Tuesday, November 30, 2010

College of Nursing continues accreditation by CCNE

The College of Nursing proudly announces the continued accreditation of its undergraduate and graduate programs by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Reaccreditation was granted for 10 years.

The College had its site visit from the CCNE—the accreditation agency in relationship with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing— in February 2010 as part of the 10-year renewal process. The official review and subsequent notification of reaccreditation came this fall. The achievement follows the College’s recent 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.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Villanova Nursing Chapter of SNAP is again voted top in state

Members of SNAP-Villanova's delegation to the state SNAP convention in Lancaster pose with the certificate award for the most outstanding chapter in Pennsylvania (large chapter category).

The Student Nurses’ Association of Pennsylvania (SNAP) again recognized the Villanova Chapter of SNAP as the Most Outstanding Chapter in the state in the category of chapters with over 100 members. It is an unusual honor for a chapter to win the state’s highest award in two consecutive years. The award was presented at SNAP’s 58th Annual Convention Defying Gravity: Nursing without Boundaries held in Lancaster from November 17 - 20, 2010.

Senior Lindsey Waters, chapter president, led the delegation of forty-one students who joined over 800 other participants at the convention. College of Nursing freshman through seniors attended, including international and adult learner students, along with longtime chapter advisor Carol Toussie Weingarten, PhD, RN, ANEF, associate professor.

In addition, SNAP-Villanova's October Breast Cancer Awareness project which disseminated breast self-exam shower cards to dorms on campus was runner up in the state wide Community Health Award competition. The project was chaired by Executive Vice President Megan Copel, a junior. Waters and fellow seniors Alyssa Canino, co-chair of special projects and Alison Spicer, vice president, received scholarship awards for excellence.

SNAP-Villanova's resolution focusing on prevention of text messaging while driving was passed by the House of Delegates and becomes an official "stand" of the state association. Authored by seniors Kaitlyn K. Murphy, legislative coordinator, and Caitlin Krenek, fundraising co-chair, the resolution was presented by classmate Caitlin Singlemann. Further Villanova leadership was demonstrated in the elections. As has happened each year since the early 80s, a Villanovan was elected to the state SNAP Board of Directors. Michael Martinoli, a junior who had been the 2009-2010 legislative coordinator, is now secretary/treasurer, replacing outgoing senior Ellen Stoner.

The College of Nursing presence was extended through speakers such as Dr. Weingarten who presented Caring for Wounded and Ill Troops: Volunteering with the Chaplains' Wounded Warrior Ministry Projects at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. College of Nursing alumna and former state SNAP President Jenny Yost, ’00 BSN, PhD, RN presented a keynote address Defying Gravity: Nursing Without Boundaries, along with her mother, Eileen Yost, RN, nurse manager of New York City's Roosevelt-St. Luke's Hospital Emergency Department.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

College of Nursing welcomed New Zealand nursing scholar

Dr. Spence, right, joins for a photo after observing senior nursing students and faculty Michelle Kelly, MSN, CRNP in a pediatric asthma scenario.

The College of Nursing was pleased to host Deb Spence, PhD this fall. Dr. Spence is responsible for both graduate and undergraduate students in the nursing program at her college – AUT University in Auckland, New Zealand. She was traveling in the United States this semester on a sabbatical to learn more about advanced practice nursing (APN) education and clinical practice and the use of simulation in nursing education. During her time in the United States, she was visiting a variety of educational and clinical locations to explore different teaching strategies, our approach to a culture of safety, and nurse-managed community clinics. She was particularly interested in seeing how low/high fidelity simulation can be used for undergraduate instruction especially mental health nursing scenarios and in APN education for enhancing clinical preparation and decision making.

Dr. Spence’s areas of teaching are advanced practice nursing, culture of safety and philosophy of science. In her faculty role, she provides research supervision for master’s and doctoral students in nursing and other disciplines who are conducting qualitative research especially using hermeneutic phenomenology.

Nursing student leads Naval ROTC battalion

Melding nursing and campus leadership is not new to Villanova nursing students but one senior, Megan A. Walsh, has put an even more unique spin on it. Walsh, the oldest of three children from Langhorne, Pa. and the daughter of two Army officers, is the first nursing student to be the Battalion Commander of the University’s Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) Unit, a role she assumed in Spring 2010 for this academic year.

“Nobody has really attempted this job so far because of the time commitment of the position, the hours necessary to commit to nursing clinical and class, and the amount of time required for planning, coordinating, and carrying out all NROTC events,” explains Walsh. “I owe my ability to successfully carry out the semester to the help of my Executive Officer, Nicholas Moran, who is a senior marine option, and to the other dedicated members of the battalion staff.” She is a humble, smart, talented —and very busy—student who also balances membership in Alpha Phi sorority and the campus club lacrosse team.

Why Naval ROTC? Walsh was inspired by the sister of a high school friend, Lt. Emily Karonis, ’07 BSN who was then a Villanova Nursing student in NROTC. “She really introduced me to the relationship between Villanova and the Navy on campus and the important role of the nursing school in Villanova's Naval history,” explains Walsh.

The NROTC experience complements the nursing leadership skills she continues to develop, as well as her clinical education. “ROTC enhances my nursing education by providing me with extensive summer training experiences. I came into clinical with experience and confidence after my summer training in a ship's hospital ward after my freshmen year, and at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego during this past summer,” notes Walsh, where she was also able to shadow alumna Karonis. “After working in the naval hospital this past summer, I experienced the excellent reputation that Villanova Nurses have in the Navy, set by Villanova grads who are junior officers up to the Director of the Navy Nurse Corps and higher,” she adds. Both training sessions essentially served as externships, providing her with hands-on experience treating general medical-surgical, obstetric and pediatric patients. It also exposed her to career options. She offers, “I would like to be stationed in NMC San Diego on either a postpartum, pediatric, or labor and delivery floor and eventually cross train into the NICU.” She hopes to become a neonatal nurse practitioner.

Walsh sees how she has grown with even sharper skills in time management, short- and long-term planning, risk management and delegation. “These are crucial to my nursing career in managing patient care and delegating to make sure everything is completed to a high standard during the shift,” says Walsh, adding “I've also learned how to adapt myself and my leadership style to work with a variety of people. I've learned the importance of honing in on what motivates people in order to help them appreciate the importance of getting a task done.”

College of Nursing’s nurse anesthesia program reaccredited

The nurse anesthesia program of the Villanova University College of Nursing and Crozer-Chester Medical Center has been reaccredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs, a specialized accrediting body recognized by both the U.S. Department of Education and The Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The reaccreditation process occurs every 10 years.

The nurse anesthesia specialty in the College’s Graduate Program prepares nurses with a sound base of theoretical knowledge and clinical experience in the practice of nursing anesthesia as they earn their master of science in nursing degree. The 27-month program consists of classroom and clinical experience that exceed the minimum requirement set forth by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs and offers unique learning opportunities to its students.

Interestingly, certified nurse anesthetists or CRNAs, who are the main provider of anesthesia to men and women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, have their roots in the 1800s, when nurses first gave anesthesia to wounded soldiers on the battlefields of the Civil War. They are the first healthcare providers dedicated to the specialty of anesthesia. CRNAs provide anesthetics to patients in every practice setting, and for every type of surgery or procedure, according to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. CRNAs are also the sole anesthesia providers in two-thirds of all rural hospitals, and the main provider of anesthesia to expectant mothers.

The College of Nursing’s nurse anesthesia concentration began in 1997. The current program with Crozer-Chester Medical Center admitted its first students in August 2002. The highly competitive program, which draws students nationally, offers three curriculum course tracks that give students flexibility and the opportunity to take MSN classes prior to the anesthesia clinical component. There are traditional, nontraditional, and post-master’s courses of study. With many of the core courses online, both out-of-state and local students can take courses prior to enrolling in the anesthesia portion of the program; this enables the working student to continue full-time employment while studying at home. Students are exposed to a variety of full-time adjunct faculty, consisting of board-certified anesthesiologists, certified registered nurse anesthetists, and doctorally prepared faculty.

The program has access to all facilities at Crozer-Chester Medical Center and its affiliated institutions. Students hone clinical judgment and skills in clinical scenarios on Villanova’s interactive human patient simulators and anesthesia machines before seeing similar cases in the operative setting. Clinical experience is obtained at more than 20 clinical sites located in Philadelphia and its suburbs, central Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware to gain exposure to different facilities and techniques. Rotating to various clinical sites also helps students network and most are quickly recruited upon graduation. Upon completion of the professional curriculum, students are eligible to take the National Certification Exam administered by the Council on Certification of Nurse Anesthetists. To date, graduate performance on the national certification examination far exceeds the national norm.

For more info about the program, visit http://www.villanova.edu/nursing/programs/graduate/masters/concentrations/anesthesia .