Page 1


The CONnection News and Views from the University of South Carolina COLLEGE OF NURSING

New Year, New Rankings, New WINS: Continued Pursuit for Excellence and Quality Welcome to a stellar start to 2014! This week we have been notified that the US News & World Report ranked our graduate nursing programs in the TOP 16 out of 470+ graduate nursing programs in the US. This ranking reflects our online master’s nurse practitioner and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs. This is a relatively new category for US New & World Report, and the first time we applied for a ranking status in this category. It is great to be recognized in the top 3% of the country, and is a credit to our “star” faculty, staff, and students.

Inside This Issue Faculty & Staff Notes..........2-3 Students’ Corner.................4 PhD Program.......................5 Alumni & Development......6-7 Events....................................8-9 NO LIMITS.............................10

Send Inquiries or Newsletter items to: Jan Johnson

Other WINS to celebrate are our new faculty in the College. Dr. Kathy Lasala began on January 2nd as our new Associate Dean for Academics. Dr. Lasala, coming to us from Colorado, was selected from a large pool of applicants from across the country and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to USC. We also welcome Cristy Degregory (Clinical Assistant Professor) and Shelli Gibbs (Instructor – Salkehatchie Campus). The College of Nursing is enjoying our highest interest of DNP and PhD applicants in the history of our program. The PhD fellowship and graduate scholarship opportunities are at an all time high. Our PhD applications are due February 1 and DNP applications are due May 1. If you enjoyed our Viana McCown event at homecoming, you will be even more pleased with our Mary Ann Parsons lectureship on February 21st. Dr. Diana Mason, President of the American Academy of Nursing, past editor of the American Journal of Nursing, and strategic leader for the National Campaign for Action for Nurses, will be our keynote speaker. She will provide her insights on how nursing can seize opportunities with the healthcare reform. You do not want to miss this! Stay tuned for other WINS this year in our newsletter, Facebook, and webpage. If you are an alumnus, share your WINS with us. Let’s celebrate together as the GAMECOCK NURSING community embraces our NEW YEAR and ongoing pursuit for excellence and quality in all that we do. Jeannette O. Andrews PhD, RN, FAAN Dean & Professor - LIKE US!

Faculty and Staff Notes Welcome to the College of Nursing!

Kathleen B. LaSala, PhD, APRN, PNP Professor & Associate Dean for Academics

Cristy B. DeGregory, MSN, RN Clinical Assistant Professor

Dr. Amy Joseph will be joining the College of Nursing’s Healthcare Process Redesign Center’s (HPRC) as its first Postdoctoral Fellow on January 14, 2014. Dr. Joseph’s PhD was conferred in December at the USC doctoral hooding ceremony. Dr. Joseph’s dissertation, Improving the Diagnostic Accuracy of Failure to Rescue, will be extended during her Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Shelli P. Gibbs, MSN, RN Clinical Assistant Professor USC Salkehatchie Campus

STAFF Q&A: Helen Mulhern Halasz, PhD PhD Student Services Coordinator What does your job entail? Providing academic and student support services for current students and prospective PhD program applicants. How long have you worked at the CON and/or USC? Before joining the College of Nursing in May 2012, I was a graduate assistant for 3 years during my PhD program. This is my 2nd career at USCIn the late 1980s, I was a graduate assistant in Residence Life and Housing while pursuing a master’s degree program in Higher Education & Student Affairs. What do you like best about your job? I love being in a position that involves different skills and tasks every day. I enjoy connecting PhD students with the information and/or people they need to move forward towards dissertation and commencement.

Dr. Tena McKinney, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, will begin providing prescriptive services at Children and Family Heathcare Center for patients over the age of 13 years.

Dr. Robin Matutina is the new Zeta Tau Alpha Beta Omicron chapter (USC) Faculty Advisor.

What do you do when you’re not working? I just graduated with my PhD in Higher Education Administration in May so I am no longer consumed with a dissertation- thank goodness! My husband Tom Halasz is also at USC as director of the University Career Center. We stay busy with our two teenage children, Jack (16) and Elizabeth (14). When I’m not driving kids, I like to read, travel, take pictures, and spend time at Holden Beach, NC. Tell us something people may not know about you. Like so many political science majors, I lived and worked in Washington, DC for a year after college to discern whether I should go to law school. Doing legal research changed my mind about pursuing a career in law!

U.S. News and World Report The College of Nursing is ranked 11th among public schools and 16th overall for Best Online Graduate programs. Read more Here.

Faculty Publications & Presentations Sonne SC, Andrews JO, Gentilin SM, Oppenheimer S, Obeid J, Brady K, Wolf S, Davis R, Magruder K. (2013). Development and Pilot Testing of a Video-Assisted Informed Consent Process. Contemporary Clinical Trials 36(1): 25-31. Plowden, K & Adams, L.T (2013). Factors associated with sex work among urban African-American substance abusing men who have sex with men. Journal of National Black Nurses’ Association, 24(2), 17-23. Dr. Tisha M. Felder conducted a seminar entitled, “Identifying Strategies to Improve Adherence to Adjuvant Hormonal Therapy Among Breast Cancer Survivors” as part of the CPCP Colloquium Series on December 13th from 10-11:30 am in Discovery I, Room 140.

Faculty Spotlight: Nathaniel Bell, PhD Dr. Bell, a recently appointed Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing, received his PhD in Geography from Simon Fraser University and completed a three-year Canadian Institutes of Health Research Fellowship in Trauma Outcomes at the University of British Columbia (Surgery). His research encompasses social epidemiology, geographic information science, and injury, and draws heavily from linked adminis trative datasets and spatial informatics to explore why some populations are healthier than others. Dr. Bell’s primary research interest is major trauma. Although most individuals survive due to advances in trauma care, survival often brings new challenges such as impaired functioning, limited activities, reduced participation, and a significant amount of stress and depression. Yet most evaluations of how well our health care system performs in providing care rely on outcomes of acute care, providing limited information about the ultimate results of care for injured patients. Fewer than half of all level-I and level-II trauma centers collect functional outcome information on their patients – and no center routinely collects information relevant to disability after discharge. Does follow-up help us identify persons who are at a high risk for a poor recovery? What is the number or type of services that best prepare individuals to reintegrate back into work and society? What type of social and physical environments lead to good recovery? Are hospitals that provide the best life-saving care also those that provide their patients with the best roadmap for recovery? The goal of Dr. Bell’s research is to shed light on these questions. The answers may inform our perspectives on how we evaluate and provide trauma care and, potentially, radically change the nature of how trauma registries are used for injury prevention and control.

South Carolina Receives Grant from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to Help Lead Efforts to Transform Health Care through Nursing The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) announced in December that the South Carolina One Voice One Plan (OVOP) Future of Nursing Action Coalition will be part of a $4.5 million initiative, the Future of Nursing State Implementation Program. The State Implementation Program bolsters efforts already underway in 50 states and the District of Columbia—the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action—to improve health and health care through nursing through implementation of the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) evidence-based recommendations on the future of nursing. It provides a vehicle for nurses at all levels to lead system change to improve care for patients and families through collaboration with business, consumer, and other health professional organizations. Read more here.

Magellan Scholars Jamie Lawon’s proposal “Are We Adequately Prepared? An Assessment of Pre-Licensure Healthcare Students’ Exposure and Preparation for Caring for Limited English Proficient Patients” has been awarded funding through the Magellan Scholar Program.

Campus Visits 2012–13 Annual Report By the Numbers

- 97% of visitors stated that their overall experience with the College of Nursing either met or exceeded their expectations. - 97% of visitors stated that the representative’s ability to answer questions either met or exceeded their expectations.

Alyce Ni’s proposal “Prevalence and Health Effects of Intimate Partner Violence Among HIV+ Women” has been awarded funding through the Magellan Scholar Program.

Salkehatchie junior nursing student, Anna Carol Bell, was featured in the USC Salkehatchie’s Fall Faculty Newsletter, Faculty Forum. She co-authored the article “Learning Organic Chemistry Reactions as a Nursing Student” with Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Li Cai. Read the article Here.

STUDENT Q&A: Rebecca Christopher, Class of 2016 What brought you to the College of Nursing and what do you want to do with your degree? In high school I was in Lexington Medical Center’s Partners Program. We toured facilities, interviewed professionals and I interned in the Infusion, Outpatient Physical Therapy and the 7th Floor Stroke Unit. That was the summer I decided to become a nurse. After my BSN, I plan on going to graduate school and have thought about going into hospital administration. What is one skill you believe every nurse should possess? I believe that every nurse should possess the drive to go above and beyond, not only for the patients but the profession as well. What is/was your favorite class? I will always admire Professor Hickey’s passion for the profession as demonstrated in Evolution of Nursing. Clinical Nutrition, with Professor Mercer, changed my life; through the class, I successfully lost twenty-three pounds and kept it off. What is your proudest accomplishment at USC so far? Since coming to USC, I have been elected Membership Chair for USC’s IHI chapter and SNA Executive Board and am now the Secretary for the SNA-SC Executive Board. I am so proud to be affiliated with both of these organizations and the work that they are all doing. This past year, I had the honor of co-writing a resolution regarding accurate and appropriate nutrition information that was passed on the state level and we are preparing the resolution to present at the national convention in April. What advice would you give to future nursing students? Please get involved! I have gotten involved in so many things since coming to USC and I am so happy that I did. Getting involved has allowed me to excel both inside and out of the classroom and has made me a better student and future nurse.

PhD in Nursing Science The PhD in Nursing Science has prepared professional nurses for research careers in academic and health care settings for more than 25 years. The PhD core curriculum includes philosophy and theory of nursing science and research design, methods, and analytic approaches. Beyond the core, each student has an individualized program of study and is mentored by Nursing faculty in one of three major Research Emphasis Areas: Health Promotion and Risk Reduction, Vulnerable Populations, and Health Systems Research.

Highlights of the PhD Program at the University of South Carolina College of Nursing:

● Access to a wide range of academic and interdisciplinary resources on the flagship USC campus

● New fellowships and stipends are available for qualified applicants

● Two Research Centers: Healthcare Process Redesign Center and Cancer Survivorship Center

● February 1 Application Deadline for the 2014 Fall Semester

For more information contact: PhD Program Office College of Nursing University of South Carolina Williams-Brice Building, Room 305 Columbia, SC 29208 Phone: 803-777-0290 Fax: 803-777-4507

Dr. Diana Mason is the Keynote Speaker for February 21st Mary Ann Parson Lecture Dr. Mason is the Rudin Professor of Nursing and Co-Founder and CoDirector of the Center for Health, Media, and Policy at Hunter College, City University of New York, and current President of the American Academy of Nursing. She is a journalist who has produced and moderated a weekly radio program on health and health policy for 30 years and was editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Nursing for over a decade. She serves as Strategic Adviser for the national Campaign for Action – an initiative to implement recommendations from the Institute of Medicine’s Future of Nursing report. Many of you will recognize her as the lead coeditor of the book, Policy and Politics in Nursing and Health Care and of The Nursing Profession: Development, Challenges, and Opportunities. Dr. Mason is considered one of the preeminent speakers in the country on the role of nurses in bringing their expertise on health issues to policy agendas. You don’t want to miss an opportunity to spend the day with this dynamic colleague as she discusses the challenging roles nurses will need to take on as a result of the new world order created by the ACA. Lynn Bailey, a health care economist specializing in strategic management and planning for health care professionals, will share her insight on the impact of the ACA in South Carolina. A stimulating panel discussion offers an opportunity to hear from these and other experts in the field – Dr. Jeannette Andrews, Dean of the USC College of Nursing, Michelle Taylor Smith, VP of Patient Care Services and Chief Nurse Executive of Greenville Health System-University Medical Center, and Dr. Dennis Taylor, Assistant VP for the Carolinas Healthcare System. Afternoon sessions feature evidence-based presentations from DNP colleagues giving us example of where the ACA and nursing practice/research meet policy issues head-on. Dr. Mason closes out the day summarizing what nurse leaders in education, practice and research need to be doing to gain a seat at critical policy tables. This exciting day of non-stop information-sharing on the effects and challenges of the newly enacted Affordable Care Act is offered through the SC Center for Nursing Leadership, in partnership with the Alpha Xi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International. REGISTER HERE to reserve your seat at this important and timely conference!

VITAL SIGNS....An Update from Alumni and Development Caring and Generous Donors Judith and Alan Alexander Endowed Graduate Nursing Fellowship Dr. Judith Alexander, MN, MBA (’80), PhD (’82) retired from College of Nursing in 2010 after serving on the faculty for over 30 years. She taught at all levels: Baccalaureate, Masters, DNP, and PhD. A master teacher and expert mentor, she taught nursing administration, community health nursing, nursing issues, and nursing research.

December Partnership Board Meeting and Holiday Party

The College of Nursing Partnership Board

Dr. Alexander graduated with a BA in Nursing from Simmons College, in Boston, MA; she received a master of Community Health Nursing from the University of Colorado; and she received her MBA and PhD in Health Care Administration from USC College of Business. Dr. Alexander stated, “The most interesting aspect of my career as a professor was working with graduate students on their research projects. I taught many students at two or three levels and watched them grow and develop into nurses who understood and used research in their practices.” She also participated in the Campus Wide Women’s Mentoring Program and mentored five students, three of whom were nursing students. She keeps in touch with these students and has enjoyed watching their growth and development. Dr. Alexander, her husband, Alan, and their son, Wayne, each have undergraduate and graduate degrees from USC. They both strongly support the mission of the University, especially the College of Nursing, and feel privileged to return a small portion of their resources to the University. “The university has given so much to our family over the years, and we hope that this fellowship will assist students in achieving their goals in nursing and reap the rewards of the USC experience.” They now split their time between Oregon and South Carolina and Dr. Alexander is currently getting her nursing license in Oregon, so that she can volunteer in the Free Clinic at her church. In their retirement, they have enjoyed extensive traveling, spending time with their two children and granddaughter and cheering on the Gamecocks.

Dean Andrews, Jeanne Cavanaugh and the Dean’s husband, Keith Nichols

CON Director of Development, Monica Cromer and her husband, Burke Cromer

The Alexander’s would like the invite others to donate to the Judith and Alan Alexander Endowed Graduate Nursing Fellowship or other College of Nursing endowment programs to make a difference in a nurses’ life. Party hosts: Mike and Jeanne Cavanaugh; Carol and Douglas Truslow

Impact on the Future Cristy DeGregory, RN, PhD(c), Gerontologist Cristy completed a graduate certificate in Gerontology from USC in 2012 and is in the final dissertation phase of the PhD program in Nursing, projected to graduate in May or early Summer 2014. She is a recipient of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Nurse Faculty Fellowship through the South Carolina Nurses Foundation. She states, “Without this fellowship, my doctoral studies and graduate certificate would not have been possible. The experiences and education I have received at the University of South Carolina have far exceeded my expectations and have changed me both personally and professionally. It has truly been a transformative experience made possible by exemplary faculty, especially Dr. Kathleen Scharer, Dr. DeAnne K. Hilfinger Messias, and Dr. Abbas Tavakoli. I am looking forward to pursing my career in teaching nursing at the university level and working with research related to caregivers and Alzheimer’s disease.” She says the most interesting thing she has done as a nurse was home health. It was an invaluable experience going into people’s homes, helping them, caring for them, and hearing their stories. Her experiences in home health helped to shape her research trajectory and also helped to deepen her passion for working with older adults. Newly hired at the University of South Carolina as a Clinical Assistant Professor to begin this semester, she is very excited to be back working as faculty in the College of Nursing. Christy is married to Nathan and they have 4 children; Emma age 9, Bryce age 13, Devin and Trey, 16 year old twins. She enjoys volunteering, reading, running, exercising, traveling, crocheting and all kinds of arts and crafts.

Check out the College of Nursing’s Facebook page. Be sure to “LIKE” Us!!!

Sir Big Spur Project

The Student Nurses’ Association, Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc. and the College of Nursing Partnership Board met their goal of $2500 for the Sir Big Spur Project. This project is a joint venture between the College of Nursing and College of Engineering to build Sir Big Spur’s “new ride.” The owners Mary Snelling, BSN (‘76) and Ron Albertelli are supporters of the College of Nursing and will donate royalties from sales of Sir Big Spur merchandise for College of Nursing student scholarships.

All Gifts and Pledges to support Nursing can be sent to: USC College of Nursing 1600 Hampton Street, Suite 736 Columbia, SC 29208 Gift Processing Checks Made Payable to the USC Educational Foundation or at our website To learn how you can make a difference at USC College of Nursing contact the Development Office at 803-777-3468.

The SC Center for Nursing Leadership in Partnership with Alpha Xi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau Presents

The Mary Ann Parsons Lectureship “The Affordable Care Act - What Do Nurses Need To Know”

Keynote Speaker: Diana J. Mason, RN, PhD, FAAN President of the American Academy of Nursing Rudin Professor of Nursing and Co-Founder/Co-Director of the Center for Health, Media, and Policy at Hunter College, City University of New York

Schedule of Events FRIDAY




8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Seawell’s Columbia, SC

Cost: $75; students $25 REGISTER HERE by February 7, 2014 For more information contact The Center for Nursing Leadership at 803-777-3039

The Center for Nursing Leadership is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the South Carolina Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

8:30 am Registration 9:00 am Welcome Dr. Jeannette Andrews, Dean USC College of Nursing Eileene Leapheart, President of the Alpha Xi Chapter of STT 9:15 am Keynote Address Dr. Diana Mason 10:45 Dr. Lynn Bailey Lynn Bailey Associates, Health Care Economist 12:00 pm Buffet Luncheon 1:45 pm Panel Discussion 2:15 pm Afternoon Presentation Speaker TBA 3:15 pm Summary of Day and Challenge of Where to go from Here Dr. Diana Mason 3:45 pm Evaluations & Closing Remarks Dean Andrews

Aging Research Day



January 24

January 24, 2014

13th Annual Geriatric Symposium January 25, 2014

Register for one or both of these interprofessional educational programs. These programs are designed for healthcare educators and researchers, primary care physicians, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, nurses, and physician’s assistants.

Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center 1101 Lincoln Street Columbia, SC 29201

Aging Research Day is designed to focus on aging and technology. Keynote speakers are Craig Lehman, PhD, Stony Brook University, New York and Nate Flacker, MD, Emory University.

7:30 am - 4:30 pm

The Geriatric Symposium will focus on the impact of the Affordable Healthcare Act on the aging population in South Carolina and common health issues affecting the aging. Keynote speaker is Thornton Kirby, President and CEO of the South Carolina Hospital Association. These interprofessional programs are co-sponsored by the South Carolina College of Pharmacy, the SC Center for Nursing Leadership and Providence Hospitals.

COSTS: 1 day $150, 2 days $200 Register by January 15th at

Aging Research Day

January 25 13th Annual Geriatric Symposium

February 5 Carolina Day at the Statehouse

BROCHURE For more information contact Tiffany Hoefer at

February 8 College of Nursing Clinical Practice Conference: Management of the Complex Patient

Join us for the

University of South Carolina College of Nursing Clinical Practice Conference: Management of the Complex Patient This conference is designed for nurse practitioners, registered nurses, health educators, and other health care professionals. Presented topics: ● Cardiovascular Concerns ● Treatment Resistant Depression ● HIV ● Complex Care Systems Perspective COSTS: CON 2013-2014 Preceptors: Free Other APRNs and RNs: $30 All Students: $15





8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

February 21 Mary Ann Parsons Lectureship The Affordable Care Act: What Do Nurses Need to Know?

March 22 Midlands Heart Walk

College of Nursing Auditorium 231

March 27-28 For more information visit

REGISTER HERE The Center for Nursing Leadership is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the South Carolina Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. Successful completion of the entire program will award 3.5 contact hours, 2.5 hours will focus on pharmacology.

SC Center for Nursing Leadership Nursing Summit

March 31 Recognition Luncheon

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA COLLEGE OF NURSING No Limits to our Teaching • First and largest BSN and nursing graduate programs in the state of SC • 96%-100% NCLEX and Nurse Practitioner Board Pass Rates, exceeding both state and national averages • New PhD student fellowships and stipends • National and Internationally recognized faculty • Nationally ranked graduate programs No Limits to our Innovation • State-of-the-art Client Simulation Lab providing revolutionizing and quality education to students • Cutting edge research in health care delivery, cancer survivorship, health promotion, and vulnerable populations • 4th DNP program in the country, now provided online • Center for Nursing Leadership is leading state-wide action coalitions responsive to the national Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action No Limits to our Caring • The College of Nursing’s Children and Family Healthcare Center is the only nurse managed medical home in South Carolina • Our dedicated expert clinical faculty provide comprehensive healthcare to all ages of an underserved population • Over 90 scholarships provided each year to our students, with the generosity from our alumni and donors • Well established partnerships with health systems and stakeholders across the state No Limits to our scholarship • National leaders in nursing research with 70% of our tenure track faculty having received NIH funding • Diverse portfolio of research funding from NCI, NINR, NHLBI, NLM, CDC, HRSA, Duke Foundation, & others • Two Research Centers: Healthcare Process and Redesign Center and Cancer Survivorship Center • One of 10 schools across the country participating in National Simulation Study

CONTACT US College of Nursing University of South Carolina 1601 Greene Street Columbia, SC 29208 Office of the Dean: 803-777-3861 Office of Student Affairs: 803-777-7412 Information Resource Center: 803-777-1213

Office of Research: 803-777-7413 Center for Nursing Leadership 803-777-3039 Employment Opportunities

January 2014 enewsletter  
January 2014 enewsletter  

Monthly publication from the University of South Carolina College of Nursing.