News about Nursing

Penn College nursing faculty member earns credential

Ann E. Morrison

A Pennsylvania College of Technology nursing faculty member recently received the Certified Academic Clinical Nurse Educator credential, newly available through the National League for Nursing.

Ann E. Morrison, instructor of nursing, was awarded the credential after successfully passing the Academic Clinical Nurse Educator Certification Exam. The exam was created for academic clinical nurse educators to demonstrate expertise in this role.

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Penn College nursing grads top national licensure pass rates

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Tushanna M. Habalar, instructor of nursing, guides student Lindsay C. Dunkelberger (left), of Centre Hall, in placing an IV in SimMan, a wirelessly controlled patient simulator.

Pennsylvania College of Technology nursing graduates again exceeded state and national performances in passing national board examinations.

Penn College offers degrees for those pursuing registered nurse and practical nurse licenses.

One hundred percent of Penn College students who earned bachelor’s degrees in nursing and took the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) for the first time between Oct. 1, 2017, and Sept. 30, 2018, passed the exam on that first attempt. During the same period, 97.14 percent of Penn College associate-degree nursing graduates passed the exam on their first try.

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Silenced voices echo through survivor’s search for ‘normal’

The emergency management technology student fields a question from the audience.

An emergency management technology major who is a survivor of last year’s Las Vegas shooting shared her story with fellow Pennsylvania College of Technology students and faculty Monday night in the Student & Administrative Services Center’s Presentation Room.

Emergency management, human services, nursing and emergency medical services/paramedic students were among those who listened intently and respectfully to Robyn N. Wolfe’s harrowing story. Her husband, William “Bill” Wolfe Jr., was the sole Pennsylvania fatality in the horrific mass shooting that claimed 58 lives and injured more than 800 people.

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Young nursing professionals network at ‘Sip and Snap’ event

Nursing's Oct. 8 "Sip and Snap" event provides an inviting venue for networking in Le Jeune Chef.Penn College’s Bachelor of Science Nursing Honor Society, in collaboration with UPMC Susquehanna and the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association, recently hosted a “Sip and Snap” event for young nursing professionals at Le Jeune Chef Restaurant. Participants had the opportunity to network, have their resumes reviewed by UPMC Susquehanna, gather interview tips and obtain a quality photograph for use on social media sites. Thirty-one nurses and students attended the event, which included a signature beverage and a Classical Cuisine buffet. The digital headshots were taken in the Thompson Professional Development Center by Mark W. Wilson, graphic design instructor, and graphic design students Luke A. Bierly, of Centre Hall, and Kennedy L. Englert, of Williamsport.
Photo by Duncan Rodriguez, a 2017 nursing alumnus

School of Nursing & Health Sciences hosts celebration

Pennsylvania College of Technology welcomed several School of Nursing & Health Sciences alumni back to campus to speak at an event celebrating the school’s name change, its academic majors, and milestone anniversaries for two programs: occupational therapy assistant (30 years) and physician assistant (20 years). From left are Megan Wright, ’12, a physician assistant practicing physical medicine and rehabilitation; Brian Webster, ’06, a nurse practitioner specializing in emergency and family nursing; President Davie Jane Gilmour; Sandra L. Richmond, dean of nursing and health sciences; and Michele “Mindy” Tedesco, ’88, a registered occupational therapist specializing in home health care.

The School of Nursing & Health Sciences at Pennsylvania College of Technology held a multifaceted celebration on Oct. 4 by hosting an open house of its facilities and welcoming accomplished alumni, who reflected on how their education has shaped their careers.

“We come together … to celebrate the positive impact all 10 of our nursing and health sciences programs have on our students’ lives, the professions in which they work, and the communities they serve,” said Sandra L. Richmond, dean of nursing and health sciences.

Of particular significance during the celebration was a change to the school’s name: from the School of Health Sciences to the School of Nursing & Health Sciences, and the anniversaries of the occupational therapy assistant program, whose first students graduated 30 years ago, and the physician assistant program, which graduated its first students 20 years ago.

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Penn College student receives Graham Nursing Scholarship

Pennsylvania College of Technology student Kara N. Libby was one of eight recipients of the 39th annual Lee and Bessie Graham Nursing Scholarship.

The scholarship was presented recently by UPMC Susquehanna Lock Haven Hospital and the Lee & Bessie Graham Nursing Scholarship Trust.

Libby, of Jersey Shore, is pursuing an associate degree in nursing from the college.

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Pinning Ceremony Held for Summer Nursing Grads

The 37 members of the health arts: practical nursing emphasis Class of 2018 gather for a recent pinning ceremony at the Community Arts Center.

A day before the summer commencement ceremony at the Community Arts Center, graduates of the health arts: practical nursing emphasis major gathered at the venue to receive pins from mentors. During the ceremony, the honorees recited the Nightingale Pledge. Remarks were provided by class members Rachael J. Camacho, of Williamsport, and Chad M. Quail, of Lock Haven, as well as Diane L. Smith, director of nursing, associate degrees, and nursing instructors Kimberly A. Brenchley and Sherry L. Hyland. Class member Kayla J. Billheim, of Allenwood, sang “The Climb.”
Photo by Tina R. Strayer, nursing office assistant, completion degrees

Employee Presents Research at Nursing Education Conference

Jessica L. Bower

A staff member in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s nursing program recently presented her doctoral research at the Nursing Education Research Conference in Washington, D.C.

Jessica L. Bower, simulation lab coordinator in Penn College’s nursing program, earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice from ­Wilkes University. During a poster session at NERC, she presented her research: “Differences in Debriefing Practices in Nursing Education: Instructor-Led and Peer-Led.”

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Inside Look: Nursing Care of Children

With Carra M. Rishel, of Danville, a child learns how IVs work.

Throughout the spring semester, students in the Nursing Care of Children course shared a unique learning opportunity with homeschool students, each group learning from the other.

Over the course of the semester, small groups of nursing students invited small groups of homeschoolers to campus. Each student group developed a short education session – topics included fire safety and tooth care – then engaged the children in checking blood pressures and heart rates, testing hearing, and other activities.

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Nursing Students Share Research With Engaged UPMC Professionals

Students in the traditional bachelor’s degree nursing major presented their capstone research at the UPMC Susquehanna research symposium, receiving praise from health system staff and administrators.

The students are enrolled in the course Research and Theory in Clinical Practice, taught by Joni J. Pyle, assistant professor of nursing at Penn College. The students work in clinical groups to formulate a research proposal.

“The proposal is based upon something they see in their clinical experience that they think needs to be studied in greater depth to possibly be ‘changed,’” Pyle said.

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Nursing Students Practice Community Education

Penn College nursing student Rachel E. Farber, of Altoona, measures the blood pressure of librarian Helen L. Yoas at the close of a class offered by nursing students on “Reducing Risks: Understanding Metabolic Syndrome.”

During a pair of one-hour workshops, Pennsylvania College of Technology nursing students provided a wealth of information to help their audiences – Penn College employees – stay healthy and prevent illness.

The students are enrolled in a Community Health Nursing class, which prepares them for the real-world work of nurses beyond treating already ill patients: They learn to educate communities to help them prevent disease.

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Online RN-to-BSN Degree Designed for Working Nurses

There is a nationwide push for 80 percent of registered nurses to have their bachelor’s degree by 2020. Pennsylvania College of Technology is helping to meet that challenge with its online BSN degree, designed for the working nurse. Thanks to an eight-week class schedule, full-time BSN students can complete the program in a year. Penn College nursing alumni receive a 38-percent tuition discount when they enroll in the program, and out-of-state students pay the in-state tuition rate. The Penn College BSN degree is explored in a new YouTube video with the help of Valerie Myers, assistant dean of nursing at the college; Amanda Raymond, a nurse educator at UPMC Susquehanna and current BSN student; Lori Beucler, vice president and chief nursing officer at UPMC Susquehanna; and Terri Bickert, vice president of nursing education at Geisinger Health System. “Research has shown that patient outcomes are improved when they’re cared for by a bachelor’s-prepared nurse,” Myers says. “The bachelor’s program courses are more holistic, so they are looking at nursing from a wider view.”

Students Raise Nearly $1,500 for American Cancer Society

The Student Nurses' Association's inaugural "Glow Walk" travels northward from the Breuder Advanced Technology and Health Sciences Center, home to Penn College's Nursing Education Center.

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Student Nurses’ Association raised nearly $1,500 for the American Cancer Society on March 29 when it hosted its first “Glow Walk.”

The group surpassed its goal of $1,000 for the first-year effort. Despite damp weather, walkers looped the campus mall as the sun set, wearing glow necklaces and glasses provided by the American Cancer Society.

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Health Sciences Team Owns ‘Breakout’ Session

Conquering the interactive challenge of Williamsport Escapes are (clockwise, from bottom left) Zeel Patel, a pre-nursing student from Bensalem; Long; Traister; Cera N. Blunk, a physician assistant major from Schuylkill Haven; Emily K. Conklin, a pre-dental hygiene student from Port Allegany; and Constance J. Plankenhorn, of Williamsport, enrolled in physician assistant studies.

The Health Sciences Living-Learning Community participated in an activity Friday at Williamsport Escapes, which offers a team-building series of brain games at 201 Basin Street. Tanae A. Traister, clinical director of nursing, and Taren A. (Adams) Long, a 2011 radiography graduate, joined four students as they solved clues that allowed them to break out of the facility’s locker-room area. The group was given 60 minutes to escape and managed to get out with two minutes and 57 seconds to spare! Penn College’s Living-Learning Communities provide themed housing arrangements for first-year residents in a variety of academic majors.
Photo provided

Join or Donate to SNA ‘Glow Walk’ to Benefit Cancer Society

On March 29, Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Student Nurses’ Association will host a “Glow Walk” to benefit the American Cancer Society.

The walk is scheduled from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on the college’s main campus in Williamsport. Walkers will make laps along the pedestrian mall from the Veterans Fountain in front of the Breuder Advanced Technology and Health Sciences Center to West Third Street.

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Penn College is a special mission affiliate of Penn State