Undergraduate Nursing News Spring 2019 Department of nursing newsletter

View from the Chair

by Kim Fenstermacher, Ph.D., CRNP

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17

This scripture has been my guiding verse throughout my journey of Christian faith. But this fall, as I transitioned into my new role as the Chair of the Department of Nursing at Messiah College, this verse has been my daily prayer. My fervent desire is that I will honor God in all that I do in life, and this past year, that meant following the call to join the Community of Educators at Messiah College. It’s not all that easy to change jobs after you reach a certain age! But I had a peace that was guiding my heart, and so without hesitation, I arrived on campus on August 1, 2018 to begin this new chapter in my life. I was quickly immersed in the onboarding process of meeting my new colleagues and finding my way around campus. From the moment I arrived, I have felt warmly welcomed by the Messiah community.

There is truly something special here at Messiah College. It’s almost palpable! As a qualitative researcher, I tend to see big picture “themes” in my experiences, and my transition to the role of Chair is no exception. Here are the themes that I have noted in my first six months as Chair that describe Messiah Nursing: a spirit of caring hospitality, a commitment to academic excellence, a focus on evidence-based practice, an appreciation for global perspective, and a spirit of innovation and improvement. As any good qualitative researcher knows, we must back up our assertions with data. Here’s the evidence!

A spirit of caring hospitality: First, there is a palpable spirit of caring hospitality at Messiah College, beautifully modeled by our college president, Dr. Kim Phipps. This caring is lived out through action as evidenced by the way our student nurses and faculty rally in prayerful support of one another. For example, this fall, right before mid-term exams, senior nursing students wrote words of encouragement and scripture all over the blackboard in the classroom where the juniors would be taking their exam. Later, during finals week in December, students wrote words of affirmation on cards that were placed in the student lounge to uplift and support each other. Recently, sophomore students were “matched” to senior students in a mentoring program to offer support as the sophomore nursing students transition into their first clinical courses. It is truly wonderful to behold this caring spirit in these future nurses!

A commitment to academic excellence: Secondly, there is a commitment to produce excellence in academic quality and rigor. I see this excellence lived out daily by the faculty and staff across the undergraduate and graduate levels, as they pour out their talent and time in service to our students. I also see excellence in the performance of our most recent 2018 baccalaureate graduates who made us so proud with their 97.4% first time NCLEX pass rate! Congratulations to the Class of 2018! Kudos are also due to Dr. Megan Gross who finished her PhD in 2018 and was named a Jonas Scholar by the National League for Nursing. Dr. Gross will present her dissertation findings at the 2019 Eastern Nursing Research Society conference in April 2019 in Providence, Rhode Island. Dr. Kristen Slabaugh, Coordinator of the BS to DNP/FNP program published results of her DNP project, titled “Initiation of Standardized Depression Screening in College Health: A Quality Improvement Project” in the Journal of Doctoral Nursing Practice.

A focus on evidence-based practice: Thirdly, Messiah nursing students are participating in evidence-based practice projects with nurses from both Geisinger Holy Spirit and UPMC Pinnacle Hospitals as part of their senior level Nursing Research course. This partnership between our students and area Magnet-designated hospitals has been a win-win as our students learn the knowledge and skill of evidence appraisal and begin to appreciate the value of improving patient outcomes with the best evidence to guide their practice. The intentional focus on evidence-based practice is preparing our graduates with the knowledge and skills to engage in the important work of delivering nursing care that is safe, efficient and effective. Additionally, the opportunity to work with practicing nurses to answer a clinical question and synthesize the evidence culminates in a poster and podium presentation at the annual Nursing Research and Evidence-based Practice conferences for both Geisinger Holy Spirit (Fall conference) and UPMC Pinnacle (Spring conference).

An appreciation for global perspective: Our students are gaining global perspective and honing their clinical judgment and critical thinking in real life as they engage in study abroad either in the fall of sophomore year or during Senior Practicum. There is a rich appreciation for cultural diversity and a new found realization of the limitations of healthcare resources among the students who studied abroad in Thailand and Zambia. They saw first-hand the challenges that face nurses in the small African villages and under-served communities in Thailand.

A spirit of innovation and improvement: I am excited about the innovative teaching strategies and interprofessional opportunities that we are infusing across our curriculum. For example, senior nursing students will participate in an interprofessional ethics case study simulation as part of their senior seminar In April. They will also join students from the health-related graduate degree programs at Messiah College to participate in an interprofessional simulation at our Winding Hill location. Also in April, students from the Community Health course will lead the annual college-wide Disaster Drill, engaging the participation of multiple disciplines across campus. We continue to strive for continual improvement of our program and to that end, we hope to introduce the ELNEC modules across our junior and senior level courses in Fall semester 2019. This state of the art curriculum will prepare our students with competencies in the delivery of nursing care for patients at end of life or those receiving palliative care. In another continuous quality improvement project, we have been evaluating and improving how we measure the outcomes of the summative simulation that our students do at the end of every clinical course. We were pleased to welcome Dr. Melody Seitz as the new Simulation Coordinator and Rachel Lippert, Sim Lab Coordinator. Both are doing an excellent job keeping our simulation center running smoothly and efficiently.

In closing, it is a privilege for me to follow in the footsteps of former department chair and longtime friend and colleague, Dr. Nancy Woods who retired last summer. Under the astute leadership of the past chairs of nursing, including the most recent leadership of Dr. Woods and Dr. Carolyn Kreamer, as well as the leadership of Dr. Louann Zinsmeister and Dr. Kristen Slabaugh in the Graduate programs, the Messiah College Department of Nursing has become known for its academic excellence, pursuit of evidence-based practice, and commitment to service. These qualities are what drew me to Messiah. At our first department meeting of the 2018-2019 academic year, I challenged the faculty and staff to join me in this prayer from Colossians chapter 3, and to also do as Paul admonishes us: “Put on then as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness and patience (Col. 3:12; ESV).” I want Messiah Nursing to be known for nursing excellence, but above all, my desire is that we are a nursing program that honors the Lord in all we do. My commitment is to honor the legacy of excellence that I inherited and to do my best to honor the Lord in word and in deed, giving thanks to the Lord for leading me to Messiah College.

Blessings, Kim Fenstermacher, PhD, CRNP

Faculty News

Congratulations to Megan Gross, PhD, MPH, RN who successfully defended her dissertation on “The Impact of Text Messages on Anxiety and Health-Promoting Behaviors Among Baccalaureate Nursing Students: A Mixed-Methods Approach” in the summer of 2018!
  • Kim Fenstermacher published Fenstermacher, K., & Hupcey, J. E. (2019). Support for young Black urban women after perinatal loss. MCN: Maternal Child Nursing, 44(1), 13-19. doi:10.1097/NMC.0000000000000485
  • Kristen Slabaugh published Slabaugh, K., Harris, S., and Wilcock, S. (2018). Initiation of standardized depression screening in college health: A quality improvement project. Journal of Doctoral Nursing Practice, 11(2), 143-148. http://dx.doi.org/10.1891/2380-9418.11.2.143
  • Marti Derr completed a certification course as a Trauma Professional through the Arizona Trauma Institute
  • Megan Gross presented “The Impact of Text Messages on Anxiety and Health-Promoting Behaviors among Baccalaureate Nursing Students: A Mixed-Methods Approach” at the Eastern Nursing Research Society and poster presentation at the UPMC Pinnacle Nursing Research Conference.
  • Megan Gross was appointed as a National League of Nursing Jonas Scholar.

A Time of Change

L: Debbie Loop, Pam Linstedt, Dr. Nancy Woods, & Eileen Gardner (L-R) transitioned into new roles at the end of the 2017-2018 academic year. R: Current faculty and staff celebrated the upcoming retirements of several faculty and staff members.

At the end of the 2017-2018 academic year, the Department of Nursing said goodbye to four faculty and staff members. A retirement celebration for Dr. Nancy Woods, Pam Linstedt, and Eileen Gardner commemorated their service over the years. The event brought faculty, staff, and family members together to relive memories and bless them as they moved into this new phase of life. Additionally, it was a time to gather with previous faculty and staff and current adjunct faculty. Following dinner and time of fellowship, Dr. Louann Zinsmeister led a time of sharing favorite memories. Each retiree received a basket of retirement goodies including flip-flops, a book, and gift cards.

The following week, the department thanked Debbie Loop for years of service as she prepared to transition to a new simulation educator position with Penn State University, Behrend. Memories and food were shared and the department presented her with a Messiah College throw.

Even though we no longer see these valued faculty and staff members daily, we are fortunate to remain in touch and occasionally see them on campus. Dr. Nancy Woods and Pam Linstedt continue to teach as adjunct faculty. Eileen Gardner will complete her Master’s in Counseling from Messiah College this May and Debbie Loop is completing her Doctorate of Nursing Practice project on campus. We continue to be grateful for their many years of service to nursing students and Messiah College.

Welcome, Mel Seitz!

My name is Melody Seitz and I am an Assistant Professor and the Simulation Educator for the Department of Nursing. I received a set of Cherry Ames books when I was in junior high school (now called middle school). The books were about an eighteen year-old girl who went to nursing school and her career after graduation. While reading those books, I fell in love with nursing and knew I wanted to be a nurse. While in high school, I started as a volunteer, called candy stripers back then, at York Hospital. I wanted to be able to do more so I completed the required training to be a nursing assistant and began working as such, first in a long-term care facility and then, at York Hospital. After high school graduation, I became a Licensed Practical Nurse and two years after completing that program, I returned to school to obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Over the course of my career, I have worked in every area of nursing except for the emergency department. Through those experiences, I discovered my love for maternal newborn health. I loved caring for women during one of the most vulnerable times of their life – childbirth. I also discovered I had a passion for teaching. I frequently was a preceptor for new employees and always volunteered to work with nursing students. This gave me an opportunity to share my knowledge. My passion for teaching led me to return to school for a master’s degree with a focus on nursing education.

After receiving my master’s degree, I transitioned from the bedside to the nursing education department at Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC) and there discovered a third passion—simulation. In the education department, I was responsible for the learning needs and competencies of nurses working in the maternal newborn departments. A co-worker from the nursing education department and I would take a CPR mannequin to the one of the maternal newborn departments. Upon arrival to the unit, we would select an empty room, place the CPR mannequin in the bed and pull the emergency call bell. When nurses came running in the room, we would tell them the patient (AKA CPR mannequin) was blue and not breathing followed by “show us what you are going to do to help them.” And so my love for simulation began. That was twelve years ago.

While working full-time in the nursing education department at GBMC, I began working as an OB clinical instructor for Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and two years after that, I began working for Messiah College as a clinical instructor for Nursing Care of the Childbearing Family, Foundations of Nursing Practice, and Community Health Nursing. In the midst of working two jobs (one full-time and one part-time), I knew I wanted to work in academia full-time but also knew that was highly unlikely since I did not have a doctoral degree. Keep in mind, I started my nursing career as a nursing assistant then became an LPN, then obtained a bachelor’s degree and followed by a master’s degree. Returning to school was not on my to-do list and the thought of defending a dissertation, well let me just say my response to that thought was “I’m not doing that!”

I vacillated between applying and not applying to a doctoral program for years. After a lot of praying and numerous conversations with God, my husband, children, and several friends, I applied to and was accepted into the University of Texas at Tyler’s Nursing Ph.D. program. Imagine my surprise when I was informed the school generously allowed up to five years to complete the program. I did not want to spend the next 5 years in school! So with support from God, my husband, children, and friends, I successfully completed the PhD program in 3 ½ years. As the end of my PhD program drew near, I began looking for a full-time position in academia. Sadly, Messiah College did not have any full-time positions that could use my expertise, so I accepted one at Notre Dame of Maryland University (NDMU) in Baltimore, just a few miles down the street from GBMC. I spent two years there teaching OB & undergraduate and graduate nursing research. Toward the end my second year at NDMU, I received a phone call about an open simulation educator position at Messiah College. I applied, interviewed and was offered the position and the rest, as they say, is history. I feel blessed to be back at Messiah and look forward to spending time preparing students to be the next generation of nurses.

On a more personal note, I am happily married to the love of my life. He is my best friend and my biggest cheerleader. Without him, I would be lost. He is a retired from the U.S. Air Force Reserves after 23 years in aircraft maintenance. He owns his own machine shop and enjoys working in the Research and Development Division of NAVSEA as a machinist. We love to travel and spend time outdoors. We also love to scuba dive. I spent several years as a volunteer at the Baltimore Aquarium as a dive team and search and rescue team member. Both were awesome experiences. We have two beautiful children, Eric, who is 31 and a machinist, and Nicole, who is 27 and attending York College in pursuit of an accounting degree. They too are scuba divers and together, we have enjoyed several dive trips. My daughter and I prefer diving in warm water which means trips to the Caribbean whereas my husband and son really do not care. They will dive in any water temperature. In addition to our two children, we also have one grandson, Clyde, who is 2. His job is to play. He loves animals and figuring out how stuff works. One day I hope to share my love for the underwater world with him. Until then, I will just have to show him our pictures.

Welcome, Rachel Lippert!

Hello! My name is Rachel Lippert and I am the new Patient Simulation Laboratory Coordinator in the Department of Nursing. I began working in this position in August of 2018. I hold two undergraduate degrees from Messiah College, graduating in December of 2000 with a BA in Sports Medicine/Pre-Med and minors in Biology and Chemistry, and then graduating in May of 2016 with my BSN. In 2016, I began working full-time as a RN in the Birthplace at Geisinger Holy Spirit Hospital where I still work on a PRN basis in addition to my role at Messiah. My two roles are excellent complements, each one benefiting my ability in the other. I feel extremely blessed to be in my current position.

I am married to Jeremy Lippert, another Messiah alumnus, and we have three children: Grace, Joy, and Benjamin. I love being a mother and one of my greatest joys is spending time with and supporting my children as they grow, learn, and develop into the people God has uniquely created them to be. We currently attend Mechanicsburg Brethren in Christ Church. My hobbies include exercise (preferably with a friend), DIY projects, and plotting to build a tiny home in my backyard.

On any given day at work, I can be found making simulated body fluids in the nursing labs, researching and purchasing equipment for skill education and simulation, managing a very large and diverse equipment and supply inventory, preparing for and running simulations for our nursing students, or teaching various nursing skills. I firmly believe in the value of simulation in preparation for professional nursing practice. Simulation serves as a safe teaching and training ground. Our facilities, resources, and educators facilitate a large variety of simulated clinical experiences that greatly enhance the quality of nursing education at Messiah College.

I am so grateful to work with such a skilled and caring team of nursing faculty and staff, as well as with such compassionate and inspiring nursing students. I am both humbled and excited to support them as we continue to develop nurses that will be the hands and feet of Jesus to a world in need.

Welcome, Carol Stein!

by Carol Stein, MSN, RN ‘16

I attended St. Joseph Hospital School of Nursing and Millersville University where I received my ADN and BSN respectively. In 2016, I received my MSN in nurse education from Messiah College. My nursing background is in ICU/open heart. I met my husband Kirk, in Virginia, where I was working as a traveling nurse. We are married 18 years and have a larger than life 13-year-old son, Andy. We are members of West Shore E-Free Church in Mechanicsburg, PA. My interests include reading, critical thinking/clinical reasoning, working in my flowerbeds, and going on weekend getaways with my family.

I was asked to write and reflect on my first year as a full-time Nursing faculty member at Messiah. Before I can do that, I need to remove this fire hose of information I have been attempting to drink from, from my mouth. While I have dreamed of teaching for many, many years, I still find it hard to believe I am here. My dream came true! In graduate school, I observed nurse educators during their classroom lectures, preparations and simulations, and some of the work that goes on behind the scenes. I was amazed at all the meetings, detailed work, communication, coordination, committees, and discussions that take place to not only maintain, but also advance the nursing program. When I was an adjunct instructor, I was privy to a few of these meetings and discussions, but did not fully understand the commitment it took to be a part of this incredible group of educators. Now with my first year of teaching almost complete, I truly understand. Things are not always as they appear on the surface.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the students. Not just students, but nursing students (no offense to “students”). As students coming into the nursing program, there is that look of eagerness and excitement. Then within a few weeks, the reality of what nursing education looks and feels like hits home, and their faces of eagerness turns serious, doubtful for some. But this is where I come in, que the Superman theme, and begin to walk with them on this journey. I have the privilege to be by their side when they “get it”, and realize they can do this! I am blessed to be a part of their celebration. It may be brief, but it is monumental in their continuation as nursing students. This is a reminder to me of my journey and dreams. To reflect on the richness of the blessings from our Father, to God be the Glory!

Messiah College’s nursing program is ranked the highest in the midstate and #11 in Pennsylvania according to RegisteredNurse.org’s third annual survey.

Adjunct Nursing Faculty

Graduate, 2018-2019

  • Jeff Davis, MBA – NURS 640
  • Colleen Fantaski, Ph.D., CRNP-C – NURS 704, 709, and 710
  • Rebecca Harris, Ph.D.—NURS 503, NURS 630
  • Marsena Howard, DNP, CRNP, CNM— NURS 622, NURS 705, 706, 707, and 708
  • Jeffrey Kreitman, PharmD—NURS 504
  • Holly Langmuir, MD, MPH, MS – NURS 621, 624, 721, and 722
  • Aislynn Moyer, DNP, RN – NURS 631
  • Danielle Oakes, DNP, CRNP, FNP-BC – NURS 505, 702, and 704
  • Bethany Scott, DNP, APRN, FNP-C ¬– NURS 505, 706, and 708
  • Nancy Woods, Ph.D., MPH, RN ¬– NURS 501

Undergraduate Fall 2018:

  • Lauren Bredin, MSN, RN, CCRN – NURS 411
  • Sarah Crown, BSN, RN – NURS 410
  • Emily Griffith, MSN, RN – NURS 310
  • Shelley Heinbaugh, MSN, RN, CEN – NURS 411
  • Sarah Mauldin, MSN, RN – NURS 410
  • Mary Lou Mortimer, DNP, RNC-NIC – NURS 405
  • Karen Richard, MSN, RN-C, CNM, IBCLC, CBE – NURS 310
  • Talisha Sneeringer, MSN, RN – NURS 311
  • Teri Witter, MSN, RN – NURS 311
  • Emily Zimmerman, BSN, RN – NURS 410

Undergraduate Spring 2019:

  • Maureen Asper, MS, RN, ACNS-BC – NURS 412
  • Kelly Boesch, MSN, CRNP – NURS 313
  • Sarah Curtis, MSN, CRNP – NURS 211
  • Keterly Franken, BSN, RN – NURS 412, NURS 495
  • Juliana Frederick, BSN, RN – NURS 211
  • Emily Griffith, MSN, RN – NURS 210, NURS 211
  • Pamela Harris-Haman, DNP, CRNP, NNP-BC – NURS 313
  • Shelley Heinbaugh, MSN, RN, CEN – NURS 211
  • Jennifer Hughes, MSN, RN, CCRN – NURS 313
  • Joanne Konick-McMahan, MSN, RN, PCCN – NURS 413
  • Pam Linstedt, MSN, RN, CNE – NURS 210, NURS 211
  • Sarah Mauldin, MSN, RN – NURS 413
  • Leah Pardoe, MSN, RN – NURS 413
  • Jennifer Ranck, BSN, RN – NURS 210
  • Jenny Rex, MSN, RN – NURS 313
  • Abby Schmuck, BSN, RN – NURS 312
  • Serena Shirey, MSN, RN – NURS 312
  • Valerie Steinweg, BSN, RN – NURS 210
  • Alicia Urich, MSN, RN, CMSRN – NURS 413
  • Teri Witter, MSN, RN – NURS 211

Meet Super Tory

Super Tory allows students to practice newborn care on a realistic manikin.

This past fall, Super Tory joined the manikins in our simulation labs. Super Tory, produced by Gaumard, is one of the most advanced newborn simulators currently available. Tory cries, opens and closes eyes and mouth, moves arms and legs, and has skin color changes. In addition, students can auscultate normal and abnormal heart and lung sounds, assess capillary refill, and palpate pulse at a variety of locations including the umbilical cord. Tory has become a valuable teaching tool in NURS 310, Nursing Care of the Childbearing Family, where students learned to assess a normal newborn and take newborn vital signs. This spring, Tory helped students learn to care for an ill newborn in NURS 313, Nursing Care of Infants, Children, and Adolescents. Additionally this fall, Tory will be included in simulation for NURS 411, Nursing Care of the Critically Ill. Tory can be programed for a variety of scenarios including seizures and resuscitation, allowing students to learn and practice procedures they would not have the opportunity to perform on an actual newborn. It is amazing how realistic this baby actually looks, feels, and acts!

Join Us in the Nurses Lounge

We are pleased to announce that Messiah College Department of Nursing has joined the Nurses Lounge, an online professional network for nurses. At Nurses Lounge, you can search for the latest nursing news, events, employment, and continuing education opportunities. This free site provides a great way for students, nurses, and faculty to stay in contact with what is happening in the profession and connect with alumni.

Sigma Nursing Honor Society Induction

Front (L-R): Erin Anderson, Brooke Crowley, Elizabeth Muchmore, Maggie Carbaugh, Maria Herrada, Rebecca Barrows, Tabitha Adel, Shelby Stouffer. Back (L-R): Gabrielle Bornman, Valerie Steinweg, Eric Faught, Shelby Landes, Sierra Kirsch, Kierra Smith. Not pictured: Megan Cornman, Andrea Ferguson, Anna Gale, Imogen Olson, Lydia Peavy, Rosa Sanchez, Blake Stock, Tracy Young.

On November 10, 2018, the Lambda Kappa Chapter of Sigma Nursing Honor Society welcomed 14 undergraduate and eight graduate nursing students into membership. The induction ceremony was held in the Hollinger Lounge in Jordan Atrium. Juliana Frederick, Vice President, welcomed inductees, members, and guests by explaining the Sigma call to action of connect, collaborate, and catalyst. Each inductee received a ribbon, certificate, and honor cord before signing his or her name in the chapter book. Keynote speaker, Dr. Tara Jankouskas, gave an enlightening address on the importance of teamwork in crisis response. She explained her dissertation research study to determine whether crisis resource management training affected interprofessional performance of cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Although no difference in response time or error rate existed between groups who received only basic life support training as compared to groups who received basic life support and crisis resource management training, the groups receiving crisis resource management training had statistically significant improved teamwork. This teamwork correlated with reduced number of errors and decreased response time. Following the ceremony, a delicious dinner was enjoyed by all.

Student Nurses Association

The Student Nurses Association hosted a bone marrow drive in November.

Nurse’s Christian Fellowship

By Jackie Comly ’20, President

Students enjoying the NCF Christmas party at Dr. Thuma-McDermond’s house.

Nurses Christian Fellowship (NCF) seeks to equip, empower, and encourage nursing students to pursue Christ in this season of life and in our career as nurses. We seek to create an environment where community is found, where faith is taken to new levels, and where we can process our lives as nursing students. We meet each Wednesday in Kline and begin by sharing the highs and lows of our week. We then dive into scripture, discuss the material for the week, and pray for the needs in our lives and the lives of those in our community. This year, we used RightNow Media as a resource for our devotionals. During the fall semester, we learned from Louie Giglio and his sermons on Colossians. Our sessions focused on seeing a complete picture of Jesus and allowed us to contemplate how it applies in the context of nursing. In the spring semester, we listened to Francis Chan and his teachings on Mark and were reminded of the freeing message of the gospel. As nursing students, we often struggle with finding our identity in our academics and can feel shame when we do not live up to the expectations we place on ourselves. This message can turn our perspectives from our accomplishments to the ultimate saving work of Jesus.

We began our year with the NCF kick off picnic. We had more attendees than expected, but somehow there was enough pizza to go around. It felt like a “five loaves of bread and two fishes” kind of scenario, but God not only provided food but lots of fun as well. We held a new event this year, which was started by two of our sophomore attendees. They suggested we have an outreach specifically for freshman to feel welcome. This event went very well and we are looking to continue to do a freshman mixer. We held a destress fest in November which is dedicated to finding relaxation amidst the stress of school. It was full of snacks, prizes, crafts, and music. We held our annual Christmas party at our advisor, Wanda Thuma-McDermond’s house. It was a success! We had retired professor Pam Linstedt bring her infamous casseroles for breakfast. We went around, shared some of our favorite Christmas memories, and then held a white elephant gift exchange. It was a time full of cheer and friendship and was a sweet way to end the semester. This semester, we are planning a service trip to Inspirations Memory Care in Maryland. These assisted living facilities seek to provide purpose, joy, and laughter for residents with Alzheimer’s disease. We are so excited to partner with them and to be able to serve the residents and staff there! The Lord continues to bless NCF and add to our numbers and our depth of conversation. We are so thankful for all He has done and look forward to all He will continue to do among the nursing students at Messiah College!

Nursing from a Christian Perspective

By Dr. Sarah Jones (with assistance from Brittany McCullough ’21)

Nursing students at the Sophomore-Freshman Hangout.

In NURS 203: Historic and Conceptual Basis for Nursing, sophomores learn the role of the Christian Nurse: to see everyone as made in the image of God, considering the person, their culture, and their environment when addressing needs of individuals. Recently, nursing sophomores, Olivia Jimenez and Brittany McCullough, applied what they were learning to address an important issue for first year nursing majors. Read how they handled this in a nursing process sort of way.

Assessment – (subjective) When talking with first year nursing majors, sophomores, Olivia Jimenez and Brittany McCullough, discovered some students felt disconnected from the major given that they were taking classes with other students in non-nursing courses. Brittany and Olivia recalled feeling isolated from the major themselves as first year students. They recalled that a strong nursing friend group helped them stay encouraged through demanding science courses. They believed some students who did not have this support changed their interest toward other majors that seemed easier or more attractive to a first-year student. Objective assessment: The first year plan of study includes rigorous courses: chemistry and two semesters of anatomy and physiology. These are offered for all science majors. The first “nursing” course is in fall of sophomore year: NURS 203 Historical and Conceptual Basis for Nursing.

Students enjoying the opportunity to connect with each other.

Diagnosis – First year nursing students at risk for changing major or not succeeding as a nursing major R/T feeling unsupported by other nursing majors and or being in non-nursing courses

Plan – Provide social support to first year nursing students to prevent feelings of isolation from the major and students in the major.

Implementation – Brittany and Olivia assessed attitudes of first year students and fellow sophomores confirming their concerns. They met with Dr. Sarah Jones about their concerns and possible actions including planning an event inviting first year students to meet upper class nursing majors as a bridge of support during the first year of non-nursing courses. They worked with Dr. Wanda Thuma-McDermond to obtain date availability, NCF for funding food, and Beth Aumen for email access to first year nursing majors. They enlisted help of fellow sophomore and junior level nursing majors. Then, they reached out via email to first year students inviting them to fun and fellowship. On November 14, 2018, Olivia and Brittany held a fellowship event titled “Sophomore-Freshman hang out” for first year nursing majors in Kline 19. First year and upper level nursing majors met for fun, food, and fellowship.

Evaluation – All students had a good time. First year nursing majors in attendance appreciated the effort to reach out to them and welcomed similar opportunities to gather. Olivia and Brittany hope to continue the connection between first and second year nursing majors in the future. Hopefully, first year nursing students will engage in Nurses Christian Fellowship and Student Nurses Association to feel a part of the major while waiting to be in actual nursing courses. Hats off to these two ladies who saw a need, felt ‘called to care’ for their peers, and took action to help improve outcomes for first years.

Mini Golf Nursing Style

By Dr. Megan Gross

The nursing mini golf hole included components representing a variety of nursing courses and equipment.

The Murray Library held its third annual mini golf through the stacks event on Friday, March 29. Various departments and teams designed mini golf holes to articulate their specific program or job function. Megan Gross designed the nursing department’s hole. Her creation was nominated as the students’ favorite hole in course B.

The nursing mini golf hole had a lantern and Florence Nightingale book, various syringe stacks, nursing textbooks, blood pressure cuffs, contamination box, diabetic foot, heart module, and so much more! Participants were able to jam out to “staying alive” during the hole and were able to enjoy a piece of chocolate that was held in a bedpan!

One of the hole’s attractions included chocolate! The end in sight!

Steps towards Redefining Identity

By Katie Sechrist ‘19

Katie writing encouraging words on a chalkboard before an exam.

Identity is defined as a distinguishing character or personality of an individual. It is a powerful concept with which many adolescents and young adults struggle. Each person at some point in life has to come to terms with his or her own identity. The amount of hard work, dedication, and time that is invested in the pursuit to becoming a registered nurse leads to the title, “nursing student,” becoming a defining part of who we are during our college years. It is easy to allow our passion and goals, which we spend the majority of our energy and time accomplishing, overcome every aspect of who we are. One of my favorite verses is Colossians 2:9-10, which says, “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness, who is the head of all rule and authority.” Throughout nursing school, I have struggled with the question, “Should I allow my accomplishments and failures define who I am?” At the end of today, regardless of what has happened, I can rest in the fact that I have already been made full in who God says I am and what Christ has done for me. We all know nursing school is not an easy journey and for many it is more of a sacrifice than it is for others. So how can we restructure our mindset to live out the years of our education feeling full in our identity despite the anxiety provoking simulations, exams, and clinical on top of every other area that encompasses our lives?

A completed chalkboard before the first spring nursing exams.

I remember sitting in Kline 14 ready (not so ready) to take my first real nursing final...pathophysiology. For years, I have struggled with test anxiety, feeling no confidence in my nursing knowledge despite how much I had prepared. In my chair I could feel the panic begin to take over, until I looked up and saw the words, “You are not your exam grade,” written on the chalkboard at the front of the room. It was an immediate reminder that I was child of God designed with intentional purpose regardless of what results I would receive a few hours later. Although it was such a small gesture, it was exactly what I needed in a time of vulnerability. That day I decided I would continue the same support and encouragement that had such an impact on me. I started writing words of encouragement and scripture verses on the chalkboards before exams and recruited other students to assist me. So, to answer the question how can we live feeling full in our identity despite nursing school anxiety? Unconditional Support. We need students, leaders, and professors that consistently encourage one another in a way to instill the confidence needed to allow each student to demonstrate competence to their fullest.

What happens when you have been supported, encouraged, and worked hard, yet, unfortunately, have come face to face with what seems like the most traumatic outcome one could face academically? Failure of class. Nursing curriculum is designed in a way that if one fails a course he or she is not permitted to graduate with their cohort. Embarrassment, financial worry, identity crisis, and anxiety are a few of the issues that immediately flood a student faced with this obstacle. As someone who came terrifyingly close to this reality as well as having a few of my closest friends actually experience it, I am aware of the impact failure has on a person’s motivation, self-esteem, and most importantly identity. It did not feel right to me to not provide some kind of follow up support. This year I have been privileged to have friends who have experienced a five-year nursing education willingly write letters of encouragement to students battling these issues. A common theme of these letters centered on the idea that the journey to your calling comes in all different forms and timelines. Not one person’s experience with nursing school with be exactly like another. Exam scores, failures, or accomplishments does not define your identity. 2 Timothy 1:7 says “For the Spirit of God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” Nursing school is hard but we have an amazing opportunity to create an atmosphere that crushes anxiety, encourages and supports, as well as redefines our definition of identity.

Chalkboard quotes: The aid to my anxiety

By Sarina Gonzalez ‘20

I am one of those people who have major test anxiety. I can study for hours, be knowledgeable on every topic that is on the exam, and still not feel ready. I would open the exam and the fear of failing would overwhelm me. We have so much riding on these exams because we must have an average of a 75% minimum to move on within the nursing program. My anxiety was put at ease when I came in to the testing room and looked at the chalkboards.

The chalkboards were always covered in supportive quotes every day I had an exam. I loved to read them as I inhaled my essential oils to calm down. The quotes reminded me of how I had studied, was prepared, and that I could do it. The quotes also gave me hope knowing that the seniors wrote them because they had been in my shoes, passed, and are about to graduate. The program is hard, but manageable. The chalkboards even reminded me to breathe some days. I would like to thank all the seniors who encouraged me as a sophomore and now as a junior. One good deed can help many in unmeasurable ways.

A Special Pinning and Worship Night

By Katie Haught ‘19

Top Left: Dr. Nancy Woods pins Emily Ransil with the melanoma awareness ribbon. Top Right: Emily Ransil pinned the melanoma awareness ribbon on nursing faculty and students present including senior, Hayley Karper (pictured). Bottom: Emily with some of the nursing students involved in the special night.

What an honor it was to host an event for our fellow nursing student, Emily Ransil. Emily is probably the most positive person I have ever met. She is compassionate, intelligent, and full of life. Hearing about her diagnosis, I knew right away that I wanted to serve her and make Emily know that she was nothing but loved, appreciated and supported during this tragedy.

Thinking of an event to hold for Emily was challenging to come up with because there will never be an event grand enough to celebrate Emily for all she is! Nursing school is often very challenging and exhausting but Emily always encouraged me to keep going and always reminded me of the amazing opportunity we will have to serve others in our calling as a nurse. We all dream of the day when we walk across that stage and receive our pin and diploma to finally say that all the tears and hard work paid off. I knew that Emily deserved a ceremony to show her that God is not done with her calling yet and neither were we!

A group of fellow students and I agreed to hold a pinning ceremony and worship service for Emily. With the help of nursing faculty, we were able to host a beautiful event that truly could not have gone any better, in my opinion. We purchased 300 melanoma awareness pins and Emily pinned each nursing student, faculty and family member that attended the event. These pins are meant to symbolize Emily and her strength for beating this cancer as well as to wear as part of a movement as we move as a class into becoming the best health care providers that we can possibly be with the compassion that Emily portrays on a daily basis.

We ended the night in a time of worship with a nursing student led band. We felt that there was no better way to end the event than to lift Emily up to the Ultimate Healer in prayer, worship and love.

Editor’s note: Emily Ransil, a nursing student, was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma this past fall. Senior nursing students, including Katie Haught, organized a pinning ceremony and worship service in her honor held on Nov. 9, 2018.

A Student’s View of the Curriculum Committee

By Elizabeth Muchmore ‘19

I have been a member of the Curriculum Committee of the Nursing Department of Messiah for 3 semesters now. While I have served on the committee, we have discussed NCLEX statistics including pass rates and individual content areas in which Messiah students have excelled and struggled. We modified the Leadership in Nursing course to increase the didactic portion so the content could be adequately taught. We investigated ways to expose students to electronic health records, including how to chart on them during Simulation experiences. In addition, we have worked on changing the Nutrition for Health Professionals course to better meet the needs of the nursing students and teach the content they need to know. The creation of a course plan that incorporated a Spanish minor also fell under our responsibility. This was important because it is a common minor to pursue and the scheduling of various classes is difficult with a nursing class load. We have also continuously reviewed the curriculum via our NCLEX results determining how it can better serve the students to equip them to pass the NCLEX and their future jobs.

Being on a committee and working with others to find the best solution does take specialized skills. I have bettered my ability to express myself and to listen well to others on the committee. It has helped me see the value of working with a team because more solutions are generated than I could have thought of on my own. I feel more comfortable voicing my opinion now because I have concrete evidence that I can give valuable input. I would consider participating in nursing governance because I see quality improvement is always important. Enhancing nursing practice begins with the students. By building a strong academic foundation, we enhance the whole profession. Evaluation and critique are the clearest ways to progress and I will be continuing this as I enter the nursing profession.

Working in Kline Basement

By Rebecca Barrows ‘19

I work among the simulators in the nursing labs at Messiah. Sometimes, it can be a little creepy seeing the dummies in hospital beds at night. However, for the past two years, I have loved my job as a nursing lab work-study student. I started this job fall semester of my junior year. My typical work week consists of one evening per week for six hours with every other Saturday/Sunday shift for a couple hours. During my shifts, I organize lab materials, set up skill labs for various nursing courses, and assist students.

During the fall of my senior year, I volunteered to teach a supplemental instruction group for junior nursing students taking the maternity nursing course. At Messiah College, the maternity course is known for being difficult, so I wanted to use my teaching abilities to assist the junior nursing students. The group tutoring sessions occurred about once a week during my lab hours. I loved this experience. Getting to tutor and mentor junior nursing students was a great blessing in my life. It solidified my desire to teach nursing students in the future.

A Semester Down Under

By Sarah Reed ‘21

This past fall I traveled down under to study abroad in Australia. I was a part of the Australia Studies Program and studied at Christian Heritage College. In classes, I learned about the Aboriginal culture and their values about ancestry and country. We traveled to Stradbroke Island and learned to throw boomerangs and spears, make sand art, and completely embrace ourselves in the indigenous culture. I also learned about how Australia came to be and how it has modernized over time. It was very interesting to compare healthcare systems, government structures, and immigration laws in Australia to the ones in America. The program also took us to Parliament, the Outback, and St. Helena Island to tie in with our studies.

While there, I stayed with a host family. Before leaving, I filled out a questionnaire so I could be paired with a family that was good for me. I was placed with a South African family and their daughter was a last semester paramedic student. We quickly bonded and became very close before she left to go on practicum for six weeks. Staying with my family were also Japanese and Chinese host students. They were both in high school and learning English. I loved being a part of a family, instead of just staying in a dorm, because I was tied into a church and was able to go to birthdays, events, fundraisers, beach trips, a rugby game, and got to meet a lot of Aussies. The family dynamic was a very loving and welcoming family and it made my transition to a new culture a lot easier.

L: Sarah holding a koala named Tango at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Queensland, Australia. R: Learning about the Aboriginal culture, including throwing a boomerang, on Stradbroke Island.

I also did some community service while I was there. I was paired with the Balmoral Community Center with one of the other ASC students. Every Monday morning, we would volunteer and serve food, play games, and sing songs with the elderly people that came. I loved getting to know them and hear all their stories and advice. It was a nice way to take my focus off school and meet people I never thought I would meet in Australia.

I also grew a lot in my faith while abroad. My family and friends were a huge impact on me there. I was on the worship team there and went to many events at mega churches such as Hillsong Church and Citipointe. In the States, I was used to a small, Baptist church, so I loved going to different churches and denominations. While at a service, the church announced that they were having a baptism in two weeks. I leaned over to my friend and said “I’ve never been baptized.” She encouraged me to think and pray about it and eventually I came to the conclusion that I wanted to take the next step in my relationship with Christ. As I was baptized, I had a lot of support from my host family and friends both from Australia and the States. It is a memory I will cherish forever.

I also was able to travel to a lot of cool places down under. I traveled to the North Island during my spring break with a few of my ASC classmates. It was beautiful and I got to see a lot of wildlife, Hobbiton, and the Waitomo Glowworm Caves. I went to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef and scuba dived/snorkeled in the reef, crossing off the top thing on my bucket list. It was my first time diving, but I saw a shark, fish, and a lot of colorful coral. I extended my stay for three weeks and went to Sydney, Melbourne, and the South Island of New Zealand. I traveled by myself for all of it which challenged me, but I enjoyed being independent and spending time alone.


Senior nursing students with faculty advisors, Dr. Mel Seitz and Greg Loop in front of Wat Rong Khun (White Temple) in Chiang Mai, Thailand.


Life Changing Experience at the Big Blue House of Hope

By Aubrey Fulmer ‘10

Aubrey holding an orphan during her time serving on the medical team for Show Hope.

On a hill in a “small town” of 7 million people in Luoyang, China, sits a big blue house of hope. This house is filled with beautifully precious children, children waiting for a place to call home and people to call Mom and Dad. I had the deepest privilege of working with these kids every day for a year. I worked with an organization called Show Hope, which is a nonprofit organization based out of Franklin, TN started by Steven Curtis Chapman and his family. Their mission is to care for orphans by engaging the church and reducing barriers to adoption. They provide grants to families to aid in the adoption costs, deliver medical care to orphans with medical needs in China and offer pre and post-adoption support and education. I was honored to be a part of the medical team caring for the orphans in China.

When I graduated from nursing school at Messiah in 2010, I had studied abroad in my sophomore year of school and got the bug to continue traveling. When the opportunity came to move to China, I could not resist. Upon my first few weeks there, my life was in total upheaval. When they tell you to be flexible in the medical field and in moving across the world, they really mean it. Many days I was thinking there was no way I would make it as a nurse in a country where I cannot even communicate with the nannies caring for the children. I am sure my preparation at Messiah College was some of what helped me to continue stepping forward. I had a solid nursing education and learned all of it with the Lord as the foundation. Each day held new challenges and I learned a new and complete dependence on the Lord. I also learned a lot about the orphan crisis. Not just what the numbers were but the promise and hope seen in each little face.

No longer is the orphan a number or statistic. It is pudgy cheeks and little fingers, hundreds of little unique personalities, resilient children experiencing miracles and the Lord in each of their sweet faces. These very children gave me a deep look into the love of the Lord. They loved without ceasing, even with their traumatic backgrounds. Adoption is a beautiful reflection of the Lord’s love for us. When families would come to adopt a child in our care, they were immediately loved, held and cherished by their parents. The child had done nothing to earn that love, it was just freely and unconditionally given to them because they were their child. To be a part of something so closely woven into who the Lord is and His Word was a privilege. In this place, we saw joy, heartbreak and miracles. Children who had recently been on oxygen were crawling and running around, kids with feeding tubes began taking their first bites of food, precious ones that some might think would never walk started taking their first steps. Some children we held until they went home to be with the Lord, never again to experience the pain of being orphaned.

One precious little girl and her story will stick with me forever. She came to us with severe heart disease. Shortly after her admission, she went into heart failure. She needed surgery to live. So, we put her on a seven hour train ride with oxygen that would last for five hours and we prayed. She made it and returned to the big blue house of hope. Shortly after that, she went into heart failure again. This time, the hospital said there was nothing else they could do. So, we prayed for her little life and for a family. She and I spent much of our time together due to her declining health and well, because I loved that little girl. Any moment spent with her was never wasted. After a few months of praying, we discovered she was matched to a family! We celebrated and praised the Lord! As we prayed for her family, we specifically prayed they would be able to take her home soon and that they would love the Lord, raising her up in a Christian home. The Lord heard and answered those prayers in a way that was immeasurably more than I could have ever thought to pray for. Because that is who He is. Now, that precious girl had the necessary heart surgery and she is now healthy and robust. The cherry on top, she lives about 35 minutes away from me with her family who loves the Lord deeply. Not only did the Lord specifically place her in this God-fearing family, but in one so near to me. I remain continually in awe. I get to see her often and see her as she is now walking and talking, thriving in the life she has been given. The Lord has written miracles into her life and will only continue to do the good work in which He has already begun.

Each child has an inherent, God-given right to be a part of a loving, caring family. As Christians, the Lord tells us that, “. . .true and pure religion is caring for the orphan and the widow. . .” (James 1: 27). We are not all called to adopt but we are each called to do something. After spending time with the children I only before saw as statistics, has changed my life. I urge you to take a deeper look into becoming a part of orphan care. It is absolutely worth it.

Being the Hands and Feet of Christ in Haiti

By Sara Mueller ‘11

Hi there! My name is Sara Mueller. I graduated with my BSN from Messiah College in 2011. At our Pinning Ceremony, our class motto was “Being the Hands and Feet of Christ.” We were ready to take on post college life roaring to go and ready to be the hands and feet of Christ in our nursing career as well as life. After graduation, I got my dream job of being a Maternity/Labor and Delivery nurse at Hershey Medical Center where I currently still work. I enjoy being the hands and feet of Christ there to the new moms and babies I take care of as well as my co-workers and hospital staff.

In January of this year, I had the honor of being the hands and feet of Christ in Haiti! Whew! Talk about a culture and perspective change! I was serving with a young adult team from my church on a weeklong mission trip at an amazing organization called Mission of Hope. I have had the honor of serving in Haiti at Mission of Hope on 4 other trips as well and was pumped to go back for my 5th trip! My heart fell in love with the beautiful country and amazing people in Haiti on my very first trip there in 2013 and my heart will never be the same! God is really working in Haiti and Mission of Hope is seeking to bring life transformation to every man, woman, and child in Haiti. Mission of Hope is doing an AMAZING job and people’s lives and hearts are being changed! It is incredible to be a witness to life transformation.

L: Sara with Monise, the child she sponsors, and her family. R: Sara enjoyed spending time with the children in Haiti.

While we were in Haiti, we had the opportunity to serve in several different ways. Some of the days, we planted trees in people’s yards. We planted mango, almond, and cherry trees. Once the trees start providing fruit they can use that fruit to eat but also to sell to make money. The families were so grateful that we came and provided tree for them! We also prayed for them and spent time getting to know them. It is so neat to simultaneously plant physical seeds of fruit but also to plant spiritual seeds of faith. Planting trees was one of my favorite things we did because often times the people helped us dig the dirt and worked right alongside of us. Also, we planted a tree for a man named Samuel. I recognized him and asked if Mission of Hope planted a tree in his yard before. He said yes and showed me a lemon tree. I told him “I remember you! I helped plant that lemon tree in 2017!” He smiled and it was such a neat moment of building relationships and reminded me of why we do what we do.

We also painted a house for an elderly couple who were getting married soon. It was neat to see how bright the house looked after some fresh paint! They were so grateful! One of the days we spent with the Haitian kitchen ladies that provide food for everyone at the base. We helped them make lunch and they taught us how to make plantains, and we taught them how to make pumpkin muffins, which they enjoyed. Then we had a dance party with them! It was a blast! We also gave them a spa day afterwards with massages and nail painting which they absolutely loved!

My favorite part of the trip was getting to see a little girl named Monise who I have been sponsoring since she was 3 years old! She is 7 now and as sweet as can be! This year I got to meet her mom and siblings and spend time with her at her house. It was one of the coolest moments of my life and it happened to be on my 30th birthday! What an amazing birthday present and awesome way to enter a new decade of life! I will never forget that day!

Everyone needs Jesus and to experience the hope that He brings. No matter who you might be surrounded by you can bring the hope of the Lord to their lives even without saying a word. A smile or a simple act of kindness is the same in any language and shows love. That love can change lives. We are called to be the hands and feet of Christ. I encourage you to continue to serve and love those around you like your family, classmates, professors, colleagues, random strangers, or friends across the world. Shine for Jesus and go change the world! The adventure ahead will be totally worth it!

Traveling Beyond My Comfort Zone

By Hanna Lazio ‘16

Travel nursing was a term I heard while at Messiah, but never understood until I heard from others already in the midst of it. Travel nursing involves the opportunity to work in hospitals throughout the country in need of additional staff for short periods of time, typically thirteen weeks at a time. Any Registered Nurse with at least two years’ experience can join the travel nurse community.

As a travel nurse, I have the ability to choose any location within the United States in which I would like to work and live. Travel agents from a private company then work to find RN positions within hospitals in that desired area and send the options for you to select. The company provides moving expenses plus a stipend for housing and living expenses. They can even find housing for you if that is your preference. Since I am passionate about exploring cities, meeting new people, and learning from the culture around me, travel nursing provides the perfect opportunity for me to do that. I am currently in transition from New York City to Washington, D.C. and I could not be more pleased with my recent experience. I made a “bucket list” of things to see and do while in NYC and was able to do it all. Since nurses have to work some weekends, we have random weekdays or weeknights off. This provides an opportunity to see some highly sought out locations at a time when they are less busy. Living an area for an extended period versus visiting for a weekend is a totally different experience. It allows you to immerse yourself, rather than feeling like an outside observer. I am currently working on my “See DC bucket list” and looking forward to exploring a new city! Being a travel nurse is an incredible way to see places you could not otherwise go, see how nursing care looks in a new environment, and grow in your ability to adapt and be flexible.

While travel nursing is an incredible opportunity, it is not always an easy road to travel (pun intended). Travel nursing is full of transitions, which often leaves me feeling scattered as I do my best to live in the present, yet part of my mind is on my next assignment. I do not have a sense of permanency or a continuous community. I have friends scattered throughout the country and make new friends wherever I go, but it is easy to miss people and feel stretched thin relationally when you are never stationary for a long period of time. These challenges have helped me grow. I have been forced to look inward and prioritize relationships, to give myself grace during transitions, and to rely heavily on God’s steady presence through so much change.

When we are stretched beyond our comfort zone with a positive outlook, the result is growth. I think having a growth mind-set is essential when it comes to travel nursing because it is full of unknowns. Fear of the unknown produces anxiety. However, walking with Christ means we have the freedom to step out with confidence. Knowing that our identity is rooted in Him, rather than our performance at work or how many people like us, is empowering. With that in mind plus the principles of nursing learned at Messiah and a good work ethic you can step into any environment and succeed!

If you are interested in travel nursing and the difficulties I discussed are not enough to steer you away, then I recommend going for it! The two websites below are great resources for further research. Nursing is an incredible journey with freedom to explore many options—no wrong nursing jobs, just learning opportunities. Enjoy the journey!

Lessons from Zambia

By Mint Kueakomoldej ‘14

Zambia after a storm. Photo credit: Ella Silvera ‘20

Zambia is experienced best in a thunderstorm. The boom reverberates the land, no signs of reticence, weakness, or censorship. Each roar travels from East to West, without man-made constructions to diminish its glory. Then, the sky is clear and kind, the sun warms the red, rich soil that gives life. Here, the people respect the land and the land nourishes its people. Here, the earth provides you with all you need, on her terms. Here, we deconstruct our beliefs that we are in control of the world.

Our January Term cross-cultural to Zambia is an example of things that cannot simply be taught within classroom walls. Sometimes, the hardest lesson for a nurse to learn is that we are not always in control. Although our advanced medicine will make us believe otherwise with robotic left ventricles and artificial lungs, we will not always get return of spontaneous circulation no matter how well the code went. It is hard when you know all the interventions that could be done for a stroke, a snakebite, or PCP pneumonia but are unable to do so because there are simply not enough resources. Zambia taught us that we do not always have the answer; that we do not always know best just because we are from the West. Here, she taught us cultural humility in its purest form.

Senior nursing students with Mint (far left) and Dr. Wanda Thuma-McDermond in Zambia during January 2019.

In the three weeks practicum we spent in Zambia, we navigated a healthcare system unfamiliar to our own. We were also warmly welcomed by the Zambians, enjoyed multiple tea breaks, watched one of the most beautiful sunsets in our lives, and happily learned to lose our sense of time. Despite the language barrier and cultural differences, the students went above and beyond in caring for patients and seeking out learning experiences. Some days were jubilant, a few were difficult, some were both at the same time. As I witnessed how invested the students were in the Macha community and their patients’ well-being, I am reminded of how proud I am to be a Messiah nurse. Our training has not only taught us to think about our purpose in the world, it also taught us to be nurses who seek to listen, to understand our patients, and to make a difference, no matter how small, in our patients’ lives.

Undergraduate Class of 2018

Summa Cum Laude

  • Emily Doron
  • Emily Hepler
  • Emily Hess

Magna Cum Laude

  • Brielle Alderfer
  • Emily Brubaker
  • Melissa Class
  • Carly Dove
  • Alyssa Herr
  • Victoria Jones
  • Cullen Kanagy
  • Janelle Kramer
  • Hannah Munoz
  • Hannah O’Donnell
  • AnneMarie Swartz
  • Christina Xenos

Cum Laude

  • Sierra Berringer
  • Elizabeth Brokenshire
  • Hannah Card
  • Aubrey Corriveau
  • Mary Heffner
  • Marissa Hoffman
  • Sarah Klapper
  • Olivia Madder
  • Autumn Nelson
  • Kaitlyn O’Neil
  • Elizabeth Sawyer
  • Carrie St. Onge
  • Mary Stark
  • Sara Yunez
  • Emily Zellers

College Honors Program

  • Emily Hepler
  • Alyssa Herr
  • Emily Hess
  • Hannah Munoz
  • AnneMarie Swartz

Undergraduate Nursing Awards

AnneMarie Swartz, Christy Stark Smith Endowment Award
Blake Stock, Joan M. Wagner Scholarship Award
Carrie St Onge, PSNA Award for Leadership
Emily Hepler, Faculty Award for Excellence in Nursing & Academic Excellence in Nursing Award
Melissa Class, Harry and Nancy Preis Endowed Scholarship Award

Giving to Nursing between July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018

Marlin and Nancy Benedict Nursing Scholarship Endowment - Marlin E. '76 & Nancy R. (Pidgeon) '76 Benedict

Lynda Gochnauer Nursing Endowment - IBM Corporation

Dr. Homer C. Hetrick Memorial Scholarship - L.B. Smith Estate Foundation, Inc.

Margaret O. McCormick Endowed Scholarship - McCormick Family Foundation

Janelle Nisly Memorial Scholarship - Wanda E. (Thuma) McDermond '75, The Mennonite Foundation Inc., Paul W. Nisly

PA State Nursing Association Award - PA State Nurses Association

Christy Stark Smith Memorial Scholarship Endowment - Wanda E. (Thuma) McDermond '75

Marilyn L. Smith Endowed Nursing Scholarship - Marilyn L. (Byer) Smith '51

Donald & Dorothy Stabler Nursing Scholarship Endowment - Cammie E. (Wilcox) Dodds '12, Rebecca L. Fox '13, The Stabler Foundation, Jade A. (Craun) Vallejo'12, Tiffany E. Wolfe '16

Joan Wagner Endowed Nursing Scholarship - Shaun C. Cooney & Diana E. '07 Teller-Cooney, John C. & Suzanne E. Wagner



Check us out on Instagram at Messiah Nursing

Check us out on Facebook at Messiah College Department of Nursing

Editors: Nancy Frank and Ashley Ringquist. Please send ideas for future editions to njfrank@messiah.edu or aringquist@messiah.edu.

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a copyright violation, please follow the DMCA section in the Terms of Use.