Category Archives: Nursing

Breen School of Nursing Professor Karen Link recognized by Ohio League for Nursing for work in mental health


Breen School of Nursing professor Karen Link, RN, MSN, CNS, CNE has been awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award by the Ohio League for Nursing at the Annual OLN Education Summit. The educator selected for this award is chosen from nominees throughout the State of Ohio.

Link has been an educator for more than seven years, a clinical nurse specialist and a nurse for more than 40 years. Her passion for excellence in teaching and her specialty of psychiatric and mental health nursing is unparalleled. Link obtained the Certified Nurse Educator designation in 2013, demonstrating her commitment to teaching excellence.

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Student Nurses of Ursuline College raise over $3,500 for American Heart Association


On Saturday, March 1 2014, SNUC (Student Nurses of Ursuline College) hosted the ninth annual Go Red for Women Campaign Fundraiser (launched by the American Heart Association) to benefit research efforts in the fight against women’s heart disease.

Heart disease is the #1 cause of death in women, claiming the lives of nearly 500,000 women each year. We raised over $3600 to help find the cure! On behalf of SNUC and the American Heart Association, we would like to say a special thank you to all who made this event possible.

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Ursuline kicks-off Women’s History Month with “Waiting for MacArthur” Feb 28, March 1

waiting for macarthur

Ursuline College Drama Workshop presents “Waiting for MacArthur,” a World War II story of the courage and valor of the women who served in the Army Nursing Corps on Corregidor, 8 PM Feb 28 and March 1 in the Mullen Little Theater, Mullen Academic Center, 2550 Lander Road, Pepper Pike, OH 44124.

Starring Ursuline students Rhianna McChesney, Haley Tinlin, Hannah Cotton and Natalie Huggins, the play revolves around the experiences of women during WWII, specifically an Army Nursing Corps nurse, her mother, her English teacher and her best friend.

According to Independent Press, playwright P. Paullette MacDougal’s “Waiting for MacArthur” is a “poignant look at love and war.” MacDougal dedicated her play to “The Greatest Generation”; the men and women whose sacrifice during WWII saved the world for liberty and freedom because it was “the right thing to do.”

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Gov. John Kasich appoints Breen School of Nursing Associate Dean to Ohio Board of Nursing


Ursuline College is pleased to announce that Gov. John Kasich appointed Dr. Patricia Sharpnack, DNP, RN, CNE, NEA-BC, Associate Dean of the Breen School of Nursing, to the Ohio Board of Nursing Feb 12. As a member of the Board, Sharpnack will be among a select group of eight registered nurses in Ohio appointed to ensure that state nursing laws are upheld.

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Student Nurses of Ursuline College to host ninth annual ‘Go Red For Women’ fundraiser March 1

go redUrsuline College student organization to take the lead on supporting public health awareness by hosting a Go Red for Women Campaign Fundraiser. The Student Nurses of Ursuline College (SNUC) are proud to support the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign for the ninth consecutive year. The Fundraiser will benefit research efforts in the fight against women’s heart disease.

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Nursing Professor and Graduate Student Receive Top Awards from OAAPN

Graduate student Amy Megery and professor Dr. Laura Goliat from the Breen School of Nursing recently received awards from the Ohio Association of Advanced Practice Nurses (OAAPN), two out of seven awards given by the organization nationwide.

The OAAPN held its 23rd Annual Statewide Conference at the Hilton Inn Polaris this past October in Columbus, Ohio. This year’s conference was the largest in the organization’s history with over 600 advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) attending.

Each year at the conference, the OAAPN recognizes four outstanding APRN students across the state who promote leadership and seek to make a positive difference in the healthcare field. This year, Megery, an Ursuline College graduate nursing student, was chosen as one of the 2013 scholarship award recipients. Recipients were given a $1,500 award to advance the professional development of APRN’s. Candidates selected have demonstrated a deep commitment to promoting the values and philosophy of the organization and are seen as a positive representative for APRNs in the future.

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Photo Credit: Google Images

Affordable Care Act Breakdown Part II: The Disadvantages

Much controversy surrounds the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA). There is no doubt that this legislation will have will have wide-ranging implications for all Americans. The Act, which was designed to reduce healthcare costs and improve access to healthcare, offers some advantages (which we looked at yesterday) and disadvantages.

Disadvantages of the PPACA include:

Recent research predicts that the implementation of the PPACA, coupled with the nation’s aging population, could lead to a shortage of 52,000 primary care physicians by 2025. However, the role of the Advanced Practice Nurse could effectively be expanded to address this shortage.

• Pharmaceutical companies will pay an extra $84.8 billion in fees over the next ten years to pay for closing the “donut hole” in Medicare. This could raise drug costs if they pass these fees on to consumers.

• Americans who don’t pay for insurance and don’t qualify for Medicaid will be assessed a tax of $95 (or 1 percent of income, whichever is higher) in 2014. The tax will increase to $325 (or 2 percent of income) in 2015, and $695 (or 2.5 percent of income) in 2016. Individuals with annual incomes above $200,000 and couples with incomes above $250,000 will be required to pay higher taxes to help cover costs of the program. Starting in 2014, income tax deduction of medical expenses must exceed 10 percent of income, rather than today’s 7.5 percent of income. Additionally, Medicare tax will be used to fund implementation of the PPACA legislation.

• The cost of the PPACA on small business is predicted to be significant; some analysts forecast that in order to financially survive, 80 percent of small business will be forced to drop current health insurance plans within three years following PPACA’s 2014 implementation (NFIB, 2011). The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) also asserts that the PPACA promotes incentives for businesses to reduce their workforce. Associated costs to adequately monitor and comply with new regulations of the PPACA are substantial, and may result in greater overhead to those companies with small profit margins. Tax deductions equal to a 28% subsidy for employer contributions to Medicare-eligible retiree prescription drug plans has been eliminated.

• Certain provisions of the PPACA limit the ability of employees to use flexible spending and health savings accounts to purchase over-the-counter medications without a prescription. Employee contributions to Flexible Spending Accounts will be limited to $2,500. It is believed that by capping these tax-free dollars to $2,500, approximately 24 billion dollars in tax revenue will be generated to pay for the PPACA legislation.

The controversy associated with the implementation of the PPACA is significant; however, this country must address overwhelming healthcare costs and quality issues. Health insurance premiums have grown four times faster than wages over the past eight years. Quality and safety issues are paramount. Whether the PPACA is the answer to the healthcare crisis in America is yet to be seen.

Patricia A. Sharpnack DNP, RN, CNE, NEA-BC is the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Nursing Programs and Associate Professor and Faculty Advisor for Student Nurses of Ursuline College (SNUC) at the Ursuline College Breen School of Nursing. 

Photo Credit: Google Images

Affordable Care Act Breakdown Part 1: The Benefits

Much controversy surrounds the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA). There is no doubt that this legislation will have will have wide-ranging implications for all Americans. The Act, which was designed to reduce healthcare costs and improve access to healthcare, offers some advantages and disadvantages.

Benefits of the PPACA include:

• Thirty-two million Americans who would not have been covered by health insurance either now have coverage or will be able to acquire coverage in 2014. This includes:
o 3.1 million Americans ages 19 through 25 who may be added to their parents’ plans.
o Patients with pre-existing conditions who will no longer be able to be denied coverage by insurance companies. An added benefit to the consumer is that insurance companies will no longer be able to drop insurance plan members once they get sick.
o Individuals who are unable to afford the cost of health insurance. Will be added to state Medicaid program.

• The passage of the PPACA will help facilitate the ability to secure health insurance in the state insurance exchange programs that will ensure coverage for ambulatory patient services, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health, vision and dental care.

• While there is debate on this issue, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the cost of healthcare could be reduced. Since the PPACA ensures that 95 percent of the public are insured, preventative healthcare will be more accessible and may reduce costs of waiting until an illness has progressed.

• The PPACA is supposed to eliminate the Medicare “donut-hole” gap in coverage by 2020. Presently, basic Medicare Part D coverage does the following:
o An individual covered by Medicare pays out-of-pocket for monthly Part D premiums all year. The Medicare recipient is responsible for 100% of your drug costs until the $310 deductible is attained. After reaching the deductible, the individual pays 25% of the cost of the medications, while Part D plan pays the rest, until the total spent reaches $2,800.
o Once this limit is attained, the Medicare recipient has hit the coverage gap referred to as the “donut hole,” and is responsible for the full cost of medications until the total spent reaches the yearly out-of-pocket spending limit of $4,550, at which point the cost is reduced to approximately 5 percent.

• Improved incentives for primary care providers and hospitals that provide for high quality care will be offered. Comparative effectiveness research might also assist in reducing healthcare costs by only approving effective approaches to treating conditions.

Check back tomorrow for a breakdown of the disadvantages of the Affordable Care Act.

Patricia A. Sharpnack DNP, RN, CNE, NEA-BC is the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Nursing Programs and Associate Professor and Faculty Advisor for Student Nurses of Ursuline College (SNUC) at the Ursuline College Breen School of Nursing. 

Team “Nursulines” Participate in The Dirty Girl Mud Run

Early in the morning of July 20, 2013, before we even knew about the tornado that had ripped through our campus just a few hours earlier, six faculty and staff from Ursuline College started driving toward an off-roading course in Garrettsville, Ohio in the drizzling rain. We had been planning this outing for months.  Five of us in Nursing had formed a walking team on the Arrows Walking Club in the fall of 2012 and later, on a whim, signed up for a 5K called the Dirty Girl Mud Run. I will confess here and now that it was my idea, and that the only way I (Patti Stephens) was able to convince Betsy Beach Mosgo, Christine Wynd, Kathy Rogers, and Becky Mitchell to go along with me was to ensure them that 1) we did not have to run the course (we would walk it) and 2) there was a detour option around every obstacle.

The Dirty Girl Mud Run is similar to other obstacle course runs that have become popular in recent years, with one main difference:  the goal is not competition, but team-work. This event is also only open to women, and a portion of registration fees are donated to support the early detection of breast and ovarian cancer (see below or for more information).  For these reasons, I thought it would be a perfect activity for a walking team from a women’s college! We also invited others in the Arrows Walking Club to register with us, and were thrilled when Sue Kramer from the Registrar’s Office decided to join our team, which we had dubbed “Nursulines.”

Dirty Girl Mud Run Finish Line

Dirty Girl Mud Run Finish Line

Several of us started driving that morning at approximately 6:45 a.m. and soon received the text message alerts about the tornado at the school. This is mainly what we discussed while driving and meeting in the parking area before our heat of the event began. There was a steady drizzle, which didn’t dampen our spirits nearly as much as it drenched our custom-made nurse caps and fuzzy pink mustaches, nearly all of which were gone by the time we reached the finish line!

Because of the record rainfall this summer, the course, which is normally for Jeeps and other off-road vehicles, was much wetter than usual. The water obstacles, aptly dubbed “H2OMG,”were much deeper than normal and we helped each other through them in various ways, such as sending a scout ahead to announce the location of particularly large, jagged, or slippery rocks. We also held on to each other for balance throughout many portions of the course. At this point, Christine Wynd could be heard asking, “Whose idea was this again?”

There were horizontal and vertical rope obstacles, mud pits, steep hills, inflatable tubes to crawl through, and giant slides. Amazingly, we all made it through the course with only minor scrapes and bruises, plus a few cases of whiplash from the last giant inflatable slide.  Not every team member attempted every obstacle, but no one had to do an obstacle alone. Kathy Rogers commented that the “feeling of bonding” due to the “common goal” was what made this event exciting for her.   I, too, was surprised by how much we had to depend on each other to get through the course. I had envisioned a fun event which would be a nice team-building activity; I had not realized how hard we would have to work not only individually but collectively to get through all of the various obstacles.  Becky Mitchell’s rope-climbing research paid off as she coached us on how to get up the vertical rope ladders, and watching the teams ahead of us helped us strategize how to cross the vertical rope obstacle as well.  The ropes weren’t the most challenging obstacles, however; the “Utopian Tubes” challenge, which consisted of crawling on hands and knees in the dark through knee-deep mud full of stones (and who knows what else) was painful both physically and mentally!

After our triumphant celebration at the finish line (see photo of us covered in mud), several of us stopped by the campus on our way home to view the damage from the tornado. Sue Kramer waxed philosophical about the parallel between the way the tornado spread nature all over the campus that day and the way our Dirty Girl Mud Run team ended up covered “in nature” (as neurotic TV detective Monk would say). To carry the analogy one step further, I saw how our walking team had to work together to overcome the physical obstacles which blocked our path on the course; similarly, our Ursuline Community will need to work together to overcome the obstacles that mother nature imposed on us during the tornado. Betsy Beach reminded us repeatedly that the Dirty Girl Mud Run  was “not a nature walk” and later commented that “facing challenges and overcoming obstacles is the Ursuline way,” which is also a great thing to remember at this difficult time of recovery from the tornado.

With the joint goal of empowering women to lead healthy lifestyles, Dirty Girl and Bright Pink will urge the hundreds of thousands of women who participate annually in Dirty Girl events to be proactive with their breast and ovarian health.

Dirty Girl is a for-profit company that believes strongly in the cause of finding a cure for breast cancer, in educating women about health and in supporting cancer victims and survivors. Dirty Girl will be contributing $250,000 to Bright Pink in 2013 to further this mission.

Dirty Girl Mud Run also provides free registrations to cancer survivors who want to muck it up in the mud at one of the 60 events across the county.

Dirty Girl is honored to have Bright Pink as an official charity partner and we look forward to sharing in their mission by encouraging this critical mass of women to understand the signs, symptoms, and risk factors of breast and ovarian cancer.