Students and Faculty Volunteer at Project Homeless Connect

Eric Hodges (left) was one of the School of Nursing faculty members that volunteered at Project Homeless Connect. Photo by Laura Shmania,

The UNC School of Nursing served the community through Project Homeless Connect on Nov. 4. This one-stop event at the Hargraves Community Center in Chapel Hill provided services such as job-readiness resources, health and dental care, mental health assistance, social services, legal services and  housing to people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness. Project Homeless Connect  is a key initiative of the Orange County Partnership to End Homelessness and has served nearly 600 guests since 2007.

SON Associate Dean for Community Partnerships & Practice, Sonda Oppewal, acted as a Co-Chair for Project Homeless Connect’s Health Committee. She solicited ideas from SON faculty about how the School might be involved, bringing some new ideas and services to the event.  For example, guests were guided to relevant health services using new health intake forms developed by SON. The forms facilitated the use of clinical judgment based on interviews with the guests about past and current health problems.

Oppewal also helped assure there were sufficient health care providers, a need that SON helped meet with three nurse practitioners — Clinical Instructor Carrie Palmer, Clinical Assistant Professor and MSN Coordinator Jean Davison and Clinical Assistant Professor Victoria Cryer. Guests with high blood pressures, high cholesterol or glucose were directed to the nurse practitioners for counseling and referral (if needed).

Clinical Instructor Louise Fleming served as an active member of the Health Committee and recruited students to participate. Other faculty who participated included Clinical Associate Professor Eric Hodges, Clinical Assistant Professor Liska Lackey, Clinical Assistant Professor Diane Yorke, Dean Kristen Swanson, and Clinical Instructor Angela Clark. Clinical Assistant Professor Megan Williams also supported the project as the advisor to ANS.

Before the event SON Association of Nursing Students helped collect toiletry kits that were distributed before Nov. 4 as part of outreach efforts to tell homeless people about Project Homeless Connect.  During the event 27 students assisted with intake forms, providing health information, helping with eye exams, and assisted in escorting guests to various stations. Students also gave manicures this year, which provided a new opportunity for therapeutic communication and health education reinforcement. A health bingo game was another new feature that  reinforced  health education.

Sara Smith, a senior BSN student helped give manicures. She said that the event was a great opportunity to help and volunteer. She had not participated before and was surprised by the number of children and women that made up the the homeless population of Chapel Hill.

UNC faculty and students helped with many of the stations at the Project Homeless Connect event. They assisted with health histories and intake, provided health information, gave manicures, took blood pressure, and assisted in escorting guests to various stations.

Sara Smith, a senior BSN student helped give manicures. She said that the event was a great opportunity to help and volunteer. She had not participated before and was surprised by the number of children and women that made up the the homeless population of Chapel Hill.  She said it was an eye-opening experience.

Sara Smith, a senior BSN student helped give manicures. She said that the event was a great opportunity to help and volunteer. She had not participated before and was surprised by the number of children and women that made up the the homeless population of Chapel Hill. She said it was an eye-opening experience.


UNC School of Nursing Global Health Expo 2010

UNC Global Health Fair

UNC Global Health Fair

The UNC School of Nursing Global Health Expo 2010 will be held September 30th and October 5th from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. in the main lobby and mezzanine of the school’s addition. Come see posters and other visual displays of the school’s global experiences during the last year. Pizza will be served. Posters will remain up until October 8. E-mail for more information.

Amy Davenport Named to NC Great 100 Nurses by NCNA

 Amy Davenport has been selected to receive a scholarship from The Great 100, Inc., RN Nursing Excellence Organization of North Carolina for the year 2010-2011. Davenport is a senior nursing major at the UNC Chapel Hill School of Nursing who has already completed the Master of Public Health degree at UNC Chapel Hill. She was chosen by the school faculty to receive the scholarship from The Great 100, Inc

Amy Davenport

She and the other scholarship recipients, along with The Great 100 Award recipients for 2010, will be honored at a black-tie Gala at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex in Greensboro, NC on September 18, 2010. 

The Great 100, Inc. is a grassroots peer recognition organization honoring the nursing profession in North Carolina by recognizing the importance of Registered Nurses in diverse practice settings, positively impacting the image of nursing and nursing as a profession, acknowledging 100 North Carolina Nurses annually who demonstrate excellence in practice and commitment to their profession and contributing funds for scholarships for Registered Nurse education. 

Read more about Amy here

Trip to Vietnam Lets Student Practice Nursing in the Real World

Minh Nguyen and Dr. Linda Cronenwett

Minh Nguyen has just returned from a summer trip to Vietnam that was part of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing’s .  He was the recipient of the Cronenwett Global Study Award, created by a private gift to honor Dean Emerita Linda H. Cronenwett.  Read about his experience:

Prior to the trip, I knew there was a big gap between the health care systems of Vietnam and the US. Among the differences, the lack of infection control posed the biggest threat to the health and safety of the patients. The hospitals in Vietnam are overcrowded and lack resources, and overuse of antibiotics has increased infection rates.

Because of these problems I wanted to do a project to reduce the infection rate by increasing hand washing compliance since hand washing has proved to be the most effective, and simplest, method. My plan was to spend a week observing at a hospital in Vinh city, another week for planning the interventions and the rest of the time implementing and evaluating those interventions.

Read the rest of this entry »

MSN Student Katie Shattuck Wins Competitive Carolina Institute of Developmental Disabilities Award

Katherine (Katie) Shattuck, BSN, RN, is a second year graduate student working toward a Master of Science Degree in Nursing to become a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. Katie began her graduate program with over four years of clinical experience in the Newborn Critical Care Center at the NC Children’s Hospital where she had advanced to responsibility for teaching new nurses the intricacies of caring for extremely ill newborns.

Through her clinical practice and her initial year of graduate study, Katie has developed a strong interest in the ongoing needs of children born with developmental disorders and their family’s need to locate and coordinate high quality care in the community.

Katie recently won a competitive interdisciplinary fellowship offered through the Carolina Institute of Developmental Disabilites to learn a great deal more about how to do just that. As a Fellow of the NC LEND program for the 2010-11 academic year, she will have the opportunity to develop skills in the areas of:  leadership, education, policy development, system administration, clinical practice, and research in the field of developmental disabilities.

Katie’s potential was further recognized as she was also selected to participate in the advanced interdisciplinary program of the Maternal Child Health Leadership Consortium, a UNC-CH campus-wide program, to assess her leadership style and develop the skills to meet her long-term goals.

Katie’s potential became obvious to the School of Nursing faculty in her courses last year (during which year she also gave birth to her own son).  Her clear leadership and academic potential spurred Susan Brunssen, PhD, RN, Nursing Training Director for the NC LEND, to sponsor her application.

She has also been given the opportunity to assist another professor, Maureen Kelly, MSN, cPNP, in the conduct of a clinical research study.  Katie mbraces each of these as “great opportunities” and says she is very excited at the prospects for this year. She is already asking the difficult questions that are the hallmark of critical thinkers.

Thirty-three Years Later: The Martha Holt Windham BSN`77 Memorial Scholarship

We recently visited JR and Eleanor Holt at their home in a rural hamlet a few miles outside of Sanford, NC.  It has been thirty-three years since their twenty-three year old daughter Martha was killed in an automobile crash on her way to visit them one Sunday afternoon.  It was just before she was about to begin her MSN program.  Martha wanted to become a nurse practitioner.

Family, friends and community where shocked and heartbroken.  They came together and with a modest amount of funds, established a memorial scholarship to carry Martha’s name forward.  It took ten years for the fund to grow sufficiently to begin to payout support.  Each year, since that time, the Holts have made small gifts and we are incredibly grateful to them.  Today, the fund is able to help underwrite a portion of the $5,000 tuition for a School of Nursing undergraduate student to attend and become the Martha Holt Windham Scholar.

Our visit was important.  It gave us an opportunity to say thank you and to honor Martha’s memory.

Martha's Nursing Cap

Men in Nursing Grows; AAMN Chapter at Carolina Since 1990

Message from Dr. Ed Halloran:

Colleagues and friends,

The latest census of nurses is out and shows there are an estimated 202,169 men in nursing, 6.6% of all 3,063,163 RNs who hold a license in the USA. [Source: The Registered Nurse Population: Initial Findings from the 2008 National Sample Survey of RNs;

While the proportion of men continues to be small, the number of men in nursing has been growing more rapidly since 1990. That said, the way to increase the recruitment of men in nursing is through diversification of faculty and students. For example – no one knows about men in nursing unless they are informed.

One way of telling people about men in nursing is through the American Assembly for Men in Nursing.  UNC has had a Chapter since 1990. The  most visible place for Q&A about men in nursing is at the AAMN website; You may be interested in knowing the AAMN will meet on Duke’s Campus for two days in September, FRI and SAT, Sept. 24-25, 2010.

This is a unique opportunity to meet and interact with the 150 or so members of AAMN from around the country. The program is set, the CNEs have been applied for from the North Carolina Nurses Association, and the Saturday of the meeting will be an exciting one on the Duke campus as Duke plays Army in football. Come join us for an interesting discussion of issues concerning men in the nursing profession or at least letting your students know about the meeting.

Take a look at the Conference program and register at the AAMN website or in person on the 24th at the School of Nursing at Duke. The fees for students are discounted.

I hope to see you there.

Professor Ed Halloran, PhD, RN

Katherine Wilson Scholar Meets Anne and John Wilson

Anne and John Wilson met Katherine Wilson Scholarship recipient Anneka Huegerich at her July graduation from nursing school. Anne Wilson says, “She was the perfect choice. Katherine would have been so thrilled to know she had been able to help such a lovely, deserving person.” Anneka was the first acclerated BSN student selected to receive the scholarship award that pays out $5,000 per year in support. The application deadline for the next Katherine Wilson Scholar is September 10, 2010. Applications can be found at

John Wilson, Anneka Huegerich, Anne Wilson

The power of this scholarship fund is extraordinary.  In five years, we have made awards of $25,000 to support four Katherine Wilson Scholars.

Health Professions Faculty Gather to Discuss Patient Safety in Telluride, CO

Faculty leaders in patient safety gathered in July for the annual scientific  roundtable on patient safety as part of Colorado’s Telluride Science Institute. Associate Dean Gwen Sherwood has been the nurse educator representative in this group for the past six years. This year, sponsored by a grant from AHRQ, 18 health professions students (nursing, medicine, law, health care administration and informatics) participated to co-create a health professions curriculum on open communication with patients and their families as part of providing quality safe care to reduce health care errors. Three students from our school of nursing, Lysandra Serrano (BSN), Rebecca Mooney (MSN) and Vanessa Rhodes (PhD) were awarded scholarships to participate. Continue reading for what the week long workshop meant to Rebecca Mooney with a photo of Serrano and Mooney with faculty Dr. Gwen Sherwood during a team building exercise to hike to Bear Creek Waterfall.

Rebecca Mooney, MSN student, adds her perspective to the Telluride experience:

“Spending a week in Telluride, Colorado was, for me, much more than just attending another conference; this experience is one that left with me an impression much greater than I ever expected to gain from any “vacation.” Being surrounded with healthcare providers with various backgrounds from all different walks of life, each having their own invigorating perspective, has opened up my eyes to new approaches to patient-centered care.  Throughout the week, a common theme of discovering new approaches to providing safe, competent care continued to arise as we held group discussions. Much emphasis was placed on managing the growing complexity of healthcare by utilization of a teamwork approach which placed the patient and family members in the core of the team.

By the end of this experience, I realized the impact this week in Telluride had on my outlook on patient care. Passionate conversation sparked an exchange of ideas which challenged my current practices and motivated me to achieve higher standards. Being able to spend time with the survivors of serious medical errors was an experience that will forever impact my nursing care as the importance of using caution was gravely emphasized. Hearing their stories deeply touched my heart as I was almost able to share in their pain and I have carried that with me on the floors of my hospital from that day forward.”

Associate Dean Gwen Sherwood (center) with SON students

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurses Help Fill NC Emergency Department Shortages

Wake County, NC National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Report:  Long waits and severe problems in our Emergency Departments

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) graduates from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing (SON) will be able to fill the some of the need to assist in caring for the overflow of psychiatric patients in North Carolina (NC) Emergency Rooms in the next few months.  With the decrease in psychiatrists across NC and limited state hospital beds, the overflow of severe and persistently mentally ill patients have ended up in our ED, sometimes for two days or as much as several weeks.  Nearly 1,500 patients were reported to have waited 48 hours to be seen and 200 patients waited seven days or longer.

The recent report released by Wake County NAMI describes the state of our emergency departments in NC.   In response to this urgent need, Associate Clinical Professor Victoria Soltis-Jarrett reports that UNC Chapel Hill School of Nursing has received permission to allow its graduates of the PMHNP program to apply for Emergency Department  positions as part of their service payback for the State Scholarships that have been awarded by the State of North Carolina to help relieve the mental health professionals shortage.

NAMI Wake State Psych Hospital Delays Report


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