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  • Nursing School Named KidCheck Nursing School of the Year+

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    Samford University’s Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing has received Sight Savers America’s inaugural KidCheck Plus Nursing School of the Year Award. Samford nursing students partner with KidCheck Plus, a school-based health screening program, to provide head to toe screenings for PreK-12th grade students in rural and urban Alabama. Samford is one of the program’s 20 nursing school partners in Alabama.

    Nursing school dean Eleanor V. Howell, associate dean Joy Whatley and nursing faculty member and partnership manager Elaine Marshall accepted the award during an Aug. 26 presentation ceremony at Samford.

    “We are extremely proud to announce that the Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing is our 2013-14 KidCheck Plus Nursing School of the Year,” said Chad Nichols, chief operating officer of Sight Savers America.  “Under the leadership of Elaine Marshall, the school’s faculty, staff and students embody the leadership, dedication, and service that this award is all about. We are proud of our partnership with Samford University and we look forward to continuing to work together to make a difference in our state.”

    Nichols noted that Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing was selected for this honor based on its superior communication and partnership with their program; faculty leadership that encourages a positive work effort and inspires a spirit of service; outstanding involvement with the program and a willingness to participate when possible; and exceptional organization and dependability at their KidCheck Plus health screening events.

    According to Marshall, students gain a greater understanding of the health challenges facing underserved communities by working with the KidCheck Plus program. In 2013-14, Samford nursing students provided 1,832 health screenings at nine schools. A number of issues were identified, leading to nearly 700 referrals. Following each screening, reports were sent home to parents and provided to each school’s nurse.

    “We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with Sight Savers America in providing screening services, and with the families served by the health promotion programs,” said Howell. “Through this partnership students develop skills in analyzing health data in relation to normal growth and development parameters and in communicating with students and professionals in the schools. This also provides school children an opportunity to see nurses in one of their most important roles—promoting the health of the public.”  

    “The Sight Savers America KidCheck Plus program delivers a win/win for children, schools, nursing students, colleges and universities and our communities,” added Nichols. More than 20,000 children are screened through KidCheck Plus each year and of the children screened, approximately 50 percent have identifiable health needs. Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing has partnered with the program for two years and will continue its involvement in 2014-15. 

    School of Nursing to Participate in New Initiative Promoting Compassionate Care+

    Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing will receive funding to pilot White Coat Ceremonies for nursing students. White Coat Ceremonies are designed to instill a commitment to providing compassionate care among future health professionals and they have long been an important rite of passage at medical schools. This program marks the first coordinated effort to offer similar events at schools of nursing.

    Samford is one of only 100 nursing schools in 43 states selected by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation (APGF) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) for this groundbreaking initiative. Samford is the only Alabama school on the list.

    According to Joy Whatley, associate dean for undergraduate programs in the nursing school, the White Coat Ceremony program was developed to promote humanistic, patient-centered care among incoming nursing students.

    “The purpose of this program aligns perfectly with the core values of the Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing,” said Whatley. “Our school was founded on the pillars of academic excellence, compassion, caring and service. The White Coat Ceremony’s emphasis on patient-centered care across the health care team, aligns perfectly with the values we instill in our students.”  

    Samford will host its first White Coat Ceremony for undergraduate nursing students on Oct. 6. Both accelerated second degree students and traditional nursing students beginning clinical courses will participate in the inaugural event. As a part of the ceremony, students will receive their white coats, recite the Nightingale pledge and receive a commemorative pin. Nursing dean Eleanor Howell will be speaker for the event.     

    Following the pilot program, The Arnold P. Gold Foundation and AACN are planning 2015 to be the inaugural year for the nationwide rollout of the White Coat Ceremony to a larger number of nursing institutions.

    Nursing School Receives Grant to Prepare Nurse Anesthetists+

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    Samford University's Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing has received $25,804 to provide support for students in the nurse anesthesia program.  This is the 11th year for Samford to receive a Nurse Anesthesia Traineeship (NAT) grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

    Nurse Anesthesia traineeships can be used to pay the costs of tuition, books, fees, and reasonable living expenses of trainees. In 2014-15, 48 students will benefit from the grant; to be eligible for funding students must be in good academic standing and possess full-time status. All students who meet the criteria receive a portion of the funds.

    According to Terri M. Cahoon, chair of the Department of Nurse Anesthesia and grant administrator, these funds are particularly important because nurse anesthesia students are unable to work during the program, and many of the students have families and are living below the poverty line. "Because our students are unable to work during our full-time program, there is often a hardship regarding meeting expenses for things like books, tuition and fees," said Cahoon. "Students typically rely on family support and government and private loans to finance their education, and the traineeships allow us to help alleviate some of the financial burden," Cahoon added. 

    To date, Samford has received more than $188,000 through the HRSA NAT Program and the 2014-15 award is the largest in the school's history.  The NAT Program, gives special consideration to nurse anesthesia programs who demonstrate a "high rate" of graduates practicing in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) after graduation, contingent to receiving some type of student assistance.

    According to Cahoon, the Samford program consistently graduates students who seek opportunities in rural and underserved areas of the southeast. Seventy percent of the class of 2013 is currently employed in HPSA or medically underserved communities and approximately 62 percent of the current students who receive traineeship funds are from disadvantaged backgrounds or rural/underserved areas within Alabama or neighboring states.

    Through the NAT project, the Department of Nurse Anesthesia seeks to prepare students to practice at the highest level for all patient groups, but especially rural and medically underserved patients of all age groups; increase the diversity of the student body to reflect the increased diversity of health care consumers; Increase the students' involvement in community service and culturally appropriate health promotion and care; and increase the number of graduates serving in rural and underserved areas of Alabama and the southeast. 

    The Samford curriculum is a comprehensive program of study that addresses the full anesthesia scope of practice, based on professional organizational standards and current state-of-the-art practice models.  Intercultural understanding is woven throughout the program curriculum and clinical experiences.

    To learn more about the Department of Nurse Anesthesia, go to http://www.samford.edu/nursing/msn-anesthesia/.

    Samford Nursing Receives Grant for Second Degree Student Scholarships+

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    Samford University's Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing has announced that for the third time it has been awarded a grant from the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program. It is one of 52 schools of nursing that will comprise the final cohort of the program. For the 2014-2015 academic year, Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing will receive $50,000 to support traditionally underrepresented students who are making a career switch to nursing through an accelerated second baccalaureate nursing degree program. NCIN is a program of RWJF and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

    "New Careers in Nursing has made amazing strides in helping schools of nursing recruit and retain diverse students in these competitive and rigorous accelerated degree programs," said David Krol, MD, MPH, FAAP, RWJF senior program officer. "Through supporting these institutions, NCIN is working to increase the diversity of our nursing workforce, while also assisting schools of nursing in making their institutions more inclusive. The leadership, mentoring and other support these institutions provide are helping to prepare a diverse nursing workforce able to meet the challenges associated with building a culture of health in our nation."

    Each NCIN Scholar has already earned a bachelor's degree in another field, and is making a transition to nursing through an accelerated nursing degree program, which prepares students to assume the role of registered nurse in as little as 12-18 months.

    Five Ida V. Moffett School of nursing students will be awarded NCIN scholarships in 2014-15. The school has had 13 previous NCIN scholars. Since 2008, the NCIN program has distributed 3,517 scholarships to students at 130 unique schools of nursing. This year, funding for 400 scholarships was granted to 52 schools of nursing.

    "As a third time recipient, we have seen the impact of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's NCIN funds on students, realizing that without these scholarships many of them would not have the opportunity to pursue their calling to the nursing profession," said Dr. Nena F. Sanders, Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing dean. "The recipients of these funds excel in the classroom and seamlessly enter the workforce prepared to make a difference in the lives of patients and their families." 

    In addition to a $10,000 scholarship, NCIN scholars receive other support to help them meet the demands of an accelerated degree program. All NCIN grantee schools maintain a leadership program and a mentoring program for their scholars, as well as a pre-entry immersion program to assist scholars in learning essential study, test-taking, and other skills needed to succeed in their program of study.

    "Nursing and nursing education are at a critical juncture right now, and NCIN's exemplary approach to supporting nursing schools is helping to strengthen both," said AACN President Eileen Breslin, PhD, RN, FAAN. "NCIN's creative, innovative and responsive approach to providing grantees with tools to ensure academic success will result in lasting changes at nursing schools nationwide. The NCIN program has truly raised the bar for recruitment, retention, mentoring and leadership development for nursing students from groups underrepresented in nursing."

    According to Sanders, the 2010 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, recommends increasing the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree or higher, and increasing the diversity of students to create a nursing workforce prepared to meet the healthcare demands of diverse populations across the lifespan. NCIN is helping to advance those recommendations by enabling schools to expand student capacity and by encouraging more diversity.

    By bringing more nurses into the profession at the baccalaureate and master's degree levels, the NCIN program also helps to address the nation's nurse faculty shortage, Sanders added. This trend is reflected in the NCIN scholars, as 91 percent of the students receiving funding in the first three years of the program indicated a desire to advance their education to the master's and doctoral levels.

    For more information about Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing accelerated program, visit www.samford.edu/nursing . To learn more about the NCIN program, visit www.NewCareersInNursing.org.


    School of Nursing Receives $1.3M Grant for Nurse Faculty Loan Program+

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    Samford University's Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing has received the third largest award nationally of the 92 Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP) grants for 2014-15. This is the 12th year for Samford to receive the grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

    Samford's grant of $1,310,955 is third only to Case Western Reserve University in Ohio and Wayne State University in Michigan.  It is one of only four grants nationally that exceed $1 million.

    Samford received the largest of five grants in the state of Alabama and was more than double the combined grants of other Alabama institutions. The University of Alabama at Birmingham ($248,809), the University of Alabama ($119,984), the University of South Alabama ($108,976), and the University of Alabama in Huntsville ($92,408) also received grants.

    The grants are designed to help ease a national shortage of nursing educators, according to Jane Martin, associate nursing dean and the HRSA grant administrator at Samford. Students who receive loans for master's or doctoral degree programs can have up to 85 percent of the loan forgiven in exchange for service as full-time nursing faculty members at an accredited school of nursing. Students continue to receive funds for the duration of their degree program as long as they maintain good academic standing.

    "The need for professional registered nurses is growing rapidly, yet faculty shortages in nursing schools are limiting student capacity. As we prepare for the projected need of 1.2 million RN positions in the U.S. by 2020 and a projected wave of nursing faculty retirements in the next five years, this Nurse Faculty Loan award allows the Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing to address this need in Alabama as well as other states in the nation," said Martin. 

    According to a report by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), U.S. nursing schools turned away 79,659 qualified applicants from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in 2012; 2,396 of those applicants were in Alabama. Almost two-thirds of the nursing schools responding to the survey pointed to faculty shortages as a reason for not accepting all qualified applicants into entry-level baccalaureate programs.

    The NFLP was approved by Congress in 2002, and Samford was one of the first 55 nursing schools from across the U.S. to receive funds. Samford's NFLP grants now total more than $5.4 million.

    The 2014-15 grant is expected to help up to 87 students at Samford.

    Martin noted that in 2013-14, Samford was able to use HRSA grant funds to help students from 16 different states extending from Massachusetts to California. To date, over 200 students have benefitted from NFLP loan awards at Samford and are serving as nurse educators across the country.

    Martin added that graduates have benefitted from academic programs that are specifically designed for students planning to teach full-time in nursing. "Preparing nurses to assume faculty positions is one of the priorities of the Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing. Our graduates are able to seamlessly assume faculty positions in areas of need," said Martin.  These graduates are accepting not only teaching positions, but also nursing academic leadership positions throughout the country.

    To apply for admission to Samford graduate programs in nursing, go to http://www.samford.edu/nursing/graduate-nursing/.

    Howell Named Dean of Nursing School+

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    Eleanor V. Howell has been named dean of Samford University's Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing effective July 1, 2014.  For the past 11 years, Howell has served as dean of Creighton University's College of Nursing in Omaha, Neb.

    The selection follows a national search to replace Nena F. Sanders, who has served as dean since 2001. Sanders has served as both nursing dean and vice provost of Samford's new College of Health Sciences since the college was announced in February 2013.

    "Dr. Howell's extensive administrative experience uniquely qualifies her to position the Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing for future success, while continuing to perpetuate Mrs. Moffett's vision for excellence in nursing," said Sanders.  "Dr. Howell's philosophy of nursing is very much aligned with the foundational values of Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing. In addition to valuing academic excellence, she is committed to quality patient care that is provided by clinically competent nurses with care and compassion.  I am confident that the Moffett Legacy will continue under her leadership." 

    During her tenure as dean at Creighton, Howell expertly led numerous academic innovations in the College of Nursing including establishing Nebraska's first doctor of nursing practice program and the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) program, for which Creighton was one of only a handful of national pilot programs. The school also developed a health screening collaboration with Omaha parochial schools and a number of other community and clinical partnerships. Like Samford, Creighton's College of Nursing includes baccalaureate, masters and doctoral programs. 

    Prior to assuming her position as dean at Creighton, Howell served as associate dean for academic and clinical affairs, responsible for undergraduate and graduate nursing programs on Creighton's campuses in Omaha and Hastings, Neb.  Howell also directed the master's in health services administration program at Creighton from 1998 to 2000, and was a core faculty member in the Center for Practice Improvement and Outcomes Research. Howell previously served as associate professor and coordinator of special projects at Auburn University's School of Nursing and on the faculty at University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing.

    Howell is actively engaged in a number of national and regional professional service organizations.  She is a member of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Futures Task Force and she previously served on the organization's board of directors. Howell serves as a Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education on-site evaluator and team leader, and she is a consultant for the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. She has participated in global curriculum reform and numerous international nursing education and management seminars.

    A Georgia native, Howell received her bachelor of science in nursing from Medical College of Georgia in Augusta and her master of science in cardiovascular nursing from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She also holds a doctor of philosophy degree in administration-health services from University of Alabama at Birmingham.

    For more than 90 years Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing has prepared graduates with the wisdom, skills and courage to make the lives of people better, Sanders said. With pass rates on certification and licensure exams consistently near 100 percent, graduates from Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing have earned a distinguished reputation as highly skilled and compassionate nurses who seamlessly enter the workforce, ready to make a difference in the lives of patients and within the profession.

    "I'm honored to serve as dean of Samford University's Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing, and excited to return to Birmingham," said Howell. "The quality and achievements of the faculty, staff, and alumni, as well as their engagement in interprofessional education, make this move a wonderful opportunity. The preparation of exceptional professional and advanced practice nurses, and the outstanding service to populations at home and abroad have positioned the School to lead in mission-relevant scholarship and to collaborate on practice and education initiatives as part of the team in the College of Health Sciences. I look forward to building this future together."

    Killingsworth Invited to Participate in International Nurse Faculty Leadership Academy+

    News Item Photo Dr. Erin Killingworth, Assistant Professor in Samford University’s Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing, has been selected as a scholar in the prestigious Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Faculty Leadership Academy (NFLA). The intense international leadership development experience is designed to enhance the personal leadership development of new nurse faculty in order to promote faculty retention and cultivate high performing, supportive work environments in academe.

    Killingsworth, a member of the Samford faculty since 2009, is the first NFLA Scholar from Samford University. Since 2009, 31 scholars, their mentors and 10 Expert Faculty—representing 29 universities, 15 states and provinces as well as several countries and the United States—have found success through the NFLA.

    “It is a tremendous honor to be chosen for the NFLA and to have the opportunity to be mentored by internationally known nursing educational leaders,” commented Dr. Killingsworth.

    Throughout the next 21 months, Killingsworth will work alongside her Leadership Mentor, Dr. Marilyn Oermann, Professor and the Director of Evaluation and Educational Research at Duke University School of Nursing, on a Leadership Project to design a template for use in nursing educational programs to map assessment activities throughout undergraduate nursing curriculum to desired student outcomes.

    According to nursing school dean, Dr. Nena Sanders, scholars in the academy are chosen through a highly selective process. “Dr. Killingsworth is a gifted leader and her selection as a scholar in the NFLA is a testament to her dynamic approach to nursing education and scholarship,” said Sanders. “Dr. Killingsworth’s participation in the academy will enhance her ability to continue to advance nursing education through her work as a teacher and scholar.”

    The NFLA is designed for aspiring leaders in nursing education who have at least two years, but no more than seven years of experience, as full time non-tenured faculty in a school of nursing.

    Samford’s Online Nursing Graduate Programs Climb in National Ranking +

    News Item Photo Graduate programs in Samford University's Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing climbed to number 24 for online education in new national rankings released Jan. 8 by U.S. News & World Report. Samford was in the top 25 percent of all the accredited nursing schools included in this year's overall rankings.
    Samford was number 35 in last year's rankings.
    Online programs within the nursing school offer master's level degrees in family nurse practitioner, nurse educator, and health systems management. Samford's also offers the doctor of nursing practice as a distance learning degree, but doctoral programs were not factored in the latest U.S. News rankings.
    "This recognition affirms the faculty's commitment to providing quality online education in an environment that fosters student engagement and positive student outcomes," said Jane S. Martin, Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing associate dean. "Our alumni consistently rate the graduate faculty as highly accessible and deeply invested in student success. We are proud of the exemplary programs we have developed and the graduates who go on to achieve their career goals."
    Enrollment in Samford's graduate nursing programs has increased significantly in the last decade, including more than 20 percent in the last five years, Martin said, with the availability of online courses and expansion of graduate programs as two of the factors in that growth. Total fall 2013 enrollment was 705. A total of 271 were enrolled in graduate programs and the school awarded 136 graduate degrees during the 2012-13 academic year.
    The U.S. News rankings are based on five criteria: student engagement, faculty credentials and training, student services and technology, peer reputation, and admission selectivity. Martin noted that Samford had especially high scores in faculty credentials and student engagement.
    According to U.S. News, a distance learning program is "a program for which all the required coursework for program completion is able to be completed via distance education courses that incorporate Internet-based learning technologies. Distance education courses are courses that deliver instruction to students who are separated from the instructor and support regular and substantive interaction between the students and the instructor synchronously or asynchronously."
    Other Alabama schools in the rankings are University of Alabama-Huntsville (6), Troy University (52), University of South Alabama in Mobile (56), and Spring Hill College in Mobile (82). Samford was the highest ranked of its peers in the Southern Conference and among historically Baptist colleges and universities.

    CHS, Records Among Samford's Top News Stories in 2013+

    News Item Photo An expansive new academic program, record enrollment and athletics championships were among Samford University's top news stories during 2013. While there were many outstanding achievements and announcements during the year, these are the top stories as determined by the university's news staff.

    Samford Nursing Graduates Honored for 'Courage to Care'+

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    Samford University's Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing honored 17 alumni at its annual Courage to Care awards gala Friday, Oct. 11. The honorees, including Living Legacy award recipient Frances Mellett Robinson, were cited for their adherence to the maxims of the school's namesake, the late Ida V. Moffett.Courage to Care 2013

    "In Alabama, Ida V. Moffett is synonymous with service and compassionate nursing care," said nursing school dean Nena F. Sanders in reference to the late nursing educator's oft-quoted belief that "It takes courage to care, to open the heart and act with sympathy and compassion."