Tag Archives: College of Nursing

GRU, GRHealth celebrate nurses

AUGUSTA, Ga. – In recognition of National Nurses Week, Georgia Regents University and Health System have more than a dozen events planned to highlight and thank nurses for their contributions to quality patient care. National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6 and ends on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.

Click to view Nurses Week 2015 events

GRU’s College of Nursing events include an ice cream social, workshop,  departmental luncheons, and two educational webinars. In addition, the CON Honors Convocation is scheduled for 3 p.m. Thursday, May 7, at Christenberry Fieldhouse, and commencement is 2 p.m. Friday, May 8, at James Brown Arena.

GRHealth events include dessert receptions, Doughnut Day, a white-out, GRU Blue Day, and multiple unit-specific events.

Shared events during the week are the annual Blessing of the Hands, Pamper a Nurse Day, and a preceptor reception. On Wednesday, May 6, hospital chaplains will walk from unit to unit to share blessings, anoint the hands, and pray with nurses and other staff members beginning at 7 a.m. and ending with a 2:30 p.m. service in the Children’s Hospital of Georgia Chapel. On Friday, nurses will be treated to hand massages in the Dogwood and Magnolia Rooms of the Georgia Regents Medical Center cafeteria from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and on Monday, May 11, nurses will wear traditional white for a Nurse Preceptor Reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the GRU Alumni Center.

This year’s National Nurses Week theme is “Ethical Practice. Quality Care.” It underscores the importance of ethics in nursing and acknowledges the strong commitment, compassion, and care nurses display in their practice and profession. The theme is an important part of the American Nurses Association’s Year of Ethics outreach to promote and advocate for the rights, health, and safety of nurses and patients.

Members of the media should contact Denise Parrish at 706-831-3148 or mparrish@gru.edu; or Kelly Jasper at 706-513-0719 or kjasper@gru.edu; to arrange the best opportunities for media coverage during Nurses Week.

Graduation celebrations and hooding ceremonies

AUGUSTA, Ga. – More than 1,000 students are expected to participate in Georgia Regents University’s commencement exercises on May 8, at 2 p.m. at the James Brown Arena.

This year’s commencement speaker will be Jane Chen, a TED Senior Fellow and CEO of Embrace, a social enterprise that developed an innovative baby incubator solution designed to address infant mortality in developing countries.

Each of GRU’s nine colleges will hold year-end ceremonies as follows:

  • College of Science and Mathematics Graduation Reception, 10 a.m., May 8, Science Hall Atrium, Summerville Campus; Psychology Hooding Ceremony, 6:30 p.m., May 7, The Pinnacle Club, 699 Broad Street
  • Medical College of Georgia Hooding Ceremony, 2 p.m., May 7, The Augusta Convention Center, 2 10th St.
  • College of Nursing Convocation , 3 p.m., May 7, GRU Christenberry Fieldhouse
  • College of Education, 4:30 p.m., May 7, Jaguar Student Activities Center Ballroom
  • College of Allied Health Sciences Hooding and Honors Ceremony; 6 p.m., May 7, Bell Auditorium, 712 Telfair St.
  • Hull College of Business Graduation Reception, 6 p.m., May 7, Allgood Hall North Stairwell, Summerville Campus
  • College of Graduate Studies Hooding Ceremony, 8 a.m., May 8, Warren Baptist Church, 3203 Washington Road
  • Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Graduation Celebration; 9 a.m., May 8, GRU Jaguar Student Activities Center Ballroom, Summerville Campus; ROTC Officer Commissioning Ceremony, 1 p.m., May 7, GRU Maxwell Theatre, Summerville Campus
  • College of Dental Medicine Hooding Ceremony, 10 a.m., May 8, First Baptist Church, 3500 Walton Way

GRU’s Student Government Association will also hold an Undergraduate Ceremony at 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 7, in the GRU Summerville Quad on the Summerville Campus.

For more information on graduation activities, call GRU’s Division of Enrollment and Student Affairs at 706-721-1411, or visit gru.edu/students/graduation/


Georgia Regents University is one of four public comprehensive research universities in the state with nearly 10,000 students enrolled in its nine colleges and schools, which include the Medical College of Georgia – the nation’s 13th-oldest medical school – the nationally ranked Hull College of Business and Georgia’s only College of Dental Medicine. The clinical enterprise associated with the university includes the 478-bed Georgia Regents Medical Center and the 154-bed Children’s Hospital of Georgia. GRU is a unit of the University System of Georgia and an equal opportunity institution.  gru.edu


GRU diversity expert available for National Nurses Week

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Nursing student diversity is on the rise, says Dr. Faye Hargrove, chair of the College of Nursing Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee at Georgia Regents University.

A diverse nursing workforce is key to providing culturally sensitive patient care. It’s why the GRU College of Nursing Dean Lucy Marion and Multicultural Affairs Coordinator Melissa Johnson-Bates recruited a dedicated committee to advise college leadership on how to best attract and retain students, faculty, and staff from under-represented groups in nursing. Hargrove, Chief Development Officer at the Family YMCA of Greater Augusta, brings expert leadership to the team.

Since its inception in February 2014, the college’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee has reviewed a five-year diversity and inclusion plan, participated in and promoted training, analyzed student and employee demographic data, and made recommendations for recruitment, programming, and processes. This year, one of their most significant contributions has been to propose guidelines for a nursing curriculum that includes cultural competency development for all new nursing students.

“Our diverse community deserves the best caregivers we can provide, ” Hargrove said. “Real information about diversity and inclusion isn’t always intuitive. You have to educate yourself and make the effort, which is what the College of Nursing is doing. We’re looking at everything. It’s not just race and ethnicity. It’s age and gender and religion and lifestyle and so many other things that make the difference in providing quality patient care.”

From May 6-12, GRU and GRHealth will celebrate nurses as part of National Nurses Week. Events include a gala for nurses, and free webinars sponsored by the American Nurses Association and National Black Nurses Association. April is also Diversity Awareness Month at GRU. The month, designated by the university’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, encourages the exploration of cultures and differing perspectives.

Hargrove, a personal development coach and team trainer for corporations and clients across the United States, is a published author and civic leader active in various organizations. She is a founding member of Women in Philanthropy of the Central Savannah River Area and also serves on the Boards of Directors for the Community Foundation of the CSRA, the First Tee of Augusta, and the United Way of the CSRA.

Hargrove is an alumna of the University of Georgia. She has previously served as CEO of Hargrove Leadership Services, as a faculty member in the School of Business at Georgia College and State University, as the Head of the School of Business Administration and Economics at the University of South Carolina Aiken, and as Vice President for Student Development at Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, N.C.

She periodically teaches non-profit management and strategic planning for non-profit organizations in the Masters in Public Administration program at GRU.

Hargrove is available to discuss diversity and inclusion in business, education, and leadership, and the need to attract students and faculty from under-represented groups in nursing. To schedule an interview prior to or during National Nurses Week, contact Kelly Jasper at 706-513-0719.

Dream to Reality: Doctor of Nursing Practice Program celebrates 10 years

When it launched in 2005, the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at GRU’s College of Nursing was one of few in the nation—and hasn’t stopped innovating yet.

By Danielle Wong Moores

Many people dream about becoming nurses. But not Lindsay Moore.

Moore didn’t even take any science classes during her time at Georgia’s Toccoa Falls College, instead double majoring in business administration and counseling with a double minor in outdoor leadership and education and Biblical studies. Her heart was for mission work, but hearts can be funny things. After college graduation, she worked for a relief organization in Gabon, Africa, alongside physicians and advanced practice nurses, and suddenly her heart changed. “We had a lot of good conversations about what they do, and nursing just seemed to fit,” said Moore.

But then there were those science classes—and the fact that Moore was eager to get back to the mission field as a nurse, not in 10 or more years but as soon as possible. All of which brought her back to Georgia and to the Georgia Regents University College of Nursing.

GRU offers an accelerated 16-month Clinical Nurse Leader program designed specifically for professionals interested in nursing, but who, like Moore, earned their degree in another field. While Moore still had to brush up on a few prerequisite classes in chemistry and biology, she was accepted and enrolled in the CNL program in 2010.

But Moore was looking beyond that. Her ultimate goal was to then enter GRU’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program and its acute care nurse practitioner option immediately after graduating as a CNL.

Moore in fact would become the first GRU nursing student to go straight through from the CNL to the DNP program—heralding a sea change in how nursing education is being delivered at GRU and serving as a model for other nursing programs who are watching GRU’s innovations closely.

The DNP Difference

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the College of Nursing’s DNP program—which was one of just 10 in the nation when it launched in the summer of 2005. For nursing dean Dr. Lucy Marion, launching the program was a prerequisite of her accepting the dean’s position at GRU (then named the Medical College of Georgia).

“We knew it was going to be the future,” said Marion. She recently had served as president of the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties, and the data crossing her desk revealed that nurse practitioner students were spending considerably more classroom and clinical hours to learn what they needed—approaching doctoral levels. “We saw that, and we said, ‘Something’s happening here,’” said Marion.

That “something” was a knowledge explosion in health care due to a rapidly changing health care environment, coupled with a growing nationwide shortage of primary care physicians and limits to resident physician hours. Nurse practitioners had been stepping up to fill the gap, providing primary care and ensuring care coordination and patient education, all while still holding the patient’s hand during tough times.

A handful of institutions, including Columbia University, were already responding to these changes with their own version of a DNP program, and Marion connected with all four. “That’s when I had an a-ha moment,” she said. “I went to a board meeting after that and said, ‘Folks, this is going to happen, and it’s going to happen big.”

Marion left that meeting with a commitment by the organization to support the development of DNP programs for advanced practice nurses—and three years later she was laying the groundwork for a new DNP program at GRU.

The program was launched after just nine months of planning under the leadership of Dr. Sandy Turner, FNP—“It was rough, very rough, but we pushed it through,” said Marion—with a first class made up entirely of GRU nursing faculty members. Fourteen in all, with 11 graduating, they would serve as a test class to help improve and refine the program.

Marguerite Murphy was one of those students. Then director of the RN to BSN program, Murphy would become director of the DNP program in 2008. “There’s a strong sense of history and a strong sense of pride in being part of the original class,” she said. “We were on the cutting-edge of this DNP movement, and to see where it’s gone and the difference that it has made—it’s been exciting.”

The program has changed rapidly over the past decade. Originally simply a post-masters DNP, acute care nurse practitioner was the first concentration added to the degree, followed by family nurse practitioner and pediatric nurse practitioner. By fall 2016, the plan is to add mental health, nurse anesthesia and nurse executive concentrations, and later, public health.

What hasn’t changed is how the DNP takes nursing to the next level. “To be effective moving forward, advanced practice nurses need to be able to look at the research and decide if they should use it to change their practice,” said Murphy. “They need to be able to understand health care policy and how policies impact care and care delivery to effectively advocate for their patients and for themselves.”

The DNP candidates get an early taste of how they can make a real difference—or as Murphy describes it, “have an equal seat at the table.” Each candidate must complete a final project, which gave Murphy, as a student, the opportunity to work alongside national nursing leaders to develop a multidisciplinary evidence-based guideline to prevent post-operative nausea and vomiting, while Moore proved the effectiveness of video discharge instructions for sickle cell patients—a program that is now being adopted in that clinic and others at GRHealth.

The Future of Advanced Practice Nursing

Marion’s prediction of DNP programs “happening big” was accurate. Today there are more than 250 DNP programs nationwide—and GRU’s program alone has graduated 143 DNPs since its inception, with another 10 expected this May.

But the program isn’t simply resting on its laurels. In 2010, the Institute of Medicine released a report—“The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health”—that, among other things, urged nursing schools to improve their educational systems so that nurses could achieve higher levels of training and education with seamless academic progression, not the least of which was to double the number of doctorally prepared nurses by 2020.

The IOM recommendations were groundbreaking. Nursing culture has always dictated that becoming an advanced practice nurse required earning a degree, stopping to get two or more years of experience, then going back for another degree and so on. The result is that advanced practice nurses are often in their 40s or 50s before they earn a doctoral degree—in contrast to physicians and other health care providers—and miss out on years of productivity where they could have advanced the practice of nursing as DNPs.

Under Marion’s leadership, the seamless transition of nurses from masters to doctorally prepared in about four years compared to 20 has long been another vision of the College of Nursing. It was achieved last year through Moore’s graduation from the DNP program, and about five other CNLs are set to do the same in the next three years, having entered the DNP program this past spring. “This year, the program reached the tipping point,” said Marion. “We know we’re there.”

For Moore, who graduated in May 2014 and is now a nationally certified Adult and Geriatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, her four years of study were challenging, informative, exhilarating and enlightening. During her DNP program, she worked as an ER nurse and is continuing to do so as a nurse practitioner, all while pursuing an international medicine fellowship before she returns to the mission field. “I wouldn’t have done it any other way,” she said.

Her DNP training is already helping her move the practice of nursing forward through evidence applied at the bedside—a skill she will rely on when she is overseas working to care for patients with limited resources. “Becoming a nurse … It was a good decision,” she said with a smile. “I love it, I really do; and I’m excited to finally be able to apply all this preparation, all this training for people who need urgent and emergent health care.”

Goolsby appointed Nursing Assistant Dean for Community Partnership

Dr. Mary Jo Goolsby, the new Nursing Assistant Dean for Community Partnerships, is all about forming partnerships, and she’s looking forward to building on those that have already been created.

“I’m really excited that the organization does have a history of successful partnerships,” she said. “So what this role does is give me an opportunity to maintain and grow those partnerships as well as look for new opportunities.”

Currently, formal partnerships exist with places like the East Central Regional Hospital, she said, and other examples have included agreements to provide wellness programs for employees at companies in the CSRA. Other long-term partnerships include the Healthy Grandparents Program and Greater Augusta Healthcare Network. While not all are currently active, she said she believes there are a lot of opportunities to revive and to grow partnerships for academic programs.

“I’m not sure what percentages of colleges of nursing have partnerships to the degree that GRU has been able to build up over the past several years,” she said. “I think the college has been very successful in that regard.”

Goolsby earned a BSN from Emory, a post-baccalaureate NP certificate from the U.S. Army Academy of Health Sciences, an MSN from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and an EdD from Florida State University. She earned a strong national reputation as an NP leader, culminating with the 2013 Loretta C. Ford Award for Advancement of the Nurse Practitioner Role in Health Care, the nation’s top honor for nurse practitioners.

For Goolsby, who was Vice President of Research, Education, and Professional Practice for the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and was the research specialist at University Hospital for several years, the new position seems tailor made.

“I love creating new and innovative programs, and that’s exactly what we’ll be doing here,” she said. “We often partner with clinical settings like local hospitals and that type of thing to deliver academic clinical experiences, but this is really looking at what’s out there in the community and beyond as far as organizations and populations that need services.”

As the nursing profession changes, Goolsby said, nursing colleges are working hard to adapt. According to a publication about the future of nursing by the Institute of Medicine, by the year 2020, 80 percent of all practicing nurses should have a baccalaureate degree, which opens up opportunities for colleges to bring in students who are practicing registered nurses who want to move up to a baccalaureate degree.

“Our dean is known as a visionary in the nursing community,” she said. “She’s built a really good group of faculty here, and they’re looking for opportunities such as these partnerships to improve the profession of nursing.”


BSN Students Provide Wellness Day for Area Seniors

The annual Senior Health and Fitness Day will be held at the Julian Smith Casino/Lake Olmstead Park on Tuesday, April 14. Start time is 8:45 a.m.

The wellness event is sponsored by Georgia Regents University, GRU College of Nursing, and Augusta Recreation, Parks, and Facilities. Approximately 143 junior BSN students will provide wellness activities and education for approximately 200 area seniors from the five senior centers operated by the Recreation Department.

After the National Anthem, invocation, and a welcome by Tamara McKethan from the GRU College of Nursing, participants will stretch and then move to the competition areas.

Those attending will also enjoy a Tai Chi presentation before lunch.

For more information, email Tamara McKethan at tmcketha@gru.edu.

Outstanding Faculty Awards

The following received Outstanding Faculty Awards at the Georgia Regents University University Senate Campus-Wide Faculty Recognition Ceremony on Thursday, March 19.


College of Allied Health Sciences

Miriam Cortez-Cooper, PT, PhD, Associate Professor, Physical Therapy

Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Pamela Hayward, PhD, Professor, Communications

James M. Hull College of Business

Todd. A. Schultz, PhD, Professor & Director, Computer & Information Sciences

College of Dental Medicine

Solon Kao, DDS, Associate Professor, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

College of Education

Paulette Harris, EdD, Cree-Walker Professor, Counselor Education, Leadership & Research

The Graduate School         

Lawrence Layman, MD, Professor

University Libraries

Julie Gaines, MLIS, Associate Professor and Head, GRU/UGA Medical Partnership Campus Library

College of Nursing

Stephanie Wright, DNP, Assistant Professor, Physiological & Technological Nursing

College of Science and Mathematics

Trinanjan Datta, PhD, Associate Professor, Chemistry & Physics

Medical College of Georgia

Walter Moore, MD, MACP, Senior Associate Dean for GME & VA Affairs and

Professor, Rheumatology & Adult Allergy

Online graduate nursing program ranked 31st nationally

Georgia Regents University’s online graduate nursing programs are among the top in the nation, according to a new ranking by U.S. News and World Report.

The GRU College of Nursing ranks 31st for Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs, up from 75th last year, according to new rankings released Wednesday by U.S. News and World Report.

“The sharp rise in rankings reflects a growing awareness of GRU excellence in online graduate nursing education,” said Dr. Lucy N. Marion, Dean of the Georgia Regents University College of Nursing. “We’ve entered our eighth decade as a college with a focus on investments in the future, including a new generation of faculty, increased partnerships, new technologies, and joint degree programs.”

The College of Nursing’s online graduate programs appeared for the first time in national rankings last January. U.S. News and World Report based the rankings on a number of factors including student engagement, faculty credentials and training, student services and technology, peer reputation, and admissions selectivity.

“The College of Nursing is committed to quality distance education to nurses wherever they are,” Marion said. “We’re proud of the faculty and staff associates who work together to achieve this new ranking.”

Five other Georgia schools, including Georgia College & State University, University of West Georgia, Clayton State University, Kennesaw State University, and Georgia Southern University were also ranked.

For a complete list of the top online graduate nursing programs in the U.S., see usnews.com/online. For more about programs at the GRU College of Nursing, see gru.edu/nursing.

Nursing professor wins national award for innovative teaching

AUGUSTA, Ga. – College classes don’t typically end with rounds of applause for the professor, but they do for Dr. Amber McCall.

The creative lectures and innovative teaching methods of this Georgia Regents University College of Nursing professor have earned her the 2014 American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s Didactic Novice Faculty Teaching Award, a national award recognizing young faculty in the first five years of their career.

Just how unusual are McCall’s teaching methods? A recent lecture on sexually transmitted infections included “What’s Happenin’ Downtown?,” an interactive activity including visuals, a quiz, and stuffed animals that look like the microbes of common venereal diseases.

“Our students opened beautifully wrapped gifts to ‘receive’ a random sexually-transmitted infection,” said McCall, Assistant Professor in the Department of Physiological and Technological Nursing. “The entire ‘STI sharing’ exercise was 100 percent unexpected and really left a positive impression on the students, as verbally expressed after class, and with actual applause.”

McCall was nominated by her students and peers for the award, one of two given by AACN honoring early-career nursing faculty from across the country. AACN’s review committee lauded McCall not only for her unique approach, but also the substance at the core of her lessons: “McCall has an evidence-based foundation for her teaching, yet she is not afraid to innovate beyond contemporary approaches to teaching,” the committee wrote.

McCall joined the College of Nursing faculty in the spring of 2012. She is an alumna of GRU, having earned bachelors and doctorate degrees in nursing in 2005 and 2011, respectively.

“Dr. Amber McCall is an inspiration to both students and faculty who cross her path,” said Dr. Stephanie Wright, a fellow Assistant Professor who nominated McCall. McCall works in the Clinical Nurse Leader pre-licensure program and has been instrumental to the program’s success, said Wright, noting the many ways in which McCall has introduced teaching strategies that engage students and promote thoughtfulness and creativity, particularly when it comes to technology.

“Dr. McCall infuses technology in her online and classroom lectures seamlessly. Her creativity promotes hands on, self-paced student learning. She developed an online course that incorporated her very own computerized simulated case studies,” Wright wrote in her nomination letter. “Dr. McCall is leading the way in integrating a plethora of innovative teaching strategies, such as gaming, group projects and simulation that captivate and inspire students to learn.”

As AACN’s recipient, McCall presented an AACN webinar highlighting some of her innovative teaching and learning strategies, along with other honors.

“It’s so wonderful to learn your hard work is paying off, through the award, which is an honor, but also in the ways my students are excelling and progressing,” McCall said. “I really do love teaching. It is meaningful work to me, and doesn’t really feel like work. It means a lot to me as a new teacher to be recognized for it.”

To learn more about the GRU College of Nursing, see gru.edu/nursing. Learn more about the PhD in Nursing Program, which prepares nurse scientists like McCall for research-intensive academic careers, at gru.edu/nursing/phdnursing.php.

WATCH: GRMC wins hospital bid

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) — Three hospitals wanted it, but there can only be one winner and on Wednesday we found out who that winner is. The state gave Georgia Regents Medical Center the green light to build a brand new hospital in Columbia County, but as News 12 reports details still need to be worked out and an appeal could delay everything.

The state says Georgia Regents’ plan to educate and build a level 2 trauma center set them apart.

Watch the full story on News 12.

Read: Georgia Regents wins Columbia County hospital bid

Georgia Regents Medical Center won a lengthy and hard-fought battle over two other Augusta hospitals to build the first hospital in Columbia County, the Georgia Department of Community Health decided Wednesday. But Doctors Hospital of Augusta said it would appeal and University Hospital said it was considering its response.