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The right to write

As most of you know, Governor Sonny Perdue signed SB480 into law on April 20, giving advanced nurse practitioners in Georgia the right to write prescriptions. The law will take effect on July 1. Our thanks go to Rep. Sue Burmeister of Augusta, who championed the bill this year.

Many thanks also go to the very hard and dedicated work that went on behind the scenes at Emory to move this bill forward. Our gratitude goes to our physician partners, CEO Michael Johns of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center, Dean Thomas Lawley of the School of Medicine, and Emory Clinic director Wright Caughman, for voicing their support. Thanks also to Linda Womack in Emory's government and community affairs office for her strategy and expertise in navigating the waters of our state Capitol and to the Medical College of Georgia, a partner in our efforts. It is equally important to recognize the tireless support of our own faculty and students, including Dr. Maureen Kelley, Kathy Matthews, and Dr. Madge Donnellan. The power of this nurse-physician partnership proved that prescriptive authority is a winning proposition for better access and quality of health care for Georgians, especially those in rural or underserved areas.

Sonny Perdue signs law

On becoming the best

Three years ago, we launched our "Becoming the Best" initiative to advance research, education, and service. Our goal was to lay out plans that would identify our strengths and chart the course for the School of Nursing to "become the best" nursing school in all three areas.

Last year, the Becoming the Best in Research recommendations were put into action, and we are already making great strides in meeting some of those objectives. On February 1, Dr. Ken Hepburn joined our school as associate dean for research. In the three short months he has been with us, he has been on a mission to make the Becoming the Best in Research recommendations a reality. To that end, it is exciting to report some recent achievements in our research program:
  • Dr. Jill Hamilton received an R01 grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research to support her "Helping Older African American Cancer Survivors Cope" project.

  • Research supported by the University Advisory Council on Teaching is under way in the simulation lab through LITMUS (Learning in Interdisciplinary Teams Makes Us Safer), which gives Emory nursing and medical students simulated real-world experience in emergency medicine.

  • Our students will provide web content for Johnson & Johnson's new awareness campaign centered on caregivers, under the direction of Dr. Gerri Lamb, our Visiting Independence Foundation and Wesley Woods Scholar in Gerontological Nursing.

Last month, Drs. Sarah Freeman and Michael Neville presented the "Becoming the Best in Education" report. Many thanks go to both of them for the hundreds of hours of hard work that went into gathering and assimilating the information and making recommendations. In fact, we are well on our way to meeting the goal of hiring an associate dean for education, having completed interviews with the three finalists this semester. The search committee will review the faculty evaluations of the candidates and make a final recommendation to me. During the next academic year, we will focus our efforts on "Becoming the Best" in service.

Enhancing our work environment

In the Fall 2005 issue of this newsletter, I talked about making our school a great place to work—a place you look forward to coming to every day. Since then, our faculty and staff members have worked with their department or unit heads to find ways to enhance our work environment. Improvement of our climate is one of the seven goals of the school's strategic plan; in fact, it is Goal #1. Faculty and staff have been involved in various working groups to address the 10 strategies of this goal.

The school is moving forward to enhance our climate for everyone. During the fall and winter, administrators and faculty worked with consultants to develop and implement the strategic plan at school and departmental levels. In April, Human Resources staff began a series of training courses here in the school with a presentation to chairs, supervising faculty, and staff on diversity in the workplace. More courses are planned in what HR advisers are calling a "curriculum for change" that may serve as a model for other schools and units who are dealing with organizational change in relation to the University's strategic plan.

Finally, the School Life Committee has made a number of recommendations for improving the working environment of the school. This committee continually solicits comments from faculty and staff regarding our work climate. Look for specifics about activities regarding our school climate in future emails and issues of this newsletter.

Fuld fellows take the workforce plunge

We can all take pride in the fact that the first three graduates of our Fuld Fellowship Program will enter the nursing workforce this year. Emilé Toufighian completed her program in December with a master's degree in nurse-midwifery. In May, Kelly Moynes and Laura Rainer graduate, respectively, as a family nurse practitioner with a master's degree in nurse-midwifery and a dual master's degree in nursing and public health. Currently, 16 students are enrolled in the program, which targets second-career nursing students committed to improving care for vulnerable populations.

All of our Fuld Fellows have a wide range of backgrounds. Prior to nursing, Emilé majored in religion and studied abroad in India before joining the U.S. Social Security disability system. Kelly majored in psychology and Japanese, taught English in Japan, served as a volunteer English teacher to refugee Tibetan Buddhist nuns in India, and worked as a research assistant at Grady Memorial Hospital. Laura came to Emory and nursing with a degree in microbiology and Spanish and experience as a Global Service Corps volunteer. She also worked as a nursing assistant and a translator with a Columbian-born pediatrician serving a large Hispanic immigration population.

We know these graduates will enter the workforce, intent on reshaping our world for the better. Emilé plans to empower and support women during their pregnancies. Kelly hopes to improve the survival rate for African American babies, whose mortality rate is twice that of Caucasian babies. And Laura will join the Fulton County Health Department as a public health nurse and will continue to work with us to coordinate the Farm Worker Family Health Program in South Georgia. As Laura notes, "I am fortunate to have the support of the Fuld Fellowship as I transition from graduate school into a career. The people and experiences have shaped my education and will color the way I live and practice."

Faculty update

Three new instructors recently joined the School of Nursing. Gina Duggar, a faculty member in the Department of Adult and Elder Health, is a graduate of our MSN program. She has 10 years of adult oncology nursing experience and served on the faculty of the State University of West Georgia as a clinical instructor. Margaret Isler and Christine Tice now teach in the Department of Family and Community Nursing. Margaret is a family nurse practitioner specializing in pediatrics and has worked for the past four years at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston. Christine is a graduate of our nurse-midwifery program and has 10 years of experience in that field. She previously worked with the Southeastern Permanente Medical Group and delivered at Northside Hospital. Welcome to all!

Staff Update

Congratulations to Tracey Moore upon her promotion to administrative assistant in the Office of Research, where she reports to Dr. Ken Hepburn. Tracey served previously as senior secretary in the Dean's Office. Also, Jamie Tobias was appointed development services manager after serving for 10 months as an events planner for the Centennial Celebration, Emory Weekend, and the Alumni Welcome Celebration.

Many of you have come to know Otis Head, our computing support specialist. Otis is our primary contact for computing issues. He joined us full time in March after serving in that role on a temporary basis. We also thank him for hosting two wonderful lunches for us this semester!

Christina Quinn joined us this semester as a postdoctoral fellow in AEH. She is working with Dr. Sandra Dunbar on a family study in heart failure. Christina served on the faculty at Georgia State University as an assistant professor for several years. Karen Lindsley also joined AEH as a senior research nurse to assist with several heart failure studies. Before joining us, Karen worked as a clinical research coordinator, diabetes educator, and clinical nursing instructor.

Samaha Norris is a lead research specialist in the Department of Family and Community Nursing, where she works on KHARMA (Keeping Healthy and Active with Risk Reduction and Medication Adherence), a project involving HIV-positive women. Samaha previously worked at the Marcus Institute, where she helped treat behavioral problems in children with developmental disabilities.

Students shine at NSNA convention

The students who attended the 54th annual convention of the National Student Nurses Association (NSNA) in Baltimore in April were definitely in the leadership groove. Nursing senior Rebecca Wheeler, president of the NSNA for the past year, presided over what faculty adviser Kathy Markowski calls "a very dynamic and rewarding convention."

Twenty senior and 10 junior students attended the convention, including Amy Armstrong, president of the Georgia Association of Nursing Students (GANS), Anjli Aurora, president of the Emory Student Nurses' Association (ESNA), and Echo Fredrickson, who served on the NSNA Resolutions Committee.

As Kathy reports, ESNA won two NSNA school chapter awards: the Breakthrough to Nursing Award and the Web Site Award. ESNA won a Gold Membership Award. In addition, GANS received the NSNA State Excellence Award, the Legislation/Education Award, and the Winner's Way Award for state membership.

It was a productive and rewarding convention from the start. Junior Tina Roberts won a Promise of Nursing Scholarship, sponsored by Johnson & Johnson. The NSNA House of Delegates passed a resolution by Amy and Anjli on research supporting the safety of planned out-of-hospital births for low-risk women. Elysia Jordan, Deborah Delaguila, and Audrey Berry presented a poster on "Vietnamese Heart Health and Project SHINE." Rebecca joined the presidents of the Canadian Nursing Students Association and the Caribbean Student Nurses Association in leading a focus session on "International Student Perspectives on Global Health."

"Emory was a very visible and powerful presence at the convention," reported Kathy after the students returned from Baltimore. "We should be extremely proud of all of the attending students. They were absolutely terrific."

Global forum to address workforce shortage

Unfortunately, almost every country around the world is experiencing significant challenges associated with shortages of well-prepared health workers. This reality sets the stage for the Global Government Health Partners Forum 2006, hosted by the Lillian Carter Center for International Nursing this fall. Like previous forums in 2001 and 2004, "The Breaking Point: Human Resources for Health" will bring together government chief nursing officers (CNOs) and chief medical officers (CMOs) to gain new insight on common challenges. Their focus this time is maintaining an adequate health workforce to care for patients, including issues such as work conditions, trade policy, and health worker migration. Dr. Jeffery Koplan, Emory's vice president for academic health affairs, and I share the honor of chairing this event for health leaders from more than 70 countries.

Prior to the forum, CNOs and CMOs will participate in a one-day workshop on public health response to health emergencies. The LCCIN also will host the Global Government Chief Nursing Officers Institute. For CNOs only, the institute provides a neutral setting for frank discussion of the challenges they face. The CNO institute, the workshop, and the global forum will be held in Atlanta from October 29 to November 3. More details

NHWSN spotlight: Madge Donnellan and Paul Burton

Many people work up front and behind the scenes to make our school a great place to study, work, and grow, personally and professionally. This semester, we shine the School of Nursing spotlight on Madge Donnellan and Paul Burton.

Madge Donnellan Madge Donnellan, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family and Community Nursing

Dr. Madge Donnellan has done a lot in her more than 40 years of nursing, with the last 18 at Emory. For the past several years, she has coordinated undergrads and grads working with the Booker T. Washington Health Academy, a longstanding School of Nursing partner. Community health undergrads work with academy teachers at Booker T. twice a week for 12 weeks to teach high school students about subjects such as healthy eating, pregnancy prevention, and avoiding risky behavior. "We try to interest academy students in nursing as a career path," Madge says. "Our nursing students are role models for them, and there is enough time for real bonds to form between our students and these high-schoolers."

Grad students also get involved by hosting Booker T. Day each year. "We have all the kids from the academy come to our school. It helps desensitize them to the (lofty) idea of "Emory" and "college." They see what it's really like to attend college classes. We offer sessions on nursing as a career, study skills, how to apply to college, etc. They love trying out the simulation lab."

Coordinating the one-year bridge of the RN to MSN program is Madge's other main interest. "These associate-degree and diploma-prepared nurses might have one year or 30 years of experience, even though they don't have a BSN," she explains. "They've decided they want to move in a new direction, and they are very committed, focused students. Most of them work full-time jobs and have families. So they usually have to fit their classes into two days a week. It's wonderful to watch their transformations. Some of the changes are nothing short of miraculous."

Madge once was a nurse without a BSN herself. After having four children and staying home with them for 10 years, she went back to school, eventually earning her master's degree as an adult health nurse practitioner. She completed her doctoral degree in lifestyle health promotion and risk management, and that continues to be her focus. "I think I'm in the best place I've ever been now," she says. "I've come full circle. I even started knitting again when my first grandson was born."

Paul Burton Paul Burton, Manager of Building Services

Paul Burton is in the business of "keeping people comfortable and happy." As manager of building services, he ensures that everyone in the School of Nursing has a clean, comfortable, productive place to work every day with the best configuration of phones, furniture, and equipment. "It's an A-to-Z jobmanaging the building systems, making sure everything is maintained and working properly, and being ready for every occasion," he says.

That involves a lot of logistics. "I serve and support the events in the building, from a small pizza party up to commencement." Often working in coordination with Steve Ellwood, assistant director of instructional technology, Paul handles a full range of logistical support for these events.

Before joining the School of Nursing five years ago, Paul, who has a degree in finance, was a property manager in the commercial real estate industry, dealing with tenants, owners, employees, contractors, and vendorsmuch like he does at Emory. He is also the point person for Emory's Facilities Management services and all vendors and contractors who come to the School of Nursing building.

Paul is protective of the building and its occupants. Security, fire and life safety, and building access controls are important parts of his job. "This is a new multi-million dollar building, which I consider a 50-year asset of the school and Emory. I want to keep it properly maintained and performing like new so that the investment provides great returns over a long period of time.

"I enjoy solving problems and helping others," he adds. "When everything is going smoothly and working right, then I feel that I am doing my job and the people who come here every day can be productive and focus on their jobs."

Somehow Paul does it all in a 32-hour week. Outside of Emory, he enjoys the outdoors, going to the beach, and dabbling in real estate.

Centennial cents

There are few times in life when the work of nurses is adequately recognized and celebrated. Our school's Centennial Celebration gala was one of those rare moments. More than 200 guestsstudents, faculty, staff, alumni, Emory administrators and trustees, and supporters from the corporate and Atlanta communities attended the sold-out reception and dinner in February at Druid Hills Golf Club. Their attendance was a testament to the value of our profession and the challenges we face in the midst of a dire global workforce shortage. Proceeds provided by guests and sponsors of the Centennial Celebration gala added $80,000 to the $95,000 donated by nursing faculty, staff, students, and alumni and organizations such as the Emory University Women's Club to our Centennial Scholarship Fund. This fund is now endowed, thanks to the more than $230,000 raised thus far. We still have a long way to go in building this fund, and opportunities for giving remain.

I'd also like to acknowledge those who participated in the gala program—nursing senior and Fuld Fellow Amy Armstrong, Emory President James Wagner, Health Sciences Center CEO Michael Johns, alumna Barbara Reed, and nursing senior Donté Flanagan. I had the privilege of bringing the evening to a close with a few comments and a toast to our future. And what a future it is. Our faculty, staff, students, and alumni have done so much to make our school great and to position us for a very exciting second century! Thanks to all of you who were there, to the team who worked hard to make it come to be, and to everyone here who is part of this great school!

A pat on the back for Oh Nellie!

Although April 22 dawned as a soggy, slippery day, the weather didn't dampen participants' spirits during the 4th annual Oh Nellie 5K Run/Walk, sponsored by the Nurses Alumni Association (NAA). "This year, we raised more money, had more donors, and more day-of racers than any previous year," says Jamie Tobias, development services manager and one of the race's organizers.

This year, 209 runners and walkers entered the race at Lullwater, including 20 phantom runners and 33 walk-up registrants. In all, race participants and sponsors raised $5,580 to support nursing scholarships through the NAA. Thanks to everyone who organized and took part in the race.

Say hello to NelSON

Alison with NelSON

Junior Alison Schlenger, one of our second-career nursing students, has formed a special bond with SimMan, one of the patient simulators in the Center of Caring Skills. Alison won the school contest to name him. Thanks to her, he now goes by the moniker NelSON. How clever is that?

Calendar of events

State of the WHSC Speech - June 8
Please mark your calendars and plan to attend the Woodruff Health Sciences Center State of the Center Address on Thursday, June 8, at 4:30 PM in the WHSCAB Auditorium. Dr. Michael Johns, CEO of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center, will reflect on the past decade of successes and accomplishments, then share the components of Vision 2012 and where WHSC plans to be on the near-horizon.

2006 Regional Research Conference - June 8 & 9
This colloquium for nursing doctoral students, postdoctoral trainees, faculty mentors, and current and future nurse researchers explores career development in relation to current and emerging priorities for nursing research and scholarship. Learn more.

2006 Emory Summer Nursing Teaching Institute - June 12-23
Created three years ago to address the nursing faculty shortage, the Emory Summer Nursing Teaching Institute, a post-master's certificate program, offers clinicians an efficient program for becoming skilled educators. Classes will be held in workshop format at Emory from June 12-23, followed by online activities and assignments until August 1. Program participants will then complete a preceptorship at their employing agency or institution from September to December. Applications for this year's program are now being accepted. Learn more.

Global Government Health Partners Forum 2006: The Breaking Point - Human Resources for Health - October 29-November 3
Learn more.

Marla E. Salmon, ScD, RN, FAAN

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