Robbie Towner, Accelerated BSN

On two separate occasions, accelerated student Robbie Towner has been able to assist victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) because of simulation training he received in the MUSSON Simulation Center.

Originally from California, Towner works as an EMT at Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Columbia while completing nursing school. During his mental health class in the Sinclair School of Nursing, Towner and his classmates completed an IPV simulation event, which taught them how to recognize signs of IPV and assist the victim while keeping everyone safe.

This kind of simulation training makes the SSON stand out, Towner says. “Not a lot of schools would take the time to do that kind of training,” he says. “It’s not testable on the NCLEX, but it is something that we need to know.”

Once while on a shift, Towner was assisting a victim whose husband had gone to the hospital with her. When her husband wasn’t looking, the victim mouthed “call the police” to Towner. Because of his training in the Simulation Center, he knew the proper steps to take to separate the woman from her husband safely and get police intervention.

Another time, a woman came into the emergency room at 3 a.m. with non-specific symptoms. Suddenly, she made a comment that took Towner aback. “I don’t have any family here, so I won’t be having any visitors,” she said. 

Some may have brushed that comment off, but because of his training in the Simulation Center, Towner knew this could be a sign the woman was fleeing intimate partner violence. He mentioned his concern to the doctor, who explored further and confirmed Towner’s feelings were correct.

“I think these stories just prove that simulation is successful,” Towner says. “Simulation told me to trust my gut feelings, and they were right. It decreases our anxiety, even in stressful situations, and leads to successful interventions.”

Earn a graduate degree for a fraction of the price!

Working for University of Missouri Health Care while continuing your education can be a perfect match. With online classes, you can earn your Doctor of Nursing Practice or master’s degree while still working. Classes fit into your busy schedule. It’s also affordable! As part of your employee benefits, you get 75% off the cost of tuition.

With six DNP areas of study and two master’s areas of study, there is a program for you! Apply today.

See what current students and employees have to say.

Alberto Baltazar, MS(N) – Nurse Educator student; Medical Intensive Care Unit, University of Missouri Health Care
“To be able to work at a place I love and have them pay for me to go to school is amazing! I looked into a lot of different hospitals, and this benefit is unique to here. It doesn’t happen in other places. Because it’s all online, it’s nice that I can do my classes when I can fit them into my schedule.”

Grace Johnson, DNP student -Pediatric Nurse Practitioner; Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Women’s and Children’s Hospital
“It’s really cool to be able to continue using my skills while going to school and get a great discount on tuition.”



Bridgett Robbins, DNP student – Nursing Leadership & Innovations in Health Care; Clinical Manager, University of Missouri Health Care
“It is such a good fit. I’ve always read leadership books to grow in my job, so I decided I should take some classes to get credit for it. I calculated it, and with my employee benefit, I think I’m going to pay less than $6,000 total for my entire doctoral degree!”

Apply today! Applications are due April 1. Contact DNP Program Director Miriam Butler for more information.

Advocating for Public Health

Sinclair School of Nursing (SSON) undergraduate students and faculty met with state legislators to advocate for the state’s public health. Traditional and accelerated BSN students from the Nursing in Communities class traveled to Jefferson City for the Missouri Nurses Association’s Nurse Advocacy Day. 

The annual Advocacy Day is a chance for students to learn more about and participate in the legislative process. In the weeks leading up to the day, students identified their representatives and researched upcoming health care bills, including a bill that would relax the barriers on nurse practitioners’ practice, a motorcycle helmet law and a bill that would prohibit minors using tanning beds. 

Once there, students met with their representatives and explained their research. Accelerated student Gabriel Porter met with Scott Sifton to discuss Senate Bill 646, which enacts provisions relating to advanced practice registered nurses.

“It was an amazing experience,” he says. “He asked us a lot of questions and seemed really engaged in the conversation.”

To view pictures from Advocacy Day, visit our Facebook page.

Two Students Selected for Mizzou ’39

Two Sinclair School of Nursing students were selected for one of the University’s highest honors for students, the Mizzou ’39 Award. 

The Mizzou ’39 Award is presented annually to 39 outstanding seniors, who are chosen for their academic achievement, leadership and service to Mizzou and the community. 

Kira Larson, originally from Fargo, N.D., was selected for her efforts on and off the volleyball court. She is a member of the Mizzou Volleyball team and has been selected as part of the NCAA All American Volleyball team and the All SEC Honor Roll. She is also a member of the Three Stripes Club, which honors Mizzou athletes for their efforts in the community.

“It is awesome to be able to represent this university as well as the wonderful nursing school I am a part of,” Larson says. “I wouldn’t be where I am at Mizzou without my fellow classmates, teachers and mentors. I know I presented a difficult challenge doing nursing school while being a student-athlete, but it truly has been the most rewarding experiences of my life.”

From Pevely, Mo., Gabrielle Vest was selected for her many roles across campus. She is the founder and president of Mizzou Unity Coalition, which unites students with people in the community with disabilities. She is also the program director for Mizzou Global Brigates and a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, Kappa Delta, and the Chancellor’s Committee for Persons with Disabilities.

“Both of my parents are Mizzou graduates, and this community has always felt like home to me,” Vest says. “Mizzou ’39 is an incredible honor that I am so grateful to receive. I am driven by my passion for others and for Mizzou to make an impact on this university which I am so deeply attached to, but this tradition is about so much more than honoring an individual — it is about honoring the spirit of this university that drives its students to success.”

Starting Early

Even though she is only in her second semester of college, freshman Rachael Hillyer is already making a name for herself across campus. In addition to playing on Mizzou’s club soccer team and joining Pi Phi Sorority, she is the Sinclair School of Nursing’s first Discovery Fellow.

The Discovery Fellows Program allows eligible freshmen to participate in mentored research in their academic area. While in high school in St. Louis, Hillyer began discovering her passion for genetics research. The Cor Jesus Academy graduate had the opportunity as a high school student to participate in research on plant mutations with the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.

But she also knew she wanted to interact with people. As the daughter of a nurse, Hillyer had initially rejected the idea of becoming a nurse herself. However, while shadowing a pharmacist at a local hospital, she found herself drawn to the nurses and the work they did with patients.

“I started to realize I really liked patient interaction,” she says. “I kept looking away to see what the nurses were doing.”

After being accepted into the Discovery Fellows Program, Hillyer was appointed to work with Professor of Nursing Jane Armer, PhD, RN, FAAN. Recently inducted into the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame, Armer is well-known for her research on lymphedema, and Hillyer cannot believe she gets the opportunity to work so closely with her.

“She is the smartest person I’ve ever met,” Hillyer says. “I’m learning so much from the research I’m doing, but I’m learning even more just from being near Dr. Armer.”

Throughout her first semester, Hillyer acclimated herself to Armer’s research and is now becoming a more active researcher. This semester, she is attending breast cancer support groups to talk with participants about lymphedema, transcribing interviews and creating a poster for World Lymphedema Day on March 6.

Armer has been impressed with Hillyer’s work and sees a bright future for her.

“Rachel is bright, curious and eager to learn about nursing and research,” she says. “It is a pleasure to work together, as her eagerness to explore new areas brings renewed energy to our research. The future is so bright for Rachel as she combines her passion for genetics and her love of working with people through the profession of nursing.”

Despite being only 18, Hillyer has big plans for the future. Later in her college career, she hopes to conduct research on how genetics impact lymphedema. As for after graduation, Hillyer sees herself serving patients as a bedside nurse.

“Eventually, I see myself doing more research because I love the independence it brings and I love discovering new things,” she says.

And while at first she didn’t want to leave high school, Hillyer now feels at home and is certain she made the right college choice.

“I love the big school atmosphere, but at the same time, the nursing school makes the campus seem a lot smaller because of the family atmosphere,” she says. “Mizzou is a really good place for me. I don’t think I would have opportunities like this elsewhere.”