March 2014

Welcome to the March issue of School of Nursing News, an electronic newsletter designed to inform, engage, inspire, and connect with faculty, staff, students, alumni, and other constituents of the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON). 

UMSON Mourns Loss of Dean Emeritus Nan Hechenberger

The School of Nursing community was saddened to learn of the passing ofDean Emeritus Nan Hechenberger, PhD, RN on March 6. She served as the School’s third dean from 1978-1989. Prior to her appointment as dean, Dr. Hechenberger was a faculty member in the administration and education component of the School’s graduate program and earlier taught in the Walter Reed Army Institute of Nursing (WRAIN) program. From 1989-1996, she served as president of Neumann College in Aston, Penna. Dr. Hechenberger made a tremendous impact on the School of Nursing, and she will be sorely missed by the School of Nursing community. 

125th Anniversary Update!

Visionary Pioneer Award Nominations Now Open

As part of UMSON’s 125th anniversary celebration, 25 outstanding alumni (both living and deceased) will be honored as UMSON Visionary Pioneers. You are encouraged to nominate alumni who have made a significant impact on and contribution to the field of nursing, based on their leadership, innovation, or entrepreneurship. Those selected will be honored at UMSON’s 125th anniversary gala on April 18, 2015. For more information and to submit your nomination, visit:

Bullpen Party and Orioles Game on Tap for April 27

The first event celebrating UMSON’s 125th anniversary, a Bullpen Party and Orioles game, is scheduled for Sunday, April 27. To purchase tickets or for more information, go to: We hope you will join us in this and other events as we celebrate UMSON’s 125th year of educating nurses.

Faculty & Staff Kudos...

Mary Lynn Davis-Ajami, PhD, RN, assistant professor, authored the following publications:

Davis-Ajami M.L., Wu J, Fink J. (2014). Differences in health services utilization and costs between antihypertensive medication users versus nonusers in adults with diabetes and concomitant hypertension: from Medical Expenditure Panel Survey pooled year 2006-2009.Value in Health. 17(1):51-61.

Davis-Ajami, M.L. (2014). Capsule commentary on Michaelidis et al., Cost-effectiveness of procalcitonin-guided antibiotic therapy for outpatient management of acute respiratory tract infections in adults. Journal of General Internal Medicine. e-pub ahead of print doi: 10.1007/s11606-013-2735-3

Mary Lynn Davis-Ajami, PhD, RN, assistant professor, and Linda Costa PhD, RN, NEA-BC, assistant professor, co-authored the following publication: 

Davis-Ajami M.L., Costa L, Kulik S. (2014, January/February) Gap analysis: Synergies and opportunities for effective nursing leadership. Nursing Economic$. 32(1):17-25.    

Marian Grant, DNP ‘10, RNCRNP, assistant professor, has been named a Robert Wood Johnson 2014-2015 Health Policy Fellow. The program offers an insider’s perspective of the political process, unmatched leadership development activities, and a professional network that lasts a lifetime. As a Fellow, Grant will participate in health policy processes at the federal level and gain exclusive, hands-on policy experience.

In addition, Dr. Grant was lead educational consultant/faculty for the Integrating Palliative Oncology Care into Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Education and Clinical Practice course, held Feb. 27-28 in Glendale, Calif. The course, presented by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and City of Hope, and funded by the National Cancer Institute,  is designed for DNP faculty members and DNP oncology clinicians. 

Shannon Idzik, DNP ’10, MS ’03, CRNP, CCRN, has been selected as a Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). The AANP Fellows impact national and global health by engaging recognized nurse practitioner leaders who make outstanding contributions to clinical practice, research, education, or policy, enhancing the AANP mission. The induction of new Fellows will take place in June during the AANP’s 29th National Conference.

Jane Lipscomb, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor, has been elected as a Fellow of the Collegium Ramazzini. The Collegium is an academy comprised of elected Fellows who are distinguished, intellectually independent physicians, scientists and advocates. Fellows have devoted their professional lives to the improvement of occupational and environmental health. Read more at:

Kathleen Michael, PhD, RN, CRRN, assistant professor, co-authored the following publication:

Punt, M., van Alphen, B., Van der Port, I., Van Deen, J., Michael, K., Outermans, J., & Wittink, H. (2014). Clinimetric properties of a novel feedback device for assessing gait parameters in stroke survivors. Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation 11:30 doi:10.1186/1743-0003-11-30.

The Black Nursing Organizations of Maryland awarded the Harriet Tubman Legacy in Nursing Award for Maternal Child Health Nursing to Yolanda Ogbolu, PhD ‘11, MS ’05, BSN ’04, RN, CRNP, assistant professor, at their annual Black History Month celebration on Feb. 22. The award is presented to an African-American nurse in Maryland who exemplifies the recorded attributes of Harriet Tubman and has made significant contributions to his or her respective specialty, including Adult, Community, Maternal/Child, and/or Psych/Mental Health nursing. 

Lynn Oswald, PhD, RN, associate professor, co-authored the following publication:

Oswald, L.M., Wand, G.S., Kuwabara, H., Wong, D.F., Zhu, S., Brasic, J.R. (2014). History of childhood adversity is positively associated with ventral striatal dopamine responses to amphetamine. Psychopharmacology, 2014 Jan. 22 [Epub ahead of print]. DOI 10.1007/s00213-013-3407-z.

Kristen Rawlett, MSN, FNP-BC, clinical instructor, authored the following publication:

Rawlett, K. (2014). Journey from self-efficacy to empowerment. Health Care, 2, 1-9.

Nancy Staggers, PhD ’92, MS ‘85, RN, FAAN, professor, had the following new publications and presentations:

Guo, J-W., Sward, K., Staggers, N., Beck, S. (2014). Quality of Reporting Randomized Controlled Trials in Cancer Nursing Research. Nursing Research, 63(1), 26-35.

Matney, S., Maddox, L. & Staggers, N. (2014). Nurses as knowledge workers: Is there evidence of knowledge in patient handoffs? Western Journal of Nursing Research, 37(2), 171-190.

Staggers, N. (2013). National Testimony about EHR Implementation and Usability. Crucial Conversations about Optimal Design. Online Journal of Nursing Informatics, 17(3), 1-3.

Keynote: Finding the Way Forward for Nursing and e-Health. Norwegian Nurses Society, Oslo, Norway. December 2013.

Facilitators and Barriers to Creating Online Education. Institute for Health and Society Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway. December 2013.

Alison Trinkoff, ScD, MPH, RN, FAAN, professor, was honored with the 2014 Southern Nursing Research Society (SNRS) Distinguished Researcher Award at the SNRS Annual Conference, held recently in San Antonio. The award recognizes the contributions of an individual whose established program of research has enhanced the science and practice of nursing in the southern region of the U.S. Read more at:

In the News...

Subject: People on the Move
Source: Baltimore Business Journal - Feb. 25
Summary: Jane Lipscomb, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor, was featured in the listing, "People on the Move."

Subject: Quality Problems in America's Nursing Homes Tied to Turnover
Source: - Feb. 9
Summary: Nancy Lerner, DNP, RN, CDONA, assistant professor, and Alison Trinkoff, ScD, RN, FAAN, professor, were featured in the article "Quality problems in America's nursing homes tied to turnover" in

Mark Your Calendar...

Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Clinical Nurse Leader Master of Science Open House – 9 a.m. Saturday, March 15 – UMSON – RSVP to or call 410-706-0501, option #2.

2014 Summer Institute in Nursing Informatics – July 16-18 - UMSON. To register and for more information, go to:

Alumni News & Notes...

Alumni Career Resources Web Page

Be sure to visit UMSON’s alumni career resource Web page at: Whether you are just beginning your nursing career or you are an experienced professional looking for a new opportunity, there are many resources that can help you be more successful. If you have questions or would like to share your ideas about additional resources to place on this site, contact Cynthia Sikorski, associate director of alumni relations, at or 410-706-0647.

Purchase Your UMSON Spirit Merchandise Online

UMSON spirit merchandise is now available for purchase online at: Some items available include notecards with historical images from the UMSON Living History Museum, a plush crab in UMSON’s school colors, and a spacious tote bag with an image on the front that depicts traditional, historical, and contemporary images of UMSON and the University of Maryland Medical Center. The UMSON license plate frame will show your pride no matter where you travel in your car! If you have questions or need more information, contact Lorrie Voytek at or 410-706-7640.

Upcoming Alumni Events

Reunion 2014 – Saturday, April 26

If your DIN or BSN graduation year ends in a “4” or “9” or if you earned a master’s degree in 2009 in the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) program, plan to attend your 2014 Reunion on Saturday, April 26! If you haven’t received your invitation in the mail, please update your contact information at: and we will mail you an invitation. Or, you can RSVP online at: For more information, visit the alumni website at

If you would like to volunteer as a Class Representative or have any questions, contact Cynthia Sikorski, associate director of alumni relations, at or 410-706-0674.

Save the Date – Thursday, June 19 - Eastern Shore Alumni Networking Event

Save the date and join Dean Jane Kirschling at a networking event for UMSON alumni on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Thursday, June 19
4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Brew River Restaurant
502 W. Main Street
Salisbury, MD 21801

RSVP by email to: or by phone: 410-706-7640. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to gather with fellow alumni and learn more about exciting developments at the School of Nursing. Look for your printed invitation in the mail.

Save the Date – Thursday, August 21 - Western Maryland Alumni Networking Event

Save the date for a networking event with Dean Jane Kirschling for alumni in Western Maryland. More information is forthcoming.

Alumni News

MAJ Richard L. Clark, MS ’09, RN, CNOR, RN-BC, is an Informatics Research Fellow with the Triservice Nursing Research Program at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. His work is focused on facilitating nursing research and leveraging information management/information technology tools and processes with several lines of effort consisting of direct/indirect informatics support to organizational cadre, principal investigators, and students/faculty.

Kelly A. Cole, MS ’11, is currently working as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in the Pediatric Pulmonary Division at University of Maryland Medical Center. She cares for outpatient pediatric pulmonary needs as well as inpatient consults for pediatric pulmonary patients.

Renee R. Dash, MS ’04, MBA, is currently employed as a Clinical Quality Manager (CQM) at Inovalon, Inc. As a CQM, Renee is a member of the Medical Record Review Quality Management team that supervises 300+ nurses and medical coders who are responsible for medical record review and abstraction, while supporting clients by clinically analyzing abstraction results and ensuring quality compliance with industry standards.

Valerie Hoffhines Dernetz, BSN ’02, a PhD student at UMSON, received the Ruth L. Kirschtein National Service Research Award from the National Institute for Nursing Research for her project, "Neurophysiological and Psychological Correlates of Vulvodynia" (F31NR014759). Valerie’s sponsor is Susan Dorsey, PhD ’01, MS ’98, associate professor and associate dean for research at UMSON.

Lakisha Flagg, MS ’09, is a staff nurse at the U.S. Army Institute of Public Health at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. She is currently serving as a Center for Disease Control Community Guide and is the liaison for her organization to the Community Preventive Services Task Force. Lakisha began her PhD dissertation work at the University of Illinois, Chicago this spring.

Kimmith Jones, DNP ’10, has accepted an appointment as director of translation to nursing practice in the Department of Clinical Practice and Professional Development at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Cathleen Carnahan Nichols, BSN ’73, graduated from the WRAIN program in 1973 and was assigned to Ft. Jackson, S.C.  In 1974, she was assigned to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Cathleen was married at the Walter Reed Chapel in 1975 and in 1977, her husband’s assignment took her back to Ft. Jackson. They have lived in South Carolina ever since, but she has the fondest memories of UMSON and the WRAIN program.

Hazel McClain Randall, MS ’01, BSN ’74, writes, “Our BSN class of 1974 was the first graduating class of the "New Curriculum" in nursing. The focus was on recognizing normal parameters of each system. Observations/changes outside normal parameters required a second opinion or consult. This practice is still a very valuable tool in assessing children in the school setting. This best practice model was very helpful when I assessed patients on a Telemetry Unit at Good Samaritan Hospital and presently as a per diem nurse on the Medical/Surgical units at the VA Hospital in Baltimore.”

Teri Friedman Reid, MSN, BSN ’69, was in the Army Student Nurse Program and entered active duty in June 1969. She served in both active and reserve components and retired from the U.S. Army in 1997 as a Lt. Colonel. She earned her nurse practitioner certificate in 1977 from the University of Texas at San Antonio and her MSN degree in 1987 from the Catholic University of America. Teri retired from federal civil service in 2007 and currently works part time as a pediatric nurse practitioner. She lives with her husband Bill, who retired from the Army as a Lt. Colonel.

Warren A. Stewart, MS ’09, is a clinical readiness officer in the U.S. Army Forces Command, stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Eddie Toledo, BSN ’11, is employed as an RN II at Medstar Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore. He accepted a position in the cardiovascular ICU January 13, 2014 and obtained PCCN certification on January 24, 2014. 

Event Recaps

Spring Alumni Speaker Series Program #1

The first Alumni Speaker Series Program for spring 2014 featured the following alumni: Caitlin Houck, MS ’11, community liaison, Capital City Nurses; Amy Verdin, BSN ’13, staff nurse, cardiac surgery step-down unit, UMMC; Nina Goldman, BSN ’13, staff nurse, cardiac progressive care unit, UMMC; Janet Su, MS ’12, staff nurse, Johns Hopkins Hospital; and Eve Ostrowski, MS ’13, staff nurse in the neurology and pulmonary unit, Franklin Square Medical Center. UMSON student leaders Katrina McGowan and Kathryn Huber introduced the panelists.

Pre-Nursing Society Created at University of Maryland College Park

A Pre-Nursing Society has been established at University of Maryland College Park (UMCP), under the leadership of current UMCP student Sarah Trandel-Korenchuk. Sarah worked with Cynthia Sikorski, associate director of alumni relations at UMSON, to recruit alumni to talk to the students about their career path and other nursing profession topics at the Society’s monthly meeting on February 12. The students enjoyed hearing from UMSON alumni and learning more about the nursing profession.

San Antonio Alumni Networking Event Held Feb. 12

UMSON alumni enjoyed the opportunity to meet Dean Jane Kirschling and network with fellow alumni at an event held February 12 at Sazo’s Latin Grill in San Antonio, Texas. Congratulations to Miriam Moerbe and Amanda Orahoske, who were the lucky prize drawing winners!