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March 2012

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

Interprofessional Breast Cancer Education Initiative is Topic of Panel Presentation

“Interprofessional Education: A Process of Sowing, Growing, and Reaping,” was the title of a panel presentation held March 1 at the School of Nursing. Faculty members from the UM Schools of Nursing, Social Work, and Pharmacy discussed their collaboration in developing a unique, multi-year interprofessional education initiative on breast cancer. Panelists included Deborah McGuire, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor and co-director of the Komen partnership; Sandra McLeskey, PhD, RN, professor and former director of the Komen partnership; Julianne Oktay, PhD,  Komen scholar-in-residence, School of Social Work; and James A. Trovato, PharmD, MBA, BCOP, Komen scholar-in-residence, School of Pharmacy. Patricia Morton, PhD, RN, ANCP, FAAN, professor and associate dean for student and academic affairs, welcomed everyone to the event, which was presented by the Komen Maryland Affiliate Nursing Partnership.

Dr. Deborah McGuire, Dr. Sandra McLeskey, Dr. Patricia Morton, and Dr. Julianne Otkay.

Students Travel to Annapolis for Annual Advocacy Day

More than 30 UMSON students, accompanied by members of the faculty and staff, traveled to Annapolis on Feb. 15 to meet with legislators and discuss issues related to nursing and nursing education. Students encouraged legislators to support funding for Loan Assistance Repayment Programs and to continue to support the Governor’s budget request for the University of Maryland. Legislators were reminded that UMSON provides more than 40 percent of Maryland’s professional nurse workforce and also contributes health care services for underserved communities across the state. Sen. Nancy King (Montgomery Co.), a member of the Budget Committee, told students how important it is for them to take advantage of this opportunity to have their voices heard. “I see budgets from all schools and there are many different subjects,” she said. “If you don’t come down here (Annapolis) to highlight your subjects, they could get lost among the rest. Make it a point to come. It makes a difference.”

UMSON students, faculty, and staff pose on stairs in the House of Delegates.

Faculty and Staff Appointments

Nancy Lerner, DNP ’10, MS ’75, BSN ’66, joined the Department of Organizational Systems and Adult Health as an assistant professor. Dr. Learner comes to UMSON from Towson University, Department of Nursing, where she served as a visiting instructor. She also recently worked at Life Care Services Home Health Agency and Copper Ridge as Director of Nursing.

Michelle Spencer, MS ’06, BSN ’84, RN, joined the Department of Family and Community Health as a part-time clinical instructor. Ms. Spencer most recently worked as a nursing skills lab instructor at the Community College of Baltimore County and as a clinical nurse II rotating charge nurse at Mercy Medical Center’s Outpatient Ambulatory Center.

Whitney White, BA, has been named assistant director of student affairs in the Office of Student and Academic Services. Ms. White most recently worked as general education coordinator at the University of Maryland, College Park, and prior to that position, she was assistant director of parent services at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina.

Faculty & Staff Kudos

Janet D. Allan, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean and professor, was selected to co-chair the search committee for the UM (Baltimore) Vice President for Communications, along with Jim Hughes, MBA, vice president, UM Office of Research and Development.

Karen Clark PhD, RN, CCRN, assistant professor, Universities at Shady Grove, gave the following video presentation: "Outcomes Research: ED Admits to ICUs: Electronic Medical Record Source: Characteristics and Time Intervals on Outcomes of Mortality and Length of Stay" at the EPS Global International Forum of Analytical Science held January 17 and 18 in Bangkok, Thailand.

Mary Fey, MS, RN, assistant professor and director, Clinical Simulation Labs, was appointed a member of the Standards Advisory Board for the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation Learning.

Jeanne Geiger-Brown, PhD, RN, associate professor, Department of Family and Community Health (FCH), Valerie Rogers, PhD, RN, CPNP, assistant professor, FCH; Alison Trinkoff, ScD, RN, FAAN, professor, FCH; and Barker R. Bausell, PhD (retired), were co-authors on the following publication:

Geiger-Brown, J., Rogers, V.E., Trinkoff, A., Kane, R., Bausell, R.B., Scharf, S.M. (2012). Sleep, sleepiness, fatigue and performance in 12-hour shift nurses. Chronobiology International, 29(2), 211-219.

Jennifer Hayes-Klosteridis, MS, director, Student Success Center, Office of Student and Academic Services, had the following book chapter published:

Hayes-Klosteridis, J. A. (2012). Chapter 35 - Bringing Back Baby Jason: To Clone or Not to Clone. In Science Stories: Using Case Studies to Teach Critical Thinking. (pp. 303-307). Arlington, Virginia: National Science Teachers Association Press.

Deborah B. McGuire, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor, Department of Organizational Systems and Adult Health, was appointed a reviewer of Oral Oncology journal. In addition, Dr. McGuire was co‑author of the following publication:

Peterson, D.E., Bensadoun, Rene-Jean, Lalla, R.V., & McGuire, D.B. (2011).  Supportive care treatment guidelines: Value, limitations, and opportunities. Seminars in Oncology, 38, 367-373.

Patricia Morton, PhD, RN, ACNP, FAAN, professor and associate dean for academic affairs, served on the planning committee for the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Faculty Development Conference, held Feb 8-11 in Atlanta, Ga. At the conference, Dr. Morton gave a talk, "Publishing as Scholarship.”

Patricia Morton; Deb Schofield, DNP, CRNP, assistant professor, Department of Organizational Systems and Adult Health; and alumna Gloria Moses, MS ’00, were co-authors of the following publication:

Schofield, D.L., Morton, P.G., Brokos, C., Gruel, R., Johannes, S., McBride, N., & Moses, G. (2011). Perioperative assessment and risk stratification of the obese patient.  Bariatric Nursing and Surgical Patient Care, 6(4), 201-206.

Robin Newhouse, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, associate professor and chair, Department of Organizational Systems and Adult Health, and Yulan Liang, PhD, associate professor, Department of Family and Community Health, were co-authors of the following article:

Newhouse, R., Dennison, C., Liang, Y.  Psychometric testing of the smoking cessation counseling (SCC) scale. (2011). Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 43(4), 405-11 doi 10.1111/j.1547-5069.2011.01420.x

Robin Newhouse co-authored the following publication:

Newhouse, R.P., Graling, P., Seifert, P. & Pettit-Willis, B.J. (2012).  Take aim at medical errors by creating a culture of safety in the OR. Spring, 56-61.

Nancy Staggers, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor, Department of Organizational Systems and Adult Health, had the following publications and presentations:

Gee, P., Kim, K. Perez, S., Greenwood, D., Staggers, N., DeVon, H. (2012). Exploration of the e‑patient phenomenon in nursing informatics, Nursing Outlook, e-pub ahead of print, January 2, 2012.

Staggers, N., Clark, L., Blaz, J., & Kapsandoy, S. (2012). Nurses' information management and use of electronic tools during acute care handoffs. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 34(2), 151-171.

Wicked Problems in Health IT. Biomedical Informatics Seminar Series, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah. January 19, 2012.

Handoff Research on Medical and Surgical Units: Present and Future. Columbia University Biomedical Informatics Seminar Series. New York. February 16, 2012.

Staggers, N., & Troseth, M. (2012). Learning from TIGER: What Matters Most about Usability and Clinical Application Design. Health Information Management and Systems Society (HIMSS) Annual Conference. February 22, 2012.

Rodney, M., & Staggers, N. (20120). Promoting Usability with a Novel Usability Maturity Model. Health Information Management and Systems Society (HIMSS) Annual Conference. February 22, 2012.

Debra Wiegand, PhD, RN, FAAN, assistant professor, authored the following publication:

Weigand, D.L. (2012). Family management after the sudden death of a family member.  Journal of Family Nursing, 18:146-163.

Alumni News & Notes

Elisabeth Agbor-Tabi, BSN ’02, worked in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital and earned a Master’s in Public Health in Policy and Finance from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2006. She got married in 2007 and moved to New York City (NYC).  Elisabeth completed a Presidential Management Fellowship at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2008. She is currently working in global health as senior manager of clinical services at ORBIS International in NYC.

Jennifer Villa Bethell, MS ’08, has a new position at the American Nurses Credentialing Center in Silver Spring, Md., where she is managing and developing content for the new Magnet Learning Communities website.

Erica Brinkley, DNP ’11, was promoted to associate professor at the Community College of Baltimore County. 

Nicole Brynes, BSN ’11, got married in June 2011 and moved to Minnesota with her husband Samuel Hoffman (also a nurse). She is working at the Mayo Clinic as a Transplant/Med/Surg ICU RN and says she loves her job!

Wendy Tolpa, BSN ’00, is working as a Certified Neuroscience Nurse at INOVA Health Systems in Falls Church, Va.

Upcoming Alumni Events

Baltimore Alumni Happy Hour

Join fellow alumni from the Baltimore area for a networking happy hour from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, March 29, at Frank and Nic’s West End Grille, located in the Zenith Building, first floor, 511 W. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. Make some great connections, and enjoy happy hour drink specials, free snacks, and door prizes! Please let us know if you will attend so we can plan for the proper amount of people. RSVP to Debra Modlin at or call 410-706-7640.

Reunion 2012 – Saturday, April 28

If your DIN or BSN graduation year ends in a “2” or “7,” mark your calendar for the 2012 Reunion Saturday, April 28. If you would like volunteer as a Class Representative, contact Cynthia Sikorski, associate director of alumni relations, at or 410-706-0674. For more information, visit the alumni website at:

Mark Your Calendar!

Graduate Open House – 4-6 p.m. Thursday, March 15. RSVP to or call 410-706-0501. Details:

Komen Distinguished Lecture – “Determining Who Gets Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer: Biology vs. Anatomy,” – 4-5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 28. Guest lecturer: Daniel F. Hayes, MD, Stuart B. Padnos Professor in Breast Cancer; Clinical Director, Breast Oncology Program; Professor, Internal Medicine Hematology/Oncology, University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. Free to all; registration required. To register or for more information, call 410-706-3767 or visit:

Entry Into Practice Open House – 9 a.m. Saturday, March 31. RSVP to or call 410-706-0501. Details:

“Practice Based on Evidence: The Future of Nursing” – 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, April 12 & 13. To register or for more information, call 410-706-3767 or visit:

School of Nursing “In the News”

Subject: Pet Owners' Hearts May Cope Better with Change
Source:  Reuters - Feb. 13; Fox News - Feb. 14

Summary: Scientists monitoring the hearts of nearly 200 Japanese people found those who had a pet had their hearts respond better to the body's changing requirements than those who didn't. Erika Friedmann, PhD, professor, said the study is a step forward from what is already known about the connection between pet ownership and a person's heart health.

Subject: Health Care Without Harm
Source: Emerald Planet - Feb. 12:
Summary: Louise Mitchell, sustainable foods coordinator, appeared on the Emerald Planet program.

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