Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Nurses Talking Trash

Claire A. Baldwin, MSN, RN, vice president of Patient Services at Bryn Mawr Hospital, and staff nurse Carol Fazzini, RN, C join Ruth McDermott-Levy, PhD, RN, assistant professor at Villanova University College of Nursing (right) after a successful "Let's Talk Trash" pilot program for Main Line Health System nurses.

On a given day, nurses talk with patients about their illnesses and talk with team members about patient outcomes. Ruth McDermott-Levy, PhD, RN and colleague Carol Fazzini, RN, C have a lot of nurses also talking trash—waste generated by providing patient care, that is. According to Practice Green Health, as much as 85% of hospital waste is non-hazardous solid waste such as paper, cardboard and food. This waste can be recycled or composted thus reducing the waste stream and hauling costs.

Dr. McDermott-Levy, assistant professor at Villanova University College of Nursing, is a fervent advocate for a clean environment, as well as minimizing environmental health risks and the impact of healthcare on the environment. She is a community member of Main Line Health’s Healthy Work and Environment Council, and with Fazzini, a staff nurse on a telemetry unit at Bryn Mawr Hospital and co-chair of the Healthy Work and Environment Council, developed a program to address the concern of nurses in the health system.

Dr. McDermott-Levy collaborated with Fazzini to write a grant for Health Care Without Harm (HCWH), an international coalition of hospitals and health care systems, medical professionals and others with similar interests that works to implement ecologically sound and healthy alternatives to health care practices that pollute the environment and contribute to disease. This same group identified her as a Nurse Luminary in 2009 for her environmental work. With the funds from HCWH which supported consultation from Women's Environmental Health Network (WHEN), she and Fazzini created "Let's Talk Trash."

The "Let's Talk Trash" program teaches fellow nurses about the environmental impact of waste on healthcare systems and communities and how to safely reduce the amount of waste generated at the point of care. It was piloted at Bryn Mawr Hospital through four classes to cover various nursing shifts. Trash hauls are now being measured to see if there is a positive impact after the educational program. Claire A. Baldwin, MSN, RN, vice president of Patient Services at Bryn Mawr Hospital, is a proponent of the endeavor. Dr. McDermott-Levy explains, “She has been supportive of this program from the start and is working with a group from the hospital to expand Green Initiatives more widely.”

Developing this partnership and implementing such a program in a large health care system has been satisfying for those involved. Dr. McDermott-Levy and Fazzini shared the process through an article published in Nursing Administration Quarterly. [McDermott-Levy, R., & Fazzini, C. (2010). Identifying the Key Personnel in a Nurse-Initiated Hospital Waste Reduction Program. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 34 (4), 306–310.] “It has been rewarding to facilitate green practices with the hospital that serves my own family and community and one where I practiced as a young nurse,” notes Dr. McDermott-Levy, adding “The practice-academic partnership has enriched my teaching."

Monday, October 11, 2010

Villanova's College of Nursing represented in groundbreaking Philadelphia mural project

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter addresses those gathered for the nursing mural dedication on October 2, 2010; below, Villanova's Nursing Dean, Dr. Louise Fitzpatrick (4th from left), joins other sponsors in receiving a commemorative mural photo with artist Meg Saligman (far left).

Nursing will once again have a prominent face for those in the busy Philadelphia thoroughfare of Broad and Vine Sts. On October 6th the latest mural The Evolving Face of Nursing was dedicated at that location with representatives of the Villanova University College of Nursing in attendance. The College sponsored the mural , along with other schools and corporate and community friends of nursing. The College is also represented in the mural through the faces of its faculty, students and alumni.

The Evolving Face of Nursing is a groundbreaking project of the city’s Mural Arts Program, the largest in the nation. Philadelphia, which has already earned international recognition as the “City of Murals” can now claim the only mural with embedded LED lighting. As part of the artwork, leading nurses from throughout the city were captured in portraits and these portraits were reproduced on a large scale by renowned muralist Meg Saligman. This classical, elegant imagery will be lit with LED lighting that will change color throughout the night. The faces will transform on the wall as they appear to glow and shift in color, drawing in the passing viewer. All aspects of the career of nursing are represented in the mural, from students and directors to home care and visiting nurses.

Those with College of Nursing ties who are associated with the mural include Elise Pizzi, MSN, CRNP, adjunct assistant professor; ’72 alumna Donna Torrisi, MSN, CRNP, network executive director of the Family Practice and Counseling Network; undergraduate students Jennifer V. Hoang, David Sauerhoff and Ellen Stoner; graduate student Lena J. Congo and international student Suhaila K. Al Subhi, a nurse from the Sultanate of Oman.

The Evolving Face of Nursing, which replaced an older mural of nursing, captures the voices and images of Philadelphia’s nurses, reflecting their commitment to the people they serve and highlighting their ever-evolving role at the center of the healthcare profession. Saligman researched and interviewed practicing nurses throughout Philadelphia, exploring what exactly they want to say about their profession. The mural is a narrative that begins with the bygone days of starched uniforms and hats, and moves to the story of present day nurses who take on increasing responsibility, practicing with knowledge, skill, compassion and care. This 6,500 square foot mural animated with lights is unlike any other piece of public art that has been created. The mural is one image by day, and a different one by night with the lights.

Wall preparations began in October 2009. Over the winter and spring of 2010, Saligman worked on the design, and the mural was painted on sections of cloth in the artist’s studio during the fall and winter. Installation of the painted cloth and the LED lights began in April 2010. Students at Philadelphia-area schools participated in the painting of the mural in September 2010. It will be lit every evening.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Villanova Nursing to lead integration of disability content in NP curriculum

Nursing care of people with disabilities will improve in the future thanks to efforts stemming from a team at Villanova University College of Nursing, led by Elizabeth Blunt, Ph.D., R.N., APN, BC, assistant professor and coordinator of the nurse practitioner programs, and Suzanne Smeltzer, Ed.D., R.N., FAAN, professor and director of the College’s Center for Nursing Research. The College has received a three-year grant from the Advanced Education Nursing Program of the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for its project Preparing Primary Care Nurse Practitioners (NPs) to Care for Patients with Disabilities: Integration of Content into the Nurse Practitioner Curriculum. The purpose of this project is to improve the nursing care of a much underserved group in the United States: people with disabilities.

"Disability affects one in every fourth or fifth person in the U.S. This number is expected to increase because of the aging of the population, survival of many children with developmental disabilities and childhood illnesses well into adulthood, improved management of chronic illnesses and trauma, and adoption of healthy lifestyles by many,” notes Dr. Blunt, adding “Although nurse practitioners provide excellent primary care, many nurse practitioners are not as well prepared to work effectively with patients with disabilities as we would like.”

During the project, nurse practitioner teaching strategies will be identified and tested at Villanova’s College of Nursing and then shared nationally. Dr. Blunt, who maintains a clinical practice as a family nurse practitioner, describes some of the strategies, “We will be integrating individuals with disabilities in our classrooms and simulation labs to provide the same educational experiences for caring for individuals with disabilities as we do for all individuals. Additionally, when the grant project is fully implemented, nurse practitioner students in all tracks --adult, pediatrics, family--at Villanova University will complete a clinical practicum experience in a setting with individuals with disabilities." Currently, most NP programs do not include this sort of component in their curriculum.

“We hope to change the curricula of nurse practitioner programs across the country to include content related to disability so that future nurse practitioners are able to provide quality care to this population,” explains Dr. Smeltzer. She had led the College’s research and health promotion for people with disabilities through its Health Promotion for Women with Disabilities Project funded by a grant from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. Dr. Smeltzer, an internationally known scholar, researcher, educator and author, has served on disabilities-related committees and advisory groups and much of her research has addressed health issues of people with multiple sclerosis and other disabilities.

Why is this such a critical topic? There is strong empirical evidence that individuals with disabilities receive health care less often and are offered less effective and less aggressive treatment than their non-disabled counterparts. Based on the continuing health care disparities that affect people with disabilities, in 2005 the U.S. Surgeon General issued a Call to Action to Improve the Health and Wellness of Persons with Disabilities for measures to ensure accessible, comprehensive health care for all persons with disabilities so that they are able to have full, engaged and productive lives in their own communities. The Call to Action specifically identified the need for health profession education programs, including medicine and nursing, to teach students about disability.

College of Nursing honored for third time as Center of Excellence in Nursing Education

The Villanova University College of Nursing proudly announces its continued designation as a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League for Nursing (NLN). It received the honor for the third consecutive time at the NLN’s Education Summit 2010 in Las Vegas on October 1st.

“The Center of Excellence designation reflects the quality and national distinction of nursing education at Villanova,” says M. Louise Fitzpatrick, EdD, RN, FAAN, Connelly Endowed Dean and Professor.

The Center of Excellence (COE) recognition identifies schools of exceptional quality and is separate from accreditation. Schools are reviewed in one of three categories of their choice. The College’s designation was related to its commitment to “Creating Environments that Advance the Science of Nursing Education.” The College was among the first three schools to receive the inaugural COE designation in 2004 and received it again in 2007.

In the spirit of its national leadership role in nursing education, the College advances the science of nursing education in numerous ways. It is committed to using and conducting pedagogical research. Students, and nursing education in general, benefit from the College’s dedication to a model of scholarship that emphasizes a robust faculty role and the importance of evidence-based models of teaching and learning. The College embraces its pioneering health promotion course where students become involved participants in community health and encourages student participation in international experiential immersion learning opportunities as part of required courses. The College also has a major initiative integrating the use of scenario-based learning experiences in its state-of-the art clinical simulation labs with related systematic inquiry and research in the use of simulation for teaching and learning.

These are just a few examples, complemented by a strong tradition of mentorship between faculty and students to enhance the learning experience, demonstrating the dedication at Villanova’s College of Nursing to advancing the science of nursing education.