressing methodological issues in correc onal health research: A case study. Journal of Forensic Nursing, 11(2), 188-120. doi:10.1097/ JFN.0000000000000071 Maruca, A. T., & Shelton, D. (2015). A booster interven on in a Connec cut correc onal ins tu on: A pilot study. Journal of Nursing & Health Sciences, 2(2), 1-9. Munger, T., Savage, T., & Panosky, D. (2015). When caring for perpetrators becomes a sentence. Journal of Correc onal Health Care, 21(4), 365-374.

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Shelton, D. (2015, October). Post-incarcera on: A new consumer movement in self-care. 14th Biennial Interna onal Custody and Caring Conference, Saskatchewan, Canada. Shelton, D., Ehret, M., Goodrich, M., Garcia, J., Filimon, A., & Kapetanovic, T. (2015, March). Health research dissemina on strategies for persons with an incarcera on experience. 8th Academic and Health Policy Conference on Correc onal Health, Boston, MA. Shelton, D., & Reagan, L. (2015, November). A study of a mul -method evalua on design: Correc onal nurse competency program. 43rd Biennial Conven on, Sigma Theta Tau Interna onal, Las Vegas, NV. Shelton, D., Reagan, L., & Panosky, D. (2015, October). The link between correc onal nurse competencies and clinical outcomes. 14th Biennial Interna onal Custody and Caring Conference, Saskatchewan, Canada. Zabin, A., Panosky, D., & Shelton, D. (2015, March). Social challenges for correc onal nurses delivering healthcare. 8th Academic and Health Policy Conference on Correc onal Health, Boston, MA.

Disease PublicaƟons Alexander, I. M. (2015). Foreword. In PDR Nurse’s Drug Handbook, 2015 Edi on. Montvale, NJ: PDR Network. Alexander, I. M. (2015). Osteoporosis: A nurse’s perspec ve. Medscape. h p:// viewar cle/837957

PublicaƟons Beck, C. T. (2016). Developing a program of research in nursing. New York, NY: Springer.

Grant, R., Sajdlowska, J. Van Hoof, T. J., & Ki o, S. (2015). The conceptualiza on and repor ng of context in North American con nuing medical educa on literature: A scoping review protocol. Journal of Con nuing Educa on in the Health Professions 35(Suppl 2), S70-S74. Judge, M., Polifroni, E. C., Maruca, A., Hobson, M., Leschak, A., & Zakewicz, H. (2015). Evalua on of students’ recep veness and response to an interprofessional learning ac vity across healthcare disciplines: An approach toward team development in healthcare. Interna onal Journal of Nursing Sciences, 2, 93-98. doi:10.1016/j.ijnss.2015.01.003. Judge, M. P., Polifroni, E. C., & Zhu, S. (2015). Influence of student a ributes on readiness for interprofessional learning across mul ple healthcare disciplines: Iden fying factors to inform educa onal development. Interna onal Journal of Nursing Sciences 2, 248-252. doi:10.1016/j. ijnss.2015.07.007 Meehan, T. P., Van Hoof, T. J., & Qazi, D. J. (2015). Process evalua on of a quality improvement project to decrease hospital readmissions from skilled nursing facili es. Journal of the American Medical Directors Associa on, 16(8), 648-653. Van Hoof, T. J., Grant, R., Sajdlowska, J., et al. (2015). Society for Academic Con nuing Medical Educa on interven on guideline series: Guideline 4, Interprofessional educa on. Journal of Con nuing Educa on in the Health Professions, 35(Suppl 2), S65-S69. Van Hoof, T. J., Grant, R., Campbell, C., et al. (2015). Society for Academic Con nuing Medical Educa on interven on guideline series: Guideline 2, Prac ce facilita on. Journal of Con nuing Educa on in the Health Professions, 35(Suppl 2), S55-S59. Van Hoof, T. J., Grant, R., Miller, N. E., et al. (2015). Society for Academic Con nuing Medical Educaon interven on guideline series: Guideline 1, Performance measurement and feedback. Journal of Con nuing Educa on in the Health Professions 35(Suppl 2), S51-S54. Van Hoof, T. J., Grant, R., Sajdlowska, J, et al. (2015). Society for Academic Con nuing Medical Educa on interven on guideline series: Guideline 3, Educa onal mee ngs. Journal of Con nuing Educa on in the Health Professions 35(Suppl 2), S60-S64.

Education (continued) Van Hoof, T. J., Harrison, L. G., Miller, N. E., Pappas, L. S., & Fischer, M. A. (2015). Standardizing the use of academic detailing to improve the quality of paent care: Results of a literature review. American Health & Drug Benefits 8(8), 414-422.

McCauley, P. (2015). Nutri onal considera ons. In T. Barkley & C. Myers (Eds). Prac ce considera ons for adult-gerontology acute care nurse prac oners (pp 1013-1022). Barkley and Associates: West Hollywood, CA.




Davis, D., Van Hoof, T. J. (2015, June). Teaching for quality (Te4Q) faculty development workshop. Invited presenta on, Associa on of American Medical Colleges Workshop, Providence, RI.

Barrere, C, & Delaney, C. (2015). Complementary and alterna ve therapies. In L. Williams & P. Hopper (Eds.) Understanding medical-surgical nursing (pp. 58-67). Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis Co.

DiLeone, C., & Dodge, M. (June, 2015). Using a rapid fire team technique to enhance team collabora on and communica on during a DML debrief. Interna onal Nursing Associa on Clinical Simula on and Learning, Atlanta, GA.


Ki o, S., Van Hoof, T. J., & Grant, R. E. (2015, January). Context and terminology in con nuing educa on: Improving the use of interven ons in quality improvement and research. 40th Alliance Annual Interna onal Conference, Grapevine, TX. McCauley, P. (November 2015). Excellence in healthcare through interprofessional educa on: Op mizing strategies for success. American Associa on of Colleges of Nurses Baccalaureate Educa on Conference, Orlando, FL. McCauley, P., Sundean, L., Ouelle , E., Bader, H., & Morse, H. (2015, November). RN academic progression: A collabora ve approach to the nurse of the future. American Associa on of Colleges of Nurses Baccalaureate Educa on Conference, Orlando, FL. Polifroni, E. C, Grim, J., Femc-Bagwell, M., & Kostalleri, E. (2015, December). Northeast and Midwest training centers. Ne er Center for Community Partnerships Conference on University Assisted Community Schools, Philadelphia, PA.

Delaney, C., Barrere, C., Robertson, S., & Zahourek, R. (2015, June). The use of simula on to instruct nursing students in stress management: Pilot testing of the NURSE interven on. American Holis c Nurses Associa on 35th Annual Conference, Branson, MO. Delaney, C., & Robertson, S. (2015, April). Use of simula on in student nurse stress management: Pilot of the NURSE interven on. Western Ins tute of Nursing Conference, Albuquerque, NM.

Pain Managment PublicaƟons An, K., Jallo, N., Menzies, V., Kinser, P., Robins, J. L., & Starkweather, A. (2015). Integra ve review of co-occurring symptoms across e ologies of chronic liver disease and implica ons for symptom management research and prac ce. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 47(4), 310-317. An, K., Salyer, J., Brown, R. E., Kao, H. S., Starkweather, A., & Shim, I. (2015). Salivary biomarkers of chronic psychosocial stress and CVD risks: A systema c review. Biological Research for Nursing. (epub ahead of print) doi:1099800415604437

Van Hoof, T. J. (2015, April). Improving con nuing educa on: Insights from quality improvement, adult learning, and health professions educa on. Invited presenta on, Medical Educa on Grand Rounds. Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY.

Baumbauer, K. M., Deberry, J.J., Adelman, P.C., Miller, R.H., Koerber, H.R., Davis, B.M., & Albers, K.M. (2015). Kera nocytes can ini ate cutaneous sensa ons. eLife. doi:10.7554/eLife.09674

Van Hoof, T. J., Grant, R. E., & Ki o, S. (2015, May). Highlights and lessons learned from the SACME Typology & Terminology Project. Invited presenta on, Society for Academic Con nuing Medical Educa on 2015 Spring Mee ng, Tampa, FL.

Baumbauer, K. M., Young, E. E., Starkweather, A. R., Guite, J. W., Russell, B.S., & Manworren, R. C. B. (2016). Managing chronic pain in special popula ons with emphasis on pediatric, geriatric, and drug abuser popula ons. Medical Clinics of North America, 100(1), 183–197.

Gerontology PublicaƟons Knecht, J. G. & Neafsey, P.J. (2015). The medica on regimen of pa ents with heart failure: The gerontologic considera ons and an cholinergic burden. Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing. (epub ahead of print) doi:10.1097/ JCN.0000000000000302

Manworren, R. C. B., Ruano, G., Young, E., St. Marie, B., & McGrath, J. M. (2015). Transla ng the human genome to manage pediatric post-opera ve pain. Journal of Pediatric Surgical Nursing, 4(1), 28-39. doi:10.1097/ JPS.000000000000000051. McDonald, D., Ambrose, M., & Morey, B. (2015). Hispanic inpa ent pain. Western Journal of Nursing Research. 37, 1479-88. doi:10.1177/0193945914540056 McDonald, D., & Barri, C. (2015). The pain management life history calendar: A pilot study. Pain Management Nursing, 16, 587-94. doi:10.1016/j.pmn.2014.11.002 McDonald, D., Souter, C., Agudelo Chan, M., & Afriyie, A. (2015). A closer look: Alterna ve pain management prac ces by heart failure pa ents with chronic pain. Heart & Lung, 44, 395-9. doi:10.1016/j.hrtlng.2015.06.001 Park, H. J., Shim, H. S., An, K., Starkweather, A., Kim, K. S., & Shim, I. (2015). IL-4 inhibits IL-1β-induced depressive-like behavior and central neurotransmi er altera ons. Mediators of Inflamma on. (epub ahead of print) doi:10.1155/2015/941413 Starkweather, A. R. (2015). Disorders of circula on within the CNS. In M. Sorenson, S. Frazier, & L. Quinn (Eds.), Pathophysiology: A case-based approach (pp. 219-232). New York, NY: Pearson. Starkweather, A. R. (2015). Disorders of the musculoskeletal system. In T. M. Caprio & J. Frizzell (Eds.), Human pathophysiology: Introductory concepts and clinical perspec ves (pp. 903-921). Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis. Starkweather, A. R. (2015). Emergency room and telephonic communica on. In C. Dahlin, P. Coyne, & B. Ferrell (Eds.), Textbook of advanced prac ce pallia ve nursing (pp. 93-118). London, UK: Oxford University Press. Starkweather, A. R. (2015). Pain. In J. Giddens (Ed.), Concepts for nursing prac ce (2nd ed, pp. 283-292). New York, NY: Elsevier.

SAVE THE DATE 75th Anniversary Gala & Reflections of Excellence Event

September 23, 2017

Lee, K. H., Turtle, J. D., Huang, Y.-J., Strain, M. M., Baumbauer, K. M., & Grau, J. W. (2015). Learning about me within the spinal cord: When does regularity ma er and what is encoded? Fron ers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 9, 274. doi:10.3389/ fnbeh.2015.00274 Linsenbardt, H. R., Cook, J. L., Young, E. E., Vichaya, E. G., Young, C. R., Reusser, N. M., Storts, R., Welsh, C. J., & Meagher, M. W. (2015). Social disrup on alters pain and cogni on in an animal model of mul ple sclerosis. Journal of Neuroimmunology, 288, 56-68.

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Scholarship FACULTY


Pain Management (continued)

Starkweather, A. R., & Young, E. E. (2015). Epigene cs in pain research and implica ons for the prac ce of pain management. Interna onal Society for Nurses in Gene cs, Pi sburgh, PA.

Starkweather, A. R., Coyne, P., Lyon, D. E., Elswick, R. K., An, K., & Sturgill, J. (2014). Decreased pain intensity, pain sensi vity and differen al expression of pain-sensi vity genes following Calmare for persistent low back pain. Research in Nursing and Health, 38(1), 29-38.

Public Health

Starkweather, A. R., Heineman, A., Storey, S., Rubia, G., Lyon, D., Greenspan, J., & Dorsey, S. G. (2015). Methods to measure peripheral and central sensi za on using quan ta ve sensory tes ng: A focus on individuals with low back pain. Applied Nursing Research, 29, 237-241.

Mar ns, D. C., Gorman, K. S., Miller, R. J., Murphy, L., Sor, S., Mar ns, J. C., & Vecchiarelli, M. L. (2015). Assessment of food intake, obesity, and health risk among the homeless in Rhode Island. Public Health Nursing, 32(5), 453-461. doi:10.1111/ phn.12180.

Wright, M. L., & Starkweather, A. R. (2015). Antenatal microbiome: Poten al contributor to fetal programming and establishment of the microbiome in offspring. Nursing Research, 64(4), 306-319.

Women’s Health

PresentaƟons Albrecht, T., McCain, N., Sturgill, J., Elswick, R. K., & Starkweather, A. R. (2015). Immunologic and cytogenic profiles, symptoms, and distress during induc on chemotherapy for adults with acute myeloid leukemia: A psychoneuroimmunology perspec ve. Interna onal Society for Nurses in Gene cs, Pi sburgh, PA Brown, R. F., Subnis, U. B., Wilson-Genderson, M., McCain, N. L., & Starkweather, A. R. (2015). A randomized trial of online expressive wri ng for stress management in post-radia on cancer survivors using psychoneuroimmunology based outcome measures. 13th Annual Interna onal Conference on Communica on in Health Care, New Orleans, LA. Starkweather, A. R. (2015). Advancing integra ve pain management. Sigma Theta Tau Interna onal Conference, San Juan, PR.


PublicaƟons Alexander, I. M. (2015). Abnormal uterine bleeding. In H. Carcio & M. Secor (Eds.), Advanced Health Assessment of Women (3rd ed., pp. 265 – 274). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Co. Alexander, I. M. (2015). The mature woman. In M. Brucker & T. King (Eds.), Pharmacology for Women’s Health (2nd ed.) Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartle . Giebink, C. B., & Alexander, I. M. (2015). Managing female sexual dysfunc on. Women’s Health Care, 3(1), 41-48.

Perry, M., Judge, M. P., Millar, D., & McDonald, D. (2015). An exploratory pilot of factors associated with premenstrual syndrome in minority women. Interna onal Journal of Nursing Sciences, 2(2), 118–122. doi:10.1016/j.ijnss.2015.04.008.

PresentaƟons at the 2015 Eastern Nursing Research Society’s 27th Annual ScienƟfic Sessions, Washington, DC Kuzoian, C., Judge, M. P., & Delaney, C. (2015, April). Cer fied nurse midwives’ a tudes, knowledge, and prescribing prac ces of evidencebased recommenda ons for omega-3 intake in the obstetric popula on. Kuhnly, J. E., Diaz, D. A., & Maruca, A. T. (2015, April). Use of an experien al simula on assignment to improve undergraduate nursing students’ empathic and caring behaviors. PerfeƩo, L. (2015, April). The experience of registered nurses returning to school for the baccalaureate: A metasynthesis. Shelton, D., & Zucker, D. (2015, April). Nursing science, evidence and policy: Advancing nursing research in violence.

View addiƟonal faculty scholarship on our website via our CNS NewsleƩer.

Lang, K., Alexander, I. M., Simon, J., Sussman, M., Lin, I., Menzin, J., Friendman, M., Dutwin, D., Bushmakin, A. G., Thri -Perry, M., Altomare, C., & Hsu, M-A. (2015). The impact of mul morbidity on quality of life among midlife women: Findings from a U.S. na onally-representa ve survey. Journal of Women’s Health, 24(5), 374-383. doi:10.1089/ jwh.2014.4907.

Join our Faculty Team about-the-school/open-positions

26 Unison


Dorine Nagy Service to UConn, Commitment to Family


dmissions and Recruitment Coordinator Dorine Nagy in the UConn School of Nursing’s admissions and enrollment office is often the first point of contact between potential students and the School. She brings to that role years of experience at UConn, where she began work in 1979 as an administrative assistant to faculty in the School of Agriculture after having raised a family. Retiring the first time in 2007 after 28 years, Nagy soon found herself recruited by the School of Nursing. “I told my husband Tom ‘I really don’t want to go, and they probably wouldn’t hire me anyway,’” she explained. However, she was hired and worked as a temporary staff member until a permanent employee was hired, whom Nagy trained. After a second retirement, she was called back again: “I love my job. I love meeting with students, doing

events and being very busy. People ask me when I will retire again. I say I don’t know; this job keeps me busy and alive and always young.” Home and family are indispensable to Nagy’s life, for as she explained, “I am very family oriented and love to bake and cook. I also love gardening and working in my yard, I prefer that to working inside my house. My husband and I work on many projects around our house together – we are a team.” That teamwork extends both to their Greek Revival house, where they have lived for 50 years, and to her husband’s antiques business. “Our home is the family homestead where everyone comes to gather,” she explained. “The business is really my husband’s passion which I share in when I can. He has loved antiques since he was a boy. The antiques business is a hobby for us and we have made lots of wonderful friends in the business. ”

Photography Contest Winner Megan Ryan UConn School of Nursing held its 3rd Student Photography Contest Megan Ryan shot this winning photograph of senior nursing student Ellie Taber with children at the Pimville Boys and Girls Club in Johannesburg, South Africa on October 20th, 2015 Read more about our winning photographs at:

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Dear Alumni, I am very grateful for the School of Nursing’s long history of active engagement in Alumni Relations. My fourth son will graduate from UConn this spring, and while each son has had a unique and wonderful journey at our state’s flagship university, I am biased to my own experience and the comradery of UConn nurses.

Being a nursing supervisor at UConn Health, I see the UConn School of Nursing pin worn proudly, and it always gives me a bit of a lift. Our fellow health care professionals know our pin is more than a permanent emblem of our Husky pride, they also know it unites us through our advocacy and professionalism. UConn nurses make a difference in so many ways--caring at the bedside, presenting at an international forum, leading scientific discoveries, and shaping health care policy! Recently, I was compelled to write to our state legislators about an issue which affected one of our patients. In a short 10 weeks, it went from a letter typed at my kitchen table to a written bill and public hearing at which I testified. I was incredibly gratified by the experience because legislators heard our collective concerns. As we wait to hear whether or not our proposed bill passes the entire House and becomes law, I assure you that I will continue to advocate for patients and encourage others to be the empowered voice on an issue that should not be overlooked. This is part of being a nurse and helping to improve the health of our patients, our region, and our country. Nursing touches every aspect of our lives! From the hours together in class studying, to the hours away from our families working, worrying and caring for others, we share the demanding path of a nursing career. We can also celebrate together because UConn nursing is there for all of us. The alumni volunteer board and I look forward to sustaining our deep relationship with UConn, and we hope you consider getting involved, too. Please join us as you are able--attend Huskies Forever Weekend (10/21-10/23), share your nursing story, bring a classmate to campus, or encourage a new grad. You will be glad you did! Yours sincerely, Jane Presnick Lyon ’78 (NURS-Honors) President, School of Nursing Alumni & Friends Society

Join us ... Huskies Forever Homecoming Weekend Celebration 2016 Friday Oct. 21 - Sunday Oct. 23, 2016 Reconnect with former classmates, run/walk a 5K, attend our Homecoming Football game, or visit the Dairy Bar. There’s something for everyone during Huskies Forever Weekend.

28 Unison


In Action


My time at UConn taught me how to go after what I want in life and my career. — Marisa Jo Merliss ’99

ew York City alumna Marisa Jo Merliss ’99 (NURS) is a true Renaissance woman: She’s a dancer and batontwirler who has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and several off-Broadway shows in New York and across the United States. She has been a fitness model for Women’s Health Magazine, Runner’s World, BeachBody, and Reebok. She hosts workout videos and blogs about wellness. Oh, and she’s a nurse at New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Hospital. 

As a graduate of the University of Connecticut with a major in nursing and minor in dance, she is a little obsessed with keeping up on new science and the latest developments in exercise physiology. From her experience as a NICU nurse at New York Presbyterian Cornell Hospital, she has a huge heart for pre/post natal fitness/wellness and empowering new moms to stay healthy and in motion through (and after) their pregnancies. “I’m pretty sure I’m still the only baton-twirler/dancer/fitness model/pediatric RN and fitness professional to graduate from Storrs,” she says, noting that the myriad opportunities available at UConn helped her take a huge bite of the Big Apple after her graduation. “My time at UConn taught me how to go after what I want in life and my career. There were so many opportunities available, and I learned to go passionately after my dreams—even if no one had paved that path before me.” Marisa also went on a trip to Jordan and the Philippines to work as a nurse with Operation Smile.  You can learn more about Marisa—and her health and wellness services—on her website []


enjamin Loveland ‘06 (NUR) is an emergency department RN at MidState Medical Center and founder of Scrubs and Stuff LLC, a company that specializes in health care references and products. At 14 years old Ben started on a volunteer ambulance and continued through high school and college working on paid ambulance services. In his first position as an RN at Waterbury Hospital he worked clinically in the emergency department as well as in administration. As a new graduate, Ben found that many pocket guides, references and books seemed to lack a customized, personalized touch; plus, they were often too cumbersome for a healthcare professional to utilize comfortably. Being an innovator, Ben launched Scrubs and Stuff LLC in 2009 with a goal to make practical products for the healthcare professional. His quick reference cards are very popular! Ben enjoys connecting with students and UConn nurses, he says, “customer feedback is positive, everyone appreciates the smaller, content-specific references.”

Visit: Scrubs and Stuff LLC online for accessories and everything a nurse needs to keep ID and reference material at their fingertips. Web: Facebook: Unison 29


from Reality The Postcards from Reality event is a networking dinner with nursing alumni sharing their humorous, humbling and triumphant “new grad” stories with the next graduating class. These anecdotes help our soon-to-be nurses adjust to life after UConn while giving alums a chance to reminisce.

Kate Dixon ’08 (CLAS), ’13 (NUR) works at the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta team as a project consultant, an advisor to the IT leadership team helping to empower practitioners to achieve patient centered care by integrating nursing with management of information and communication technologies. Kate’s advice for new grads is to celebrate the small victories (those IV and caths) and remember that learning is constant. Kate says, “there are a ton of opportunities for nurses, but it is important to step back once and a while and realize how much you have learned. And also, know that it is OK to laugh at yourself; you can’t be perfect every day.” Diana Filipek Oberg ‘12 (NUR) a former UConn crew athlete from New Jersey is a new member of the Alumni & Friends Board of Volunteers. As a featured speaker and discussion group host, at the Class of 2016 Postcards from Reality event, Diana spoke about her first job at the Universityof Pennsylvania Health System, completing a MSN in acute care (adult –gero) from UPenn in 2015, and offered lessons learned, survival tips, and the suggestion of grad school. Diana is currently a trauma nurse practitioner at Cooper Medical Center in Camden, NJ; her first publication in the Med-Surg Nursing Journal is scheduled for press in summer 2017. She and husband Scott M. Oberg ’13 (CLAS), a professional baseball pitcher for the Colorado Rockies, enjoy the flexibility of her weekend NP schedule. Jerrol Mitchell ’14 (NUR) is loving life in Austin, TX. After graduation he began work on a medical/surgical telemetry unit at South Austin Medical Center. When not at the bedside with patients, he may be night shift supervisor or charge nurse. His advice for new grads, “you will have to learn to manage your time very effectively or run the risk of burning out. Med-surg is a hard specialty, with lots of opportunity to hone core nursing skills, care for a very diverse patient population, and deliver patient education. It requires me to act swiftly, confidently, and know that I’ve been trained for that very moment.” Having many interests helps maintain work/life balance; Jerrol enjoys photography, music, writing, and travel, watching the UConn Huskies, staying in touch with classmates and his Cape Town study abroad cohort.


What have YOU been up to?

Did you receive an honor or award? Get a new job? Travel the world? Change a life?

>>> 30 Unison

Share your success story




Cap on: Maria Tacke (le ) introducing Nancy Miner (right), Widmer Award recipient.

Recognized for her expertise and leadership in the often invisible wounds of mental illness, Nancy Miner (’73, ’78 NURS), received the 2015 Carolyn Ladd Widmer Award for Leadership in Nursing.


hile there are several roles and initiatives that demonstrate Nancy Miner’s exemplary leadership, one in particular, spans the length of her career and has transformed nursing practice in Connecticut. By the late 1970s Miner had become the chairperson for the Psychiatric Committee of the Connecticut Nurses Association. Together with a small group of visionary colleagues, they led the way to achieve third-party reimbursement for nurse psychotherapists. Over the ensuing years, these efforts continued resulting in the development of legislation that recognized the evolving role of nurse practitioners. In collaboration with other forward thinking colleagues, leaders like Miner celebrated as 35 years later their efforts culminated in achieving independent practice for advanced practice nurses in Connecticut. As board certified advanced practice psychiatric nurse Nancy Miner has held various positions throughout her career, from director of nursing, to faculty member and consultant. Always passionate about helping to mitigate the long-lasting effects of emotional stressors, Miner’s leadership skills have most recently aided mental health programs in the Veterans Administration and TRICARE (the health care program for 9.5 million beneficiaries worldwide

including active duty military members, National Guard and Reserve members, military retirees, their families and survivors). From classmates to faculty at UConn, Miner and Maria Tackett (’72, ’94 NURS) remain dear friends, active participants, and steady supporters of our School. As a veteran, Tackett knows from firsthand experience in Iraq, that the wars have exacted a devastating toll on the bodies and minds of military personnel and their families. At the Reflections of Excellence Awards Ceremony, Tackett presented Miner’s career accomplishments and said, “I am grateful to Nancy Miner and others like her, for their expertise in treating the unrelenting and often unforgiving nature of injuries that have been both physical and emotional.” For her expertise and leadership in the often invisible wounds of mental illness, Miner remains our inspiration. To honor Miner’s legacy in nursing, a new scholarship to benefit nursing scholars was established by her mother, Margaret Johnston; contributions may be directed to the “Nancy G. M. Miner, APRN, Endowed Nursing Scholarship.” Always generous and humble, Miner said, “My work has been such a privilege, and it is with the deepest gratitude that I say this award and my successes truly belong to my family, my school of nursing faculty, my school of nursing colleagues and classmates, my friends, my students, my staff and my patients who taught me everything I know.” Unison 31

UConn Alumni honored during Reflections of Excellence 2015



Alumni awardees from our 74rd Anniversary Reflections of Excellence event (from left): Jane Boggini, Denise Walsh, Edna Johnson, Nancy G. M. Miner, and Yu Ling Lai.

Jane Boggini ‘62, RN Field Nurse Médecins Sans Frontières Eleanor K. Gill Clinical Award

Denise Walsh ‘10, PhD, RN Associate Dean & Director of Graduate Nursing Program Molloy College Beverly Koerner Education Award

Yu Ling Lai ‘88, MS, CCRC Associate Director Novartis Pharmaceutical Corp. Marlene Kramer Research Award

Nancy G. M. Miner ‘73, ‘78, APRN Community Health Resources Carolyn Ladd Widmer Leadership Award

Edna Johnson, PhD, RNC Humanitarian & Assistant Professor Emerita UConn School of Nursing Josephine A. Dolan Service Award

Thank You

32 Unison

The UConn School of Nursing would like to express its gratitude to alumni, friends, and families who contributed donations during the 2015-2016 fiscal year. We truly appreciate your commitment and dedication to the School of Nursing. With your assistance, we continue to expand our programs and enrollment, unleashing our potential. We hope that you will join us at our Reflections of Excellence Ceremony next year. This annual ceremony is held to honor our nursing alumni accomplishments, as well as to express our appreciation for our donors. Over dinner and dessert, alumni gather together to share their experiences and open new doors. This gives us the opportunity to celebrate our alumni’s outstanding contributions to the future of human health through their innovations unleashed.

SAVE THE DATE! Reflections of Excellence September 10, 2016

UConn Alum S IM S UPPORT >>>

by Grace Merritt


hen Bertie Chuong ’82 MS, RN, first visited the new simulation lab in the UConn School of Nursing, she was excited to discover a healthcare setting with realistic high-tech mannequins. With help from simulation lab technicians, the mannequins can breathe, move, and even say “ouch” when poked with an IV. These lifelike patients can be programmed to simulate a real nursing scenario. The technician can program the mannequins to tell the nursing student that they are not feeling well, then suddenly have the mannequins’ heart start to race and blood pressure drop. “This is great because you can have the nursing student think critically and then react,” Chuong said. This type of training is critical to developing assessment skills and building confidence as a novice nurse. In today’s practice settings, students need to have this simulation experience before starting in the workplace, so that they can be more comfortable with their basic skills.

Her gift, the Bertie Chuong Endowed Fund for Nursing, will help the school continue to’69 provide Patricia to Werner Bender cutting-edge training in the simulation lab, according to Regina Cusson, dean of the School of Nursing. “Bertie’s generous support is forward-thinking,” Cusson said. “It will help us provide the latest and best education to future generations of nursing students.” In addition to the simulation lab, the School of Nursing’s Widmer Wing also features classrooms, exam rooms where students can practice on each other and real patients, and simulated hospital rooms outfitted with IV poles, hospital beds, and other equipment. “It’s just such a great learning environment,” Chuong said. She has fond memories of her days in UConn’s graduate nursing program.

Chuong was so impressed with the simulation lab’s mannequins and other forward-looking features that she recently decided to endow a fund to support it. The funds are earmarked specifically for the simulation lab and may be used, for example, to buy new equipment for it or hire personnel to work in the lab.

“My time at UConn was wonderful because we had great instructors and really enthusiastic students,” she said. “I made some extremely good friends at the time. I met faculty whom I continue to be friendly with and who have been wonderful mentors throughout the years. The faculty was right there on the cutting edge of what was going on in nursing.”

“I’m doing this to help maintain UConn’s state-ofthe-art nursing program, to continue what has been a stellar program,” Chuong said. “I think it’s just so important to continue to support the school that you graduated from.”

Chuong grew up in Rye, New York, and graduated from Cornell University, where she originally planned to major in British history. Realizing that it might be difficult to find a job, her parents urged her to switch to a more practical major, so she ventured into nursing.

Chuong has built a successful career as a nurse manager, nurse director and educator at Yale-New Haven Hospital, where she has worked ever since earning her master’s at UConn. She initially managed a staff of 75 in the medical intensive care unit. More recently she shared governance of the entire nursing staff as the resource and education coordinator.

As an active alumna, she regularly comes to campus to attend School of Nursing events and cheer on the women’s basketball team. She and her husband, Jackie, a gastroenterologist, live in Guilford with their black Labrador, Emma. Unison 33

FRS 2631000

231 Glenbrook Road Storrs, CT 06269-4026

The UConn School of Nursing is advancing the profession by preparing tomorrow’s nurses to apply creativity and entrepreneurial thinking to healthcare challenges. The UConn Foundation has embarked on a $150 million fundraising initiative that will double the amount of financial support – including merit and need-based scholarships – that is raised to support UConn students. As this academic year comes to a close, we will have reached just about a third of our goal. The Foundation’s initiative will not only help UConn attract and retain students, but also combat student debt levels after graduation.   Scholarships are one of the greatest needs at UConn and one of the best investments you can make in the University.    Please consider supporting this important initiative by contributing to scholarship and fellowship funds in the School of Nursing.

UConn School of Nursing

Unison 2016 publication  

UConn School of Nursing Unison 2016 Publication

Unison 2016 publication  

UConn School of Nursing Unison 2016 Publication