Jonas Global Scholars Study in the Dominican Republic

This past winter, two Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) students traveled to the Dominican Republic to work in the rural bateyes. Associate Professor Maithe Enriquez, PhD, RN, ANP-BC, FAAN, has been taking students to the Dominican Republic as part of the Jonas Global Fellowship.

The Jonas Global Fellowship provides funding for graduate nursing students to participate in global health research experiences.

DNP student Morgan Shahan knew she wanted to participate in the fellowship. Planning to graduate in May 2019, Shahan will not only earn her DNP but also two graduate certificates related to global health, including the participatory health research certificate through the Sinclair School of Nursing.

Morgan coordinated with Fundacion Enciende una Luz (Light a Candle Foundation) on their youth coaching project. The project teaches trustworthy adolescents about hypertension and medication adherence. Each participant is then paired with people with hypertension who have poor health outcomes in hopes they will encourage better medication adherence. Morgan was interested in the effects this partnership had on the adolescents, and she measured their sense of purpose before and after participating in the program.

Through this trip and her coursework for her certificate, Morgan says she has gained knowledge on development aid that she hopes to put to use.

“My goal is to publish my findings and Fundacion Enciende una Luz can use them in their grant writing in order to continue their work,” she says.

Stacie Bevill, a fellow DNP student who will be completing her program this May, was also on the trip and focused her studies on unplanned youth pregnancies and sexual health.

The teen pregnancy rate in the Dominican Republic is three times the world average, and young mothers are less likely to finish their education, which is crucial to their ability to earn an income.

Stacie traveled to rural bateyes to recruit adolescents to attend her education seminars, where she led a discussion on risk factors and health outcomes associated with unprotected sex and taught them how to use contraception.

She found her education increased their knowledge in pregnancy prevention knowledge and STI prevention attitudes.

“I was so grateful to get the fellowship because I am passionate about global health and think it is important to see different cultures,” Stacie says.

Distance Learning

Whoever said there aren’t enough hours in the day clearly didn’t know Julio Loya. The senior nurse manager for the Trauma Progressive Care Unit and Abdominal Transplant/Surgical Oncology Intermediate Care Unit at Banner University Medical Center Tucson Campus in Tucson, Arizona, Julio works full time at the only Level 1 Trauma Center for Southern Arizona. By day, he is responsible for the supervision of nursing staff and, ultimately, the delivery of safe, efficient patient care, which includes being available on the units to support nursing staff, helping administer medications to patients, attending meetings where decisions that affect unit workflow or environment are made and much more.

“I think the largest part of my job consists of being flexible and being present as different situations develop,” he says.

But that’s just his day job. At night and on weekends, Julio — who’s worked as a nurse for more than 13 years — switches into what he refers to as “student mode,” when he studies and completes assignments toward his PhD in nursing through the MU Sinclair School of Nursing’s online program.        

Finding his path

Although Julio’s passion for nursing is evident from his career and educational pursuits, it’s not the path he started out on. In fact, his academic journey began at the University of Arizona, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in general biology.

“After realizing that I did not want to be a biologist, I did not really know what to do next,” he says. “At the suggestion of my brother, I decided to check out nursing school. Due to my looming graduation and pending engagement to my now-wife, I decided to enroll in a program that would start right away.”

Julio went straight from the University of Arizona to Cochise College in Douglas, Arizona, where he earned an Associate of Applied Science in nursing. Soon after graduation, he began working at Banner University Medical Center.

“After being a nurse for approximately three years, I took a leadership position as an assistant manager on my unit,” he says. “Since having a bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN) was a job requirement, I started an online RN-BSN program in 2008, and I obtained my BSN in 2010.”

It was during those undergraduate courses on professional nurse development that Julio realized he wanted to pursue a graduate degree, and after extensive research on programs across the country, he landed on the Sinclair School of Nursing (SSON). 

“I originally enrolled in the Master of Nursing in Leadership program in the Sinclair School of Nursing as a part-time student since I thought that I wanted to continue on a leadership path in the acute care setting,” he says. “Through coursework completion, I came to the realization that I really enjoy research.”

With the encouragement of program mentors, including Dr. Maithe Enriquez (current SSON faculty), throughout his classes in the MS(N) program, Julio decided in 2014 to change gears again, this time to enroll as a full-time student in the SSON’s PhD in nursing program.

“Once I started interacting with faculty and completing some of the requirements for courses, I realized that I made a great decision by enrolling at Mizzou,” he says. “The decision to apply to the PhD program was made really easy due to the support and encouragement from the faculty and also through the quality interactions I had in the virtual classroom with my fellow students.”

Distance and self-discipline

Although Julio’s daily schedule is an ambitious undertaking in and of itself, he’s quick to point out that the SSON program has been flexible enough to fit in among the rigors of a full-time job.

“One of the striking differences from my past experiences in school is that everyone at the SSON really takes the time to listen and to help you achieve your goals,” he says. “As a busy working professional, there are times where life has happened, and the faculty and staff at the SSON have been extremely supportive.”

The online aspect of the program is a benefit as well. Today, Julio lives in Marana, Arizona, just north of Tucson, with his wife of 13 years, Krista; their black Lab, Luna; and cocker spaniel, Shadow. But he says the 1,300+-mile commute between home and school isn’t a problem.  

“While the experience of being in a distance-mediated program requires self-discipline and self-motivation to meet deadlines, the faculty and staff are always willing to meet virtually if you’re not on campus,” he says. “Whether it is email, a Skype session or a telephone call, faculty and staff respond quickly to any inquiries.”

Next steps

On track to graduate with his PhD in December 2019, Julio hopes to secure a faculty position at a research-intensive university with a dual role as faculty and researcher.

“The PhD program at the SSON continues to prepare me to assume that role upon graduation,” he says. “The rigorous coursework along with the mentorship offered by both faculty and my PhD committee chair and members have made an enormous difference.”

The program has impacted his present work as well.

“As a PhD student, you are becoming one of the world’s experts on a very narrow aspect of a topic,” Julio says. “As I have advanced through the PhD program, I am now able to make connections and analyze and interpret data in ways in which I was unable to before. Pursuing my PhD through the SSON has cemented my belief that the science of nursing requires an evolving way of thinking to ensure nursing delivers on the promise of providing evidence-based care to individuals and communities.” 

Click here for more on the Sinclair School of Nursing’s Ph.D. program.

Students, Faculty and Alumni Represent SSON at MNRS Conference

The Sinclair School of Nursing (SSON) showed off its research prowess at the Midwest Nursing Research Society’s (MNRS) 42nd Annual Research Conference. The SSON team gave 16 research presentations and took home three awards from the conference, themed “The Future of Nursing Research: Economic Realities and Creative Solutions.”

The team also took on new leadership roles. PhD alumna Briana Snyder was elected as co-chair of the MNRS Emerging Scholars Network (ENS) while current PhD student Jennifer O’Connor was elected ENS treasurer.

In addition to networking and presenting research, students, faculty and alumni networked with other professionals to discuss online course content and future research collaborations and work on research proposals and dissertation write-ups. The conference was held in Cleveland, Ohio, April 12-15.

Awards
  • Deidre Wipke-Tevis, associate professor and director of the PhD program, received the Honor A Researcher Award after being nominated by five of her current and former PhD students.
  • Tammie Gainey, a 2017 PhD graduate, received the Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Physiology, Behavior, Genomics & Society Research Interest Group for her dissertation, “Pharmacogenetic Testing in Outpatient Mental Health Clinics.”
  • Tammy Rood, a 2017 DNP graduate, received the First Place DNP Student Poster Award for her poster, “A Quality Improvement Project to Improve Provision of Asthma Action Plans.”
Presentations
Name Presentation Title (type)
Dr. Greg Alexander, faculty

National Trends in Nursing Home Information Technology Sophistication and Relationships to Quality Measure (podium)

Jody Blankenship, PhD student Using Density Maps to Detect Variation in Depressive Symptoms among Senior Housing Residents (poster)
India Bloom, BSN student An Analysis of Emergency Department Use by Medicare Beneficiaries in South Dakota (poster)
Dr. Jo-Ana Chase, faculty Emergency Room Visits in Older Post-Acute Home Health Care Patients: Does Race/Ethnicity Matter? (podium)
Karen Clark, PhD student & RWJF FNS Identifying the Needs and Stressors Affecting the Physical and Psychological Health of Custodial Grandparents Raising Grandchildren (poster)
Tammie Conley, PhD student, RWJF FNS & Jonas Global Scholar Addressing Hypertension in Four Rural Dominican Bateyes (podium)
Dr. Laurel Despins, faculty Intensive Care Unit Nurses Use the Electronic Medical Record in Patient Deterioration Detection (poster)
Dr. Maithe Enriquez, faculty Keeping It Real: A CBPR Study (podium)
Rungnapha Khlewchaum, PhD student Systematic Review of Interventions to Improve Health and Well-Being among Caregivers with Elderly People (poster)
Poungkamon Krisanabud, PhD student

The Association between Symptom Severity and Physical Activity Interference among Irritable Bowel Syndrome Patients: A Pilot Study (poster)

Beth Mettes, DNP Student & Jonas Global Scholar Intervention to Prevent Cataracts in a Vulnerable Population of Haitian Immigrants (poster)
Elizabeth Monsees, PhD student & Jonas PhD scholar Understanding Potential Barriers to Antimicrobial Stewardship by Pediatric Staff Nurses: The Link Between AHRQ Patient Safety Culture and Antimicrobial Stewardship Survey Results (podium)
Jennifer O’Connor, PhD student, T32 fellow & Jonas Global Scholar Prevalence of Foot Health Problems among Haitian Sugarcane Workers Living in the Bateyes of the Southeastern Dominican Republic
Dr. Lori Popejoy, faculty Reducing Hospitalization from MOQI Nursing Homes: APRNs Use of Root Cause Analysis to Reduce Hospitalizations (poster)
Meredith Rice, PhD student & RWJF FNS Effects of Role Modeling in Simulation on Student Anxiety (poster)
Dr. Tammy Rood, faculty A Quality Improvement Project to Improve Provision of Asthma Action Plans (poster)
Dr. Deidre Wipke-Tevis, faculty Impact of Age and Self-Reported Activity Patterns on Skin Microcirculation in Healthy Adults (poster)

 

SSON Recognized as Stellar School

The Sinclair School of Nursing (SSON) is one of two schools this year to earn the National Student Nurses’ Association’s NSNA Stellar School Chapter Recognition. The award recognizes school chapters for their ongoing involvement in NSNA and their commitment to shared governance and professional development.

The NSNA Stellar School Chapter certificate and pins were presented to faculty advisor, Donna Otto, and school chapter president, Annaliese Moore, at the NSNA 66th Annual Convention April 4-8, 2018, in Nashville.

Moore was joined by four of her fellow Student Nurses’ Association members at the annual conference. Moore, along with Liz Kimsey, May Mathews, TJ Headley and Zach Forby, make up the chapter’s executive board. With the flexibility of the professors, the team was able to attend the weeklong conferences, where they attended presentations, met nurse leaders, networked with student nurses from across the country and served as delegates, voting on resolutions and policy changes for NSNA.

“It is an amazing honor to work with such energetic, positive, eager students and to help guide them as they grow in the profession of nursing,” says Donno Otto, Instructor Emerita of Nursing and Faculty Advisor to the Student Nurses’ Association.

Student Receives Statewide Scholarship

Maddie Scheibal has been chosen as the 2017-18 Missouri League for Nursing (MLN) Scholarship winner! Maddie was selected among applicants from nursing schools across the state. We are very proud of Maddie and this recognition of her future potential in nursing. The scholarship was awarded on Student Day at the MLN’s 65th Annual Convention, April 10, at Tan-Tar-A, Osage Beach.