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Recent News

Recent News

Two graduates of the CON’s PhD program, Rebecca Freeman, PhD ‘13, RN, PMP, and Dru Riddle, PhD ‘15, DNP, CRNA, will be inducted in the American Academy of Nursing. The organization selected 195 Academy fellows to represent the 2018 class. Inductees will be honored at a ceremony in November at the Academy’s annual policy conference, Transforming Health, Driving Policy, in Washington, D.C in November.

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Desiree Bertrand, PhD ‘18, RN, a 2016 American Academy of Nursing Jonas Policy Scholar, has co-authored two papers in Nursing Outlook.

• Perez, G.A., Rose, K.M., Caceres, B.A., Spurlock, W., Bowers, B., Lutz, B., Arslanian-Engoren, C., Reuter-Rice, K., Bressler, T., Wicks, M., Taylor, D., Johnson-Mallard, V., Kostas-Polston, E., Hagan, T., Bertrand, D., Reinhard, S.C. (2018). Position statement: Policies to support family caregivers. Nursing Outlook, 66 (3), 337-340. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.outlook.2018.04.009.

• Wicks, M.N., Alejandro, J., Bertrand, D., Boyd, C.J., Coleman, C.L., Haozous, E., Meade, C.D., Meek, P.M. (2018). Achieving advance care planning in diverse, underserved populations. Nursing Outlook, 66 (3), 311-315. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.outlook.2018.04.001.

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MUSC’s RN-BSN program is unique in many ways as we strive to individualize the learning experiences to build on previous knowledge and to increase the scope of practice for each learner. During the third (and final) semester, students develop a QI project, working collaboratively with other students, faculty, practice partners, and community stakeholders. These projects are the culmination of the learning and professional growth that has occurred over the previous semesters. Led by Elaine Amella, PhD, RN, Brantlee Broome, PhD, RN, and Tese Stephens, PhD, RN, 42 students worked diligently over the summer to develop five projects that show great potential to improve the quality and safety of practice. These projects were recently on display at the Nursing Showcase, held on June 27 on MUSC’s Greenway, as part of MUSC’s Nursing Shared Governance Council. Three groups of students worked on the Imagine U: Building WellBeing Together employee wellness program, as part of MUSC’s Imagine 2020 initiative to build healthier communities. Students designed and implemented mobile screenings as part of their QI project. Working from the perspective of process improvement, RN-BSN students, along with faculty and ABSN students, conducted three mobile screenings on June 26, resulting in a wealth of data that will inform future Imagine U initiatives. Not only did they provide health screenings to over 70 MUSC employees, the faculty and students from the CON had the opportunity to collaborate with Imagine U key personnel and to interact with employees from across campus. As we strive to Change What’s Possible, our RN-BSN program is prioritizing compassion, integrity, respect, collaboration, and innovation.

 

 

 

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Amanda Turner (left) and Millie Pochet

While working as a clinical nurse instructor in the Transitional Care Unit at MUHA (MUSC Health), College of Nursing alumnus, Lana Beckely MSN, PT, RN (MSN, ‘95) discovered one of her nursing students, Millie Pochet, was quite dynamic and very fluent in Spanish. Beckley had an upcoming mission trip to Peru planned, and asked Pochet if she would be interested in going with her. Pochet was interested and asked if fellow nursing student Amanda (Mandie) Turner could go as well. Turner was a seasoned missionary, but this was to be Pochet’s first trip. On September 26, 2009, the three women flew to Lima, Peru to meet the other members of the team for the first time. 

“Our team included a cardiologist, a physician’s assistant, an engineer, three nurses, two nursing students (Mandie and Millie) and a naval architect,” Beckley explained. “Once reaching Puerto Maldonado, we became a well-oiled wheel. We treated over 800 people in different areas ranging from cities to jungle villages.”

Beckley felt like a proud mother watching and listening to the students care for and evaluate the people of Peru. “Millie and Mandie learned so much, yet had a great knowledge of how to meet, greet and embrace their patients,” she said. “The students used their insight and education to improvise when necessary and solidify their treatment suggestions. I can’t say enough positive things about Millie and Mandie. They both went with the flow and experienced some very rough conditions to say the least. I hope to continue taking the MUSC College of Nursing students with me on future medical trips. I value the standard of student the College of Nursing creates and I am a proud alumnus as well.”


Health Care in Peru: A Story of Injustice

By Amanda Turner (written while a fourth semester Accelerated BSN student.)

We’ll call her Sofia. She is seven. About a year ago, her parents noticed that there was something wrong with her, but like many of the rural poor in Peru, they decided to use their money for food rather than a doctor. However, after months of watching their daughter grow weaker, Sofia’s parents saved up their money and took her to the big hospital in Lima. Unfortunately, the hospital doctors were not used to treating children and misdiagnosed her with tuberculosis. Her parents borrowed as much money as they could and paid for the extensive series of injections to cure their daughter only to watch as she grew sicker and sicker. With no money left to find, let alone treat another diagnosis, they returned to their village.            

A few months later, word spread that the village church would be hosting a group of doctors and nurses from the United States, and they brought Sofia. At registration, her father only asked for vitamins and parasite medicine, perhaps knowing that whatever was eating away at their daughter was going to be more than they could afford to cure anyway. When the little girl ducked under the tarp that lent a scanty sense of privacy to our small, dirt floor exam room, I would have thought she was about five. She perched on the chair next to me, exposing massively enlarged cervical lymph nodes bulging out above her shirt and making her small arms look even smaller. It seemed every lymph node on her body was visibly enlarged. Her liver was palpable almost at her waistline and her spleen was spilling out of its safe hiding place behind her ribs. She swung her feet nervously as her father paced in front of us.

He brought us all of her medical records and sat quietly under the avocado tree while we deciphered the numbers and long words. Hypereosinophilia. Adenitis Granulomatosa. Preziquantel. Ceftrixasona. Hematocrito 25. Hemoglobina 6.5. These words meant nothing to him. I carried the papers back out to him. The women sitting near him on the bench subtly turned to the side to give him privacy, but their ears were still obviously tuned to our conversation. His eyes met mine and then fell. He knew the answer. There was nothing we could do. He only wanted to know one thing. “Is she dying because of the tuberculosis treatment?”

The thought of being partially responsible for her suffering was more than he could bear, but he seemed to receive little comfort from my reassurance that the injections had not harmed her. I handed him all we had to offer: some children’s vitamins and a few extra bags of chewable acetaminophen. In that moment there was a mutual understanding between us. His strong exterior could not hide the pain of the impossibility of the situation and I did not even try to hide mine. I bent over to kiss Sofia’s head.

He shook my hand and carried her home.

While our team was able to do nothing for Sofia, we were able to bring health and hope to many people in Peru. It is our hope that by sharing our story, others will be inspired to do more than we could.

 

 

To all faculty, staff, students, alumni, donors and friends of the MUSC College of Nursing,

I am writing to say hello and introduce myself as your new dean of the MUSC College of Nursing – a role I began just one month ago. During my first few weeks on campus, I was struck by the profound sense of community here at MUSC – among the faculty, staff, and students. My singular focus for the next few months will be learning how I can support and enhance the priorities, strengths, and work in all areas of the college. As I am new to the Charleston area, I bring to my role in the College of Nursing and my work with you, new ideas and perspectives viewed through a different lens, from which to build upon and set the direction for the future. The MUSC College of Nursing has such a long history and rich tradition of prominence and excellence, led by outstanding faculty and staff and talented, diverse, and high performing students. I believe together we can collectively and collaboratively build upon the many past successes in order to shape our vision and achieve our mission for the future of the college and that supports the discipline. 

I was born and raised in Michigan, where I completed my nursing education, began a clinical practice, taught for 20 years, and developed a research program in health promotion and risk reduction working with urban at-risk populations. 

In 2008, I moved to Maryland after I accepted a position at the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Nursing Research (NIH/NINR) as a health scientist administrator. It was here that I developed and implemented research opportunities focused on health promotion and wellness grant- and contract-supported research activities designed to meet the nation’s health needs and NINR science priorities in the areas of women, infant, child, and family health.

Three years later, I was appointed the chief of the Office of Extramural Programs (OEP), of NINR’s Division of Extramural Activities. In this role, I managed NINR’s extramural scientific portfolio and served as the primary point of contact for the OEP and the extramural community – including networking and mentoring leading nurse scientists and investigators who were advancing nursing science. 

In 2014, I moved to Florida and accepted the position of professor and Schmidt Family Foundation Distinguished Professor and associate dean of nursing research and scholarship and Ph.D. studies in the College of Nursing at Florida Atlantic University. In this role, my priority was devoted to faculty and doctoral student mentorship and in enhancing a culture of research and research productivity to support the research mission of the college and university. 

Over the years, I have mentored many students from undergraduate honors students to post-doctorates and faculty from very young to seasoned researchers, and together we published in a variety of interdisciplinary journals. My publications and professional research presentations have included studies of risky behavior in youth and young adults, eHealth applications to promote health among older adults, and environmental risks associated with air pollution. I am an advocate of interdisciplinary research collaborations and partnerships to promote team science and translational research.

I received my BSN and MSN degrees from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan and my Ph.D. in nursing (health promotion/risk reduction/prevention) from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. My research has focused on health promotion in ethnically diverse urban populations and included collaborations with international researchers, with the findings relevant for clinicians and researchers alike.

My husband, Larry, is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and has extensive experience in internal controls/auditing. He continues to work in Florida for the Miami-Dade County Office of The Inspector General. He previously held positions at the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Department of Energy, the Internal Revenue Service, General Motors Corporation, The Detroit Edison Company, and Chrysler Corporation. We have two adult children. Our son, David, is a radiologist, who lives in Illinois, and our daughter, Michelle, is a tax analyst, who recently moved to Mt. Pleasant from Florida. In addition to my professional interests, I enjoy gardening and cooking. My family is the center of my universe, they are my heart and soul, and they keep me grounded as well as motivate me to be true to myself and have always supported me in pursuing my professional goals. 

As a new dean, I know that I have a steep learning curve and I will need your assistance. I will look to the faculty and staff to help me navigate this amazing new journey – a journey we will travel together. I also look forward to connecting with the college’s alumni community and making personal connections. I encourage all graduates to reach out. I welcome your thoughts, reflections, and ideas as we move forward to achieve a shared vision for the future of South Carolina’s premier nursing college. Once again, I am honored to have been selected to serve as the next dean of the College of Nursing, and I look forward to becoming part of the MUSC family.

Respectfully,

Linda

Linda Weglicki, PhD, RN
Dean, MUSC College of Nursing
 

 

 

 

Medical mission trip enlightens nursing students

by Page Wise, BSN Class of May '18
 
Never in my life have I committed so impulsively to traveling to a foreign country as I did this past July. Cameron Mercer, my good friend and classmate, told me that I needed to go with her on a medical mission trip to Nicaragua over our Christmas break. I honestly cannot remember a holiday season when I was not working, so I fully intended on enjoying this rare break. But I am the type of person who gets restless when I do not have anything to do, and with nearly a month of downtime, I mulled it over, came to a decision, and told myself, “Just go!” This trip was the perfect opportunity to combine my passion for health and wellness with my desire to connect with and help those in need. 
 
Anxious to put my medical training and education to work in a place that needed it, I researched areas of the world that were limited in resources and lacked in quality health care.
 
I selected Nicaragua, the poorest country in Central America. With the mortality rate of Nicaraguan children at four times that of the U.S., quality health care is urgently needed to treat preventable diseases, such as pneumonia, diarrhea, and malnutrition. 
 
It was decided. Cameron and I were headed to Nicaragua for eight days. 
 
The purpose of the mission trip is to provide quality, accessible health care to rural Nicaraguan communities, and our timing could not have been better. In October 2017, a tropical storm caused a significant amount of damage to various Nicaraguan regions, including Rivas, the region in which we were staying. As a result of the flooding, rural communities suffered devastating loss and damage to their churches, homes, farmland, crops, and roads. Each day we set up our mobile healthcare clinic in different villages, expanding OneWorld Health’s reach.
 
Our stellar mission team was made up of 39 volunteers whose professions include but are not limited to: MDs, DNPs, PAs, OB-GYNs, RNs, pharmacists, dentists, hygienists, students, business managers, educators, sales representatives, photographers, videographers, etc. Everyone brought something unique to the table, and as a team, we complemented each other well. It was surprising how quickly we formed meaningful friendships and how easily we worked together. Once our team came together, we met our translation team and began working closely with them; we staffed multiple rural outreach clinics and successfully treated a variety of common medical conditions (i.e., joint pain/swelling, allergies, intestinal parasites, dental cleanings/extractions, prenatal care, etc.). 
 
Cameron and I were the only students in the nursing team, and we were excited about the opportunity to dive-in and independently triage patients, provide preventative primary care, as well as serve as pharmacy technicians. Having this chance to apply what we have learned and to challenge ourselves in a foreign country, reaffirmed the decision I made to go back to school and pursue a career in nursing. It was like a scene from a movie where life pauses and there is this moment of realization. I was becoming who I was meant to be, I was where I was supposed to be, and I was doing what I was meant to be doing. 
 
Even though the rural villages faced such loss in their community, they were so appreciative of our efforts, so much so that they were waiting outside the clinics to greet us in the mornings before we arrived, worked to unload medical supplies, helped set up our clinic layout, and assisted in breaking down at the end of the day. Not once did their faces break from smiles, nor did I hear any complaints about how long the wait was, the heat, no access to clean drinking water, or having to void in a hole in the ground with nothing but a bed sheet to provide some privacy.  
 
At the end of our first day, an 11-year-old girl walked into the church just as we were packing up the bus. She was holding hands with her 70-year-old blind grandfather as she guided him into the church. They had just walked five miles to see us. It filled their hearts with joy when we told them we would gladly see him. Our team came together seamlessly to ensure this gentleman was given the time and care he deserved. Unbeknownst to us, one of the providers went outside and managed to arrange a ride home for him on an oxen-cart. The next day, one of our nurses gave the shoes off her feet to a woman who needed them more. 
 
It was a privilege visiting these rural villages and being immersed in Nicaraguan culture, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to practice my Spanish with my patients, who were extremely patient and genuinely kind-hearted people. Being able to connect with, care for, and learn from our patients was a gift. I will be a better nurse because of it. In just four and half days, we treated about 1,000 patients!
 
Our last night I was walking back to my room, and I thought how amazing it was that even though we were working, from sun up to sun down, instead of feeling exhausted, I felt rejuvenated. Thirty-nine volunteers, ranging in age, culture, religion, race, ethnicity, and practices, traveled from all over the U.S. to come together so that we could attempt to do something amazing, and that is exactly what we did. I have never felt that kind of humanity before and it truly did awaken my soul.
 
 
 
 
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Amanda Whisnant, CPNP, (MSN, ‘05), is the medical director for International Servants, a non-profit mission that provides services to those in need in Belize. Amanda’s husband, Paul Whisnant, is founder and CEO of International Servants. Each year, Amanda leads medical teams comprised of 25 to 30 medical volunteers from the United States to Belize, ranging from nurses and physician assistants to nurse practitioners and physicians. These teams treat thousands of patients in urban areas and remote jungle villages.  
 
“My two years at the College of Nursing were two of the best years of my life," Amanda said. "I always look back with fond memories, especially when I think of the wonderful faculty, such as Dr. Gigi Smith. Their tireless dedication to training and pouring their lives into their students have helped mold my character and make me the person I am today."
 
 Amanda feels the time she spent at CON helped inspire her to help others less fortunate by providing health care for children in an underdeveloped country. 
 
"I love leading our Belize Medical Mission Teams as we travel deep into the jungles of Belize and provide free health care for the people there," she said. "Nothing is more rewarding than caring for a needy child who would otherwise receive no medical care. I hope other students and alumni who read this article will be inspired to do the same, to give back, to give freely of their services when they can, to make a difference in this world…one precious life at a time.” 
 
 

Saving a Child’s Life 

by Amanda Whisnant, CPNP | MSN Class of ‘05
 
Each year we treat thousands of poor, needy patients in our jungle medical clinics.  Most of our patients live in leaf and stick huts, with mud floors, in grinding poverty with very little food or clothing.  As Belize medical director, I lead teams of doctors who volunteer from the US on weeklong trips into the jungle.  It’s rewarding to save so many lives, but there are often children and adults that we can’t help, and that breaks my heart.
 
One such patient was Xiomara. Xiomara lives in a leaf and stick hut, with a mud floor, with no electricity or running water. Her family is desperately poor.  In June 2008, I discovered that Xiomara had a serious heart murmur and that she would die if she didn’t get heart surgery. But there aren't any heart surgeons in Belize, nor a competent medical facility to perform such a difficult life-saving procedure. Xiomara’s case seemed hopeless, she was going to die, and there wasn’t anything we could do to help her in our jungle medical clinic. 
 
So, for six months, I called hospitals in the U.S. until I located a hospital in Tampa, FL, which ended up flying Xiomara to Tampa and performing the surgery for free, saving this precious child’s life.
 
 
 
 
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Interview with Zack Mosley, BSN student and father of two

What should we know about you?

My name is Zack, and I am in my thirties. I have a wonderful wife, two awesome daughters, and in my previous career, I was a military/law enforcement consultant. I have been on multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan where I worked with some amazing people, and I supported law enforcement at multiple jurisdictions here in the U.S. After 10 years of regular deployments and moves to support different contracts, I decided to make nursing my second career. I began this journey by getting my EMT-B certification, which I would recommend to anyone considering a career in healthcare. I am interested in pre-hospital care, emergency medicine, and primary care.

What made you choose MUSC? 

I received my first degree from the College of Ch always wondered who got to go to MUSC; it seemed echelons above anything I knew. Years later, living in Colorado, I applied to MUSC’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) Program. I applied because I knew the school’s reputation and I thought Charleston would be a great place for my daughter to experience (we only had one at the time).

Are you involved in any organizations through MUSC?

My children require most of my energy, but I am currently a student member of the Emergency Nurses Association and the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. Both are fields that I am interested in pursuing post-graduation, and I learn a lot from the journals and information they provide.

Do you currently work outside of being a student?

Not working during the ABSN has made the academic demands very manageable, but I continuously consider (and subsequently reconsider when the semester’s pace picks up) getting a part-time job.

What are your thoughts on the nursing shortage, and does it affect your plans post-graduation?

The faculty has discussed this topic to varying degrees, but I’ve also done my research so I can be knowledgeable. As far as I can tell, location, population, and metro/rural dynamics have huge impacts on the supply and demand curves for nurses. In other words, many shortages are localized, and there are a lot of them. In this way, it absolutely affects my plans because my family and I could move if we wanted or needed to be closer to family or to take a great opportunity.

What’s been an unforgettable experience thus far?

Professionally: Being able to observe a laparoscopic procedure in the OR. I had no idea what surgery was like in real life (as opposed to what I’d seen on TV), and the experience definitely altered my perceptions.

Personally: I was caring for a patient who had a history of stroke and heart failure; this individual had an MI while I was in their room helping them get settled to eat. Observing the nurses work as a team to get labs, push meds, and stabilize them while continually providing reassurance and easing their anxiety was no easy task. It was yet another moment in my nursing education where I thought, “I really want to be good at this; oh my goodness- we’re saving a life!”

What is the best class you've taken here and why? 

I can’t pick just one, so I’ll give you two: Medical Surgical (Med Surg) and psychology. Med Surg because pathophysiology is one of my primary interests and I had the opportunity to learn about many different disease processes (my clinical instructor was fantastic). Psychology because of my clinical experience at the VA. It completely changed how I approach patient care. My time at the VA taught me that mental health isn’t a set of diagnoses that some patients fall into - it’s a layer of every patient. My psychology clinical instructor also was phenomenal. Then again, I haven’t had an instructor who isn’t.

We’ll be celebrating Father’s Day soon, and you’ve shared that you have children. Has your nursing education affected your role as a father or vice versa? If so, how? 

I think about health and behavior in a much more consistent way now. Before nursing, disease or trauma were incidents that I’d respond to more algorithmically as I was trained in EMT school. As a result of my nursing education, I think I am more compassionate. Don’t misunderstand me - I was compassionate as an EMT, but I didn’t always have prolonged periods of time with a patient. I acted quickly and often got the patient to the ER or hospital where nurses would deliver continued care. As a nursing student, I am delivering care, but I am also building relationships. I get to be more compassionate because I have more time with the patient. This dynamic has changed everything, including my relationship with my children. I find that I observe my children’s behavior, development, illnesses, and health all the time without the algorithms imposed by EMT training. Nursing has affected how I interact with my kids, my experiences when I take them to the doctor, and how I respond to coughs, falls, etc. I would say nursing has made me a more attentive and responsive dad, and I hope one day they’ll say the same.

What does the balance look like between being a full-time father and a full-time student? 

I have to prioritize and schedule aggressively. I haven’t been able to be as involved in student life as I’d like, but it’s essential for my wife and children to know that I’m there for them above all else. Sometimes it means missing milestones and moments, but those sacrifices will enable me to provide and be more present over the long term. I also have to shout out to my wife, Jayne. She worked in healthcare and suggested that I consider nursing. Jayne has kept our family running smoothly during the chaos of prerequisites and nursing school. I couldn’t balance anything or have done any of this without her.

Are your children curious about what you're studying?

As curious as they can be; they’re really young. My 2-year old knows where her heart is and tries to take our dog’s blood pressure with her Fisher Price med kit. I’m willing to bet took that cue from me and not the children’s books we read her.

If you’ve received a scholarship, what has that meant for you? Talk about the impact of receiving that scholarship.

I received the Dean’s 125th Anniversary scholarship last semester. The impact of that hit me recently when my wife and I were reviewing our student loans and the cost of future graduate school opportunities. Seeing how much we currently owe in student loans and how much more it would have been without the scholarship was eye-opening.  These gifts are so meaningful because they enable such a diverse group of people to become nurses, in this setting, under these nurse leaders, and I’m humbled to be able to call myself part of that group.

 

 

 

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Since 2010, the Janelle Othersen Visiting Professorship Lecture has contributed to broadening the educational experience of MUSC nursing students and faculty by bringing engaging and influential health care professionals to campus. Th annual presentation aims to encourage thought-provoking conversations and ideas, while also allowing dedicated nursing students be exposed to a diverse and vibrant array of nurse leaders, backgrounds, and ideas.
 
Incoming College of Nursing dean, Linda Weglicki, PhD, RN, MSN, will present, “Promoting Areas of Distinction: Navigating Challenges and Opportunities Collaboratively.” Dr. Weglicki will take over to lead the college beginning July 1 and comes to the role from Florida Atlantic University Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing where she was a professor and the associate dean for nursing research and scholarship and PhD studies 
 
All students, faculty, staff, regional alumni, donors and the South Carolina nursing community are invited to attend. The lecture will be presented on Wednesday, July 18 at 4:00 p.m. in the MUSC Drug Discovery Auditorium (70 President St.), followed by a reception.
 
RSVP to schwarsa@musc.edu
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Up Close & Personal with Dean Stuart

As can be expected, leaders come and go on MUSC's campus. While each brings fresh perspectives and ideas to the university, few have had the chance to see the impact of their vision. Dean Stuart's bold actions, tenacity, and forward thinking have not only changed the lives of MUSC's nursing students, but she also has left an indelible mark on the nation's mental health community.
 
We spoke to Dean Stuart, who announced she would be stepping down earlier this year, about her 47-year nursing career and what her plans after June 30th.
 

When you look back over your 45-year career, what do you believe to be your greatest personal and professional accomplishments?

That is a challenging question for me to answer because there are so many things I am proud of looking back in time. I would start with my ability to place family first. My children were always my first priority and I am immensely proud of them for the caring, productive, and socially responsible adults they are today. I also love their spouses as my extended children, and of course my five delightful, precocious and loving grandchildren have taken happy hostage of my heart!

Next I am proud of my textbook, Principles and Practice of Psychiatric Nursing, that was first published in 1979 and is now in its 10th and final edition. Through this book, I was able to touch the lives of so many nursing students, not only in this country but across the globe, as it has been translated into five languages. I am always moved when I am at a professional meeting and nurses come up to me and tell me that their perception of mental health and how to compassionately relate to the emotional needs of patients and families was shaped and molded by my book. It is truly humbling.

And this book also provided me the unexpected opportunity to help train nurses in Liberia, to provide mental health care after the devastation they experienced following a decade of civil war. Working, teaching and bonding with the nurses in this country has been an incredible journey and a lesson for me in resilience, strength and commitment. I have learned so much from my work in Liberia, and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to serve others across the ocean to help make a difference in their lives.  

Finally, but equally important to me, is what I have been able to accomplish here at MUSC. I have had the rare opportunity to contribute to so many aspects of the university including the Institute of Psychiatry and the Center for Health Care Research. But the shining light has been my ability to lead the College of Nursing as dean for the past 16 years. 

To be honest, when I was a nursing student at Georgetown University or a doctoral student at Johns Hopkins, I never aspired or expected to be the dean of a college of nursing. But when the opportunity presented itself here at MUSC, I had a vision that this college could be world class. And the one thing folks know about me is that when I have a vision I also have a plan, and I fully commit myself to making that vision a reality. And so bringing the CON into national prominence in academics, research and practice is a dream come true for me.  

And the “icing on the cake” was being able to renovate the college and transform our physical environment into a real gem of a building that honors and respects the 135-year history of the college, while infusing it with all the technology we need to propel ourselves into the future. It has been an honor to be dean here at MUSC.

How do you account for your success in all these activities?

My success is actually our success. We, the faculty, staff and I, have been able to accomplish so much here in the college because we are a fantastic team. The faculty and staff are an amazing group of committed, and talented individuals who strive for nothing less than excellence.  

On a personal level, I believe the success of a leader comes from having an open mind, a strong work ethic, solid communication skills, and the willingness to seize upon new strategic opportunities not knowing how they may turn out. A leader needs to be constantly scanning the environment, anticipating future changes, and be willing to take risks. I see risks as “experiments” – some have positive results and some have negative results but all results are important in guiding our future actions. Nothing is a failure…everything is a learning opportunity. You need to try something, learn from it, and move on. 

I also think that in working with others, a leader needs to be open, transparent, data-driven, honest, and accountable. To me, a visionary is someone who leads people to do together what they did not think they could do individually….and in so doing, together they reach new heights of achievement. I love the people here in the college and I will miss them greatly.

Which raises the next question, why retire now?

Sometimes I think there is never a good time to retire when you love what you are doing, and I do love this school and coming to work every day.

Being the dean for 16 years has been a treasured gift. Still, when I accepted this deanship I had set some goals I wanted to accomplish for the college. I wanted to:

•  Double our enrollment,
•  Rank in the top 15 schools in the country in NIH research funding,
•  Be nationally ranked for academics by U.S. News and World Report,
•  Renovate the building, and
•  Grow from one endowed chair to five. 

This past year I realized that I have achieved them all, and I think the CON has never been stronger in education, practice and research than it is now. So, I thought this may be the right time to pass the gift on to new leadership. That said, I am sure that June 30 will be bittersweet for me and I will feel happy, sad and proud all at the same time, and expectant for the great things that will unfold for the college in the days ahead.

Finally, using your book as an analogy, how will the next chapter of your life read?

Ah, that is a great question and the answer is even better – I actually am not sure; it is yet unwritten.  I hope that the plot will have new twists and adventures. I do know that I want to spend more time with my incredibly loving, active and talented family. I also would love to nurture other parts of my brain and spend time perhaps painting, reading novels, traveling with friends, writing reflections, walking on the beach, sorting my father’s coin collection or my brother’s baseball card collection, archiving family photos, and most of all, giving back to others. I am happily looking forward to the new story line that lies ahead for the next chapter of my life.

 

 

 

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On May 18, the College of Nursing recognized 138 students who completed their studies in the spring at a convocation ceremony that was held at the Charleston Music Hall. This year, 89 BSN, two MSN, 29 DNP, and 18 PhD students walked across the stage to be pinned (BSN) or hooded (DNP or PhD). Congratulations to the students and faculty listed below who were recently recognized for their achievements.

FACULTY AWARDS

Golden Lamp Award
Shannon D’Alton, MSN, APRN, CPNP

Outstanding Clinical Faculty Award
Amy Gulledge, MSN/Ed, RN, CNE

Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award
Carrie Cormack, DNP, APRN, CPNP-BC

 

STUDENT AWARDS & HONORS

Josephine Fogle Award
Alexander Brown

Men in Nursing Award
Park Ashley

Outstanding BSN Student Award
Leigh Rothgeb 

DNP Distinguished Graduate Award
Melissa Motes

Stewart Doctoral Dissertation Award
Lisa-Mae Williams

Sigma Theta Tau Inductees
Emma Aldridge
Andrea Alheit
Park Ashley
Emily Brame
Cordelia Bright
Alexander Brown
Alexis Carter
Jaclyn Hancock
Shannin Hatch
Lauren Havens
Lyndsey Hughes
Karen Jaramillo
Brooke Korte
Elisabeth McCarter
Erica McCaslin
Caroline Melton
Cameron Mercer
Stephanie Morris
Carlie Mzik
Jerri Newton
Katharine Newton
Emily Oakley
Allison Outlaw
Kelly Richardson
Leigh Rothgeb
William Ryan
Anna Saleeby
Meghan Sullivan
Ryan Taylor
Page Wise
Olivia Worsham
Caroline Wright

Raymond S. Greenberg Presidential Scholars
Ka’Dedra Creech
Ashley Kilcrease
Alexandra Rama

Hispanic Health Initiatives Scholars
Ryan Taylor
Park Ashley
Page Wise
Julia Holmes
Carlie Mzik
Nicolette Jacinto
Leigh Rothgeb
Caroline Wright

Mental Health Scholars
Annalise Baker-Whitcomb
Julia Holmes
Quinton Howell
Cameron Mercer
Savannah Perrin
Kenneth Simpson
Clay Wilklow
Page Wise

MUSC Gives Back College of Nursing Outstanding Volunteer of the Year
Carlie Mzik

MUSC Leadership Society Inductee
Margot Lally

 

 

 

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