Eucation II North
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Aurora, CO 80045
Leo Tyler is a University of Colorado Accelerated Nursing (UCAN) student graduating December 2020 and was recently awarded the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nursing Students. Originally from Salt Lake City, Leo moved to Colorado with his husband five years ago. Before switching to a career in nursing, Leo received a bachelor’s in psychology and an MBA from the University of Utah. Previously, he was a Policy Manager at eBay for about 18 years. His team managed site policies for buyers and sellers across about 20 different countries. “It was a great company and cool job, but I didn’t feel passionate about it and wanted to help people more directly,” Leo says. After graduation, Leo is looking to go into critical care and is in the process of interviewing with ICUs. “As a CNA in the STICU, I loved the patient experience of getting someone’s trust and helping them through a life-changing situation.”
Three doctors, three different treatment plans. X-rays. MRIs. Referrals to new doctors and new examinations. Despite months of medical appointments, it will still be at least six more weeks until Alexis Koutlas knows the extent of her 83-year-old mom’s arthritis in her neck and how to treat it. And that, Alexis says, is not O.K.
“My grandfather was a general surgeon, so I grew up around a medical mind and hearing his incredible stories,” said Renee Andrews. “I was probably two years old when Poppa Doc had me try his stethoscope for the first time. I was amazed when I could hear his heart beat so clearly.”
For Antoanela Findlay, nursing was not her first career choice. “I was an accountant. I love numbers, but it is very impersonal, and there’s a lack of human connection that I craved.”
Twenty-twenty will be remembered for many years to come as a unique time. We know it’s been challenging, but you have much to be proud of, and CU College of Nursing wants to celebrate with you.
Most college students spend their Friday nights socializing and winding down from a long week of studying, not in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) cuddling babies.
While COVID-19 has hit many of us hard, Nurse Jeanne Burnkrant who works with people at the end of their lives, lost eight patients in April alone. She grieved. She missed them. But Jeanne never once questioned what she does or why she does it.
Sometimes you have to find your own way. When Michael Morgan graduated high school, he knew he didn’t want to follow in his parents’ footsteps. His mom is a dental hygienist, and his dad has spent 30 years in a cardiac catheterization lab.
Lauren Ledford’s interest in natural disaster response began with a five-week search and rescue-training course in Colorado, and a stint coordinating an international program with pre-med students to Nicaragua.
Born in Georgia, E’Jaaz Abdulkabir moved to the Virgin Islands at the age of 9. “Living in St. Croix was like living in a small town – surrounded by water,” said Abdulkabir. Her father was a physician. In fact, he was the attending physician during her birth and delivered her at home. For Abdulkabir, nursing was familiar and comfortable; and home births normal.
For Chris Griffin that is the question she posed during her PhD thesis presentation. A nurse at Children’s Colorado Hospital for the past 19 years, Griffin has had her share of intense heartache and joy. “We live these extremes every day. They aren’t fictional stories. They become a part of our consciousness and affect who we are,” said Griffin.
Given all the work that deans do, it is unusual for one to take it upon himself to provide clinical oversight and precept a student. The University of Colorado College of Nursing Dean Elias Provencio-Vasquez tends to do the unexpected. “We were thrilled when Dean Eli offered to precept a student during our flu clinic,” said Director of the Campus Health Center Emily Cheshire, DNP.
As a child, Ashley Chacon Percival became her family’s interpreter; helping her Spanish speaking parents navigate the health care system. At 8 years old, she was accompanying them to medical appointments, interpreting and translating for them, and when her father suffered a stroke she attended his specialty appointments with him.
Jessica Cumley’s journey to midwifery began 12 years ago with the birth of her son. “It was the most empowering experience I have ever had. I loved my care so much that I wanted to become a midwife and share that with others,” she said. Now enrolled in the University of Colorado College of Nursing Midwifery program and 32 weeks pregnant, Cumley wonders why it took her so long.
“In May and June I felt my whole world tumbling,” said CU Nursing master’s student and nurse manager Stephanie Lee. An iLEAD (Innovation in Leadership and Administration in Nursing Health Care Systems) master’s student, Lee was entering her final course in the specialized track, when coronavirus hit.
CU Nursing alumna Ruby Martinez, PhD, RN, was recently awarded the 2020 Latino Legacy Award from the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN). Each year at the national conference, NAHN recognizes one member who has contributed to the nursing profession with commitment to advancing the health in Hispanic communities and to lead, promote and advocate the educational, professional, and leadership opportunities for Hispanic nurses. Like many national conferences, this year’s NAHN conference was held virtually in July due to coronavirus.
Volunteering is in Carrie Brouillette’s nature. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the nursing student has marshaled her neighbors to donate fabric and created a mini assembly line to make cloth masks. “My mother is an incredible seamstress. So I measured and cut, and she sewed,” said Brouillette. The two churned out about 600 cloth masks in their makeshift in-home manufacturing facility! And that’s not all. Brouillette also volunteered at a homeless shelter with the intent of learning how to be a better nurse.
In 2015, Josh Simpson’s world stopped. Soon after the birth of his youngest daughter, his 33-year-old wife received an earth-shattering diagnosis -- breast cancer. Originally misdiagnosed as clogged milk ducts, the diagnosis came after she switched doctors, and a subsequent biopsy. “I can’t tell you how many times people have said that you don’t typically get breast cancer while breastfeeding. One thing I discovered is that there is no normal with breast cancer,” said Simpson.
Since George Floyd’s killing at the hands of police on May 25, and the senseless deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor and others, the country has been struggling with how to support the Black community while demanding change. One thing is clear – something seems different than all the other protests and events that have preceded it. The protests are larger, more vocal, more frequent, diverse, and persistent.
As Liz Phelps opened her book bundle from CU College of Nursing, she began to cry. An unexpected gift from the College and the Alumni Association was included with her books – a stethoscope. “When I opened the stethoscope and saw the note I, to be honest, immediately started to cry. The fact that nurses who once stood in my shoes would be willing to lend a hand to their future colleagues made me proud of this profession that I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to enter into,” said Phelps.
Two students in the University of Colorado College of Nursing Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist master’s program, Cailly Haning and Cassie Lang, recently published articles about their experiences addressing commonly encountered problems in critical care settings – from oral hygiene with stroke patients to controlling postoperative pain. Haning, MSN, RN, ACCNS-AG, CCRN, and a critical care nurse at Swedish Hospital analyzed hospital-acquired infections due to poor oral hygiene after a stroke. Lang, MSN, CNS, ACCNS-AG, CCRN, a critical care clinical nurse specialist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center looked at harnessing a variety of pain management therapies after surgery (acetaminophen, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, cold and music therapy) to reduce overall opioid consumption.
The impact of coronavirus on our students has been far reaching. Clinics and inpatient facilities where our students typically complete their clinical hours shifted their focus to caring for coronavirus patients and suspended training.
Seventeen years ago, Eaba Dechasa arrived in America from Ethiopia with his family. His father was a geologist. His mother a teacher. The Dechasas came to America through the Diversity Immigrant Visa program (also known as the visa lottery), which provides up to 50,000 immigrant visas each year. Drawn from random selection among all entries, the visas are awarded to individuals who are from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. Distributed among six geographic regions, no single country can receive more than 7% of the available DVs in any one year.
Born into a service-oriented family with strong roots in pediatric cardiology, China Opland knew from a young age that her path would focus on giving. Her maternal grandmother Francine Leca, the first female cardiac surgeon in France, founded Mécénat Chirurgerie Cardiaque in 1996 – an organization well known throughout the world for providing free heart surgery to children in need.
Sara Schwartz had a bumpy start to her nursing degree. Notified 14 days prior to the start of orientation that she was accepted into CU Nursing, she drove to Colorado from California. “I was homeless for a week and planned to live in my car,” she said. Fortunately, she met a girl during orientation whose family allowed her to live in their basement.
For 15 years, Bill Martchenke was a high school and middle school teacher. A devoted teacher, he regularly worked 12-14 hour days. When his wife became pregnant with their first son, he couldn’t justify it any longer and got a job working for Kaiser Permanente in their electronic medical record (EMR) department training nurses on the system. After supporting the hospital for five months, “I recognized nurses had the greatest job in the world and why wasn’t I doing this?”
Eleven years ago, Erika Vaske was on a two-year waitlist to get into a nursing program. “A lot of my inspiration came from my mom, who has been a nurse’s aid for over 35 years,” she said. For Vaske, the wait was “interminable.” So she chose another path -- changed majors and earned a bachelor’s degree in social work.
Originally trained as a physical therapist in her homeland of Germany, Sabs Sheppard chose nursing after moving to the U.S. 12 years ago. After working with nurses for years, she realized that the profession more closely aligned with her goals and ambitions to work in critical care.
Pam: So, uh, Greg. How’s your job?
Greg: Um, good, Pam. Thanks for asking. I recently got transferred to triage.
Dina: Oh, is that better than a nurse?
Pam: No, Mom, triage is a unit of the E.R. It’s where all the top nurses work.
Pam: No, they do.
Jack: Not many men in your profession, though, are there, Greg?
Greg: No, Jack, not traditionally.
Struggling with depression as a teenager, Rachel Johnson came to a pivotal moment in her young life.
When Captain Taylor Allen, BSN, RN, arrived in Denver in March for an internship with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) before entering CU Nursing’s Master’s program, she never thought her army experience would be in demand. Boy was she wrong.
With the help of University of Colorado leadership, CU Nursing faculty, lobbyists, and State Representatives and Senators, Governor Jared Polis signed Executive Order D 2020 038 on April 15, 2020 to temporarily suspend State Board of Nursing statutes in order to expand the health care workforce. The Order temporarily suspends some State Board of Nursing rules for nursing programs. This allows our students to complete their programs in a timely fashion to help fight the Covid-19 outbreak, and also addresses the current nursing workforce needs in the state of Colorado.
When CU Nursing PhD student Brittni Goodwin, MSN, RN, realized there weren’t enough N95 masks for her colleagues at area hospitals, she went to work to get the needed supplies. Like many health care professionals, Goodwin felt the need to help co-workers who were being stretched so intensely during the Covid-19 outbreak. “It’s a bit like survivor’s guilt. I felt I wasn’t doing enough,” said Goodwin.
Dear CU Anschutz Students,
As the Chancellor’s communication outlined yesterday, the Parking Department will be refunding all students on the Anschutz Medical Campus for any parking permit fees that were paid in advance from March 16, 2020 forward. This process will begin immediately, but will take time to complete as we must review each student account individually to determine the refund amount that is due. All refunds will be mailed to students in the form of a check to the current address on file. In order to ensure the most timely and accurate return of funds, we ask you to review your parking account online and provide the most current mailing address. We know that this pandemic has caused a great deal of change in your world and we are committed to returning funds as quickly as we can. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding. It is our goal to have all refunds issued by the end of April. If you have an questions regarding this communique and your specific situation, please contact the parking office at (303)724-2555 or by email to CUParking@cuanschutz.edu.
Please join us for a virtual film festival, presented by CU Nursing and Seedworks Films.
Similar to a book club, participants are encouraged to watch one of the following documentaries and then join us via Zoom Sundays at 3 p.m. (MST) for a lively chat hosted by Sue Hagedorn, PhD, RN, FAANP, FAAN. These "fireside" chats will include special guests Drs. Loretta Ford, Ginny Pepper, Jean Watson, Ms. Karen Zink and Dixie Melton, and Daniel Weinschenker. You're not going to want to miss it!
Aurora, Colo. (March 19, 2020) -- The University of Colorado College of Nursing has received a #8 placement for its Nurse-Midwifery program, and a top 10% ranking for its Master’s in Nursing program, according to U.S. News & World Report. The Master’s program was ranked against 578 programs, while the Nurse-Midwifery program was compared 36 programs throughout the country. In addition, the Doctor of Nurse Practitioner program ranked #48 out of 319 programs, placing it in the top 15% of DNP programs. The 2021 rankings were released on March 18.
Like most of her classmates, Emma Bielfeldt struggled to finish her thought as she answered her fellow student’s question. She faltered, tried again and finally gave up, laughing at her inability to speak coherently. It’s hard to think straight when someone is whispering orders in your ear.
She hails from Denver, not Atlantica. She swims in an encased pool, not an ocean. And although she maybe thinks he is, her dad is not a king.
Growing up in a rough Denver neighborhood, Crystal Santos chose forensics as her future profession early on. She wanted to help people find closure after losing loved ones, especially to violence.
Want to stop youth vaping?
Teacher. Waiter. Insurance Agent. Yoga Instructor. Massage Therapist. CNA. And, soon-to-be nurse. If it seems as if Alex Wilson has led an interesting life, you’d be right.
She cannot quite put her finger on why, but Claire Donovan always knew she wanted to help the underserved.
Air Force scholarship recipient leaves mental health program behind
After 27 years with the University of Colorado working on all four campuses, Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff Leonard Dinegar told a group gathered for the College of Nursing Scholarship Luncheon on Nov. 22 that CU Nursing held a special place in his heart.
Exquisite chocolate, stunning views and comprehensive reproductive health services colored a clinical experience in the lush lands of Ecuador, according to students who took part in the Global Health Nursing program last May. Combined with the intensive work, the cultural immersion made for a life-changing experience, they said.
For the next 10 months, University of Colorado College of Nursing alumna Heather Mena (MSN, ’18) will roam the jungles and traverse the hills of Ecuador, learning the tricks of her trade from native women intent on saving their ancestral tradition.
“This is the hardest thing I’ve done in years.”
Those were the words of one of four judges who had the task of perusing, paring and picking just three winners from two dozen posters lining the Education 2 North-South Bridge on Sept. 5.
Bachelor’s, master’s, DNP and PhD students were all represented at the event, which kicked off the first-ever College of Nursing’s Research and Scholarship Symposium on Sept. 6 and highlighted the level of scholarship among its students. CU Data Science to Patient Value (D2V) co-sponsored the symposium.
New and returning doctoral students were welcomed back Tuesday morning with a table of gold sunglasses, a buffet of steaming food and a playlist of eclectic songs, from Pharrell Williams to Kool & the Gang.
Hosted each year by the College of Nursing’s Office of Admissions and Student Affairs team, the breakfast kicks off a week of events focused on connecting new PhD students with returning students. This year, the Health Systems Leadership DNP students were also invited.
Growing up with two heroes — a firefighter dad and a nurse mom — Lindsey Tarasenko knew early on that she wanted a job focused on giving back.
For Martha Grubaugh, there were some early signs, including being the go-to girl in the neighborhood when the area kids got hurt.
For Iris Heidenfelder, nursing is in her blood. Her maternal grandmother, Katherine Peterson (now known as Katherine Enloe-Miller), was a diploma nurse and graduated from the Mercy Hospital Program in the 1960s. Encouraged by a physician, Enloe-Miller applied twice to the University of Colorado School of Nursing’s Nurse Practitioner program and graduated in 1971.
University of Colorado College of Nursing students displayed a slate of promising research at this year’s Western Institute of Nursing (WIN) Conference in San Diego in April, with topics ranging from halting the spread of HIV to easing the minds of kids with cancer.
After working with a medical team in the secluded villages of Guatemala, Rebecca Harmon finally listened to her mother. Seeing the sick, poverty-stricken people in such dire need of health care, she made the decision to follow in her mom’s footsteps and become a nurse.
Ian Overton decided to become a nurse after a decade of adventuring and one escapade that brought him close to losing his foot.
An expert mountaineer, explorer, rock and ice climber, Overton said, “Through climbing, everything makes sense in the world. The chaotic environment slows down.”
No one can predict who will make a great nurse, but when it comes to Chantal Dengah, the cards are in her favor.
As with any medical professional, skill and accuracy are required for nursing success, two characteristics engrained in Dengah, set to graduate from the University of Colorado College of Nursing during the May 24 Spring Commencement.
The University of Colorado College of Nursing and student nurses are encouraging the community to celebrate the nurse in your life during the month of May. Nurses Week runs from May 6 – May 12, which was the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. CU Nursing students appeared on CBS 4 Saturday morning to showcase the profession of nursing and some of the activities they have planned for the week including a 5K fun run at the Anschutz Medical Campus Sunday, May 5, and community blanket making for patients at Children’s Hospital on May 9th.
Textbooks are no longer the primary source of education in the classroom. CU Nursing includes traditional lectures, simulations, practical clinical experiences, and physical transformations of faculty into patients.
For burn survivors, Wayne Winkler and Shannon Bennett, participating in Dr. Teresa Connolly’s Nursing Care of the Adult Patient with Complex Care Needs class is a way for nursing students to become better nurses while giving back to those who helped them during recovery. For the students, understanding the physical and mental pain, anguish, and guilt associated with their condition is key to treating patients with compassion and empathy – essential elements in helping patients heal.