Tag Archives: College of Nursing

CON Athens students take Day of Service on the road

Participants smile for the camera at “Jog Your Memory,” an important event in GRU Day of Service history.

If there were ever doubts about GRU students’ ability to lead, a group of nursing students put them to rest on Day of Service by hosting the university’s first student-led event – a 5k run for Alzheimer’s research titled “Jog Your Memory.”

But in addition to being the first student-led event in GRU Day of Service history, the 5k was also historic for another reason: those students attend classes at the College of Nursing’s campus in Athens.

Coincidentally, that’s also where the run was held.

Elizabeth Gay, the president of the Student Government Association at Athens, said the event was a truly communal effort.

“Ansley and I wanted to do something that both of our student groups could work together on,” said Gay, referring to Ansley Akin, president of the Georgia Regents Association of Nursing Students at the Athens campus. “We wanted to include the Athens community and raise money for an organization we all loved.”

Their solution? Fundraising for the Alzheimer’s Association of America.

“We chose the Alzheimer’s Association of America partly because we had recently studied geriatrics,” said Gay. “But we also chose it because [Alzheimer’s] has affected many loved ones in many peoples’ lives.”

Akin, who worked previously in an Alzheimer’s care facility, said the choice was a much more personal one for her.

“My grandmother has dementia,” she said. “I just knew it was the organization I wanted to raise awareness for.”

After getting their event approved, Akin said the planning for “Jog Your Memory” took a great deal of time. Their first order of business, however, was something very straightforward: settling on the route.

“We chose to use the University of Georgia 5k route, because it was very well-known and safe and provided us with a police escort,” said Gay. “It also helped us incorporate the Athens community.”

“Jog Your Memory” T-shirts were a huge hit with participants.

After establishing their route, Akin said her team worked tirelessly throughout the month of February to design T-shirts and write letters to sponsors.

With the basics out of the way, Gay said the team moved on to settling the finer details. Over the summer, they picked up sponsors, planned water stations, filled goodie bags and hammered out how their registration would work. They made a website for early registration and reached out to students, faculty and community members alike about participating.

Led by Gay and Akin, the SGA and GRANS student executive board ran the registration, water and gift tables on the day of the event. They also documented each participant’s running time and awarded prizes to the first six participants to finish.

The reward for their efforts was an impressive turnout: 50 participants in total, who together raised almost $1250.

Dr. Julie Behr, assistant dean for the Athens campus, said the CONAT students’ exceptional accomplishment was “not surprising.”

“This is a very active, very dedicated group of students,” she said. “They work very hard to champion GRU’s mission statement and to give back to their community here in Athens.”

In response to a question about students hosting the first student-led event at a satellite campus, she joked that the term “satellite” was subjective.

“You know the original Department of Nursing was actually founded here in 1943,” she said. “It didn’t move to Augusta until 1956, so we joke that the campus there is really the satellite.”

All joking aside, though, she said she would encourage faculty at either campus to push their students to find something that “speaks to their heart,” and to pursue that as a future Day of Service opportunity. That, she said, was the key to Gay and Akin’s success.

Elizabeth Gay and Ansley Akin (front) pose with “Jog Your Memory” participants.

In the wake of that success, Gay said she and Akin are proud of their event’s participation and are very excited to leave a legacy that they hope will continue at the Athens campus. She also said she’d like to see students at other campuses take the same initiative.

“I would definitely encourage my classmates to lead their own day of service events,” she said. “It took a lot of planning and time, but watching people cross our finish line and seeing how much we were able to give back filled my heart with so much pride and joy.”

To all of their classmates and event participants in Athens, Gay and Akin would like to say thank you.

But they also have a special message for all of her GRU classmates.

“Our students are capable of achieving so many things,” Gay said. “I think it’s important for us to remember to always use our talents to give back.”

Bleed for your Team: Wednesday Blood Update!

On Sept. 1, the Medical College of Georgia and the College of Dental Medicine undertook a mighty challenge – one, we might add, that isn’t for the faint of heart.

Which college, they asked,  could donate the most blood?

Now the question stands: Will the nation’s 13th-oldest medical school edge out a victory over the young dental upstarts? Or will bright smiles and fluoride pave the way to glory?

Click here to see #TeamMCG and TeamCDM’s standings as of September 4.

To get your own blood into the game, simply visit Blood Donor Services in room BI1200, located on the first floor of the main hospital, and tell them you want to give to Team MCG or Team CDM.

Remember, when the challenge is donating blood, no matter who loses, everyone wins.

College of Nursing ranked No. 1 by online nursing community

Georgia Regents University’s College of Nursing was recently recognized by Nurse Journal, an online social community developed for both nurses and current or future nursing students as a way of sharing information relevant to the nursing field.

Based on an evaluation of more than 1,100 nursing schools in the United States, Nurse Journal ranked GRU’s College of Nursing the No. 1 nursing school in the Eastern region. The list included Yale University, Johns Hopkins University and Clemson University, among several other high-profile universities on the East Coast.

Nurse Journal’s rankings are based on a number of factors. Including information such as affordability, retention and graduation rates and overall institutional quality, Nurse Journal gathers data from the Institute of Education Sciences, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the state Boards of Nursing. They also collect data based upon student opinions, such as a university’s overall “RateMyProfessor.com” ratings.

To view Nurse Journal’s ranking criteria, click here.

White Coat Ceremony prepares nursing students for journey of a lifetime

Friday, Aug. 21, marked a turning point in the lives of nearly 300 individuals when the College of Nursing donned several of its first-year students in their white coats, symbolizing the start of their journey to becoming true health care professionals.

In total, 174 BSN and 119 CNL students earned their white coats, and more than 1,200 people were in attendance.

In the field of nursing, white coats are symbolic of the professionalism expected of all nursing students. As a whole, though, white coat ceremonies are a relatively new institution in nursing schools.

The College of Nursing was among 60 nursing schools chosen this year to receive funding support for a white coat ceremony. That support came from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation and the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN).

According to a news release from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, the collaboration with AACN was launched last year and was developed to promote humanistic, patient-centered care among future generations of registered nurses.

Though white coat ceremonies have been conducted by medical schools for more than 20 years, the APGF-AACN initiative marks the first time a coordinated effort was developed to offer similar events at schools of nursing.

To browse a photo gallery of the event, click below.

Shiao named College of Nursing’s associate dean for research

Pam Shiao

Dr. S. Pamela K. Shiao, professor of Doctoral Programs in the School of Nursing at Azusa Pacific University, has been appointed associate dean for Research and E. Louise Grant Endowed Chair of Nursing in the College of Nursing at Georgia Regents University, effective Sept. 1.

In this position, Shiao will provide leadership to advance the College research mission through faculty and student scholarship. She also will collaborate with the college’s leadership team on pertinent research issues and opportunities and lead the nursing faculty and students in innovative studies. In addition, she will help advance the College’s teaching mission as a professor and director of the PhD in Nursing program.

“Dr. Shiao is an established investigator who brings enthusiasm, international connections, and extensive experience in research and research training to this position,” said Dr. Lucy Marion, dean of GRU’s College of Nursing. “She possesses the qualities needed for this role, and we look forward to her leadership as we work to fulfill the campus and college research missions.”

 Shiao is an internationally recognized researcher in the areas of nursing innovations and disseminations, health care informatics and technology, and human genome studies with emphasis on epigenetics.

Her work has been the subject of more than 100 publications, and she has served on NIH and other scientific review panels for Genetics for Healthcare and Nursing, Magnet Advancement-Nursing Workforce and Informatics and Technology.

 Shiao has held senior leadership positions at several academic institutions and served as a consultant to nursing administration at the St. Joseph Hospital in Houston, Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center at Houston and the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital System in Philadelphia.

 Shiao earned her bachelor’s degree from the National Taiwan University, a master’s degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a doctoral degree from Case Western Reserve University. She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.

Marion honored as nurse practitioner pioneer

marionDr. Lucy Marion, dean of the College of Nursing, was recently featured as a nurse practitioner (NP) pioneer in an article in The Journal for Nurse Practitioners.

2015 is the 50th anniversary of the nurse practitioner role, and the journal honored early NPs by asking them to expound on the part they played in the development of the nurse practitioner role.

Marion was one of only 18 nurse practitioners chosen to participate.

“These individuals were among the most prominent leaders … who have shaped the role for the NP as it exists today,” the article stated.

Names for those asked to contribute were suggested by the editorial board of The Journal for Nurse Practitioners.

Marion earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and a Masters in Nursing at the University of South Carolina and a doctorate at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is also a Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

MCG alumna named fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners

Dian Dowling Evans
Dian Dowling Evans: Photo courtesy of Emory University

Earlier this month, Emory University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing announced that Dian Dowling Evans (BSN, ’85), a graduate of the MCG School of Nursing, had been named a fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

Evans is a second-career nurse and specialty coordinator for Emory’s Emergency Nurse Practitioner program. She currently serves as chair-elect of the American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioners and has a joint appointment in Emory University Hospital’s Department of Emergency Medicine.

10th Anniversary: Costa Layman Health Fair celebrates decade of service

Ten years ago, Costa Layman Farms and the Georgia Regents University College of Nursing took a bold and important step into the field of personalized, preventive health care when they partnered to offer a health fair for workers at the South Carolina plant nursery.

At times the task proved daunting. Language barriers and social stigmas had the potential to make caring for farmworkers difficult, but with the leadership of GRU faculty, a commitment from student and alumni volunteers, and the help of community partners, the job became easier. Their efforts have resulted in more than 2,500 free health screenings for hundreds of farmworkers.

Years later, students and alumni say they continue to be inspired by their experiences at the Costa Layman Health Fair, which celebrates its 10th anniversary on Friday.

Two years ago, Allyson Wilson was a Clinical Nurse Leader student at GRU.

“As one of the student leaders of the health fair, I was responsible for organizing data collection as well as assisting in developing a data collection tool that allowed us to view trends in variables,” she said.

Wilson, now a Staff Nurse at Georgia Regents Medical Center, said the fair has become a regular part of her life.

“It was such a rewarding experience that I continued helping throughout the year with preparations for the fair,” she said. “I look forward to it every year, now. It’ll be something I’m involved with as long as I live in the area.”

Elisa Jenks, a Perinatal Staff Nurse at GRU, has a similar love for the fair. She said volunteering as a CNL student was a life-changing experience not only because of the lessons it taught her, but also because of the people it exposed her to.

“I love Hispanic culture,” said Jenks. “I’m always amazed by how kind the people are at the health fair. I’ve never been treated unkindly by anyone there. In fact, they’ve always greeted me with a smile.”

Jenks, the first recipient of the Layman Family Scholarship – a scholarship awarded to fluent Spanish-speaking students with a desire to serve Hispanic communities – said the health fair has helped her almost as much as some of the patients.

“I think I used to look at community health as a very foreign concept,” Jenks said. “Like, I’m this person that can make such a difference in other people’s lives. But that concept is so backwards. Being at the fair has taught me that I’m the one being impacted and changed.”

Aprile Osborn, a Biobehavioral Nursing instructor, volunteered as part of the 2009 health fair. She said her experience was very similar.

It was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever been a part of,” she said. “It was so humbling to be a part of something bigger than myself.”

Having grown up locally, Osborn said the health fair helped her to be understand the needs of the underserved.

Growing up in this community where access to healthcare is so readily available, it was hard for me to fathom people living otherwise,” she said. “Being involved in the Layman project really opened my eyes to a population that I knew existed, but had never really known.”

Jimmy George, a Physiological and Technological Nursing instructor, first participated in the 2011 health fair. He said he’s happy to see how far the health fair has come in that short amount of time.

“I am so excited to see the growth of the health fair each year,” he said. “It has only been possible by the selfless commitment and dedication of Pam Cromer and Debbie Layman.”

Based on the past year’s health fair experience, George and Cromer presented a podium presentation titled “CostaLayman Health Fair – A CNL organized, Interdisciplinary Initiative: A Model for Community-based Disease Prevention” in Dallas to a National CNL conference in October 2014.

Joshua Dunn, Stroke Program Coordinator at Emory University, said the health fair drove him to new heights and inspired him to continue helping others.

“I have continued my passion for outreach into underserved, underinsured populations within the metro-Atlanta area,” Dunn said. “That passion was definitely ignited that year at Layman’s Health Fair.”

But experience and passion aren’t the only things he took away from his time volunteering.

“I think of Debbie Layman (a College of Nursing alumnus and former manager at Costa Layman Farms) every time I’m in Lowe’s or Home Depot,” he said. “I see the plant carts labeled with Costa or Layman stamps, and think of those very sweet people in South Carolina. What a sweet woman, and such a dedicated group of individuals.”

The Costa Layman Health Fair celebrates its 10th anniversary on Friday, July 17, from 7 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Costa Layman Farms in Trenton, South Carolina.

To stay up to date with GRU’s College of Nursing, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/GRUCONursing.

Spanish-English translators needed for farmworker’s health fair

The Costa Layman Health Fair celebrates its 10th anniversary from 7 a.m. – 1 p.m. Friday, July 17, at Costa Layman Farms in Trenton, SC.

The Georgia Regents University College of Nursing is looking for volunteers to serve as Spanish-English translators for this year’s health fair. Any interested faculty, staff or students are encouraged to apply.

The Costa Layman Health Fair provides free health screenings for workers at Costa Layman Farms, one of the country’s largest perennial plant farms. In 2013, more than 300 workers received free health screenings, many of whom did not otherwise have access to health care.

“Every summer, GRU students, faculty, and alumni volunteer their time to make the health fair a success for Costa Layman employees,” said Debbie Layman, College of Nursing alumna and Georgia Health Sciences Foundation board member. “These volunteers are not only doing screenings, but facilitating research, communication, and logistics. Our volunteer translators are an invaluable part of navigating that process.”

If you are available to volunteer as a Spanish-English translator on July 17, or if you would like more information about volunteering, please contact Eileen Brandon at 706-825-4779 or ebrandon@gru.edu.