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Summer 2010

Welcome to 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).  This will be the last newsletter for 2009-2010 academic year.  Have a safe and happy summer!

UMSON Celebrates National Nurses Week

Dr. Sandra McLeskey, presents PhD student Min Jeong An with a Nurses Week pinUMSON celebrated National Nurses Week, May 6-12, with the distribution of Nurses Week pins to faculty, staff, and students and a coffee bar, hosted by the University of Maryland Medical Center. Nurses Week pins were also distributed to students, faculty, and staff at the Universities at Shady Grove. 




UMSON Graduates State’s Largest Class of Nurses

UMSON graduated the largest class of nurses in the state – and possibly the largest in the nation – at its annual Convocation ceremony held May 21 at 1st Mariner Arena. The 645 graduates included 315 Bachelor of Science in Nursing, 308 Master of Science, seven PhD, and 15 Doctor of Nursing Practice graduates.

Dean Janet Allan welcomed graduates, family members, faculty, and friends, and extended remarks to the graduates.

“You begin your careers at a time when nursing presents unparalleled possibilities – no other profession offers such a diverse range of career paths and opportunities for professional advancement,” she said. “Moreover, very few professions afford you the privilege of having a significant impact on the lives of individuals, families and communities as nursing does.”

Frances B. Phillips, RN, MHSA, deputy secretary for public health services, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, delivered the Convocation address. 


Master’s (informatics) grads Georgina Margoroban, Kyungsook Kim, and

Faculty & Staff Appointments and Transitions

Rachel Hitt, MS ’07, CNL, RN, has been named assistant director of the UMSON Clinical Simulation Labs. She has more than three years experience in critical care nursing and is a student in UMSON’s PhD program. 

Debra Modlin has joined the Office of Development and Alumni Relations as program administrative specialist. She comes to the position with a range of experience as an executive assistant, most recently at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. 

Joyce Ritchie, BME, BA, has joined the Office of Development and Alumni Relations as associate director of development. Ritchie has a wealth of experience in development, alumni relations, and external relations, and most recently served as development director at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University.

Faculty & Staff Kudos

A team from UMSON and the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON) is the first to lead a study commissioned by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Team members from UMSON are: Robin Newhouse, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, CNOR, assistant dean for the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program; Yulan Liang, PhD, associate professor; Meg Johantgen, PhD, RN, associate professor, and Sue Thomas, PhD, RN, assistant dean for the PhD program. Team members from JHUSON are: Laura Morlock, PhD; Cheryl Dennison, PhD, RN; Peter Pronovost, MD, PhD; and  Kevin Frick, PhD. The study will extend research conducted through a prior grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative to investigate a sample of 46 Magnet® recognized health care organizations. The study will test nursing interventions with a direct effect on improved heart failure (HF) patient outcomes. The objectives are to evaluate the effect of standardized education on HF heart patient care (knowledge, self care, and readmissions), identify hospital and nursing characteristics that are associated with improvements in HF patient care, and evaluate the cost effectiveness of nursing interventions to improve HF patient care.

Brenda Afzal, MS, RN, project manager, UMSON Environmental Health and Education Center (EHEC), received the Charlotte Brody Award from Health Care Without Harm at the CleanMed 2010 Conference held recently in Baltimore. Afzal was chosen because of the “shining example she set as a role model and leader in the important work of improving public health by improving the environment.” At that same conference, Barbara Sattler, DrPH, RN, FAAN, professor and director of EHEC, accepted the Champion for Change Award on behalf of Maryland Hospitals for a Healthy Environment. Practice Greenhealth presents this award to businesses or organizations that “stand above the crowd” in greening their own operations while helping others reduce their impact on the environment.

Kathie Dever, office manager for the UMSON program at the Universities at Shady Grove, earned a Master of Science degree in Professional Studies in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County on May 21.  She graduated with a 4.0 GPA and accepted membership in Phi Kappa Phi.

Jeanne Geiger-Brown, PhD, RN, associate professor, and Alison Trinkoff, ScD, RN, FAAN, professor, co-authored Parts I and III of the following articles.  Geiger-Brown and Kathryn Lothschuetz Montgomery, PhD, RN, associate dean, strategic partnerships and initiatives, co-authored Part II:

Geiger-Brown, J., Trinkoff, A. (2010). Is it time to pull the plug on 12-hour shifts? Part I. The   Evidence.  Journal of Nursing Administration, 40(3), 100-102.

Montgomery, K.L., Geiger-Brown, J. (2010). Is it time to pull the plug on 12-hour shifts? Part II. Obstacles and leadership strategies. Journal of Nursing Administration, 40(4), 147-149.

Geiger-Brown, J., Trinkoff, A. (2010). Is it time to pull the plug on 12-hour shifts? Part III. Harm reduction strategies if keeping 12-hour shifts. Journal of Nursing Administration, 40(9), in press.

Linda Hickman, PhD, MBA, RN, FACHE, assistant professor, and Mary Etta Mills, ScD, RN, CNAA, FAAN, professor, co-presented the following:

Jones, R.A., Harris, K., Hickman, L., Quinn, L., Workman, L., Warren, J.I., Mills, M.E. (2010). Preparing Tomorrow’s Leaders: What We Need to Do Today. Presented at the 43rd Annual Meeting and Exposition of the American Organization of Nurse Executives held recently in Indianapolis, Ind. 

Karen S. Kauffman, PhD, RN, chair, Department of Family and Community Health, provided the keynote address, “Mental Capacity and Dementia,” at the Maryland Association of the Judges of the Orphans' Courts spring conference. Approximately 100 Judges were in attendance. 

Lynn Oswald, PhD, RN, associate professor, made the following presentation:

Oswald, L. (2010). Evaluation of Relationships Among Impulsive Personality Traits, Brain Dopamine Function, and Risks for Addiction. Presented at the High Resolution Functional Brain Imaging: In Celebration of the 1000th HRRT PET Scan Symposium, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Md.

Suzanne Sherwood, MS, RN, assistant professor, made the following presentations:

Sherwood, S.F. (2010). The Cycle Begins: Mechanism of Injury; Abdominal Trauma:  Assessment and Management; Clinical Management of the Orthopedic Trauma Patient; and Substance Abuse and Trauma Patients: Not a Good Mix. Presented at the American Association of Critical Care Nurses Conference/National Teaching Institute, Washington, D.C.

Kathryn Von Rueden, MS, RN, FCCM, assistant professor, made the following presentations:

Von Rueden, K. T. (2010). Evidence-Based Practice: Killing the Sacred Cows Part IV.  Presented at American Association of Critical Care Nurses’ National Teaching Institute, Washington, D.C.

Von Rueden, K. T. (2010). Agitation? Delirium? Both? And what to do about it. Presented at American Association of Critical Care Nurses’ National Teaching Institute,   Washington, D.C.

Debra Wiegand, PhD, RN, CCRN, FAAN, assistant professor, was part of a panel of experts who developed a consensus statement on the management of cardiovascular implantable electronic devices in patients nearing end of life or requesting withdrawal of therapy. The document was presented at the society’s national conference in May and the article will be published in the July 2010 issue of HeartRhythm, the official journal of the Heart Rhythm Society.

Lampert, R., Hayes, D. Annas, G.J., Farley, M.A., Goldstein, N.E., Hamilton, R., Kay, N., Kramer, D.B., Mueller, P.S., Padeletti, L., Pozuelo, L., Schoenfeld, M.H., Vardas, P.E., Wiegand, D., Zellner, R. (In Press). HRS expert consensus statement on the management of cardiovascular implantable electronic devices (CIEDs) in patients nearing end of life or requesting withdrawal of therapy. HeartRhythm.

Student News

PhD student Luke Michaelson received a Promise of Nursing for Maryland Regional Faculty Fellowship in the amount of $3,500 from the National Student Nurses Association. The program seeks to address the nurse educator shortage by providing funding for RNs pursuing graduate education to prepare them for a career as a nurse educator.

Master’s students Kelly Powers and Shane Ellis were awarded $20,000 scholarships from the American Cancer Society’s Graduate Scholarships in Cancer Nursing Practice program.  This marks the fifth consecutive year in which the majority of UMSON students vying for these prestigious scholarships have received them. UMSON holds the national record for the amount of students receiving the scholarships.

Katie Slavin, MS, RN, received the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN) Foundation Scholarship for Academic Study, in the amount of $3,000, at AAOHN’s national conference, held recently in Anaheim, Calif.

Winners of Senior Practicum Poster Awards for the spring 2010 semester are as follows:

Baccalaureate Dean’s Award – Ayuub Hanif, Veronica Rosales, and Angela Lewis
Advanced Practice Nursing Award – Felicite Chiang, Rebekah Friedrich, and Michael Justin” Ruppert
Community Service Award – Lindsey Meisinger
Clinical Experience Award – Maria Uchida, Melissa Jorquera, and Olukorede Gisanrin Heart of Nursing Award – Chelsea Ruch, Markeisha Clark, and Sarah Billinger
Alumni Award – Felicite Chiang, Rebekah Friedrich, and Michael “Justin” Ruppert
Leadership Award
– Felicite Chiang, Rebekah Friedrich, and Michael “Justin” Ruppert
UMMC Award – Nicole Stanton
Sigma Theta Tau Awards (2) – Meghan Smith and Brittany Winstead; Erin Greason, Nicole Storck, and Victoria Volta

 Heart of Nursing Poster Winners Markeisha Clark, Chelsea Ruch,, and Sarah Billinger pose with Patricia Harris, clinical instructor


NSP II students, along with faculty and support staff, celebrated their achievement.

 UMSON Nurse Support Program II (NSP II) students celebrated the completion of their master’s program in the Health Services Leadership and Management specialty on May19.  The NSP II program—a partnership between UMSON, Franklin Square Hospital Center, and the University of Maryland Medical Center—aims to increase the amount of nurse faculty members in the state of Maryland by increasing enrollments in graduate nursing programs to prepare potential faculty members. NSP II addresses both the need to fill expected vacancies in the nursing workforce and reduce the nurse faculty shortage.  To date, 22 NSP II students have earned master's degrees and there are currently 69 students enrolled in the program.

Grants & Contracts

UMSON received a third round of scholarships—10 awards in the amount of $10,000 each—from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) through the RWJF New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program.  Five scholarships will be awarded to UMSON students admitted to the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) program for the fall 2010 semester and five for CNL students admitted for the spring 2011semester.

Alumni News & Notes

UMSON held a reunion dinner celebration May 15 in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with the National Teaching Institute (NTI), sponsored by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. Forty-six UMSON alumni and their guests attended the event. Twenty-two UMSON faculty, students, and alumni presented 32 workshop sessions at the NTI.

 Dr. Dorrie Fontaine, Dr. Patricia Morton, and Dr. Valerie Sabol enjoyed the celebration.

Mary Ellen Haisfield-Wolfe, PhD ’09, RN, presented her doctoral research in a podium session at the International Conference on Cancer Nursing held recently in Atlanta, Ga. UMSON faculty members Deborah McGuire, PhD, RN, AOCN, professor; Jeanne Geiger-Brown, PhD, RN, associate professor; and Karen Soeken, PhD, RN, faculty emeritus, were co-authors, along with Bruce DeForge, PhD, associate professor, School of Social Work, and Mohan Suntharalingam, MD, professor, School of Medicine. 

School of Nursing “In the News”

Subject: Some Nurses React Better With Little Sleep
Source: - June 10
Summary: Story headline offers the opposite analysis of the overall recommendation by the School of Nursing study, which found instead that less sleep can more often be a detriment to nurse performance. It was led by Jeanne Geiger-Brown, RN, PhD, associate professor.

Subject: Violence on the Rise at U.S. Health Care Centers
Source: U.S.News (via HealthDay) - June 10
Summary: "The health care system in this country is broken. With long waits in the ER, short staffing, and many other problems, all of the players are under incredible stress, which means that those of us who consume health [care] are driven to the edge of our ability to cope," said Jane Lipscomb, FAAN, PhD, RN, a professor at the School of Nursing, who studies workplace violence in health care.

Subject: Nursing the Environment Back to Health
Source: Baltimore Sun - B'More Green - June 8
Summary: The newly formed Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments has been holding two days of meetings at the School of Nursing, talking about how to keep toxic substances out of homes, preventing lead poisoning and asthma, and dealing with the potential health impacts of climate change.

Subject: Successive 12-Hour Shifts for Hospital Nurses Leads to Widespread Fatigue, Patient Care Errors
Source: The Medical News - June 8
Summary: A common practice of successive 12-hour shifts for U.S. hospital nurses leaves many with serious sleep deprivation, higher risk of health problems, and more odds of making patient errors, according to a University of Maryland, Baltimore study presented today at the 24th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies in San Antonio. Jeanne Geiger-Brown, PhD, RN, associate professor with the School of Nursing, is quoted.

SUBJECT: On the Rights of Nursing Mothers
SOURCE: WTTG-TV, 7 a.m. - June 4
Lily Fountain, MS, CNM, RN, an assistant professor at the School of Nursing is interviewed at a mall in Frederick for an update on Maryland's right-to-breast-feed law.

Subject: Demand Great for Informatics Nurses
Source: MedHunters - June 2
Summary: Story on nursing informatics quotes Eun-Shim Nahm, PhD, RN, FAAN, interim director of the nursing informatics program at the School of Nursing, which was the first to start a graduate-level program back in 1988.

Subject: Not By the Book – Dosing Challenges in Pediatric and Neonatal ICUs
Source: Medscape - May 26
Summary: Infants and children metabolize drugs differently than adults, but critical care practitioners, lacking evidence to support optimal drug dosing in pediatric patients, must rely on a combination of weight-based standards developed for adults, clinical experience, and guesswork, says Cathy Haut, MS, CPNP-AC, CCRN, from the School of Nursing and the pediatric intensive care unit at the Children's Hospital at Sinai.

Subject: Rethinking Chemical Safety
Source: The Baltimore Sun - May 23
Summary: Brenda Afzal, MS, RN, director of health programs in the Environmental Health Education Center of the School of Nursing joins an environmental health advocate in writing that high cancer rates suggest taking a new look at toxic-substance rules.,0,2237492.story

Subject: Woman Beats Brain Tumor, Earns Doctorate Degree
Source: WBAL-TV - May 20
Summary: Robyn Gilden, PhD, RN, associate professor at the School of Nursing, earned her degree despite undergoing treatment for brain cancer.

Mark Your Calendar!

20th Annual Summer Institute in Nursing Informatics, “From First Use to Meaningful Use,” July 21-24 – UMSON. For information, call 410-706-3767 or visit

The UMMC Farmers’ Market, located in the park across from UMMC on Greene Street, will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. every Tuesday through Thanksgiving week.


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