Inside the School of Nursing

Park, Popkess-Vawter recognized at retirement reception

June 11, 2014

Marilyn Parker and Dean Miller A welcome reception for incoming doctoral students served as a seemingly perfect send-off for retiring University of Kansas School of Nursing faculty members Sue Popkess-Vawter, Ph.D., RN, and Marilyn Parker, Ph.D., RN, who have both taught and advised in the school's graduate programs.

"Sue has gotten many a doctoral student in shape," said Karen Miller, senior vice chancellor for academic and student affairs at KU Medical Center and dean of the KU School of Nursing, speaking to a crowd that included dozens of doctoral students on campus for a required week-long course. Popkess-Vawter and Parker were recognized for their careers in a June 2 reception that also welcomed 67 doctoral students to the start of their new academic year. Read story.

KU School of Nursing Honors Program seniors present research

May 8, 2014

Morning Presenters, Mentors at 2014 Honors Research ProgramTen seniors in the University of Kansas School of Nursing Honors Program presented their research to a packed room of engaged faculty and students on Monday, just as National Nurses Week got underway. 

The presentations meant the Bachelor of Science in Nursing students had another opportunity to share their findings before graduating later this month. The students made presentations at other venues earlier in the year, including Research Day at the Capitol in Topeka, the Midwest Nursing Research Society in St. Louis and the Mind & Heart symposium in Liberty, Mo.

At the event Monday, Karen Miller, senior vice chancellor for academic and student affairs at KU Medical Center and dean of the KU School of Nursing, told students their research serves as a solid foundation for their future work as clinicians or even researchers.

Read more.

Schallom at International Health ShowcaseSchool of Nursing senior wins International Health showcase award

April 29, 2014

Kayla Benson, a senior from Woodbury, Minn., received the 2014 Citation Award at the International Health Elective Showcase this week, when 27 students from the three schools at KU Medical Center displayed posters highlighting their international travel.

As an award winner, Benson, who is in the U.S. Air Force ROTC, highlighted her research with a presentation from the podium as well as a poster, which displayed a blue Citation ribbon. "Burn Injuries in India." Benson will graduate later this month with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

The showcase was sponsored by the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, and the Office of International Programs at KU Medical Center. 

Read more.

KU School of Nursing doctoral student wins top honors at Student Research Forum

April 23, 2014

Lynn SchallomMarilyn Schallom, who will participate in the University of Kansas School of Nursing's doctoral hooding ceremony next month, received the Roma Lee Taunton Medal at the 2014 Student Research Forum held earlier this month at KU Medical Center.

Schallom won the top honor for her presentation at the forum of her study, "Head of Bed Elevation and Early Patient Outcomes of Gastric Reflux, Aspiration and Pressure Ulcers: A Feasibility Study."

 "This feasibility study demonstrated the safety of using a higher HOB (head of bed) elevation and needs to be replicated with a larger sample size and for longer periods of data collection," says Schallom, whose advisor was nurse scientist and School of Nursing professor Janet Pierce, Ph.D., APRN, CCRN, FAAN.

Read more about the 2014 Student Research Forum, including other School of Nursing students who presented this year.

Laptad students focus volunteer efforts on donations to Silver City

March 30, 2014

University of Kansas School of Nursing students in the Laptad Society have logged an estimated 400 volunteer hours this year in their fundraising efforts for Silver City Health Center.

Those efforts translated into dozens of over-the-counter (OTC) medications and a cash donation hand-delivered to the Kansas City, Kan., safety net clinic. Four Laptad students presented more than 80 bottles of OTC medications for children and adults, and a $1,750 check to Silver City on Jan. 31.

Read more.

School of Nursing assistant professors awarded Frontiers grants

Feb. 11, 2014

University of Kansas School of Nursing assistant professors Heejung Kim, R.N., Ph.D., and Martha Baird, Ph.D., have each been awarded a $20,000 Frontiers pilot grant, given each year to promising beginning-stage research projects conducted at participating institutions.  

Frontiers: The Heartland Institute for Clinical and Translational Research is an academic home for clinical and translational research, providing support to scientists and involving the community, so that discoveries and research findings will be brought more rapidly to the point of care.

Frontiers partners with other organizations and units to provide funding for a larger number of meritorious applications. In some cases, these units fully fund the awards themselves but use the services of the Frontiers peer review board.  

Kim's grant, funded by Frontiers and the KU Alzheimer's Disease Center, was awarded for her project, A Brain Fitness Program for Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment.   Baird will use her pilot grant, funded by  Frontiers, to expand her project, Promoting Refugee Women's Mental Health in Resettlement.

Here's a full list of 2014 recipients, announced Monday.   


Nursing students look at use of emergency room for primary care

Feb. 14, 2014

The number of insured patients who visit emergency departments for their primary care services is growing each year, indicating the use of EDs for primary care goes beyond a matter of health insurance, says two University of Kansas Medical Center students who researched the U.S. trend from the patients' point of view.

KU School of Nursing seniors Elizabeth Powell and Laurissa Beckman presented their research to legislators and the public in Topeka on Wednesday, Feb. 12, as part of the 2014 Kansas Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol. In their study, the two students looked at "Patients' Perceptions of Factors that Influence Accessing and Establishing Primary Care Services," and discovered there is not a simple explanation for people using EDs for non-emergency visits.

Read more.


Nursing researcher works with South Sudanese refugee community

Jan. 22, 2014

Martha Baird and Rebecca Mabior

Rebecca Mabior grabs a piece of paper and sketches a map of Africa to explain what life was like in her native South Sudan, a neglected east-central country that split from north Sudan in 2011. She draws a distinct line separating the two Sudans and talks about the destruction and trauma that come from perpetual civil wars, and the lack of infrastructural development, particularly in South Sudan.  

Mabior, who works as a translator at the Samuel U. Rodgers Health Clinic, is now using her experiences in South Sudan to help University of Kansas School of Nursing assistant professor Martha Baird research ways to improve the health and well-being of South Sudanese refugees living in greater Kansas City. "We survived war every day in South Sudan," Mabior says. "Going to the doctor when you're well is a difficult concept to understand." 

Read more.

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KU School of online graduate program ranked in Top 25

Jan. 8, 2014

The University of Kansas School Of Nursing was named to the Top 25 list of Best Online Graduate Programs in 2014 rankings released today by U.S. News & World Report.   The magazine said it received survey data from more than 1,000 distance education programs to compile the rankings. The KU School of Nursing ranked No. 24 on the list of Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs.   U.S. News said it compiled the rankings basd on data such as faculty credentials, graduation rates, student services and technologies.

The KU School of Nursing offers master's degree programs in organizational leadership, public health, nursing informatics, and clinical research management. The School of Nursing also has a doctor of nursing practice program, but data about that online program was not collected by U.S. News for rankings.

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Reception honors Center for retiring Health Informatics executive director

Dec. 20, 2013

Helen ConnorsUniversity of Kansas Medical Center faculty and staff joined School of Nursing Dean Karen Miller earlier this week in a retirement send-off for Helen Connors, RN, Ph.D., associate dean of integrated technologies at the KU School of Nursing and executive director of the KU Center for Health Informatics.

 "We are here celebrating a life transition for Helen, after 35 years of dedicated service," Miller told the audience at a crowded retirement reception held Tuesday afternoon in the School of Nursing atrium. Connors' two sons and grandchildren also were in attendance as co-workers presented gifts and speeches. 

More about Connors.

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School of Nursing students organize food drive to benefit SafeHome

Dec. 4, 2013

University of Kansas School of Nursing students organized a food drive to stock Thanksgiving baskets for the families at SafeHome, a domestic abuse shelter for Johnson County victims and their children.

Students collected more than 400 food items and a cash donation toward the SafeHome baskets, stuffed with everything needed to prepare a traditional Thanksgiving meal, says fourth-year nursing student Shelby Weber.

Their giving spirit was echoed by students across the KU Medical Center campuses.  Read more ______________________________________________________________________________________

Interprofessional talent show draws crowd of students

Nov. 15, 2013

About 200 students came to campus on a Thursday night earlier this month to cheer on their peers at the Show and Tell, a student-organized talent show in its second year.

"This year we included a just-for-fun judging component to increase incentive to perform," says Laura Banks, a fourth-year nursing student involved with the two student groups that sponsored the event.

Read more.


Pierce named to Hartley Centennial Professorship

Oct. 18, 2013

Janet Pierce, DSN, APRN, CCRN, has been named the Christine A. Hartley Centennial Professor in Nursing at the University of Kansas School of Nursing.

"The appointment is being given to Pierce for her years of dedicated service to the KU School of Nursing, her record of research accomplishments and funding, and her demonstrated key role in student research mentoring and advising," said School of Nursing Dean Karen Miller in her announcement to faculty and staff. Read more.


School of Nursing faculty receive awards at  Alumni Weekend

Oct. 11, 2013

Two University of Kansas School of Nursing faculty members and a 1999 School of Nursing alum received awards during the 2013 KU Medical Center Alumni Reunion Weekend, held Oct. 4-5.

Recognized at a luncheon Friday with other KUMC award winners were School of Nursing clinical instructor Jill Peltzer, Ph.D., RN, APRN, and School of Nursing professor Janet D. Pierce, Ph.D., APRN, CCRN.

The KUMC Alumni Association selected and presented the awards at the luncheon, hosted by the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor.Read more.


Nursing students volunteer in community for Service Day

Aug. 27, 2013

Community Service DayBefore classes got underway, about 100 KU School of Nursing students volunteered their time during orientation week at area nonprofit agencies as part of Community Service Day, which included an estimated 340 University of Kansas Medical Center students.

School of Nursing students Jesi James and Susanna Greusel spent the Aug. 22 morning working inside a newly constructed tool shed at the Rosedale Development Association in Kansas City, Kan., hanging peg boards and installing racks.

"They asked what people wanted to do and we both like construction work so we chose this," says James, whose hometown is Easton, Kan. Greusel's from Leawood, Kan.

Meanwhile, the other volunteers at the site cleaned out a storage room that will be turned into a community bike station and sorted through tools and other items to be moved to the new shed. Read more.


Inventor's gift establishes School of Nursing professorship

Aug. 22, 2013

FeasterAs the inventor of Superflab, a medical device used in radiology clinics across the country, Gene Feaster made a lasting improvement in the field of health care. As a University of Kansas alumnus who has made a $2 million gift to establish a professorship and two scholarships, he also has created a lasting legacy for KU students and faculty .

Of his gift, $1 million established the Ida Johnson Feaster Professorship in the KU School of Nursing. It is named for his late wife, who grew up on a ranch near Emporia and attended graduate school at KU. His gift also created two $500,000 endowed scholarship funds - one in nursing and the other in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Read more


KU School of Nursing named Center of Excellence

July 22, 2013

The National League for Nursing has designated the University of Kansas School of Nursing a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education.

The announcement put the KU School of Nursing in an elite group of schools to have garnered the award since the group began the designation nine years ago. It's the first in the region and among only 26 schools to receive the COE designation. Read more.


Study uses iPads to connect home health patients, families to care team

Carol SmithJune 26, 2013

A new telemedicine study led by University of Kansas School of Nursing researcher Carol Smith is investigating how iPad technology can be used to reduce intravenous blood stream infections in home health patients who suffer from severe digestive disorders.

The patients in the study receive life-sustaining nutrition directly into their bloodstream at home, with an intravenous blood infusion therapy called home parenteral nutrition (HPN). But complications include blood stream infections, and about a third of those with infections die.

The study is aimed at helping reduce infections and improve the lives for these patients as well as the family members who care for them at home. Read more.


Ebbert receives nurse practitioner award

June 24, 2013

Diane EbbertDiane Ebbert, assistant professor at the University of Kansas School of Nursing, has been recognized for her excellence as a nurse practitioner by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).

Ebbert is also director of Advanced Practice programs at the School of Nursing, on the faculty at KU School of Medicine, and maintains an active practice as a family nurse practitioner in the KU Department of Family Medicine.

Ebbert, Ph.D., APRN, FNP-B, won the State Award for Nurse Practitioner Excellence in Kansas from the AANP, which has about 155,000 nurse practitioner members. Ebbert was honored with other award recipients at the group's national conference June 19-23 in Las Vegas.


School of Nursing announces promoted, tenured faculty members

May 24, 2013

Several School of Nursing faculty members were honored at the annual Promotion and Tenure dinner May 23 on the University of Kansas Medical Center campus.

Diane Boyle, Ph.D., RN, was promoted to professor (previously tenured), and Nelda Nelda Godfrey, Ph.D., ARNP, BC, was promoted to clinical professor (full-time, non-tenure). Promoted to clinical assistant professor (full-time, non-tenure) were Nancy Barr, MS, RN; LaVerne Manos, DNP, RN-BC; Jill Peltzer, Ph.D., RN, APRN; JoAnn Peterson, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC; and Christina Phillips, DNP, APRN, FNP-C.

Newly promoted and tenured faculty were honored at the annual Promotion and Tenure dinner on the KUMC campus on Thursday, May 23.


Ceremony recognizes graduates, honors faculty, students with awards

May 19, 2013

GraduatesThe University of Kansas School of Nursing honored 229 graduates during its May 18 Recognition Ceremony at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan.

The ceremony recognized 127 students who graduated in May and 73 graduates from August and December 2012. May graduates included 127 students with Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees, 19 with master's degrees and seven with Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).

School of Nursing Dean Karen Miller told graduates at the ceremony, "You will have long careers in health care. We need each and every one of you."

Also at the ceremony, students and faculty received awards for their achievements during the academic year. Read more.


'Legend' Ada Sue Hinshaw shares insight from experience with SON

April 23, 2013

Ada Sue HinshawAda Sue Hinshaw, the first director of the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) at the National Institutes of Health, shared her insight and experience with faculty, staff and students during a two-day visit to the University of Kansas School of Nursing campus.

Hinshaw, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, known nationally for her contributions to nursing research, health policy and education leadership, spent April 18-19 at her alma mater. She spoke to a packed auditorium Friday, April 19, in her "Lessons from Legends" presentation, sponsored by Mary Anne Eisenbise as part of the Eisenbise Executive Development Series.

She led the National Institute of Nursing Research in its support of disease prevention, health promotion, acute and chronic illness, and the environments that enhance nursing patient care outcomes.

"She is a wonderful role model, and an inspiration to many of us," said Mary Gambino, director of Continuing Education for the KU School of Nursing and organizer of the development series presentation.

Last modified: Sep 22, 2014
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