Vanderbilt Nurse Magazine

ARTICLES

Fall 2021

Primed for Change

For many people, hospitals are uncomfortable places where reminders of illness and injury are at every turn. But for Pamela R. Jeffries, PhD, FAAN, ANEF, FSSH, visits to a large hospital in Indianapolis as a teenager were fascinating, even inspiring, experiences. Among the earliest influences on her career path in nursing education and innovation was witnessing the hospital staff’s dedication to patient care.

Follow the Data

Walk into any modern hospital room and you’ll find as much precisely calibrated equipment as in the cockpit of a 787, machines capable of monitoring and recording just about every known biological function. It’s often nurses who utilize this ever-more sophisticated technology, drawing on real-time data to help treat patients and collaborate with the health care team in making diagnoses or charting a path for care.

Making an Impact

The pandemic affected all nursing professionals. Vanderbilt School of Nursing faculty pivoted to teach students in virtual settings, spearheaded clinical innovations such as expanded telehealth and nurse-on-call programs, studied pandemic responses and best practices, and provided leadership locally, regionally, nationally and globally. They also continued scholarly and research activities. The following pages represent select accomplishments by VUSN nurse scientists, educators and leaders in the academic and scientific arenas from the past year.

Signature Area: Responding to Recurring Health Issues

There are key differences between acute and chronic illnesses—one is associated with conditions that occur suddenly but eventually dissipate, while the other’s symptoms are long lasting and worsen over time. But together they make up one of the School of Nursing’s signature areas of research, with faculty united around the idea of improving the lives of patients through creative thinking and problem solving.

Have Vaccine, Will Travel

The knocking at the front door startled Melissa Williams* as she tried unsuccessfully to nap between jobs. Ever since the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 had taken Nashville into its grip, sleep had not come easily to the young single mother, who was worried about her children’s health as well as her own. So, when she opened the door to find representatives of Vanderbilt’s Mobile Vaccine Program on her porch, a feeling of relief washed over her.

Once a Nurse: Community of Nurses Continues in Retirement

At a retirement center nestled in the hills of Nashville, a cadre of Vanderbilt nurses have built a community within a community. No single career experience connects them—they’ve been war nurses, flight nurses, ER nurses and floor nurses, as well as teachers, researchers and administrators. Their relationships are woven through their vast web of experience, with their love of nursing at the hub. “Nurses always find each other,” says Charlotte Covington, BSN’69, MSN’89, associate professor of nursing, emerita.

Dean’s Message—Time of transformation

Dean Pamela Jeffries pens her first letter for “Vanderbilt Nurse.” She outlines the changes coming to nursing education nationally and shares about her first 100 days at Vanderbilt School of Nursing.

Currently funded grants and contracts

Current funding in research, nonresearch and clinical-community partnership grants

Welcome New Faculty

New additions to the Vanderbilt School of Nursing faculty bring expertise in education, practice, research and scholarship.

Selected works and accomplishments, 2020

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing faculty are recognized for discovery, scholarship and leadership in the nursing profession and higher education. Here is an abridged list of their work during the last full calendar year, followed by a sampling of student accomplishments.

Vanderbilt reaccredited by CCNE and ACME

Two major accreditation organizations have reaccredited Vanderbilt School of Nursing through 2031. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education reaccredited the school for its master of science in nursing, doctorate in nursing practice and post-master’s certificate programs and the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education Board of Review reaccredited VUSN’s MSN nurse-midwifery and post-master’s certificate programs. Both…

Ten faculty honored as fellows

National nursing associations inducted 10 School of Nursing faculty as fellows in 2021. Invitation to fellowship is one of the highest recognitions bestowed by the nursing profession. Melissa Davis Stephanie Devane-Johnson Margaret C. Taylor Jeremy Neal Joanne S. Tennyson Heather Jackson Courtney Pitts Megan Shifrin Karen Hande Patricia Sengstack Six faculty from the Nurse-Midwifery specialty…

Three faculty to head professional associations

Three of the nation’s professional nursing associations have elected Vanderbilt faculty to their highest offices.

National initiatives tap Vanderbilt faculty

Four Vanderbilt School of Nursing faculty have been appointed to leadership roles with national organizations, including the National Advisory Council for Nursing Education and Practice; Diversity Committee of the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty; American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leadership Network.; National Commission to Address Racism in Nursing; and the American Nurse Association’s Innovation Advisory Committee.

VUSN receives NIH award to teach genomics education to nursing faculty and clinicians

Associate Professor Laurie Connors, DNP, FAANP, has received a five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health National Human Genome Research Institute to train doctoral nurses—doctors of nursing practice and PhD nurses—in the translation and integration of genomics into academics, research and clinical practice. Genomics, the study of all of a person’s genes, is a…

HRSA grants awarded to increase NPs in rural and underserved areas

Two Vanderbilt School of Nursing professors have received grants totaling more than $3 million from the Health Resources and Services Administration to educate nurse practitioners to provide critical health care in rural and underserved areas. Ginny Moore, MSN’90, DNP, associate professor and director of the women’s health nurse practitioner specialty, will receive $1.5 million over…

Cardiovascular scientist named Ambassador for Friends of National Institute of Nursing Research

Assistant Professor Mulubrhan Mogos, PhD, has been named an ambassador for the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research, an independent nonprofit organization that advocates for nursing science and its role in promoting the health and well-being of Americans. Mogos was one of 15 nurse leaders selected nationally for their abilities to advance public,…

Maternal health researcher to study cesarean disparities

Assistant Professor Jeremy Neal, PhD, FACNM, has been awarded an R21 exploratory/development grant of more than $250,000 from the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities to assess the differences in labor progress and care among Black and white women with low-risk pregnancies. The study findings will inform how health care providers can improve…

In-person pinning celebrations held August 2021

The School of Nursing held August pinning ceremonies in person on Sunday, Aug. 8. More than 300 MSN, Post-Master’s Certificate and DNP students in 10 specialties received the VUSN pin, certificate or lavalier during the first in-person pinning held since December 2019. Family and friends were able to attend the two events, held in Langford…

Longtime faculty and staff retire

The 2020-21 academic year saw a number of School of Nursing longtime faculty and staff retire and be honored with virtual retirement events. In fall 2020, longtime Admissions Coordinator Bernie Rimgale retired, as did then-assistant dean for student affairs Sarah Ramsey, BA’77, MEd’81. Rimgale joined VUSN in 1985 and worked with research, the FNIC and…

School leader appointed to head university’s health priorities

Pam Jones, BSN’81, MSN’92, DNP’13, FAAN, has been appointed associate vice chancellor for health and wellness at Vanderbilt University. In her new role, Jones will oversee all aspects of the university’s strategic health and wellness priorities, including the evolving response to the COVID-19 pandemic and collaborative health and wellness efforts with Vanderbilt University Medical Center….

Sidebar: NLN Jeffries Simulation Theory

Throughout Pamela Jeffries’ academic career, she has placed a strong priority on learning through innovative instruction. She was an early proponent of the use of health care simulations to model clinical events for nursing students. Simulations are an important part of a nursing student’s education, as they allow students to practice and improve their clinical…

Class Notes

70s Brenda Thomas Harris, BSN’73, received the 2020 Tennessee Governor’s Volunteer Star Award in recognition of her volunteer work at the Monroe County Animal Shelter, Monroe County Friends of Animals and the Cherokee National Forest. Rumay Harrell Alexander, MSN’77, was selected to be an American Nurses Association Scholar-In-Residence, dedicated to addressing systemic racism in the…


Inside the Summer 2021 Issue of Vanderbilt Nurse

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