Category: Uncategorized

Creating a Crimson Closet

CCN student’s idea to aid others under financial stress

While earning a college degree is certainly a strong investment, the expenses associated with pursuing higher education weigh heavily on many. After paying tuition, buying books and covering various additional fees, many students feel a financial strain. And for our nursing students, that strain might be felt long before the bill for their new crimson scrubs comes in.

Thus, the idea for a CCN Crimson Closet was born. Michealyn D. Crauswell, a student entering her upper division nursing courses, approached Dean Suzanne Prevost with an idea that would ease a bit of the burden for students under financial stress.

Michealyn D. Crauswell in crimson scrubs
Michealyn D. Crauswell

“We have several group chats for our nursing classes where we communicate study tips, answer questions about CCN, and just help each other out. As we were ordering scrubs, I noticed many students were worried about the cost because they’re not cheap– my set was $220,” said Crauswell. “As someone who grew up in a single-parent household, I know how tight money can get.. There have been many times I’ve had to choose between things, or go without because we just couldn’t swing it. My mom is pretty great, and always made something happen though.

Since it was such a large number of students and not just a couple, I took a few days to decide what to do and I came up with the Crimson Closet. I suggested that past CCN students could donate used scrubs, shoes, and coats so that current students could use them for little to no cost.”

As it would turn out, CCN already had an initiative like this in the works. In the past, 5th semester students were asked to consider donating their gently used scrubs back to the school. Those scrubs were then offered to students who needed assistance when entering upper division courses.

“We have been doing this on a smaller scale for a number of years, and are thrilled with the creation of CCN’s Crimson Closet which will now become a significant resource for our students,” said Rebekah Welch, Director of the Office of Nursing Student Services.

Knowing that UA’s Career Center has had such success with their Crimson Career Closet, Dean Prevost and ONSS felt confident this could work at CCN, and immediately identified a physical space for the closet as well as ways to fill it with uniform items. The CCN Board of Visitors has committed funds to ensure the closet is initially stocked, and ONSS will continue to accept donations of gently used scrubs and other uniform items.

Crauswell hopes that the creation of this resource will let students know they are not alone.

“I want our current students to know that past students, as well as their instructors, care enough about them to make sure that they succeed, even if that means helping with the cost of things. It’s okay to not be able to afford things sometimes and that shouldn’t be an embarrassment when resources are readily available. I grew up without a lot of things; we really struggled. Seeing my fellow classmates scared at the thought of going without really upset me. I would help everybody if I could,” said Crauswell.

“I want our current students to know that even though most may not know me, I love and care about them and their well-being. Most of the instructors know we are a tight-knit group, and I hope the Crimson Closet shows them just how much we truly love and are there for one another. I hope eventually that the Crimson Closet has a big enough community impact that purchasing scrubs is optional because they’ve been donated and can just be borrowed. As for the future, I hope our current CCN students remember the good deeds done for them and give back to those in need.”

If you are a CCN alum with crimson scrubs you’d like to donate, please reach out to the Office of Nursing Student Services at (205) 348-6639.

CCN Expansion Provides Unique Learning Opportunities, Amenities

The new addition to the Capstone College of Nursing couldn’t open at a more essential moment in time.

When doors to the new wing opened this month, the college celebrated the growth of its nursing program by expanding student learning and collaboration space and equipping faculty with the square footage needed to conduct research, prepare lectures and meet one-on-one with students.

In addition to the new learning spaces, the expansion brings other amenities exciting to students, including food service, an outdoor terrace and meditation labyrinth, as well as additional study space.

As part of the expansion project, CCN established the Home Health & Hospice Laboratory, named in memory of Charles D. and Mary Sue Beard, UA’s first home healthcare lab. The funding for the naming of this lab was provided by a pledge from two of Charles’ and Mary’s children, John Beard and Susan Brouillette.

“Our parents are both deceased, and we wanted to continue to honor them for their many years of service in healthcare to the citizens of Alabama,” said Brouillette. “Our parents were pioneers in home health. We were the first private home health care agency in the Birmingham area.”

Charles Beard was a retired World War II pilot and related to the need for home healthcare because his mother died in a nursing home while he was stationed away with the military. Charles and Mary Sue founded Alabama Home Health Care in 1970. The business became known as Alacare, and later Alacare Home Health & Hospice. It remained a family-owned and operated business until 2019 when John and Susan sold the company, which is now Encompass Home Health & Hospice.

“Home health and hospice are areas of growing patient need and career opportunity,” said Brouilette. “We, as a family, understand how critical this care is and are grateful to help future nurses learning about its tremendous value.”

Centrally located on the second floor of the new wing, the lab mirrors the appearance of a studio apartment, complete with a living space, kitchenette, bedroom and bathroom. The college paid close attention to details, such as including a full-size tub to allow students the opportunity to practice safe transfers of patients throughout living quarters.

“We are grateful for all our donors and especially for those who provided naming opportunities within the expansion,” said Suzanne Prevost, dean of the Capstone College of Nursing. “During the quarantine, the essential role of home healthcare providers has been brought to the forefront and we are particularly proud to make this type of laboratory space available at The University of Alabama. We are honored that John and Susan chose to support the college’s priorities and continue their parent’s legacy through naming this space.”

Clarification and Message to CCN Faculty

Dear Faculty Colleagues,

In my email to you yesterday with the subject line “Plans and Coverage for Fall Semester,” I noted that faculty with school-age children may be facing childcare challenges this fall, and asked that faculty unable to return to work let me know by August 7, so that the College has “time to hire a new faculty member to replace you.” 

I did not mean to suggest that any of you should resign from your faculty positions or that you will be terminated if you are unable to return to work, and I apologize if I created that impression. What I meant was that if you are unable to fulfill your teaching assignment, we need to know as soon as possible, so that we can make alternate arrangements for those courses.

I remind you that the Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides employees with emergency paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can find more information regarding those provisions here: https://hr.ua.edu/coronavirus-covid-19-faqs/families-first-coronavirus-response-act-faqs-leaves-of-absence. Further, for those who are in the vulnerable population, and need a COVID-19 related accommodation, please find the COVID-19 Accommodation Request Form here:  https://hr.ua.edu/covid-19-accommodation-request-form-now-available.  Moreover, should anybody need an accommodation under the ADA, please contact our ADA Coordinator, Emily Marbutt.  

Thank you for all your efforts to ensure that our students have the best possible instructional experiences this fall, even in these challenging times.

Dean Prevost

Suzanne S. Prevost, PhD, RN, FAAN
Angelyn Adams Giambalvo Dean and Professor
Capstone College of Nursing
The University of Alabama
650 University Boulevard East, Room 3035
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
office 205-348-1040
sprevost@ua.edu 
http://nursing.ua.edu/

The University of Alabama

DNP and MSN Program Q&A

The Future Is In Your Hands

Earn your DNP or MSN (Nurse Administrator) from The University of Alabama and equip yourself to make a difference in the future of health care. 

Join us for a Zoom question and answer session!

Time: Apr 24, 2020 01:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://uasystem.zoom.us/j/95123503556

Meeting ID: 951 2350 3556

If you are not able to join us, please contact Vickie Samuel at vsamuel@ua.edu for any questions about the MSN or DNP programs.

Master of Science in Nursing (Nurse Administrator) – 100% Online

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  • MSN-educated nurses with certification eligibility as advanced practice nurses are eligible for the MSN to DNP pathway (38 – 42 credit hours)
  • BSN-educated nurses from Alabama, Florida, Georgia or Mississippi are eligible for the BSN to DNP pathway (70 – 91 credit hours)
Contact us today to take the first step toward your future in nursing!

A Note from The Capstone College of Nursing

Thank you #BamaNurses!

 

Suzanne S. Prevost is Dean and Professor

Dear UA Nursing Community,

 

As we navigate these uncertain times, I want to express my deepest gratitude for your tireless efforts addressing the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Many of our alumni are risking their lives to save others; while our students and their families, our faculty, staff, friends and volunteers, all continue to provide support and encouragement. I have never been more thankful for the training we received as nurses and that we are passing on to the next generation of healthcare heroes. Across the nation, courageous nurses are leading the fight against this pandemic, using critical thinking and creative problem solving in their response to new and challenging ways of working in clinical settings, at home, and at school.

 

At CCN, we are working with the UA community to continue our mission of promoting health and well-being through nursing education, research, scholarship, and service. Our faculty and staff have embraced the challenge of rapidly adapting our undergraduate and graduate classes for online and other alternate forms of content delivery; so that we can stay on track with producing highly qualified nurse clinicians, administrators, and educators.

 

Additionally, our Office of Nursing Student Services continues to work with our students, offering advising and other supportive interventions by phone and videoconferences. While we are disappointed that commencement and many spring events will not take place as originally planned, we are developing alternate plans for some and rescheduling others.

 

The unprecedented demand for nurses reinforces the need for our CCN building expansion project. We are happy to share the good news that the construction is continuing as scheduled. With very few people in our building this month, the disruption from noise and dust is less of a concern. We cannot wait to show you our progress when we open the new wing in Spring 2021! 

 

This semester has taken a much different path than any of us could have imagined, but we want to assure our friends that we are all in this together. As we continue to be physically distant from our CCN family, we encourage you to remain socially present and engaged. We know how important it is to have a support system, especially during challenging times! Stay tuned to our social media channels for updates and ways to be involved and engaged from afar. Please take the time to express your gratitude to your nurse colleagues today. 

 

For campus-wide updates, resources and frequently asked questions, please refer to healthinfo.ua.edu.

 

Thank you. Stay safe, and Roll Tide!

Suzanne S. Prevost, PhD, FAAN, RN

Angelyn Adams Giambalvo Dean and Professor

CCN Research Society Update

The CCN Research Society is continuously recruiting new members and faculty research mentors. The purpose of this club is to increase student interest in and knowledge of undergraduate research, with the goal of increasing the number of students who develop their own research projects.  

 “Membership in the CCN Research Society provides opportunities for students to experience all of the different aspects of the research process while working alongside a faculty mentor,” Faculty Advisor Dr. Paige Johnson states. “It helps them understand, firsthand, how research and evidence-based practice informs nursing practice. “  

The research club meets once a month on Monday afternoon. Students in both lower division and upper division are encouraged to join the club. In addition to club meetings, members are planning to present at the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Conference held this spring.  

A large number of students are working with faculty members on research projects that should yield presentations and publications from their collaboration. Hillary Melton, undergraduate student member, states, “As a member of the CCN Research Society and Randall Research Scholars Program, I have been given the opportunity to present my research on Telomere Length, Life’s Simple 7, and Psychosociocultural Factors Among African American Women to faculty and students.” Melton’s experience working with faculty research mentorDr. Theresa Wadashas encouraged her to, “diversify my nursing practices and select a topic for my ancillary project within the overarching research initiative.” 

Membership in the CCN Research Society is mutually beneficial to both students and faculty. Dr. Johnson affirms, “Faculty benefit tremendously from working with undergraduate students on research projects. Students not only assist in all of the work that has to be done to complete a project but also bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to explore.”  

For more information on becoming a faculty mentor, contact Dr. Paige Johnson (ptjohnso@ua.edu) or Dr. Michele Montgomery (mmontgomery1@ua.edu). Undergraduate students who would like to become involved with the CCN Research Society and want more information, email ccnresearchsociety@gmail.com. 

Fall 2020 Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Robin Bartlett

Robin Bartlett: Professor, Lifespan ResearcherDr. Robin Bartlett received her both her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Nursing Administration degrees from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She earned her PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to joining the Capstone College of Nursing in August of 2019, Dr. Bartlett taught for several years and served as Director of the PhD in nursing program for four years at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Dr. Bartlett serves as faculty in CCN and is affiliated with the Alabama Life Research Institute in her role as Lifespan Researcher. In these roles, she will be teaching CCN graduate courses and conducting funded research aligned with the mission of the Life Research Institute and an affiliated research center, the Center for Youth Development and Intervention. Dr. Bartlett will also be providing research mentoring to CCN junior faculty and students.

Dr. Bartlett’s clinical practice experiences in mental health settings inspired her to conduct health disparities research. Her primary research focus has been understanding risky behaviors and their associated prevention measures in a population primarily comprised of minority adolescents, particularly African American and Latinx adolescent girls. Dr. Bartlett takes a special interest in risk and protective factors associated with behavior trajectories, health outcomes, health disparities and parenting. For example, she has conducted intervention studies focused on the prevention of risk behaviors that could lead to negative health outcomes for minority adolescent girls.

Her work at CCN is expanding her health disparities work to younger children and rural-residing Alabamian adolescents. Dr. Bartlett’s research efforts are influenced by her positive approach. She exemplifies this perspective by focusing on strengths of diverse ethnic and cultural groups. She is a proponent for shifting focus from deficit research to preventative and proactive measures in research. Dr. Bartlett is honored to be a part of CCN and Life Research Institute community.

Mumba Awarded NIH Grant to Aid in Reversal of Opioid Crisis

Mercy Mumba - Assistant ProfessorDr. Mercy Mumba, Assistant Professor at the Capstone College of Nursing, grew up in Zambia, where nursing was not a well-respected profession. After moving to the United States, Dr. Mumba earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Texas at Arlington. Only two years after graduating with her BSN, she entered a BSN to PhD program; and four years later she graduated with a PhD from UT Arlington’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation. A passionate researcher, Dr. Mumba has a number of funded grants, most of which concentrate on preventions and treatment of substance abuse disorders and their co-morbid psychiatric mental health conditions.

Dr. Mumba and her team have received notice of an award from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) at the NIH for their proposal entitled “A Mindfulness and Peer Mentoring Program to Improve Adherence to Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders.” This five-year project, funded through The Helping to End Addiction Long-Term (HEAL) Initiative, is the only one funded from the state of Alabama. This award is one of 375 grant awards across 41 states made by the National Institutes of Health in fiscal year 2019 to apply scientific solutions to reverse the national opioid crisis. Below, we asked Dr. Mumba to share some insight into this project.

Please describe the purpose and goal of this project.

The purpose of this project is to improve adherence to medication-assisted therapies for opioid use disorders, such as buprenorphine and methadone, among others by utilizing a combination of mindfulness-based relapse prevention and peer support specialists.  We are also trying to see if this intervention helps with reducing relapse, cravings, depression, anxiety and stress.

What are the plans and goals of each phase of the project?

In Phase 1, we will be piloting the feasibility and acceptability of this new intervention that we developed to see if it works and to see if people with opioid problems think that this is something they can participate in if it was available. We will also be examining the preliminary efficacy of the intervention in decreasing relapse, cravings, depression, anxiety and stress.

Please elaborate on the mentoring aspect of this study. Why mentoring is important to you?

There is a growing body of evidence showing that using peer mentoring in substance use recovery produces better outcomes. This is because patients have an accountability partner as well as a role model to look up to in their sobriety journey. The road to recovery is often difficult and can be lonely. Therefore, utilizing peer mentoring can improve social engagement, reduce isolation and provide a sense of belonging for individuals recovering from addiction.

What does this grant mean to you and your team?

Our team is excited about the opportunity to increase access to evidence-based treatment modalities for individuals with opioid use disorders. Alabama is one of the hardest hit states when it comes to the opioid crisis and yet, we also have serious problems when it comes to access to care. We believe that our grant is providing a much-needed service and has potential to reduce morbidity and mortality related to opioid misuse.

How do you hope this study will inspire or influence other nurses or researchers in the field?

I think this study challenges all of us to look at individuals with opioid use disorder from a holistic perspective. There are many issues that contribute to addiction and substance abuse; however, when we look at treatment options, they sometimes tend to neglect all the other problems that may have contributed to the addiction in the first place. This is why we believe that addressing co-morbid mental health and other psychiatric disorders in this population is an integral part of promoting sustained recovery.

Dr. Mumba is the principal investigator and program director. Her co-investigators include Drs. Andrea Glenn (Psychology), George Mugoya (Educational Counseling), Rebecca Allen (Psychology), David Albright (Social Work), Lori Davis (Tuscaloosa VAMC), Joshua Richman (Tuscaloosa VAMC) and Ms. Austin Butler (Alabama Community Care).

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R61AT010802. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

 

CCN’s Dr. Lippe Recognized as Sojourns Scholar

Assistant ProfessorCapstone College of Nursing assistant professor, Dr. Megan Lippe, has been accepted into the sixth cohort of Cambia Health Foundation’s Sojourns® Scholar Leadership Program. The Sojourns Scholar Leadership Program’s purpose is to identify, cultivate and advance the next generation of palliative care leaders. Each Scholar receives funding over a two-year period to conduct a project that will essentially enhance the field of palliative care. Those Scholars also will be mentored in the design and implementation of a development plan that supports their growth as palliative care leaders.

Dr. Lippe is one of 10 selected to help advance the field of palliative care, and she is elated to see her project come to life over the next two years. “I am so honored and humbled to have been selected to be a Sojourn Scholar,” said Dr. Lippe. “I know several past and current scholars, and these amazing individuals have contributed substantially to the advancement of the field of palliative care. As one of the few nurses selected, I am appreciative to Cambia for awarding me this opportunity and I am also excited for the road ahead. My work as a Sojourn Scholar will allow me to make a meaningful impact on the provision of palliative care in Alabama.”

Dr. Lippe’s research focuses on palliative and end-of-life care education. Her passion for palliative care is shown with her project funded by Cambia Health Foundation’s Sojourn Scholar Leadership Program.

In Dr. Lippe’s project, she will mentor two groups of advanced practice registered nurses (APRN): a core group and survey group. Both groups will receive palliative care education through the ELNEC-Graduate curriculum. The project will begin with focus groups within the core group where APRNS will facilitate the identification of factors influencing palliative care provision in rural Alabama. Participants in these focus groups will explore factors influencing provision of palliative care. APRNs will consider difficulties and successes in addressing patients’ needs and improving quality of life. Using focus group results, Dr. Lippe will create an online survey that asks survey group APRNs to rank factors by priority impact on practice.

After the focus groups, Dr. Lippe will hold monthly team meetings with core group APRNs to discuss key issues in palliative care within Alabama, such as current primary palliative care practice and future directions for palliative care within the state. APRNs practicing in rural care settings will have the opportunity to share their perspectives on the provision of palliative care to patients with serious illnesses through a presentation at the November 2021 State Advisory Council on Palliative Care and Quality of Life meeting. They will work as a team to determine the presentation content, delivery mechanism, and distribute portions to all APRNs who will be able to attend the council meeting.

Dr. Lippe is committed to becoming a future palliative care leader by mobilizing APRNs in rural primary care practice settings to serve as leaders and advocates for primary palliative care within their communities and Alabama.

“Alabama ranks as the one of the worst performing states in the provision of palliative care, consistently receiving a D grading on Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) state report cards,” said Dr. Lippe. “The state is mostly rural, and few specialized palliative care clinics or providers are accessible for Alabama residents throughout the state, except near Birmingham. Many patients with serious illness in the state receive their care from APRNs in primary care settings. However, the poor statistics in the state suggest that these APRNs are a currently untapped resource for enhancing the provision of primary palliative care.”

Palliative care education has been and will continue to be Dr. Lippe’s passion. Through this project, she hopes to become a change agent in the field of palliative care by advocating for the need for students and nurses to be educated and competent in providing palliative care to all patients and their families. “I hope this project is just the first step in a long road of advocating for and creating change within the field of palliative care.”

UACCN Ranks Among Best Online Nursing Programs for 2021

The Capstone College of Nursing at The University of Alabama is proud to announce its online programs have again been ranked among the best in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

CCN’s Master of Science in Nursing was ranked No. 17 by the publication, the highest ranked online master’s in nursing program in Alabama.

U.S. News & World Report’s Best Online Nursing Programs were determined based on the institution’s performance across five categories: engagement, faculty credentials and training, expert opinion, services and technologies, and student excellence. For more information about the Best Online Programs methodology, click here.

CCN currently offers the following graduate programs: MSN Nurse Administrator; MSN Nurse Practitioner (Family and/or Mental Health); Doctor of Nursing Practice; Joint Online Nursing Science PhD program; and post-graduate Nurse Practitioner Certificate Programs. . The goal of all CCN degree programs is to prepare qualified and caring nurses to meet the needs of our state and nation.  For more information about CCN’s graduate programs, click here.