First Ever DNP Leadership and Innovations in Health Care Cohort

Aug. 28, 2014

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program prepares advance practice nurses. It offers doctoral degree options for students pursuing a clinical doctorate as Family Nurse Practitioner, Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, and Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist. This past summer, Nursing Leadership and Innovations in Health Care was added to the list of options. It opened up another opportunity for post-masters only students.

“The new Leadership DNP option is a great fit for individuals who have been looking for a program that allows them to become leaders in advanced nursing roles and prepare them for making changes at the systems level,” said DNP program director, Robin Harris, DNP, RN.

The DNP program began in 2010. It was the first Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to DNP program in the state of Missouri. The DNP program offers both BSN to DNP and Master of Science in Nursing (MS(N) to DNP options. Currently, the DNP program accepts about 80 students each year and is designed for students to complete their degree within three to five years. Since it began, students have been coming from all across Missouri and the country.

With the addition of the leadership option this year, the DNP program has been a huge success. This leadership option will open up a whole new avenue for not only the Sinclair School of Nursing, but it’s students as well. With the opening of this new avenue, we want to feature the first ever cohort in the Leadership and Health Care option.

Summer 2014 Cohort

AndeOmorinola  Omorinola Ande is currently a staff RN at a hospital. Her goal is to be a CNO or VP of Nursing services. She believes in patients receiving excellent care, and taking care of the staff. She’s interested in exploring and developing a wealth of knowledge on issues related to policies that are in place to promote workplace efficiency for nurses and allied health workers. She is also interested in learning how to become an active advocate in the design, implementation and evaluation of health care policies as they affect the nursing profession. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and her three boys.
 BibbDiane Diane Bibb is employed as a clinical educator and lactation consultant. She’s also works for the Missouri Department of Health as a consultant for hospitals and health departments working toward improving their breastfeeding practices. Her goal is to further knowledge on application of research in the clinical area of lactation management. She believes nurses and physicians lack both knowledge and management skills to provide breastfeeding mothers and infants with evidence-based care. She also wants to return to teaching students. She’s been married for more than 30 years and has 4 children.
 ClaxtonRebecca Rebecca Claxton works at a hospital as a RN since 2004 and a surgival ICU RN since 2006.  She’s also an adjunct faculty member with a community college for 3rd and 4th semester students. Her goals are to become a great nursing educator and hopefully advance within the school to become a dean. She currently lives in Missouri with her husband and two children.
  Michelle Crumby is currently a quality, safety, and infection preventions manager at a hospital. She wants to learn and grow in the profession. She sees herself moving into positions that require larger scope of knowledge and understanding as well as being able to dissect microsystems to advocate for improvement and patient care quality. She has a professional interest in patient centered care as a focus for the way we need to provide care, but integrating this with best evidence. She lives in Missouri and stays extremely busy with her two children.
  Crysti Danahy has seven years of experience as a perioperative nurse and four year of experience as a full time faculty member. She plans to continue her career as a fulltime time faculty member, but would like a position as a program director or possibly a dean. She lives in Missouri with her husband, two daughters, and three dogs. She also loves to be outside swimming or skiing.
  Allison Gardner has served 14 years as a pediatric nurse; 5.5 years inpatient float pool followed by 8.5 years as a manager/director. She’s also an adjunct faculty member. She doesn’t have any set goals, but knows she wants to continue in a leadership role in some fashion.  She has begun to enjoy Quality and Safety to the point that she is starting to think in PDSA cycles. She lives in Missouri with her husband son, and dog.
  Christy Gudenkauf’s specialties are in pediatrics, pediatric neurology and developmental medicine. She’s worked in many areas of pediatrics, but is currently a clinical nurse manager for the sections of neurology and developmental/behavioral medicine at a hospital. She loves program development and teaching.  Her goal is to work with new graduate nurses in the hospital setting or as faculty in an institution. She lives in Missouri with her 3 teenagers and husband.
  Kathy Gunn’s current job duties are to assure that the ASN program is operating smoothly, coordinate clinical sites, handle student issues, and assist the director at a university in Missouri. Her goal with her DNP degree is to sharpen her skills as a leader, mentor, and an innovator. She aspires to effectively manage change within the organization and wishes to challenge faculty to become experts in their areas. She also wants to motivate students to become involved in research and evidence-based practice. She lives in Missouri and is married with a daughter and a dog.
  Elise Harmon has worked as a nurse in several areas. Now, she is a faculty member at a university in Illinois teaching. Her plan is to complete her DNP degree and continue her work , and possibly research, in the field of nursing academia. She would like to obtain a tenured position as an educator and use the freedom and qualifications the DNP offers her to take a more administrative role. She lives in Illinois and has been married for 26 years with 3 children. One of them has a law degree, but plans to be a DNP.
  Julie Miller has almost 20 years as an OR manager/director, along with being a nurse practitioner. Her goal is to have the education and experience that would position her as a strong candidate for nearly any nursing position, clinical, leadership, or academic. She is a Sinclair School of Nursing alumna. She lives in Missouri with her husband and has two daughters. She enjoys work, school, running, and golf.


Rose Porter Dedicates Trees and Bench to SSON

August 26, 2014

The first kindness trees on the University of Missouri campus are now located just outside of the Sinclair School of Nursing. They were dedicated by nursing dean emerita, Rose Porter, PhD, RN. Rose served as the dean of the school from 1999 to 2008.

Her and her husband, Mike, say the university and city of Columbia have given them such great lives, they needed some way to say thank you. Their solution were to dedicated trees and benches around campus.

“We want this space to become a symbol of compassion and kindness, a campus of understanding of creating a community of caring and love for one another,” Porter said.

The mindset behind the trees and benches comes from a long history of dealing with students. It all started with former chancellor Brady Deaton’s wife, Anne, and her vision of planting a grove of trees to honor children harmed because of mental illness. After the tragedy in Sandy Hook, Anne and fellow nursing alumna, Suzanne McDavid, kicked the project into high gear. That grove of trees is now planted at Stephens Lake Park in Columbia.

However, Rose wanted to expand the grove to the university. The theme of all of her trees is a powerful motto she is a firm believer of, “A single act of kindness can change a life forever.”

“That’s a very powerful statement, and how apt it is that it’s being planted at the school of nursing because who know better than a nurse of how important it is to reach out with kindness,” McDavid said.

Rose says the motto came from a story about a middle school student that was going to commit suicide. He ultimately decided against it when someone showed an act of kindness towards him.

“That was very touching. Then after spending two years as interim dean at the college of education did I ever become aware of the mental health needs in our schools. That’s where it really, really hit me,” Porter said.

Rose and her husband are dedicating a total of 6 trees and two benches. She says the areas where they reside, are not their space, but they’re a special place of healing, rest and kindness for everyone.

Sinclair School of Nursing Staff Member Wins Award

Aug. 7, 2014

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Sinclair School of Nursing staff member, Jessica Mueller, was surprised in her office and given the MU Service Champion Award from the Staff Advisory Council.

The award is given to only one staff member each month on the MU campus. It’s awarded to the person who goes above and beyond what is expected to see a special project succeed, and who performs their duties with a work ethic and attitude that makes them stand out. Another requirement for the award is that one must reflect the university’s four core values: Respect for self and others as the foundation of honor, integrity, ethical behavior, and the search for truth; Responsibility to reflect on one’s moral obligation and to be accountable to self and others for action taken; Discovery in order to gain greater understanding and wisdom; and Excellence, both individual and collective, in pursuit of the highest goals we can envision.

Sinclair School of Nursing’s Dr. Marilyn Rantz, PhD, RN, FAAN was the one who nominated Jessica. She had this to say:

“She is always just a phone call away to provide advice and support…”  “Jessica seamlessly processes them so the grant evaluation responsibilities and operational processes can be maintained accurately.  This is an amazing amount of work, and Jessica Mueller professionally goes about seeing this is done accurately and timely.”  “I can think of no one better suited for this award and recognition by MU.  Daily, she exemplifies the core values of MU:  Respect, Responsibility, Discovery and Excellence.”

Jessica was given a plaque, a bag full of goodies, and a free two month gym membership to the MizzouRec center. The Sinclair School of Nursing would like to congratulate Jessica for this award. She is one of many that help make this school the No. 1 nursing program in the country. You can see the pictures of the surprise award presentation on our Flickr or Facebook pages.