Rapid Pulse

Emory dean joins leaders to spotlight role of nurses

Linda McCauley, dean of Emory University's Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, and members of the Deans Nursing Policy Coalition convened in Washington, D.C. in July to discuss the importance of advanced practice nursing in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in favor of the Affordable Care Act.

Sponsored by the House Nursing Caucus, the briefing spotlighted the specialized education and training of advanced practice nurses that make them uniquely qualified to provide the kind of cost-efficient, quality care that will be required as health care reform unfolds, particularly for minority and underserved populations, senior citizens and children.

The briefing also covered how research from nurse scientists promotes and improves health outcomes; the role of nurses and nurse educators; the importance of federal support; and the evolving mission of health care provider teams for disease prevention and treatment, especially in geriatric populations.

“Chronic illness among older adults is going to touch us all,” said McCauley, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, FAAOHN. “As the incidence of chronic disease among this population outpaces the number of physicians to care for them, the training and skill of advanced practice nurses make them well-suited to provide care for this vulnerable population.”

Support nursing in Georgia: The Georgia Nurses Association (GNA) is calling all Georgia nursing organizations and nurses to support efforts to implement recommendations of the Institute of Medicine's groundbreaking Future of Nursing report. Since 2010, the GNA has been active in this work, along with the Georgia Hospital Association, several nursing school deans and directors and other groups.

In partnership with the Georgia Nursing Leadership Coalition, the GNA seeks to raise $75,000 to continue advocating for nurses in the state. If the fundraising effort is successful, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will award Georgia’s Action Coalition a $150,000 grant to continue its work.

The GNA is requesting contributions from hospitals, schools of nursing and other organizations. The names of the organizations and individuals who support the cause will be listed on the Georgia Nursing Leadership Coalition’s website and in all nursing initiatives developed for the state.

Nurses can contribute money toward the Future of Nursing work by going to www.georgianurses.org/gnf_donors.htm. You can also contribute by sending a check or money order to: GNF, 3032 Briarcliff Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30329. Be sure to note the intended purpose of the donation in the “for” line of the check.

NECD grant: The department of nursing at North Georgia College & State University in Dahlonega has been awarded $39,700 to support a Nurse Educator Certification Drive (NECD).

Provided through the Nursing Faculty Initiative of the University System of Georgia, the award will fund all components of the NECD — a program designed to help NGCSU nursing faculty become certified nurse educators. The grant was secured by Michelle Byrne, coordinator of the schools’ Master of Science in nursing education program.

Nursing faculty scholars: The School of Nursing in the College of Health at Clayton State University has announced its faculty scholars for the 2012-2013 academic year: Judith Kline Leavitt and former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin.

Leavitt’s initial visit to campus will be on Sept. 20-21. Franklin will be on campus Oct. 18-19. More details on their participation in the School of Nursing’s faculty scholar program will be forthcoming.

Leavitt, who retired in 2005 as an associate professor at the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s School of Nursing, is a consultant in health policy and strategic planning. She wrote “Policy & Politics in Nursing and Health Care,” which won 12 American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Awards.

Franklin was elected the first African-American woman mayor of a major Southern city in 2002 and served two terms. Upon leaving office, she was appointed to the William and Camille Cosby Endowed Chair at Spelman College and served in this capacity until June 2011.

Hail to the Veep: Cindy Balkstra was elected first vice president of the American Nurses Association (ANA) at the organization's House of Delegates meeting in June. She will serve a two-year term.

Balkstra, MS, RN, CNS-BC, who served a term as a director-at-large on the ANA Board, was president of the Georgia Nurses Association from 2007 to 2009. She is a clinical nurse specialist who splits time between Dahlonega and Savannah.

RT program award: Gwinnett Technical College's respiratory care program recently received the Distinguished Registered Respiratory Therapist Credentialing Success Award, one of only 32 programs in the nation to earn the designation.

Programs that earned the award are required to have three or more years of outcomes data, have earned accreditation and have students earning a 90 percent or better on their registry exams.

What's in a name? Augusta's new consolidated university has a name: Georgia Regents University.

The University System of Georgia Board of Regents selected the name for the institution, which will be formed through the consolidation of Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences University. The new university will enroll its inaugural class in fall 2013.

“I am grateful to the regents for selecting a name that reflects the true breadth and depth of the new comprehensive university, which includes an aligned and integrated health system,” said GHSU President Ricardo Azziz, who will oversee the consolidated university.

The university will include nine colleges, nearly 10,000 students, more than 650 acres, nearly 150 buildings, more than 1,000 full-time faculty, about 5,600 staff and an integrated health system.

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