Inside the School of Nursing
Faculty and Students Attend Nursing Research Conference
Last month, 16 faculty members and 10 students from KU School of Nursing attended the 45th Midwest Nursing Research Society Annual Research Conference. Held virtually March 24-27, the conference’s theme was, “Team Science: Advancing Culturally Responsive Research to Improve Health Outcomes.”
Several faculty members and students won awards at the conference. See the full list of presenters and awards below, or visit the MNRS website for conference details.
Faculty Presentations and Awards
Becky Christian, Ph.D, RN, FAAN, program director of the Ph.D. in Nursing Program, professor
- Presentation: Collaboration Through NEXus: Expanding Our Resources for Doctoral Education in Nursing
Amy Garcia, DNP, RN, CENP, director of the Office of Practice, clinical associate professor
- Presentation: COVID-19 Impact on Nurses Study (COINS): Long Term Care
- Award: 2021 Distinguished Abstract
Diane Mahoney, Ph.D., DNP, FNP-BC, WHNP-BC, assistant professor
- Presentation: Effects of Gastrointestinal Microbiota Dysbiosis on Inflammatory Markers, Ovarian Cancer Development, and Metastasis
Jill Peltzer, Ph.D., APRN-CNS, associate professor
- Presentation: Experiences of Chronic Disease Management During COVID-19 Pandemic: Narratives from Vulnerable Families
Barbara Polivka, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, associate dean of research, professor
- Presentation: Workshop 1: Toolbox for Collecting and Integrating Environmental and Occupational Exposure Data
- Presentation: Collaboration Through NEXus: Expanding Our Resources for Doctoral Education in Nursing
Maryellen Potts, Ph.D., education assistant professor
- Presentation: A Qualitative Evaluation of a Nurse Led Pre-Operative Stoma Education Program for Bladder Cancer Patients
- Award: 2021 Distinguished Abstract
- Presentation: Exploring Culturally Congruent Care for Palliative and End-Of-Life Care for Patients and Families
Ericka Sanner-Stiehr, Ph.D., RN, clinical assistant professor
- Presentation: Impact of Working in COVID-19: Well-Being and Intent to Stay or Leave Among Nurses, Certified Nurse assistants and Therapists
- Award: 2021 Distinguished Abstract
Qiuhua Shen, Ph.D., APRN, RN, assistant professor
- Presentation: Exploring the Pathogenesis of Obesity-Related High Output Heart Failure
Kristi Williams, RN, Ph.D., FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN, E. Jean Hill Professor
- Presentation: Psycholinguistic Screening for Cognitive Decline in Cancer Survivors: A Pilot Study
Kristi Williams, RN, Ph.D., FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN, E. Jean Hill Professor; Carissa Coleman, research assistant professor; Amy Berkley, Ph.D., Zimmerman post-doc student
- Presentation: Developing a Web App for Targeted Nursing Home Recruitment During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Carli Zegers, Ph.D., APRN, FNP-BC, assistant professor
- Presentation: KC HealthTracks: A Workforce Diversity Pipeline for Underserved High Students Interested in Healthcare Professions
Student and Alumni Presentations and Awards
Ashley Dinkel, Doctor of Nursing Practice student
- Presentation: Implementing a Screening Tool to Identify Women with Increased Risk for Breast and Ovarian Cancer at a Primary Care Clinic
Katie Fee, DNP ’20
- Presentation: Improving Adherence to Cervical Cancer Screening Guidelines in Women Living with HIV: A Quality Improvement Initiative
- Award: Health of Diverse Population Research Interest Group – Capstone Award
Kelly Hewins, Ph.D. ’20
- Presentation: You Want Me to Document What: A Qualitative Descriptive Study of Ed Nurses’ Perceived Role in the Use of Electronic Healthcare Records in a Learning Healthcare System
Tak Yee Leung, Doctor of Nursing Practice student
- Presentation: Implementing a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Screening for First Responders in a Rural Concierge Clinic
Dominique Magno, Master of Science in Nursing student
- Presentation: Use of mHealth Technology Among Rural and Adolescent Populations: An Integrative Review of the Literature
- Award: 3rd Place Poster Winner – MSN Student Poster Competition
Matthew Moeder, Bachelor of Science in Nursing student
- Presentation: Determining the Effectiveness of Presenting Requests to People Living with Dementia: A Secondary Analysis
Andreanna Steinhoff, Ph.D. ‘20, Zimmerman post-doc student
- Presentation: Post-Treatment Symptoms, Life Interference, and Demoralization in Head and Neck Cancer Survivors
- Award: 3rd Place Poster Winner – Ph.D. Student Poster Competition
Gabrielle Thomure, Bachelor of Science in Nursing student
- Presentation: Observational Comparison of Spinal Accessory and Ulnar Nerve Using Stimpod-450 Acceleromyography Monitoring of Neuromuscular Blockade
Karen Towne, Ph.D. in Nursing student
- Presentation: Epigenetics/Epigenomics and Disasters: A Review of the Literature
- Award: Population Health Research Interest Group — Distinguished Student Award
Solveig Weinberg, Bachelor of Science in Nursing student
- Presentation: Prevalence and Predictors of Peripheral Intravenous Infiltration/Extravasation in Pediatric and Neonatal Inpatient Settings
About the Midwest Research Society
The Midwest Nursing Research Society was founded in 1975. The goal of the society is to provide networking and learning opportunities to members to advance their careers in nursing science and lead innovation to improve the health of all people. Learn more about the Midwest Nursing Research Society.
Students connect virtually with Kenya
Senior nursing students had the unique opportunity to learn about COVID-19 effects in Kenya through their population health course. Students at KU met virtually over three class periods in December with students from Moi University in west-central Kenya. Students from both continents presented findings on COVID related topics.Michelle S. Cochran, DNP, RN, clinical instructor of population health, explained that the idea to work virtually with Moi University came about due to suspension of international travel. Cochran said the project's success was founded upon support from the School of Nursing administration, the KUMC Office of International Programs and volunteer faculty. Cochran plans to continue virtual collaborations moving forward.
KU student presentations included:
- The Impact of COVID-19 on People Living in Poverty within Wyandotte County
- The Impact of COVID-19 on Prisoners in Leavenworth County
- The Effect of COVID-19 on Elementary School Children in Wyandotte County
Moi student presentations included:
- Impact of COVID-19 on the Utilization of Health Services in Kenya
- Impact of COVID-19 on the Mental Health of Kenyans and Health Workers
- Interrelationship between Culture and COVID-19
Select KU senior nursing students reflected on their experiences, below:
Lily French: "My experience with this class has deepened my understanding of population health on a local to global level. The students from Kenya have shaped the kind of nurse I want to be for the better."
Annastasia Milton: "My biggest takeaway from the global presentations was the universality of the human experience, particularly amidst times of crisis. Being able to compare the impact of a pandemic in cities on two separate continents opened my eyes to the degree to which individuals living in completely different places can experience the same event and have similar feelings."
Helen Rhodes: "Now that I have seen just one glimpse into global health, I am eager to learn more about the plethora of experiences within population health around the world. This opportunity highlighted how similar our lives are, and the how our differences are impactful towards creating culturally competent care."
Nola Vincze: "It was nice to find comradery with nursing students so far away. We are all trying our best to get through school during a global pandemic, because in the end, we all want to help people."
Hinch-Hill Academic Society raises funds for Philippine school - Gogon Central School
Schools locally and abroad are experiencing the major impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. While some schools use technology to facilitate remote learning, Gogon Central School in the Philippine's cannot. Instead, teachers must produce and print hard copy learning packets for students to pick up and return completed.
Chito Belchez, DNP, RN-BC, clinical assistant professor, completed his primary school at Gogon Central School and continues to stay connected with the school. Belchez is acutely aware of how the pandemic has disproportionately affected the school and surrounding community.
At the right: Dr. Chito Belchez receiving honors at graduation from Gogon Central School.
Belchez made Hinch-Hill Academic Society's Executive Board aware of Gogon Central School's difficulties. The executive board decided to start a fundraiser for the school. Hinch Hill Society raised $1,066, in collaboration with Belchez and the KU Nursing Alumni Society who graciously matched the society's collected donation. Proceeds will help the school with printer supplies and promotion of distance modular learning.
Contributors to the article: Brenna Carey, Senior Nursing Student, President, Hinch-Hill Academic Society and Hope Edmonds, Senior Nursing Student, Treasurer, Hinch-Hill Academic Society.
Pictured below: Gogon Central School students in the Philippines.
December 2020 Student spotlight
Mamie Williams, Ph.D. student
In a recent conversation, Mamie Williams shared that she decided to pursue her Ph.D. because it was a long-standing personal goal of hers. "I've always been inspired by my nursing instructors who were Ph.D. prepared," said Williams. "They seemed to have a foundation in nursing that I wanted to emulate."
Williams works at Vanderbilt University as director of nurse safety and well-being. She has enjoyed the benefits of the Ph.D. program in her current role and looks forward to what it holds for her future. She would like to ensure nurses have a safe working environment and plans to evaluate programs that are put in place at her institution to assess how well they are working. After completing her Ph.D., Williams also hopes to contribute to nursing literature through best practices that ensure a safe environment for nurses.
Williams values the support and mentorship she has received from the Ph.D. program at KU and urges nurses to get their Ph.D. if it's something they're interested in. "Sometimes you hear, what is a Ph.D. going to do for me? But the benefits you receive from your current work are so beneficial to you professionally. If you're looking at the University of Kansas program, I don't think you could find a more supportive and well-planned program," Williams said.
Williams is currently writing her dissertation and hopes to graduate in May 2021.
September 2020 New Partnership
Ignite Medical Resorts partners with School of Nursing to engage onsite consultant
Ignite Medical Resorts in Kansas City announced a partnership with the University of Kansas School of Nursing that will place an advanced practice nurse and faculty member with Ignite as a consultant. Susan Hofman, APRN, RN, and a clinical associate professor at the KU School of Nursing, will join Ignite as part of a professional services agreement.
Hofman will assist Ignite with orientation, training and assessment, while providing consultation on evidence-based approaches for care delivery. Her efforts will be focused within the Kansas City area, but she will have the opportunity to influence the Ignite processes and systems nationwide.
"Quality care and service is at the heart of what we do. We are thrilled to partner with the KU School of Nursing to improve our training and education of our staff to enhance the quality of care to our guests," said Tim Fields, CEO and co-founder of Ignite Medical Resorts.
"We are excited to create this unique agreement with Ignite," said Nelda Godfrey, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, associate dean of innovative partnerships and practice and professor at the KU School of Nursing. "We believe we have found an innovative way to assist companies like Ignite in integrating evidence-based learning into their processes and systems."
Hofmann earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Cincinnati and her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Kansas. She served as a U.S. Army nurse for 12 years, first as a medical/surgical nurse and then for five years in the emergency department. She has taught in an interprofessional clinic within the University of Kansas Health System and has been an American Heart Association educator teaching Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) for more than 20 years. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in nursing practice at KU.
September 2020 New Faculty
Welcome to Becky Christian, Ph.D., Director, PhD Program
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Becky Christian will join the University of Kansas School of Nursing faculty on September 1, 2020 as Professor (tenured) and Director of the PhD Program. Welcome Dr. Christian!
Dr. Christian received her bachelor's degree and master's degree (family-child nursing) from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and doctorate (nursing) from The University of Texas at Austin. Her research is focused on children and adolescents with chronic illness and how families adapt to and manage their child's chronic condition. Dr. Christian also has extensive experience teaching child health nursing, theory development, research methods, and measurement, as well as mentoring students in dissertation research and evidence-based practice scholarly projects and translational research. She most recently served as director of the doctor of philosophy in nursing program at the University of Louisville School of Nursing (4 years). Dr. Christian is a Distinguished Scholar and Fellow in the interprofessional National Academies of Practice and, most recently, is being inducted as a 2020 Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.
July 2020 Student Spotlight
RN-to-BSN student volunteers in New York hotspot caring for COVID-19 patients
Despite the long hours, heartbreaking scenes burned into her memory, and the ever-present threat of contracting a disease that could kill her, Nayeli Bustillos, RN, says she is glad for the experience of caring for COVID-19 patients in New Rochelle, New York.
Bustillos is a University of Kansas School of Nursing student in the online RN-to-BSN degree program. She staffed the acute dialysis unit at Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital, which was packed with patients because COVID-19 can cause kidney injury requiring dialysis treatment. She worked 12- to 18-hour shifts for a month, beginning April 12, while working with her professors to amend or delay her assignments and exams.
"They were great to work with," she said of her professors. "I was able to complete my final exams, and I submitted some late assignments. Through the online program, I was able to take this opportunity in New York that I might not have been able to, if I was taking face-to-face classes."
She volunteered when her employer, Fresenius Medical Care, asked for help in New Rochelle. In 2017, the same company asked for volunteers to care for patients in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Bustillos signed up.
"It was a good experience, and I knew I wanted to do something like that again," she said.
Janet Severine, APRN-NP, DNP, adjunct assistant professor, compared Bustillo's experience in New York to joining the Army or Air Force. Bustillos was enrolled in Severine's Nursing 449, Nursing Care in the Health Care Organization.
"I'm certain she would have received a better grade if she hadn't gone to New York," Severine said. "But there's also something to be said for experience. I highly commend her for having the guts to go. She could have gotten sick. But it was an experience of a lifetime."
In her journal, Bustillos wrote about caring for a confused woman in her 80s, crying out desperately for a loved one that wasn't there and couldn't be there because of COVID-19 visitor restrictions. That encounter, and many more like it, challenged her personally and professionally.
"These past three weeks are among the most mentally challenging times I've ever experienced in my life," she wrote. "What I can manage is the busyness and chaos that fills the days-it's the nights that I struggle the most. It's during this time that my mind has time to process the devastation that unfolded earlier that day. It's during this time when it gets rough." Read more about Nayeli's experiences in New Rochelle on the KU Medical Center website.
May 2020 Student Spotlight
Drs. Pimple and Hess - Journey to DNP
Kari Hess and Cathy Pimple have been through nursing school together since day one. Both earned BSNs from Emporia State University in 1996 and this year, they earned DNP degrees from KU. Dr. Pimple graduated in December with a public health specialty, and Dr. Hess will graduate this month with an organizational leadership specialty. "We don't miss a beat, and it always seems like we pick up where we left off," Dr. Hess said.
Pictured to the right: Drs. Kari Hess and Cathy Pimple.
Dr. Pimple wanted to earn a DNP because "as a healthcare leader I appreciated the strategy and tactics necessary to protect and improve the health of our community and population." While completing the program, working as a Chief Quality and Compliance Officer, she was able to apply organizational and systems leadership, gain improvements in health outcomes and ensure patient safety. As she continues to move forward in her career, Dr. Pimple is excited to discover what is next.
Dr. Hess decided to pursue a DNP with an organizational leadership specialty after her KU master's comprehensive exam in 2009. She recalls an exam committee member encouraging her to continue her education endeavors in a doctoral program. "Their statement taught me that we do not realize the impact of our words through encouragement, by planting the seeds for professional attainment, and aspiring [me] to becom[e] a nurse leader," she said. Dr. Hess is an Associate Professor at Emporia State University and is excited to utilize the skills she has acquired as a transformational leader to inspire her colleagues and students.
Both Pimple and Hess have advice for BSN students embarking upon graduate study. Dr. Pimple encourages students to be, "patient and embrace the journey," to continue learning and remain humble with success. Dr. Hess urges students to not wait for the right time to pursue a graduate degree-because it never will be the right time. "Just go for it! Be a part of the solution and move the profession forward with innovation and evidence-based practice," she said.
April 2020 Student Spotlight
Teale Ryan, Master's in Health Informatics Student
Teale Ryan, clinical instructor at KU School of Nursing-Salina and a master's in health informatics student, finds ways to stay connected with her students.
Ryan decided to reach her students through an effort she calls "Rock Chalk the walk." For students remaining in Salina, she chalked up their sidewalks with encouraging messages. "I wanted them to know KUSON faculty loves and misses them," said Ryan.
As health care providers, we will always be essential workers, so we must learn to adapt and problem solve. Having a good connection generates trust in each other that can carry into practice.
March 2020 Student Spotlight
Rachel Loder (N4) Meets Representative Sharice Davids
Between her clinical experiences at Vibrant Health and recently meeting Kansas Representative Sharice Davids, fourth-year nursing student Rachel Loder reflects on how she returned to the place where her interest in nursing started.
Pictured from left to right: Sofia Navarro, NP, Kansas State Representative Sharice Davids, and Rachel Loder, KU School of Nursing N4.
Prior to entering KU School of Nursing, Loder worked as a care coordinator and Spanish interpreter at Vibrant Women’s Health Center.. She explained that Vibrant fills a huge gap in access to care for a lot of people in Wyandotte county, and states that the organization, “practices what they preach” in offering health care access to patients who don’t have insurance to cover necessary procedures. So, when the time came to select N4 population health clinical rotations, Loder knew she wanted to return to Vibrant.
Loder appreciates her preceptor, nurse practitioner Sofia Navarro, and the opportunity to serve Vibrant’s prenatal patients. Loder plans to work in the maternity unit at the University of Kansas Health System in Kansas City, where many Vibrant patients deliver their babies. “It’s cool to see the whole spectrum before I work at the post-natal site,” Loder said.
Equally meaningful for Loder was the opportunity to meet Kansas State Representative Sharice Davids. In early February, Representative Davids created a promotional video for American Heart Awareness month at Vibrant. Vibrant was selected because of the work the center does in heart disease screening and prevention. Loder shared that meeting Representative Davids further fueled her interest in health policy. “It was cool seeing policy and health care coming together right in front of me,” she said.
Loder recommends to her colleagues a clinical rotation at Vibrant, calling it “a great place to learn.” For Loder, population health and experiences at Vibrant Health are what led her nursing.
September 16, 2019
Jerrihlyn L. McGee, clinical assistant professor, has been named vice chancellor for diversity, equity and inclusion effective Monday, Sept. 16. In her new role, Dr. McGee will serve as the chief diversity officer and will lead and coordinate diversity-related initiatives on the three KUMC campuses and chair the vice chancellor's diversity cabinet. She will develop and oversee programs, services and initiatives designed to enhance the organization's cultural competence and the successful recruitment, professional development and retention of students, faculty and staff from diverse and under-represented population groups.
Dr. McGee will continue in some capacity in her role as faculty and program director for graduate leadership programs in the School of Nursing.
August 29, 2019
The Salina Health Education Center is expanding by 15,871 square feet to allow the School of Nursing in Salina to add more students. Since the campus opened to nursing students in 2017, the class size has grown from 8 students to currently 18 and is expected to reach up to 24. Read the story here.
August 12, 2019
Four faculty members at KU Medical Center will receive the 2019 Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Awards, selected by a committee of Medical Center faculty and students. Kelly Bosak, associate professor will be recognized at the KU Teaching Summit Aug. 22. Congratulations! Read the full article here.
LaVerne Manos, DNP, RN-BC, FAMIA became a member of the Inaugural Class of AMIA Fellows.
This program recognizes members who apply informatics skills and knowledge within their professional setting, who have demonstrated professional achievement and leadership, and who have a sustained commitment to the betterment of AMIA. Members are now authorized to use the letters FAMIA (Fellow of the American Medical Informatics Association) in connection with their professional activities where balancing the needs of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and others working within clinical informatics settings, with the needs of professionals working in public health, clinical research, and other areas where informatics is applied to practice.
Midwest Nursing Research Society conference.
The KU School of Nursing hosted the 43th annual Midwest Nursing Research Society conference on March 27-30, 2019, at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Kansas City. Nearly 900 nursing scholars and students attended from 36 states and five countries.
New associate dean for research joins KU School of Nursing.
The University of Kansas School of Nursing has a new associate dean for research. Barbara J. Polivka, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, joined the KU School of Nursing on February 1.
Polivka comes to KU from the University of Louisville School of Nursing, where she had been professor and the Shirley B. Powers Endowed Chair in Nursing Research since 2012. Before that, she had been on the faculty of The Ohio State University College of Nursing since 1999.
Polivka was offered the associate dean for research position at the KU School of Nursing after a national search following the retirement of her predecessor, Marjorie Bott, Ph.D., RN., in 2018. Bott, who joined the KU School of Nursing faculty in 1990, became associate dean for research in 2003.