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Photo by Daniel Dubois

Q+A: An Interview with Mary Ann Jessee

  VUSN’s Pre-Specialty Level of the MSN program is thriving with more than 160 incoming students each year, representing a variety of non-nursing educational backgrounds.  After serving as interim director and leading the faculty through a major curriculum revision, Mary Ann Jessee, MSN, RN, became Pre-Specialty director in May 2012.  Recently, she sat down with…

Posted in Fall 2012, Features, Issue | Tags: ,

How Meth Impacts Brain Chemistry

Methamphetamine  (Meth) is a neurotoxin that primarily effects dopamine pathways in the brain. Meth mimics dopamine which is called the “pleasure” neurotransmitter in the brain. When something pleasurable happens, certain axons in the brain release dopamine which attach to receptors on dendrites of neighboring axons passing along the pleasure message in the brain. The process…

Posted in Fall 2012, Features, Issue |

Photograph courtesy of the drug enforcement agency

Crystal Clear

The putrid smell of her own flesh burning was not enough to make Jade Wilhite seek medical attention. She was following the methamphetamine user code: do not get caught. The day she tilted her head back to administer what she thought was a soothing liquid for her tired, irritated eyes, was the day her loyalty…

Posted in Fall 2012, Features, Issue | Tags: ,

Photo by Daniel Dubois

Not Just Aspirin and Band-Aids Anymore

Tyler Ralph slumps into the yellow chair looking as limp as the untied shoelaces on his back-to-school sneakers. But the fourth grader knows to get down to business – swabbing his fingertip, pricking it with the lancet, putting the drop of blood on the test strip, waiting for the blood sugar reading that explains why…

Posted in Fall 2012, Features, Issue | Tags: ,


The Art of Aging

Frances Raines knows the secret to successful aging. “Keep busy,” says the 97-year-old resident at Bethany Health & Rehabilitation nursing home, flashing a knowing smile that momentarily erases the wrinkles on her face. With a bright red crochet hook and yards of sky blue and royal purple yarn, Raines keeps busy through her stitches, even…

Posted in Features, Issue, Spring 2012 | Tags: ,

Photo by Joe Howell

Geriatric research

“Is this a house of corrections or a house of comfort?” asked the attending physician, a native of Britain, noting that American nurses have such strange practices, tethering their patients. Those comments, delivered to a group on medical practice rounds that included a young Lorraine Mion, PhD, RN, FAAN, shaped the whole course of her…

Posted in Features, Issue, Spring 2012 |

Geriatric Nursing Facts

According to the Administration on Aging, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services: The population 65 years or older numbered 39.6 million in 2009, the latest year for which data is available. They represented 12.9 percent of the U.S. population, about one in every eight Americans. Older women outnumber older men at…

Posted in Features, Issue, Spring 2012 |


On a Patient’s Worst Day

Minutes from now, the newly conscious patient will flail softly in her bed and try to pull out her breathing tube. A nurse will be there to stay her hand. Right now, though, she’s slipping toward death. As she was being turned in her bed, her heart rate plummeted, and it hasn’t returned. She’s gone…

Posted in Features, Issue, Spring 2012 | Tags: ,


Q+A: An Interview with Trish Trangenstein

What does the term “nursing informatics” mean? Nursing informatics is a specialty recognized by the American Nurses’ Association.  Nursing informatics transforms electronic information into knowledge and eventually knowledge into wisdom needed to improve outcomes.  Nursing outcomes can only be improved if you can apply wisdom across any number of areas, and a person needs advanced…

Posted in Features, Issue, Spring 2012 | Tags: ,


Raiding the Medicine Cabinet

Drug disposal event saving environment /livesby Carole Bartoo America has a drug problem. But it’s not what you think; in fact this drug problem is probably happening in your community – even in your own home. The problem is the accumulation of prescription drugs with no good plan for disposing of them.  As the number…

Posted in Fall 2011, Features, Issue | Tags:

Dangers of Improper Prescription Drug Use

Prescription painkillers can cause nausea and vomiting. Mixing anti-anxiety or sleep disorder drugs with other drugs, particularly alcohol, can slow breathing and heart rate, and possibly lead to death. Abusing stimulants while taking a cold medicine with decongestants can cause dangerous increases in blood pressure and irregular heart rhythms.

Posted in Fall 2011, Features, Issue |

Teen Prescription Drug Abuse

Source: National Institute for Drug Abuse After marijuana, prescription and over-the-counter medications account for most of the top drugs abused by 12th graders in the past year. Nearly half (47%) of teens who use prescription drugs say they get them for free from a relative or friend. More than three in five (62% or 14.6…

Posted in Fall 2011, Features, Issue |

How to Safely Dispose of Drugs

Drug take-back events are happening more frequently across the country.  We challenge you to take a hard look at the contents of your medicine cabinet, purse, wallet, dresser drawer or any place where you keep medicine.  Chances are you have some expired medicines. If there isn’t a drug disposal event near you, follow these steps:…

Posted in Fall 2011, Features, Issue |

Photo by John Russell

Healing Through Literature

by Leslie Hill Christine Shih cared for a range of patients – adolescents in a student health center, premature babies, elderly eye patients and adults with leukemia – then turned her attention to a different set: the Elizabeth Darcys and Fanny Prices populating the Regency-period English countryside in classic novels by Jane Austen. The Setting…

Posted in Fall 2011, Features, Issue | Tags: ,

Christine Shih’s Reading List

For a true picture of the Borderline personality Lady Susan Jane Austen Mansfield Park Jane Austen Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte The Custom of the Country Edith Wharton Wuthering Heights Emily Bronte Alice in Wonderland Lewis Carroll Jane of Lantern Hill L.M. Montgomery The Bell Jar Sylvia Plath Till We Have Faces C.S. Lewis Look Homeward,…

Posted in Fall 2011, Features, Issue |


Above and Beyond

Doctorally-Prepared Nurses Making an Impact Anyone in the world of nursing knows it is a continuously evolving profession.  As patient needs become more complex and health care reform overhauls take shape, who in the profession will lead the way?  Many believe the answer is:  doctorally-prepared nurses. The problem is that fewer than 1 percent of…

Posted in Fall 2011, Features, Issue | Tags: ,


Rewriting How Nursing Students Learn

by Leslie Hill Everything in health care is constantly evolving, including how students are taught and faculty are trained.  From the virtual world of Second Life to a comprehensive new approach to interprofessional learning, we’re erasing the old chalkboard and rewriting nursing education for the 21st Century. A New World The sweatpants-clad nursing student winds…

Posted in Features, Issue, Spring 2011 | Tags: ,


Q and A

by Kathy Rivers Tonia Moore-Davis, MSN, CNM, manages the VUSN nurse-midwifery practice at two sites in Nashville with a daily staff of 10 serving clients across a wide cultural, educational and socio-economic spectrum. The faculty practice serves as an incubator for nurse-midwifery students, consistently wins national awards, and delivered more than 1,000 babies last year….

Posted in Features, Issue, Spring 2011 | Tags: ,

Major Access Provisions

According to a Congressional Budget Office estimate, under the provisions of the Accountable Care Act some 32 million more Americans will acquire health coverage by 2019. • Minimum Medicaid eligibility will expand to 133 percent of the poverty level, increasing the rolls by an estimated 19 million people (current Medicaid enrollment is 47 million). •…

Posted in Features, Issue, Spring 2011 |

Major Cost and Quality Provisions

The law seeks innovation in care delivery. • CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services) will establish an innovation center to test new models of payment and care delivery. The law leaves the agency free to adopt any solutions found to lower costs and preserve or improve health care quality. • Medicare is freed to…

Posted in Features, Issue, Spring 2011 |

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