School Receives Fourth NCIN Grant

June 24, 2013

Scholarships, program support will aid second-career nurses from groups underrepresented in nursing that are enrolled in accelerated degree programs

Columbia, Mo. — The MU Sinclair School of Nursing (MU SSON) has been selected for the fourth year as a grant recipient of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program (NCIN). During the 2013-2014 academic year, the MU SSON will receive $100,000 to support students in the school’s accelerated bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program who are traditionally underrepresented in the field of nursing and are pursuing a second career in nursing. NCIN is a program of RWJF and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

“At this time when the nation’s need for highly educated nurses is growing, we are delighted to be able to support nursing students who will bring diverse and valuable perspectives to the field, and become capable, culturally-competent nurses,” said David Krol, MD, MPH, FAAP, RWJF senior program officer. “NCIN is not only helping these students succeed in school, it is helping prepare the nursing workforce to meet the challenges that lie ahead.”

Schools receiving grants through NCIN provide scholarships directly to students from groups underrepresented in nursing or from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Each NCIN Scholar has already earned a bachelor’s degree in another field, and is making a career switch to nursing through an accelerated nursing degree program, which prepares students to pass the licensure exam required for all registered nurses in as little as 12-18 months. The MU SSON 15-month accelerated BSN program begins in May and ends in July the following year.

At the MU SSON, ten students in the 2014-2015 class will be awarded NCIN scholarships in the amount of $10,000 each. Since 2008, the NCIN program has distributed 3,117 scholarships to students at 125 unique schools of nursing. This year, funding for 400 scholarships was granted to 52 schools of nursing.

“The Sinclair School of Nursing is grateful to again receive New Careers in Nursing funding to support our diverse students,” said Dean Judith Fitzgerald Miller, PhD, RN, FAAN. “This funding allows students to pursue their dreams and become part of the profession of nursing.”

In addition to their scholarships, NCIN scholars receive other support to help meet the demands of an accelerated degree program. All NCIN grantee schools maintain a leadership program and a mentoring program for their scholars, as well as a pre-entry immersion program to help scholars learn study, test-taking, and other skills that will help them manage the challenges of an accelerated program.

“NCIN is strengthening nursing education and creating a culture of change at schools of nursing across the country,” said AACN President Jane Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN. “Our grantee schools are committed to enrolling students traditionally underrepresented in nursing, and students are benefiting from the emphasis on mentoring and leadership development that are hallmarks of the NCIN program. AACN is proud to collaborate with RWJF on this ground-breaking effort.”

NCIN funding received the past three years allowed MU SSON to expand the number of accelerated students in each year’s class from 40 to 50 each year. Additional faculty were hired to meet the needs of the increased class size and improve the student/faculty ratio in clinical courses.

The 2010 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, recommends increasing the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree or higher, and increasing the diversity of students to create a nursing workforce prepared to meet the health care demands of diverse populations across the lifespan. NCIN is helping to advance those recommendations, enabling schools to expand student capacity in higher education, and encouraging more diversity.

By bringing more nurses into the profession at the baccalaureate and master’s degree levels, the NCIN program also helps to address the nation’s nurse faculty shortage. This trend is reflected in the NCIN scholars, as 91 percent of the students receiving funding in the first three years of the program indicate a desire to advance.

Learn more about the MU Sinclair School of Nursing’s accelerated program.

Learn more about the NCIN program.

Nursing Faculty Member Receives National Fellowship

June 18, 2013

Columbia, Mo. — Patricia Schnitzer, an associate professor in the University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing (MU SSON) has been selected as the 2013 National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)/AcademyHealth Health Policy Fellow. This 13-month, full-time fellowship with the NCHS, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) brings a visiting scholar in a health services research-related discipline to the NCHS in Hyattsville, Maryland, to conduct studies of interest to policymakers and the health services research community.

“This fellowship recognizes Dr. Schnitzer’s outstanding research accomplishments and potential for further major advances in science,” said Vicki Conn, MU SSON associate dean for research.

Schnitzer, whose research focuses on causes of childhood injuries, prevention of child abuse and neglect and improvements for public health surveillance, begins her project, “Improving National Data on Child Maltreatment Fatalities,” on September 1. Child maltreatment includes both child abuse and neglect.

Schnitzer’s project comes on the wave of a national push to improve the accuracy of identifying child maltreatment deaths which are undercounted each year. “It is very difficult to accurately document the number of children who die each year due to maltreatment,” Schnitzer said. “Accurate data are necessary for monitoring trends and informing prevention.” In 2011, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report documenting the national undercount of fatal child maltreatment. The national tally of child maltreatment deaths is compiled annually by the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS). Current NCANDS data document approximately 1,700 child maltreatment deaths each year while research suggests that the actual number of maltreatment deaths is closer to 3,000 deaths annually. The NCANDS uses information reported by child welfare agencies to get its count, but not all child maltreatment deaths are reported to or investigated by child welfare agencies.

Schnitzer’s goal is to create a method for better estimating the number of child deaths due to abuse and neglect in the United States using NCHS mortality data – that is, data from death certificates. For her project, she will collaborate with the National Center for the Review and Prevention of Child Deaths (NCRPCD) and 10 states that use the NCRPCD Case Reporting System to maintain and manage their child death review CDR program data. Schnitzer will link the CDR data from these 10 states with the NCHS death certificate data. The detail on circumstances of death available in the CDR data will be used to identify maltreatment deaths and inform improvements in coding and documentation of child maltreatment in death certificates. Schnitzer will focus on deaths of children less than 5 years old, as more than 90 percent of fatal maltreatment occurs in this age range.

The project will address the GAO recommendation to improve the comprehensiveness, quality and use of national data fatal child maltreatment. These improved national estimates can be used to monitor trends over time.

“Dr. Schnitzer brings her special expertise in epidemiology and her research on childhood injury to the work of this fellowship. Her past research and this work at the National Center for Health Statistics, CDC, will have an impact on health policy enhancing the health and safety of children,” said Judith Fitzgerald Miller, MU SSON dean.

MU Nursing Faculty Member Receives Two-Year Fellowship

June 18, 2013

Columbia, Mo. —Kari Lane, an assistant professor in the University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing (MU SSON), has been selected as one of four 2013-2015 John A. Hartford Foundation Claire M. Fagin Fellows by the National Hartford Centers of Gerontological Nursing Excellence (NHCGNE). In 2008, Lane was named an NHCGNE Patricia G. Archbold Scholar.

Lane specializes in adult acute care nursing and gerontological nursing. Her current research focuses on the hidden disability of hearing loss and interventions to help individuals with hearing impairment. One intervention Lane is currently researching is the use of a frequency modulator (FM) system in older adults with hearing loss.

“The Claire M. Fagin Fellows are highly skilled scholars deeply committed to improving health care for aging patients,” said Judith Fitzgerald Miller, MU SSON dean. “Dr. Lane’s research focus on hearing loss in older adults enhances quality of life for these individuals. I am pleased the Hartford Centers recognizes the value of her work.”

The NHCGNE will provide Lane with funding to support post-doctoral research training, mentorship, leadership and career development. The NHCGNE’s program, begun in 2000, is backed by the John A. Hartford Foundation and augmented with monies from The Atlantic Philanthropies and the Mayday Fund. Claire M. Fagin Fellows are leaders who will shape the future care for older persons.

“This program contributes towards important recommendations of the Institute of Medicine’s report on the future of nursing that the nation provide more leadership training and opportunities for nurses and that we increase the number of doctorally prepared nurses,” said J. Taylor Harden, said NHCGNE executive director.

Faculty Member Receives Neonatal Research Award

June 18, 2013

Columbia, Mo. — Assistant Professor Urmeka Jefferson received the Research Abstract Award from the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN) Friday, Oct. 4, at the NANN’s 29th Annual Educational Conference in Nashville, Tenn. Jefferson’s research focuses on breastfeeding knowledge and intentions among blacks and the factors associated with infant feeding methods and impact on infant mortality.

Jefferson’s research abstract was titled, “Contribution of breastfeeding exposure and attitudes to breastfeeding intentions of black college students.” Research shows that black women breastfeed at much lower rates than white women although breastfeeding has been shown to decrease disease rates and mortality for infants. “Black infants may receive a substantial benefit from breastfeeding but are the least likely to receive any breast milk during early infancy,” Jefferson said. Jefferson’s study explored breastfeeding exposure, attitudes and intentions of black college students and found that exposure to breastfeeding, positive attitudes toward breastfeeding and higher educational status contributed to the prediction of breastfeeding intentions.

Graduate Students Attend State Nursing Summit

June 6, 2013

Columbia, Mo. — Incoming and current graduate students in the University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing attended the Missouri Action Coalition’s (MOAC) 2013 Teamwork Summit Wednesday, June 5, in Jefferson City. The annual event brings together nurses from across the state. The keynote speaker, Michael Bleich, PhD, RN, FAAN, gave the presentation, “Convergence of the IOM Report with Healthcare Transformation and Expanded Public Expectations in Nursing.” Gov. Jay Nixon also spoke to the assembled group.

MOAC’s stated purpose is “to familiarize Missouri nurses and nurse friends with the recommendations in the [Institute of Medicine’s] IOM Future of Nursing Report and develop strategies on how to make these recommendations a reality in our state, transform the healthcare system, and improve health outcomes.” The coalition works to overcome barriers to nursing practice and help nurses practice to the fullest extent of their education. The IOM report provides four recommendations to help the nursing profession (which makes up the largest portion of health care workers) continue to lead, provide quality care and transform health care. The four recommendations are:

  • Nurses should practice to the full extent of their education and training. 
  • Nurses should achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression.
  • Nurses should be full partners, with physicians and other health care professionals, in redesigning health care in the United States.
  • Effective workforce planning and policy making require better data collection and information infrastructure.

Incoming graduate students for the master’s, Doctor of Nursing Practice and Doctor of Philosophy programs were on campus for a weeklong leadership and orientation session to kick off their programs.

View photos from the MOAC session.