Tag Archive | "school of nursing and health studies"


Grant Will Help Increase Nurse Practitioners in Miami-Dade

Special to UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (August 1, 2014)—The School of Nursing and Health Studies has received a $700,000 grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Advanced Education Nurse Traineeship (HRSA AENT) competitive grant program to provide critically needed support to students enrolled in the school’s Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and Adult-Gerontology Primary Care programs. The HRSA AENT program is designed to increase the number of advanced education nurses trained to practice as primary care providers by providing funding for tuition, books, and living expenses to students seeking their Master of Science in Nursing degrees and FNP or adult nurse practitioner (NP) certifications.

“The financial challenges presented when pursuing advanced-level nursing education are insurmountable for many students, forcing them to either abandon their goal of NP training or drop from full-time to part-time status so they can continue working to earn an income,” said Todd Ambrosia, associate dean for master’s programs and principal investigator of the funded project. “This award will significantly relieve that burden and accelerate their graduation, increasing the number of nurse practitioners to help meet the growing need for primary care providers in Miami-Dade County.”

The number of applicants to the school’s FNP and adult-gerontology primary care NP programs has tripled over the past five years, while the advent of health care reform and a decline in the primary care physician workforce are straining an already taxed primary care system. This nationwide crisis is acutely felt in Miami-Dade County, where the number of family practice physicians is only half that of the rest of the state and the 30 percent uninsured rate ranks well above the national average.

“While we are fortunate to live in a region that is culturally diverse, the burden of chronic diseases and their associated risk factors are greater among minorities,” explained Dean Nilda (Nena) Peragallo Montano. “The HRSA funding is timely and will help us prepare advanced practice nurses, many from minority groups themselves, to meet the complex health care needs and address serious health disparity gaps in Miami-Dade County.”

The Institute of Medicine’s landmark 2010 report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, which UM President Donna E. Shalala led, noted that as millions more patients access health care services in the transformed health care system, nurse practitioners will play a prominent role in providing safe, high-quality primary care. The new HRSA AENT funds will help the SONHS build those competencies and bring more advanced practice nurses into the profession by providing tuition stipends of $22,000 per year to students who enroll full-time and $10,000 to those who enroll part-time in the FNP and Adult-Gerontology Primary Care programs.

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Music to Medical Ears: Frost Quartet Gives Medical and Nursing Students a Lesson in Patient Safety

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Music to Medical Ears: Frost Quartet Gives Medical and Nursing Students a Lesson in Patient Safety

By Maya Bell
UM News


Frost School of Music Dean Shelly Berg conducts members of a string quartet who convey important lessons to medical and nursing students through music.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (June 20, 2014) — The last place one might expect to teach future doctors and nurses about patient safety is on a concert stage. But this Wednesday an accomplished string quartet from the Frost School of Music performed Mozart’s “Eine kleine Nachtmusik’’ for 210 medical and nursing students who spent the week forging teams to address medical crises thrown at them during the second Interprofessional Patient Safety Course run by the Miller School of Medicine and the School of Nursing and Health Studies.

The concert was not a respite from the rigors of the intense, fast-paced encounters with simulated patients—lifelike mannequins with fading vital signs and human actors with an assortment of maladies and emotions—that are designed to teach situational awareness, tear down hierarchies, and nurture the mutual respect and team-building skills future physicians and nurses will need to prevent errors and improve patient outcomes in the real world.

As Frost Dean Shelton G. “Shelly” Berg conducted, two violinists, a violist, and a cellist played Mozart’s joyous “little serenade” first beautifully and then badly, clearly demonstrating what happens when professionals with different roles work as a team and carry out their mission with focus, enthusiasm, clear communication, and positive, constructive leadership—and what happens when they don’t.

The attentive audience of about 150 third-year medical students at the Miller School and about 60 second-semester students in the School of Nursing and Health Studies’ (SONHS) accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, rewarded the musicians—Frost School graduates Michelle Godbee, Amanda Diaz, Ari Urban, and student Brent Charran—with rousing applause when the quartet opened their mini-concert in a Cox Science Building auditorium with a mesmerizing rendition of Mozart’s popular work.

But the medical and nursing students were supposed to see a little bit of themselves when, spurred by Berg, Godbee, a violinist with the Florida Grand Opera who happens to be starting the Miller School’s M.D./M.P.H. program on Monday, morphed into an over-achiever, playing the same piece faster than her fellow musicians; or when Diaz, demonstrating feelings of superiority, played her viola louder than the other instruments; or when Urban, nervous and scared, melted into the background after Berg loudly ridiculed her for asking a question; or when all of them played their parts with technical precision, but without a trace of passion or interest.

Under none of those scenarios did Mozart’s masterpiece sound like one, which conveyed Berg’s point better than any lecture or textbook could. “You have to be present in the moment,” he told the students. “You have to be aware of your job, but you have to be aware of other people’s jobs around you, because their jobs interrelate to yours. You have to react to what they’re doing in real time—and you have to put your heart and soul into it.”

Those were, in a nutshell, the over-arching lessons David Birnbach, Miller School professor and the director of the UM-Jackson Memorial Hospital Center for Patient Safety, and Mary McKay, assistant professor of clinical nursing and safety assurance director, hoped to impart when they and their teams joined forces for the first time last year to include nursing students in the weeklong training course Birnbach established for medical students after an Institute of Medicine (IOM) report concluded that most medical mistakes could be avoided with better communication and teamwork.

Last year’s pilot course was a great success and, with the support of SONHS Dean Nilda (Nena) Peragallo Montano and Miller School Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, was expanded to include more activities and simulations this year.

“What educators have been doing is educating nurses in a silo and medical students in a silo and then putting them together expecting them to work effectively as a team,” McKay said. “That’s why this course is such an eye-opening experience. They interact with each other in a variety of ways and they learn, ‘Well, this is what a nurse does, and this is what a physician does.’ They learn we have different roles, but the same ultimate goal—to provide safe, quality patient care—and when we work together we can achieve it.”

Birnbach, who is also senior associate dean for quality, safety, and risk at the Miller School and the University’s vice provost for faculty affairs, added new meaning to the collaborative nature of the course by arranging the Frost School’s live concert this year. (Last year, the Mancini Institute Orchestra performed for the course via video, but Birnbach really wanted a performance that would afford the students the opportunity to interact with the musicians.) He was thrilled with the outcome.

“It was an experiment, but as far as I am concerned it was a grand-slam home run,” he said after the applause died down. “The mistakes that physicians and nurses can make are wonderfully illustrated by musicians: From time to time, everyone can be lazy, unfocused, or showing off. That’s how we scripted the musical errors that Dean Berg and these gifted musicians showed our students.”

Also new to the course this year, which included lectures, team-building exercises, and simulated but realistic patient encounters at the SONHS on the Gables campus, and the Gordon Center for Research in Medical Education and the UM-JMH Center for Patient Safety on the medical campus, was a trip to the Lowe Art Museum. There, nursing and medical students jointly participated in the Lowe’s innovative workshop on “The Fine Art of Healthcare,” which uses art to hone visual thinking strategies.

By breaking into small groups and viewing and discussing different works of art, the students learned how to communicate their own impressions and incorporate the perspective of others who viewed the pieces differently—a process critical not only to interpreting art but making proper diagnoses. As Hope Torrents, the Lowe’s school programs coordinator and creator of the program, notes, “Someone else might see what you missed.”

For medical student Nikesh Shah, both exercises were as instructive as they were unexpected.

“I thought it was awesome,” he said. “Not that lectures are bad, but it was much more eye-opening than a lecture. Seeing and hearing is better than someone telling you that being in sync is important.”

After a long week for both the students and more than 40 faculty from the Miller School, SONHS, the Frost School, and the College of Arts and Sciences, the patient safety course concluded Friday with UM President Donna E. Shalala, who chaired the IOM report on the “Future of Nursing,” observing as the two most improved teams of future physicians and nurses competed in a final simulated patient encounter judged by their classmates.

Maya Bell can be reached at 305-284-7972.



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School of Nursing Receives Grant to Support Second Career Nurses


School of Nursing Receives Grant to Support Second Career Nurses

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (May 27, 2014) — For the fifth time, the School of Nursing and Health Studies has been awarded a grant from the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program (NCIN).

One of 52 schools of nursing that will comprise the final cohort of the program, the School of Nursing and Health Studies (SONHS) will receive $120,000 in the 2014-2015 academic year to support a dozen traditionally underrepresented students who are switching careers to nursing through the school’s accelerated baccalaureate degree program. NCIN is a program of the RWJF and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

“New Careers in Nursing has made amazing strides in helping schools of nursing recruit and retain diverse students in these competitive and rigorous accelerated degree programs,” said David Krol, the foundation’s senior program officer. “Through supporting these institutions, NCIN is working to increase the diversity of our nursing workforce, while also assisting schools of nursing in making their institutions more inclusive. The leadership, mentoring and other support these institutions provide are helping to prepare a diverse nursing workforce able to meet the challenges associated with building a culture of health in our nation.”

Each NCIN scholar already has earned a bachelor’s degree in another field, and is making a transition to nursing through an accelerated nursing degree program, which prepares students to assume the role of registered nurse in as little as 12 to 18 months.

Since 2008, the NCIN program has distributed 3,517 scholarships to students at 130 unique schools of nursing. This year, funding for 400 scholarships was granted to 52 schools of nursing. To date, the RWJF has provided SONHS a total of $720,000, enabling the institution to award $10,000 scholarships to students in its accelerated B.S.N. program. In addition to the scholarship funds, the SONHS provides its NCIN scholars with a pre-immersion curriculum, mentoring, tutoring, and leadership training to help them succeed in the program.

“NCIN scholarship funds represent a remarkable contribution to our school and to the nursing profession,” said Dean Nilda (Nena) Montalvo Peragallo. “The vision behind these scholarships has transformed not only the experience of our students and the nursing workforce, but also the lives of all the patients, families and communities who will be impacted by our scholars’ future accomplishments.” 

“Nursing and nursing education are at a critical juncture right now, and NCIN’s exemplary approach to supporting nursing schools is helping to strengthen both,” said Eileen Breslin, president of the AACN. “NCIN’s creative, innovative, and responsive approach to providing grantees with tools to ensure academic success will result in lasting changes at nursing schools nationwide. The NCIN program has truly raised the bar for recruitment, retention, mentoring and leadership development for nursing students from groups underrepresented in nursing.”

Led by UM President Donna E. Shalala, the Institute of Medicine’s 2010 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 healthcare demands of diverse populations across the lifespan. NCIN is helping to advance those recommendations by enabling schools to expand student capacity and by 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 indicated a desire to advance their education to the master’s and doctoral levels.

For more information about the UM SOHNS accelerated program, visit miami.edu/sonhs/index.php/sonhs/academics/bachelor_programs/bsn_programs/accelerated_bsn. To learn more about the NCIN program, visit NewCareersInNursing.org.

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Nursing School Awarded Grant to Enhance Pharmacology Education and Improve Safety

Mary McKay

Mary McKay will serve as principal investigator of the two-year study.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (April 4, 2014)—To better prepare future nurses, who will comprise the largest segment of the health care workforce and have a significant role in patient outcomes, the Florida Blue Foundation has awarded the School of Nursing and Health Studies funding to develop and test a simulation-enhanced pharmacology education program.

Assistant Professor Mary McKay, the school’s safety assurance director and Wallace Gilroy Endowed Chair in Nursing, will serve as principal investigator of the two-year study, “Bridging the gap: Making medication administration safer through simulation enhanced pharmacology education.” The overarching goal of the research project is to address among nursing students the issue of medication error-associated adverse events.
“From an educational standpoint, success of the program will have long-lasting impacts on the way pharmacology is taught at our school and other schools of nursing,” said McKay. “From a research perspective, the project will contribute to the body of knowledge in regards to simulation as a teaching methodology. Finally, from a patient safety vantage point, its success will improve safety around medication handling.”
The award was funded through Florida Blue Foundation’s competitive grant process, which is aligned with the goals of the Florida Healthcare Simulation Alliance to accelerate and optimize use of patient simulation labs in nurse education and training. One of Florida Blue Foundation’s areas of focus is to improve the quality and safety of patient care. Many of the foundation’s efforts in this area are aimed at developing a well-prepared nurse workforce to meet the growing and complete health care needs of the people of Florida.
“We are proud that with the support of the Florida Blue Foundation, we are contributing to the building of competencies that enhance patient safety and quality patient care,” said Dean Nilda Peragallo Montano. “This project has the potential to impact the delivery of nursing education as well as the science of health care simulation. Its success will create a model of effective pharmacology education for other schools of nursing to follow.”

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UM’s Public Health Students Can Now Earn Their Master’s in Five Years—at a Discount

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (March 31, 2014)—The School of Nursing and Health Studies is offering an enticing deal to current and future students interested in careers in the growing public health field: They can earn both their Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH) and, in partnership with the Department of Public Health Sciences at the Miller School of Medicine, their Master of Public Health (MPH) in just five years—and with up to 12 free credits.

Recently approved by the Faculty Senate, the “4 + 1” combined bachelor’s and master’s degree program was designed to meet the growing demand for public health professionals by building synergies between the University of Miami’s schools of nursing and medicine that will enable outstanding students to enter the public health workforce faster to pursue their desire to address the complex public health issues facing our nation.

“There is a tremendous demand for public health professionals—the projected need is 250,000 by the year 2020—and there are many subsets in public health so there are many career paths you can take,’’ said Martin M. Zdanowicz, associate dean for health studies at the School of Nursing and Health Studies. “Our goal is to get the best and brightest there on the fast track.”

Under the program, academically qualified students enrolled in the School of Nursing and Health Studies’s BSPH program will be able to apply for the MPH program their junior year and, if accepted, take up to 12 credits of master’s level courses at the Miller School’s Department of Public Health Sciences during their senior year.

Included in the cost of their undergraduate tuition, the master’s level courses will count towards the 45 credits the students will need to earn their MPH degree, which they will continue to pursue at the Miller School after completing their bachelor’s. The same deal is offered to students wishing to earn their Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH).

“It’s an excellent opportunity,” said Julie Kornfeld, assistant dean for public health at the Miller School, who notes it usually takes 18 to 24 months to earn a Master’s in Public Health. “We have a lot of students who graduate from UM come to our public health program, but this fast-track program allows us to recruit talented undergraduate students and provide them with a reduction in time and cost to complete two UM public health degrees.”

The seeds—and demand—for the “4 + 1” program were planted two years ago, when the School of Nursing and Health Studies established the first Bachelor of Public Health program in South Florida. That program, which will graduate its first class of four students this May, attracted 133 applicants this year—up from two last year.



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