Bobcat Nurse Winter 2020

5 Campuses ONE College

From the Desk of Dean Shannon

Happy New Year! Join me in welcoming what promises to be an important decade for nursing.

2020 has been designated The Year of the Nurse and Midwife by WHO in honor of Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday. Two questions come to mind: why has Florence Nightingale’s impact endured for two centuries and why is 2020 important for nursing?

The Enduring Legacy of Florence Nightingale

This icon of nursing is popularly known as the “Lady with the Lamp” due to her caring presence at night on the Scutari hospital wards during the Crimean War in the 1850s. While poetic, Florence Nightingale’s 200 years of respect was earned for very different reasons. As a young woman, she received a robust education including Italian, Latin, Greek, philosophy, history and mathematics. She is considered one of the early statisticians pioneering a new way to graphically display data. But Florence Nightingale is most famous as the founder of modern nursing. Her 1859 book, Notes on Nursing, was the cornerstone of the curriculum for her school, now known as the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery, and became popular with the public for the valuable information on maintaining and restoring health. Two centuries after her birth, Florence Nightingale remains a model of a visionary leader; a person who had a global impact on nursing and health.

2020 and Nursing: A Visionary Year

We start the new year, new decade with optimism. Nurses and midwives account for nearly 50% of the healthcare workforce globally. Yet the world faces a shortage of health workers with nurses and midwives accounting for half of needed workers. States like Montana face shortages in rural areas of nurses, primary care providers and mental health workers. At MSU College of Nursing, we are proud to share the ways we are addressing Montana’s needs. In this newsletter read about:

  • Expansion of existing accelerated BSN program to CON Billings campus with an innovative partnership model where students will be partnered with a rural clinical agency in eastern Montana for 6 weeks of intensive learning.
  • Our grant-funded Rural Ready Nurse Practitioner Program where students in the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program are learning additional skills to become better prepared as rural and frontier family or psych-mental health nurse practitioners.
  • The Caring for Our Own Program which celebrated its 20th anniversary and 100th Native American BSN graduate in 2019 and is going strong into the next decade helping to meet the need for nurses and nurse practitioners in Tribal communities.
  • The NEPQR grant which is helping the College of Nursing to educate nurses for the next decade by expanding clinical opportunities for BSN students to primary and ambulatory settings, particularly in rural areas.

MSU College of Nursing looks forward to partnering with you and others across our beautiful state over the coming decade.

Best wishes for good health in the new year to you, your family, friends and communities,

"NURSES are the heart of healthcare." - Donna Wilk Cardill

2019 Homecoming Awards

2019 Alumni Achievement Award

Christine Williams, MSN, RN

Christine Williams earned her BSN and Master’s from MSU College of Nursing. Her career has focused on caring for rural Montanans and educating others who care for rural people. Ms. Williams serves as Director of Education at Montana Health Network and Director of the Northeastern Montana Area Health Education Center.

2019 Distinguished Faculty Award

Wade Hill, PhD, DNP, PMHNP

Dr. Wade Hill joined MSU 16 years ago when he was lured back to the Rocky Mountains where he was raised. He is both PhD and DNP prepared with specializations in public and mental health. Dr. Hill has focused on teaching, research and service to help communities become healthier places to live, work and play.

2019 Distinguished Staff Award

Kate Hallowell, MFA

Kate Hallowell serves as the graduate program coordinator for the College of Nursing. Since joining the College of Nursing, she has seen the DNP program grow from 18 students in 2014 to 109 future nurse practitioners in 2019. Ms. Hallowell brings professionalism and a wry wit to her work.

2019 Honorary Alumni Award

Honey Newton, CNM, FNP

Honey Newton is a Certified Nurse Midwife and Family Nurse Practitioner who has practiced for over a decade in Montana, Colorado and Utah. She loves students and regularly precepts undergraduate and graduate Bobcat nursing students. Ms. Newton’s practice is exemplified by its commitment to social justice.

2019 Valued MSU Partner Award

Tanya Giop

Tanya Giop is the Senior Lead Payroll Tech in MSU Human Resources where she has worked for three and a half years. With the CON’s five-campus organizational structure, she is a key partner for ensuring that CON faculty and staff receive their pay. Ms. Giop graduated from MSU with a degree in Elementary Education.
$500,000 donated to MSU by Frank Schurz for the NEW AMERICAN INDIAN HALL

2019 Homecoming Blue and Gold Awardee

Supporting Students through GENEROSITY

Frank Schurz

A retired executive and avid outdoorsman, Frank Schurz chose the Bozeman area as his retirement home. For 24 years, Mr. Schurz was CEO of Schurz Communications, a family business in South Bend, Indiana where he worked for a total of 50 years. Schurz Communications publishes thirteen daily newspapers and has thirteen radio stations, five television subsidiaries, two cable companies and a printing company. Mr. Schurz graduated from Harvard University in 1952 and is a veteran of the Korean War. He believes in the power of education to change lives. He is the founder of the Opportunity Scholars Program, which has created scholarships at several U.S. universities. At MSU, he generously donated $1.2 million to create an endowment to support three Native American students each year in the accelerated BSN program. He also contributed $500,000 to MSU’s new American Indian Hall, which broke ground this fall. Mr. Schurz’s generosity has created opportunity – the chance for more Native American students to achieve their dream to become nurses and serve Montana’s Tribal communities.

Frank Schurz donated $1.2 million to create an ENDOWMENT TO SUPPORT three American Indian nursing students each year

Nursing Student TEAMWORK

Montana and Ecuador are similar yet very different. Ecuador is mountainous, but also home to the Galápagos Islands. Spanish is the official language but 13 indigenous Amerindian languages are recognized. Ecuadorians in rural areas experience difficulty accessing healthcare similar to some rural Montanans. Each March a group of Bobcat nursing students has the opportunity to travel to Guangaje, Ecuador. Under the supervision of CON faculty they provide healthcare to rural villagers living in the high Andes Mountains near the equator. This year 14 students participated in this two-week opportunity. Learning starts at 5 am ending around 8:30 pm each night. A team of volunteer healthcare providers sets up clinics in five separate villages ultimately providing care for nearly 400 Ecuadorians. A key service provided is referrals so villagers can access needed specialty care. This year the team helped a 9-year old girl receive a lifesaving heart surgery. Global learning translates to local caring when Bobcat nurses practice teamwork across the world.

The MSU's nursing students worked closely and seamless with their Ecuadorian team.
45 nursing students have provided PHYSICAL & ORAL HEALTH SCREENINGS for Tribal community children
272 BSN Graduates EACH YEAR

IMPACT on Policy

Dr. Sally Moyce

Are we doing enough to protect people who work long hours outside in the heat? That question drives Dr. Sally Moyce’s research passion. Heat-related illness (HRI) is an occupational hazard for outdoor agricultural workers who are four-times more likely than workers in other industries to experience this health condition. HRI affects kidney health and can lead to chronic kidney failure, requiring long term dialysis or kidney transplantation. Three U.S. states have laws that require employers to take measures to prevent HRI. But, do these laws work? Dr. Moyce is examining HRI prevention policies and their enforcement to determine the effects on agricultural worksites. She received a grant from MSU’s Initiative for Regulation and Applied Economic Analysis to determine if employers in states with existing HRI prevention policies are more likely to provide water to their workers. Dr. Moyce also received a grant from the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses to investigate the effect citations for violating HRI prevention laws have on the provision of water for agricultural workers. Dr. Moyce hopes her research findings will provide evidence to support effective federal legislation to increase protection of outdoor workers’ health.

15 GRANT-FUNDED projects

Interdisciplinary SERVICE

Clinical Instructor Marcy Hanson (middle)

For Marcy Hanson, clinical instructor on the CON Missoula campus, working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was a dream. That dream came true in March when she was selected as the Montana Ambassador for the CDC program, Learn the Signs. Act Early. The aim of this program is early identification of children with autism and other developmental disabilities so kids and families can get the services and support they need in a timely way. As an ambassador, Ms. Hanson disseminates program education and resources about developmental milestones to caregivers and healthcare providers in Montana to support early recognition and intervention for children with developmental delays. “Maternal and child health is my passion. Being able to reach vulnerable children and families through this work is the realization of a lifelong goal.” Ms. Hanson currently is pursuing a PhD in public health to further her interdisciplinary work and advocacy for vulnerable children across Montana.

93 STUDENTS - current Graduate Program enrollment

Celebrating SUCCESS

Caring for Our Own Program's 20th Anniversary and 100th Graduate

In October, the College of Nursing’s Caring for Our Own Program (CO-OP) celebrated its 20th anniversary and 100th BSN graduate! Alumni, faculty, friends, family and MSU leaders were invited to the opening of a photographic exhibition in Sherrick Hall chronicling the history. The CO-OP was founded in 1999 to help improve the quality of health care in Indian Country by increasing the number of qualified Native Americans /Alaska Natives entering the nursing profession. CO-OP alums present at the event received a commemorative pin and talked about the impact CO-OP had in their lives and what it was like to provide high quality nursing care in their communities. At the Alumni Awards Ceremony held in Leigh Lounge, Dean Shannon commented, “Many of our CO-OP alumni have returned to MSU for graduate degrees in nursing. This year we admitted six American Indian students – 10% of the new class – to the Doctor of Nursing Practice program where students become nurse practitioners.” CO-OP is a signature program within MSU College of Nursing and we are proud to celebrate 20 years and 100 BSN graduates.

Anniversary celebration held in Anna Pearl Sherrick Hall
7% AMERICAN INDIAN undergraduate nursing students enrolled

GIVING Back to the Community

Emily Schmitt became interested in MSU after learning about the Caring for Our Own Program (CO-OP) and the opportunity for Indian Health Service Scholarships. She is a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of the Chippewa Indians in Michigan. Emily moved to Montana to complete the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program where she proved herself a tenacious student and scholar. For her DNP project, Emily partnered with one of Montana’s tribal communities on a topic chosen by community members – education on head trauma resulting from abuse. Emily applied for and received funding to support this work and presented it nationally. In addition, Emily served as a nurse mentor to American Indian pre-nursing students and worked with BSN nursing students on the Fort Peck reservation. Emily graduated with her DNP degree in May 2019 with a 4.0 GPA. She is now a family nurse practitioner giving back to her community through her work in an Indian Health Service facility.

Honoring Emily Schmitt at the CO-OP Blanket Ceremony


The College of Nursing is delighted to introduce Monti Pavatea-Gilham as the new program manager for the Caring for Our Own program (CO-OP). She is Blackfeet and Hopi with an extensive background assisting and supporting Native American students to achieve their educational goals. Ms. Pavatea-Gilham served as department chair and instructor for the office administration department at Blackfeet Community College for eleven years. During this time, she also was an advisor for the Student American Indigenous Business Leaders chapter encouraging students to develop their leadership skills. While attending graduate school, Ms. Pavatea-Gilham worked with the Executive American Indian Business Leaders Association and served as the project coordinator for the MSU American Indian/Alaska Native Student Support Services. “My goal is to help CO-OP nursing students implement their knowledge throughout Native communities.” The CON is lucky that Ms. Pavatea-Gilham has chosen to join its talented team of staff!

Monti Pavatea-Gilham
Accelerated BSN program ADMITS 64 students annually

Bozeman Campus

Bozeman Campus faculty members Ann Galloway and Jennifer Sofie were two of only 24 faculty accepted nationally into the distinguished Edmond J. Safra Visiting Nurse Faculty Program at the Parkinson’s Foundation. This 40-hour program helps nursing faculty prepare students to provide better care for those affected by Parkinson’s disease.

Billings Campus

The accelerated BSN program is expanding to include the Billings Campus starting summer semester 2020! This 15-month program is designed for 2nd degree students. The Billings Campus is partnering with clinical agencies across Eastern Montana to allow students to spend six weeks total learning in rural facilities.

Great Fall Campus

Great Falls Campus accelerated BSN students Glenn Falcon and Adessa Durglo received Pendleton blankets during the August ABSN Recognition Ceremony in Bozeman. Glenn and Adessa participated in the Caring for Our Own Program and were supported through the Opportunity Scholars program made possible by a generous donor.

Kalispell Campus

Kalispell Campus faculty member Rexanne Wieferich is collaborating with MSU biomedical engineering students to bring an idea to reality (and market). She designed a simulator to assess, educate and evaluate knowledge in performing an electrocardiogram (ECG). Through the MSU Technologies and Transfers Office, Ms. Wieferich received a patent and is now beta-testing!

Missoula Campus

The Missoula Campus received a facelift with the renovation and expansion of the simulation learning space located in the basement of Corbin Hall. This included a new student break room and study area, which became instantly popular! Many thanks to Providence St. Patrick Hospital who donated hospital beds for the new space.
14 DNP students were accepted into the College of Nursing's Rural Ready Nurse Practitioner Scholars Program

EDUCATING Rural Ready Nurse Practitioners

Montana, like most rural states, faces a shortage of primary and mental health care providers. Nurse practitioners are key to solving this shortage. To meet the health care needs of Montana’s rural and frontier communities, the College of Nursing applied for and received a HRSA Advanced Nursing Education Workforce Training grant. The Rural Ready Nurse Practitioner Program is a four-year, nearly $2.8 million federal grant that will be used to expand and enhance the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. MSU students selected to be a Rural Ready Scholar will complete the rigorous MSU DNP program while receiving additional training important for practice in a rural community; such as advanced cardiac life support and advanced trauma life support. Students in the program are eligible to receive support for tuition/fees, travel, housing, books, equipment and other expenses. The full version of this story, written by Anne Cantrell, can be found by clicking the link below.

Building SUSTAINABLE Primary Care

News flash! Nurses don’t just work in hospitals. Over the next decade, more of health care will be delivered in primary, ambulatory, and home settings. While this fact is well-known, nursing education continues to prepare nurses as if health care will occur primarily at the hospital bedside. MSU College of Nursing is looking toward the future. The CON received a grant from HRSA to recruit and train nursing students and current RNs to practice the full scope of their nursing license in primary care teams, especially in rural areas. The goal of the NEPQR Partnership grant is to create a sustainable primary care nursing workforce educated to address urgent public health issues, improve access to care, and work toward better population health outcomes. With NEPQR grant support, MSU CON is ensuring Bobcat nurses have learning opportunities in rural primary and ambulatory settings to experience the future of nursing!

Currently 71 undergraduate students are completing the Rural Primary Care Tract

Student Athlete Getting it Done on the Volleyball Court

Alyssa Rizzo

Allyssa Rizzo, a Bobcat volleyball standout and senior nursing student, just capped a stellar career in the Blue and Gold. A product of Crestwood, Illinois, she was recently named the Big Sky Conference Libero of the Year. The libero is a defensive specialist who is always on the court. She also serves as the team’s heart and soul. Named first-team all-Big Sky, Allyssa smashed the Montana State all-time digs record! A dig is keeping an attacked ball in play. Allyssa became just one of three players in Big Sky Conference history to go over the 2,000-dig milestone. Congratulations to Allyssa on an outstanding volleyball career! We know those teamwork skills and “saves” will come in handy in her next career as a Bobcat Nurse.

Congratulations to Allyssa on an outstanding career!

Student Athlete Getting it Done on the Basketball Court

Tori Martell

Tori Martell is an MSU junior nursing student on the CON’s Bozeman campus. She grew up in Somerset, Wisconsin and came to MSU to study nursing and play for the MSU women’s basketball team. This season, Tori leads the team in 3-point shooting having connected on seventeen 3-pointers during the early season. Tori is averaging 6.7 points per game and is shooting 45.2% from the field and 37.8% from long distance. As a junior baccalaureate nursing student, Tori is learning new skills off the court. Junior nursing students build on their foundational knowledge through courses in pharmacotherapeutics and psychosocial care while developing nursing care knowledge and skills in theory and clinical courses. Junior nursing students also learn about how research informs knowledge in healthcare and nursing and are introduced to community-based nursing.

Excellent accuracy Tori!

Celebrating New Beginnings - RETIREMENTS

Starting on the left: Dr. Jean Shreffler-Grant, Dr. Charlene "Charlie" Winters, Dr. Sandra Kuntz

Oldest State-Supported Institution in Montana Offering Nursing Education, EST. 1937
It would not be possible to praise nurses too highly. – Stephen Ambrose


Created with images by Paxson Woelber - "Skiing the classic Arctic to Indian backcountry traverse through Chugach State Park. The 21-mile traverse starts at Arctic Valley and ends at Indian, on the edge of Turnagain Arm. Most skiers attempt the traverse in March, when warm temperatures, good snow cover, and long daylight make the epic trip more enjoyable." • Dominik Dombrowski - "Cold lake" • Raisa Milova - "untitled image" • Roman Trofimiuk - "Sun on evergreen branch" • Martin Sattler - "Winter Composing" • Dan Moldoveanu - "Snow on needles" • Wil Stewart - "Wooded hill on a winter’s day" • Denys Nevozhai - "I was driving home from Mammoth Lakes by 88 somewhere near Kirkwood when suddenly after another turn this view has appeared. Not thinking too much I crossed double solids :) and parked on the other side. I left the car and walked in the knee deep snow for like 10 meters further from the road to reach untouched powder and take some nice sunset photos. This was one of them." • Les Anderson - "untitled image" • Pigoff PhotographY - "For the fullres photo, please contact me at pigoff@gmail.com" • Aaron Burden - "Ice bubble on branch" • Casey Horner - "untitled image" • Cristina Munteanu - "Canton in Switzerland" • Robson Hatsukami Morgan - "untitled image" • Aaron Burden - "untitled image" • Aaron Burden - "untitled image" • CJ Dayrit - "Lost in winter" • Shelby Miller - "untitled image" • Aaron Burden - "untitled image" • Les Anderson - "Frozen winter forest" • Dyaa Eldin - "untitled image" • Ben Cliff - "We were on our way to mammoth mountain, when we stumbled upon two abandoned houses along the thruway. We stop to explore them and I was able to capture a perfect picture moment." • Caleb George - "Deer herd on a winter’s day" • Nathan Anderson - "untitled image" • Denis Degioanni - "I took this shot in a middle of “the vallée des merveilles” in the south Alps. I couldn’t see anything neither hear a single sound, everything was so quiet and so dark. But gradually I started to hear a breath, a whisper. And I think for the first time in my life I heard the stars sing." • Ryan Hutton - "Trees against purple night sky" • Alessandro Viaro - "Night sky over a snowy forest" • Benjamin Voros - "untitled image" • Ales Krivec - "Battling winter" • Dominik Lange - "untitled image" • Mira Kemppainen - "When I was visiting the home village Sodankylä everything was covered with ice." • adrian - "Fresh snow at Trillium Lake" • Matt Nelson - "untitled image"