Nearly 90 Nursing Students Become Alumni

Dec. 19, 2014

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Nearly 90 nursing students from the nation’s no. 1 nursing school in the country (College Atlas Encyclopedia of Higher Education) are no longer students, they’re now alumni. They were awarded their degrees from the University of MIssouri Sinclair School of Nursing (SSON) at the Missouri Theatre in downtown Columbia.

There were 75 BSN, 6 RN-BSN, 5 MSN, 2 DNP and 1 PhD graduates and 1 Post-Master’s Certificate. Of the undergraduates, 11 graduated with honors: 4 cum laude, 5 magna cum laude and 2 summa cum laude.

Dean Judith Fitzgerald Miller presided over the ceremony and gave the main address. Student addresses were given by Ross Licklider, BSN candidate; Shirley Nichols, DNP candidate. Each graduate also received a rose from the Nursing Alumni Organization that was handed out by Donna Otto.

Special faculty and student awards were given during the ceremony:

  • Nursing Student Council Outstanding Clinical Teaching Faculty Award
    • Jane Bostick
  • Nursing Student Council Oustanding Classroom Teaching Faculty Award
    • Pam Evans-Smith
  • Nursing Student Council Outstanding Student Award
    • Anya Klooster
  • Janet ‘Joy’ Thompson Undergraduate Student Award
    • Aaron Davis
  • Geriatric Excellence Undergraduate Student Award
    • Brandon Griffin

As students go in their spearate directions, the SSON knows they are well prepared to handle whatever is thrown at them. When people read that they graduated from teh SSON, they know they’re not just a nurse, but a MIZZOU NURSE!

View the rest of the pictures on our Facebook page.

Student Program Teaches Preschoolers the Importance of Washing Their Hands

Nov. 7, 2014

A group of University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing students found themselves putting on a clinic inside a classroom. It was the first event ever for the program, Sharing Health Hand by Hand.

Nursing students were teaching proper hand hygiene to a class of preschool students with developmental needs. Program leaders say the children took to it even better than they thought they would. They sang songs, they used baby powder to show how easily germs are spread, and they played games.

“I think the kids had a lot of fun and learned a lot about hand washing. All of the different activities we did were really beneficial for them and seemed to really enjoy it,” program leader Joely Milazzo said.

Program leaders say the best parts were seeing how much fun the children were having while they learned. The preschool’s principal says they already practice proper hand washing everyday, but they’re always looking for adults to come in and enhance the extremely important skill.

“That’s one of our goals is to develop health living practices,” Eugene Field Title I Preschool principal Mary Rook said. “We know that hand washing is a very basic skill that everyone can do and if we do it, it can have a really big impact on the health of our community.”

Program leaders say the song was the biggest takeaway from the day. They believe the catchy tune was exactly what was needed to keep children washing their hands in the future.

“To kind of give them a timeframe to wash their hands with also a fun way to remember,” Milazzo said. “I think they’ll use it in the classroom, I think the teachers will use it, so I think it will keep reiterating and get stuck in their head.”

Program leaders hope every session after this will be as big of a hit as this was. They say as long as they go into the classroom with a positive attitude, the children will feed off of it and learn one of the most important practices in life.

Associate Professor Inducted into Prestigous Society

Oct. 29, 2014

Columbia, Mo. — Lori Popejoy, an associate professor in the University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing (MU SSON), was inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing at the Academy’s 41st annual meeting in Washington D.C.

The American Academy of Nursing has about 2,200 fellows. Invitation to fellowship is more than recognition of one’s accomplishments within the nursing profession. There is a scrict criteria one must meet. That criteria includes:

  • Enhancing the quality of health and nursing;
  • Promoting healthy aging and human development across the life continuum;
  • Reducing health disparities and inequalities;
  • Shaping healthy behaviors and environments;
  • Integrating mental and physical health; and
  • Strengthening the nursing and health delivery system, nationally, and internationally.

Applicants are reviewed by a panel comprised of elected and appointed Fellows, and selection is based, in part, on the extent the nominee’s nursing careers influenced health policies and the heath and well being of all.

For Popejoy, her research focuses on understanding the complex issues that surround the provision of care to elders in hospitals, nursing homes, community settings, and primary care.  She is also interested in finding ways to improve the use of advance care planning in older adult populations. She now joins 16 other MU SSON faculty and emeriti who are AAN Fellows.

Thousands Cheer on SSON During Homecoming Parade

Oct. 28, 2014

Thousands lined the streets for the University of Missouri’s annual homecoming Parade. It was the 103rd Homecoming for the university and also part of its 175th anniversary.

Event organizers wanted to make this year’s parade extra special. The parade featured several of the founding families that gave money and land to help establish the university.

Now the university is home to some of the greatest schools and colleges in the nation. One of those is the Sinclair School of Nursing (SSON). Nursing students had been working since the summer to make homecoming a special event.

“Definitely a lot of work. There was a lot of time spent planning, figuring out what’s the best,” SSON Homecoming Liason and sophomore nursing student Erika Buchheit said. “A lot of times we weren’t given information until later on so that took extra planning to try to make everything work together and facilitate.”

With all of that planning came homecoming shirts, decorating downtown Columbia, and connecting with alumni to walk with the school during the parade.

“The parade is always a good time,” junior nursing student Abbey Roderman said. “We get to see all of the alumni come back and all the little kids we get to hand them candy, and all of the floats are so great. It’s exciting to see all of them.”

It’s not only a great time for students and parade goers, but also for nursing school leaders who get to work with the students everyday. Dean Judith Fitzgerald Miller was able to enjoy the parade and lead the students in the parade. She got to sit in a restored 1941 Chevrolet pickup that got several comments throughout the day. But as the school walked through the parade, most of the comments were about the great students of the school.

“They share with all of our fans who are watching, share candy, and share the excitement. What a great school, our students are just so much fun and so wonderful,” Dean Miller said.

Dean Miller said not many other students are not able to match the energy and dedication from nursing students. It’s just some of the things that make the school great. It’s that dedication that made the 103rd Homecoming one of the best yet.

You can view this video either below or on our YouTube page as well as all other videos from the Sinclair School of Nursing.

SSON Associate Professor Teaching Health Care Providers to Identify Signs of Domestic Violence

Sept. 19, 2014

COLUMBIA, Mo. – National data shows, on average, three women are murdered every day by a partner or ex-partner. More than 1 in 3 women experience partner violence in their lifetime. However, an emphasis to identify the signs of abuse is being taught by a Sinclair School of Nursing (SSON) faculty member.

“New national preventive care guidelines and provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) support routine screening for partner violence in healthcare settings,”  SSON Associate Professor Tina Bloom said.

Bloom said patients might not be getting the best care they can get. That’s because many healthcare providers are unaware of the recent changes with the ACA. Recent research conducted by Bloom shows that nurses and doctors often fail to recognize the signs of abuse. That’s because there is a lack of training in the area. Dr. Bloom notes that with appropriate training, healthcare providers can help women connect to safety resources that are potentially life-saving.

Dr. Bloom has worked with Elaine Hewins to train health care providers to recognize the sign of abuse. Hewins is the Domestic Violence Awareness and Education Program Coordinator at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) Community Health Education Program in New Jersey. So far, Bloom and Hewins have trained more than 120 health care providers in the Mid-Missouri area.

“Many were surprised at how common and significant domestic violence is in Missouri.  Many of the people who attended said that they found the training to be eye-opening and that they intended to begin screening all their female patients for intimate partner violence,” Bloom said.

Several other providers told Bloom they are now looking at their profession in a whole new light. Others said because of the session with Dr. Bloom, they will try to get more training to identify domestic violence.

Hewins believes their training is some of the most effective. Her research has shown that after providers attend these sessions, they are able to recognize the signs. Some of the highlights include:

  • 98% of the program participants reported increased knowledge/awareness about screening for domestic violence
  • 95% of program participants reported a commitment to screening for domestic violence
  • 66% of program participants reported implementing domestic violence screening into their practice post-training (one month later)
  • Approximately 3,760 patients (on a weekly basis) have potentially benefited from the training based on the data obtained from 45 participants estimated for all participants.

Hewins and Bloom say if  anyone is experiencing domestic violence to use resources like 1-800-799-SAFE, which is the National Domestic Violence Hotline, a critical resource for 24-hour safety planning information.