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In the midst of this political season, Waynesburg University welcomed Congressman Tim Murphy to lecture last month, but not about government policies and plans. The University's NUR 419 Clinical Prevention and Population Health senior students invited Murphy to speak about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) issues relevant to U.S. veterans Friday, Oct. 26 in Stewart Hall.

Melany Chrash, assistant professor of nursing at Waynesburg University and instructor of NUR 419, recently spoke with Murphy at the Greene County Senior Expo about his work as a psychologist and mentioned that she wanted her students to learn about Veterans Affairs.

“The students were very excited about this opportunity,” Chrash said. “As part of our Joining Forces program with the White House, we are attempting to draw attention and awareness to veterans' issues and to educate our nursing students regarding their very specific health concerns.”

The Joining Forces Program is a government program intended to bring together resources to support U.S. military and their families. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the American Nurses Association and the White House have partnered to promote development of nursing curriculum that specifically addresses the needs of the military as part of this Joining Forces Program.

As a part of the Joined Forces Program, Waynesburg University nursing faculty have added content to the curriculum that will educate student nurses about the importance of referring veterans to community resources. This is because some veterans may not have access to the VA system.

“The Waynesburg University nursing department has ‘joined forces' to demonstrate leadership and provide educational resources that will improve the quality of care that veterans receive whether they seek care in the Veterans Assistance system, a community hospital or a clinic,” Chrash said. “The men and women of the military have risked their lives to protect our way of life; as nurses we make a commitment to care for them and their families with the highest quality of care possible.”

Chrash feels that Murphy's talk was an excellent opportunity for her students who have little experience dealing with PTSD and TBI. She also encouraged those well versed in these issues to attend to receive clarification and interact with someone who is educated and seasoned.

“Not only was the lecture itself a unique learning opportunity, but so was organizing the program,” said Kendra Stewart, a nursing student from Canonsburg, Pa. "I was honored to be a part of it."

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Nursing Career Day

Waynesburg University will host Nursing Awareness Day for high school students interested in the nursing field Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012. Events will begin at 9:15 in room 104 of the Center for Research and Economic Development on the campus of Waynesburg University.

Spend the day exploring the University's sophisticated simulation lab with Waynesburg University nursing faculty and students. Learn how Waynesburg University nursing students experience complex patient care in simulated situations. Discover how the simulation lab provides an effective environment for students to learn and apply cognitive, psychomotor and decision-making skills for clinical practice.

“From the first year students are admitted to the program, our nursing students experience clinical practice and learn in well-equipped simulation facilities,” said Nancy Mosser, professor of nursing and chair and director of the University's Department of Nursing. “Our program quality is indicated by routinely high NCLEX pass rates and high employment rates.”

In addition to its Bachelor of Science degree in nursing, Waynesburg University also offers a Master of Science degree in nursing and a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. The Bachelor of Science degree in nursing, which will be highlighted during Nursing Awareness Day, provides a rigorous curriculum that prepares students to work in a challenging health care environment. The day will include tours, meetings with faculty, financial aid information and lunch.

For more information or to register, call 1-800-225-7393. For complete information about Waynesburg University's Department of Nursing, visit www.waynesburg.edu.

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Contact: Ashley Wise
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu


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stolfer

Waynesburg University is pleased to announce that Kathy Stolfer, assistant professor of nursing, has earned the designation Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) after meeting strict eligibility criteria and successfully completing a rigorous certification examination developed and administered by the National League for Nursing.

“I wanted to pursue the ‘hallmark recognition for nurse educators' after extensive years in nursing education and practice to confirm knowledge and expertise in the field of nursing education,” Stolfer said.

The mission of the Academic Nurse Educator Certification Program is to recognize excellence in the advanced specialty role of the academic nurse educator. In 2009, approximately 500 nurse educators were awarded the CNE credential. Since the unveiling of the program in fall 2005 through December 2009, nearly 2,000 nurse educators representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands have become CNEs.

Stolfer holds a Doctor of Education from Nova Southeastern University, a Master of Science in Nursing from West Virginia University and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from West Liberty University.

Dedicated to excellence in nursing education, the National League for Nursing is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education offering faculty development, networking opportunities, testing and assessment, nursing research grants and public policy initiatives to its 28,000 individual and 1200 institutional members.

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu


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Kimberly Stephens

Waynesburg University's fully accredited Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program now offers two degree plans implemented to better accommodate the needs of the working professional.

The University's DNP Program, offering a terminal professional degree that focuses on the clinical aspects of nursing rather than academic research, can now be completed through a three-year or a four-year track.

“The four-year degree plan for the DNP Program was created because we really listen to the feedback that our students give us,” said Dave Mariner, dean of Graduate Studies at Waynesburg University. “Our DNP students are juggling family, demanding careers and school. The four-year option allows students to have a little more time to manage their priorities.”

In addition to a new degree plan, the DNP Program recently named Dr. Kimberly Stephens and Dr. Kimberly Whiteman co-directors of the Program.

“I strive to make our program high-quality and to honor the Christian mission of the University,” Dr. Whiteman said. “I want to help students acquire the knowledge and skills they need to lead in the complex health care environment.”

Dr. Stephens and Dr. Whiteman have been with Waynesburg University since 2008 and 2009, respectively. Prior to transitioning into their current roles, they served as assistant professors of nursing in the University's Graduate and Professional Studies Program. Both are also graduates of the program which they now oversee.

“As nurse leaders, we have a professional imperative to understand systems, system change and how to inspire and lead teams through what will be a pivotal time in transforming health care,” Dr. Stephens said. “I believe we can't miss this opportunity to demonstrate what a DNP-prepared nurse can contribute to our changing health care landscape. I strive to inspire and challenge every DNP student to a life of leadership and purpose for the glory of God.”

Waynesburg University established its DNP Program in 2007 as one of the first 25 DNP programs in the United States.

From 2004 to 2006, Dr. Nancy Mosser, professor of nursing and chair of the Department of Nursing at Waynesburg University, served as a committee member of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing DNP Roadmap Task Force. The committee was charged with examining DNP program development, master's-to-doctoral transition programs, regulations, licensure, reimbursement for advanced practice and other issues.

The Roadmap Task Force worked closely with the DNP Essentials Task Force, whose goal was to develop curricular and content requirements for DNP programs. Dr. Mosser and other committee members from both task forces attended regional meetings across the country to obtain input related to DNP program development from a number of constituencies.

“The exploration and development of the DNP Program at Waynesburg is consistent with the guidelines developed by both committees,” Dr. Mosser said.

Kimberly WhitemanWaynesburg's DNP Programs differs from Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs because the focus is on evidence-based practice and systems leadership that has an immediate impact on the quality of health care delivery, rather than on developing programs of original research as traditional Ph.D. program graduates do. According to Dr. Mosser, Waynesburg's DNP Program serves as a natural extension to the University's Master of Science in Nursing degree program with a concentration in administration, but also is appropriate for those with education, informatics and advanced practice backgrounds.

“In this program, students enhance their understanding of principles of leadership and are ready to assume an active role in promoting the highest quality health care delivery from a values-based perspective,” Dr. Mosser said.

Among the students in the University's DNP Program are administrators, educators, executive leaders, certified registered nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists and certified registered nurse anesthetists from all over the country.

With their dedication to leading a quality program and personal experience within the program itself, both Dr. Stephens and Dr. Whiteman are assets to the DNP Program.

“We use a leadership team to manage the operations of the DNP Program,” Mariner said. “Both Dr. Stephens and Dr. Whiteman work extremely well together and have provided great leadership to our faculty and students.”

Before joining Waynesburg, Dr. Stephens served as a professor of nursing at the Community College of Allegheny County and an education and staff development specialist for the West Penn Allegheny Health System. She also worked in a variety of clinical settings including rehabilitation, oncology and home care at major hospitals throughout the Pittsburgh area.

In addition to a DNP degree from Waynesburg University, Dr. Stephens holds a Master of Science in Nursing and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, both from Duquesne University.

Dr. Whiteman served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Nursing and a nurse educator with UPMC Presbyterian prior to joining Waynesburg. She also served in various roles within the Liver Transplantation Intensive Care Unit at UPMC and as a staff nurse at Hershey Medical Center and UPMC.

Dr. Whiteman received a DNP degree from Waynesburg University, a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Pittsburgh and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Pennsylvania State University.

Waynesburg University's 36-credit DNP Program is offered at one of three suburban Pittsburgh locations, Southpointe, Monroeville or North Hills, determined by the geographic location of admitted students. Each course meets one weekend every other month in the 15-week semester, with learning activities and assignments to be completed between seminars. The program has been approved by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu


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In an effort to give back to those who defend the freedom of the United States of America, Waynesburg University has participated in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Yellow Ribbon Program on the graduate and undergraduate levels since the program's inception in 2009.
 
“The Yellow Ribbon Program at Waynesburg University has helped make my dream of graduating from a university possible,” said Thomas Brownfield, a sophomore nursing major in the Air Force Reserves. “There is an annual cap on the amount Veterans Affairs can provide. When my benefits reached that amount, the Yellow Ribbon Program stepped in, enabling me to continue my education.”
 
Between 2007 and 2010, Brownfield deployed twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, serving in Afghanistan and Southeast Asia. In 2010, the Uniontown, Pa., native left active duty to continue his career as a reservist at the Pittsburgh 911th airlift wing and to pursue an education.
 
“Waynesburg University's Christian mission was important in my decision to attend,” said Brownfield, who serves as a youth group leader at Abundant Life Church in Uniontown, Pa. “I feel that the University stands for more than just education, based on its mission. And that's also apparent in its decision to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program.”
 
The Yellow Ribbon Program allows Waynesburg University and the federal government to split tuition costs that are not covered by the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill for qualified military personnel and veterans like Brownfield.
 
The G.I. Bill provides individuals meeting the requirements a benefit equal to the most expensive public campus tuition in that state.
 
“The Program provides financial resources to enable our eligible veterans to fulfill their educational goals,” said Vicki Wilson, registrar at Waynesburg University.
 
As the University's certifying official for veteran's benefits, Wilson works with veterans to maximize the benefits they receive.
 
“The veterans at Waynesburg are lucky to have a person who is so proficient at her job,” Brownfield said of Wilson. “Other veterans I've spoken with have had to do a ton of things I have not had to deal with, thanks to her.”
 
The Yellow Ribbon Program is a provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. This program allows institutions of higher learning (degree granting institutions) in the United States to voluntarily enter into an agreement with the Department of Veterans Affairs to fund tuition expenses that exceed the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition rate. Waynesburg University waives up to 50 percent of those expenses, and the Department of Veterans Affairs matches the same percentage.
 
Waynesburg University is approved for Veteran Education benefits. Eligible veterans and members of the National Guard may be eligible to use the G.I. benefits. Determination is made by the Veterans Administration.
 
Individuals are entitled to the maximum benefit rate if they served a period of at least 36 months active duty after September 10, 2001; they were honorably discharged from active duty for a service connected disability and served 30 continuous days after September 10, 2001; or if they are a dependent eligible for Transfer of Entitlement under the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill based on a veteran's service under the eligibility criteria listed above.
 
Brownfield has advice for other veterans.
 
“While Veterans Affairs is your number one reference, Waynesburg University is extremely helpful,” he said. “Waynesburg is a challenging school where you will definitely get a concrete education.”
 
For more information related to undergraduate studies, contact the Office of Admissions at Waynesburg University at 800-225-7393. For information related to the graduate program, contact Graduate and Professional Studies at Waynesburg University at 888-481-6029.

 

 

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