A decade of organizing sports physical clinics for Vancouver-area students made Melody Rasmor a “Real Hero” to Clark County leaders.
Rasmor is a family nurse practitioner and clinical assistant professor at the Washington State University College of Nursing Vancouver. She was recognized with the award at a recent ceremony hosted by the Learn Here Project, which showcases the education system in Southwest Washington. It’s part of an economic development initiative – Land Here, Live Here, Learn Here – created by a nonprofit business leaders group.
The clinics Rasmor founded are held annually, typically in the spring. They bring together graduate and undergraduate nursing students and preceptors to provide sports physicals to about 100 students in the Evergreen School District, she said.
Rasmor launched the initiative when she was teaching a graduate nursing course in physical assessment. Students “needed to practice on real live bodies,” she said.
School district officials were receptive because providing convenient and inexpensive sports physicals was another way to keep students in sports and keep them in school. The clinic asks a $20 donation for a physical, but no student is turned away if they can’t pay, Rasmor said. The money raised goes to the Renee Hoeksel Nursing Leadership Scholarship, so “it’s a win-win for the students, the University, and the Evergreen School District,” Rasmor said.
She said she’s been approached by a medical clinic in Vancouver to help out in the future, which will make the effort more sustainable. “That’s kind of cool,” Rasmor said.
Laura Wintersteen-Arleth was one of two WSU instructors honored by Provost Dan Bernardo as Featured Faculty at the Oct. 21 football game against Colorado in Pullman.
Wintersteen-Arleth, a senior instructor in the WSU College of Nursing, said she spent most of the rainy, windswept game in the comfort of a suite at Martin Stadium. The Cougs won the homecoming game 28-0.
She and her fellow Featured Faculty honoree Aaron Whelchel, instructor and academic adviser in the Department of History, were recognized on the field during the game. Both were presented with a commemorative Coug football helmet.
Said Wintersteen-Arleth, “I love being an RN and get great joy and satisfaction being a part of the journey our students take to fulfill their dreams of serving others as RNs.” She added, “I am grateful to WSU for allowing me to reach my goals and to have an impact on our future healthcare providers.”
Wintersteen-Arleth was nominated by WSU College of Nursing Dean Joyce Griffith-Sobel. The nomination noted that Wintersteen-Arleth’s husband, Roger Arleth, was a strong supporter of WSU before he died a year ago and willed his body to the cadaver laboratory at the WSU Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine.
Author, entrepreneur, nurse, and WSU Doctor of Nursing Practice student Ebony Blackmon Humphrey was honored recently by the Lois Price Spratlen Foundation in Seattle with a $2,000 scholarship.
Blackmon Humphrey will graduate from the WSU College of Nursing Vancouver in May with a DNP degree in psychiatric mental health, with the goal of becoming a nurse practitioner. She works at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle in the psychiatric services department.
“I felt that advancing my education would better position me to care for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness,” Blackmon Humphrey said recently. » More …
Megan Ludeña considers it “a surprise and honor” to be chosen for WSU Vancouver’s 2017 Notable Alumni Award.
The award is the latest in a string of accolades she has received in the last five years. As meaningful as these awards are to her, however, she said that “really, my biggest achievements have been caring for my mom at the end of her life, and raising my two girls.”
Caretaking is Ludeña’s life purpose. That is a major reason why she is increasingly recognized for the careful, conscientious work she does as a nurse and nurse educator. Currently she is a nurse educator with Kaiser Westside Medical Center. Although she sometimes fills in for clinical nurses attending to newborns or patients in early labor, she spends most of her time helping her fellow nurses to maintain their specialized skills and work at the top of their scope of practice.
“The majority of my time is spent on orientation and onboarding of new hires, reviewing and updating our policies and procedures, teaching some of Kaiser Northwest’s regional nursing classes, and planning and executing our staff education throughout the year,” Ludeña said. » More …
Dr. Janet Katz, professor at the Washington State University College of Nursing, on Saturday was inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing at the organization’s annual meeting in Washington D.C.
The academy’s more than 2,500 fellows worldwide are nurse leaders in education, management, practice, policy, and research. Fellows are selected for their significant contributions to nursing and health care, and the impact of their career on health policies and population health and well-being.
Dr. Katz was the only inductee this year from Eastern Washington, and one of just three from the state.
Her work has focused on diversifying the nursing workforce. Dr. Katz is currently principle investigator on a federal grant to increase the number of disadvantaged, Native American and Hispanic students from rural areas who choose health sciences for their careers. She is also principle investigator for a project focusing on preventing substance abuse and suicide among young members of the Spokane Tribe of Indians. In addition, she coordinates nursing programs for the annual Na-ha-shnee Native American Health Sciences Institute held annually at WSU Spokane, and teaches community health at the WSU College of Nursing.
Congratulations to Laura Wintersteen-Arleth of the WSU College of Nursing, who received Washington State University’s Crimson Spirit Award in September.
The award is a special commendation for WSU faculty and staff who have provided outstanding service and have exceeded expectations while representing the university.
Wintersteen-Arleth, a senior instructor in the College of Nursing, was nominated by a student, who noted: “Laura is one of the major reasons I am still in school. She approached me when I was having a very difficult time and told me just the right thing, when I needed it most.”
Wintersteen-Arleth was recognized for her wide-ranging responsibilities, as well as the caliber of her work. Those responsibilities include being an adviser, teacher, serving as a clinical instructor, mentoring student clubs, and acting as liaison to the Kaplan test-prep program for nursing.
“There are few people more deserving of the Crimson Spirit Award than Laura,” said Dr. Joyce Griffin-Sobel, Dean of the WSU College of Nursing. “Her dedication and excellence are an asset to the College of Nursing and to the university as a whole.”
There are more than 800 nursing programs in the United States and more than 400,000 nurses who’ve earned masters or doctoral degrees.
So it’s notable that the National League for Nursing (NLN) honored both the Washington State University College of Nursing and one of its faculty, Executive Associate Dean and Professor Renee Hoeksel, at the organization’s 2017 Educational Summit this past weekend.
Dean Joyce Griffin-Sobel accepted a certificate naming the WSU College of Nursing a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education in a ceremony Saturday evening. She was joined on the stage by Associate Dean Anita Hunter; Hoeksel; and Senior Instructor Laura Wintersteen-Arleth.
Moments later, Hoeksel was inducted as a Fellow of the NLN Academy of Nursing Education. In announcing Hoeksel’s fellowship, Karen Pardue, Chair of the Academy of Nursing Education Review Panel, lauded her work in establishing new RN-BSN pathways across five western states.
The 14 new fellows and one honorary fellow “have contributed above and beyond the responsibilities associated with their employment, made contributions to nursing education that have been broad in scope and not limited to their own classrooms or schools,” Pardue noted.
Gloria Jacobson, chair of the Centers of Excellence review panel, told conference attendees that the program recognizes schools of nursing and health care organizations that set high standards, are committed to continuous quality improvement, and demonstrate sustained, evidence-based, and substantive innovation. The WSU College of Nursing was among 15 universities and health care organizations recognized, and the only school in the Pacific Northwest.
“The school started out as the first intercollegiate nursing program in the nation, and now has a full range of undergraduate and graduate degrees, a multimillion-dollar research portfolio, and courses offered at campuses statewide,” Jacobson said.
Other universities receiving the Centers of Excellence designation are: Ball State University, Duke University, Emory University, Indiana University, Kent State University, Purdue University, Rush University, Samford University, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Kansas, Villanova University, and Widener University.
Research scientists with disabilities are underrepresented in the health sciences, yet such scholars bring needed perspective to understanding and improving health policies and services for people with disabilities.
A new federal grant will help WSU hire three post-doctoral students with disabilities to become academic researchers, with the goal of having them go on to faculty positions at major universities or leadership roles in federal research agencies and nonprofit foundations.
The five-year, $750,000 award from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research will provide a competitive salary, full benefits, and support for any needed workplace assistance or adaptive technologies.
Called the Collaborative on Health Reform and Independent Living Fellowship (CHRIL-F), the positions “will bring new scholars with disabilities to the table, and provide them the skills and support they will need to enlarge the policy debate,” said Jae Kennedy, principal investigator, professor and chair of the Department of Health Policy and Administration in the WSU College of Nursing.
The three fellows will be hired by WSU in staggered terms over the five-year grant, and will spend 18 months taking graduate courses, working on research grant proposals and journal manuscripts, and developing individual plans of research. They can spend three to six months of the fellowship at one or more affiliate sites, including Washington DC, Houston, or Lawrence, Kansas.
Grant funding can also be used for conference travel, which typically is more difficult and costly for people with disabilities, but which is critical for networking and presenting research work. The specific uses of support funds will depend on the needs of the fellows hired, but could include office space reconfiguration, or hiring a personal aide or interpreter.
With this grant, “We propose building a small but sturdy pipeline for disability researchers with disabilities by designing postdoc positions specific to their needs,” Kennedy said.
Besides Kennedy, the project team includes Roberta Carlin, director of the American Association on Health and Disability; Lex Frieden, a professor of bioinformatics and rehabilitation at the University of Texas in Houston; Jean Hall, a professor and director of the Institute for Health and Disability Policy at the University of Kansas; and Elizabeth Wood, a research associate in the Department of Health Policy and Administration at WSU.
The same team makes up the Collaborative on Health Reform and Independent Living (CHRIL), established by Kennedy under a $2.5 million federal grant to bring together disability advocates and researchers to investigate how the Affordable Care Act and related legislation affects the lives of adults with disabilities.
“The members of the CHRIL have personal, professional, and political experience with disability, and many contacts throughout the research and disability communities,” Kennedy said. “We are not just advocates and researchers who happen to have disabilities: disability is central to what we do and why we do it.”
Two ROTC nurse cadets from the WSU College of Nursing took top honors at Cadet Summer Training in Kentucky.
Koby Binks, BSN ’17, and Candace Madriaga, a junior in the nursing program, were both honored with the Norton Healthcare Award during different sessions of the summer training program. The Norton Award is given to the nurse cadet who best demonstrates the ability to perform under stress and to apply critical thinking skills when making decisions.
Both Binks and Madriaga entered the WSU College of Nursing from Eastern Washington University’s ROTC program. The College of Nursing reserves seats in each new class for Army ROTC nurses from WSU and EWU.
Binks said the lessons he learned at the WSU College of Nursing helped him help his platoon during the month-long summer training program at Fort Knox.
He told them, “Let’s talk about how important it is to change socks” as they went through training exercises in 95-degree heat with 100 percent humidity, he said. “I talked about the science of electrolytes, I talked about hydration and what that means to the body,” said Binks, 28.
After completing a nine-week Basic Officer Leadership Course, Binks hopes to work in Spokane and fulfill his military service through the Army Reserves.
Madriaga, 22, said she’s “97 percent certain” she’ll become active-duty military after she graduates from the College of Nursing.
“I want to care for those who are fighting for our country,” she said.
Some 8,200 cadets went through basic and advanced camp at Fort Knox this summer, events designed to help ROTC cadets improve their skills and leadership qualities.
The WSU College of Nursing has been named a Center of Excellence by the National League for Nursing, an honor given to only 15 schools and health care facilities nationwide in 2017.
The award recognizes the College of Nursing’s statewide programs, innovation, research, community outreach, and its commitment to diversity.
The National League for Nursing is a professional organization with 40,000 individual members and 1,200 institutional members. It provides professional development, testing services, research grants and public policy initiatives on nursing education and research.
“Expert faculty create expert nurses. The WSU College of Nursing has been producing the finest nurses in Washington for close to 50 years,” said Dean and Professor Joyce Griffin-Sobel, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN. “Being named a Center of Excellence, the only college in the Northwest to be honored in this manner, recognizes our innovative, learner-centered teaching, enhanced by a sophisticated simulation program for hands-on, experiential learning.”
The WSU College of Nursing graduates more nurses with bachelor’s degrees than any other university in the state, is a leader in education using simulation, and had research and grant funding of more than $7 million last year. By bringing a diverse student body into health care and serving disadvantaged communities, the College of Nursing helps WSU continue to fulfill its land-grant mission in a modern world.
Anne R. Bavier, PhD, RN, FAAN, and president of the National League for Nursing, notes that Centers of Excellence “help raise the bar for all nursing programs.”
The WSU College of Nursing was named a Center of Excellence for “Enhancing Student Learning and Professional Development,” one of four categories for which honors are awarded. Other nursing schools recognized in the same category include Rush University, Purdue University, Ball State University, and the University of Kansas.
Among the achievements highlighted in the College’s Center of Excellence application were:
The College has statewide reach, offering degrees on WSU campuses in Spokane, the Tri-Cities and Vancouver, Washington, and at sites in Yakima and Walla Walla.
Since 2005, the College has increased its research capacity by 400 percent.
The student body is both ethnically and demographically diverse. From 2013-2016, the WSU College of Nursing’s undergraduate enrollment included 43 percent first-generation college students, and 30 percent non-white. Over the past decade, the College tripled the number of under-represented minority students, rural, and first-generation students who received bachelor’s degrees in nursing.
The Program of Excellence in Clinical Performance and Simulation operates a state-of-the-art Simulation Lab that serves students from many WSU health-sciences programs. The College also trains community partners there, including the 141st Air National Guard, students from Spokane Community College, the Washington Association of Nurse Anesthetists, and the University of Washington’s MEDEX Physician Assistant program.
Students, under the guidance of College of Nursing faculty, have staffed first aid stations at sporting events, conducted children’s health and sports physical screenings, and offered free clinics for uninsured and undocumented people.
Dean Griffin-Sobel said of the honor of being named a Center of Excellence, “Our faculty ensure that our graduates, at the entry and advanced levels, are prepared to meet the health care needs of our citizens, to reduce the significant access problems that exist in our state, and to increase primary care practice. As a land grant institution, there is no higher calling.”