Graduate Nursing News Spring 2019 Department of Nursing Newsletter

From the Director of Graduate Programs in Nursing

by Louann Zinsmeister, Ph.D., RN, CNE

“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.” Psalm 84:5

This scripture verse is reminiscent of the beginning years of graduate nursing programs at Messiah College. It is amazing that graduate nursing education has now been at Messiah College for six years. In those six years, the graduate program in nursing has grown to offer several specialty tracks for MSN students, and also offer a four-year pathway for post-baccalaureate nurses wanting to become family nurse practitioners to attain a doctor of nursing practice (Post-BSN to DNP-FNP). Unknown to some, we also offer a RN-MSN pathway for associate degree and diploma graduate registered nurses. This pathway allows associate degree and diploma nurses to accelerate past the BSN and graduate with a MSN. We are so grateful to God for the continued development and success of the graduate nursing program at Messiah College.

A few noteworthy events occurred this year. Abby Schmuck (MSN-NE, 2019) and Claire Jones (DNP-FNP, 2021) were selected as recipients of the Harry and Nancy Preis Endowed Scholarship for Graduate Nursing. In May 2019, marks graduation for MSN students. The graduates include: Keterly Franken, Holly Freas-Webster, Marie Ranselle, Abby Schmuck, Kristin Shaub, and Rebekkah Stanko. Many of our MSN – Nurse Educator students already are working in nurse educator roles. Messiah College continues to produce MSN graduates with sought after skills for fulfilling the need for qualified nurse educators in both academia and clinical practice settings across a variety of geographical areas.

Did you know that Messiah College is on the cutting edge of graduate nursing education in the delivery and program structure of its post-baccalaureate – family nurse practitioner – doctor of nursing practice (post-BSN to DNP-FNP) program? The National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) as well as the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) recommend that advanced practice nurses, such as family nurse practitioners, graduate with the doctor-of-nursing practice degree (DNP) for entry-into-practice. The DNP-FNP program at Messiah College provides students with just that; a post-baccalaureate advanced practice nursing education that results in the attainment of a DNP. In addition, the post-BSN to DNP-FNP program is delivered in an innovative online format using state-of-the-art technology. The quality of the curriculum and the innovative method of delivery of the post-BSN to DNP-FNP program make it a program that stands out among many others. The first group of post-BSN to DNP-FNP students are scheduled to graduate in 2020. Graduates of this program will help fulfill Messiah College’s mission of service to others in promoting population health and meeting a vital need across the world. Dr. Kristen Slabaugh is the coordinator of the post-BSN to DNP-FNP program. As a Messiah College BSN graduate, she administers the post-BSN to DNP-FNP program with careful attention to the foundational values of Messiah College, which is another strength of the program.

If reading about our graduate nursing programs has sparked your interest in pursuing a MSN or DNP-FNP at Messiah College, here is specific information about both programs.

The MSN and DNP-FNP programs provide flexible, quality online graduate nursing education for nurses who want to become nurse educators or family nurse practitioners. The need and demand for qualified nurse educators and primary care nurse practitioners continues to increase. In addition, the new MSN-Nursing Administration track offers graduate nursing education for nurses who want to pursue a career path of leadership and service to others in an area of nursing administration.

The MSN-Nurse Educator and new Nursing Administration programs can be completed in two or three years for post-baccalaureate nurses. The post baccalaureate DNP-FNP program can be completed in four years. All programs are delivered in an online format and provide an outstanding, quality education for nurses wanting to pursue graduate nursing education.

Exciting times are on the horizon for Messiah College’s graduate nursing programs. If you, your colleagues, or friends are looking for quality, faith-based, excellent graduate nursing education, please do not hesitate to contact us for more information about our graduate nursing programs and how graduate nursing at Messiah College can help you attain your professional and personal goals.

For additional information about our graduate nursing programs, contact the Graduate Nursing Office at gradnursing@messiah.edu or 717-691-6054.

Change of Directions

by Rebekkah Stanko, BSN, RN; MSN:NA Cohort ‘19

If I had to come up with a theme for my experiences as a post-secondary student, it would have to be “Change of Directions”. As a type A personality individual, I like to have everything planned out, thought out, and thoroughly researched. However, I have learned in life that sometimes God’s plans for my life do not always align with my own. Therefore, reflecting back over my graduate work, it comes as little surprise to me that though I entered Messiah’s master’s in nursing program with the concentration of nursing education, I will be graduating in December 2019 with the my master’s in nursing administration.

While some people collect stamps, or coins, or cars, I have tendency of collecting college credits. After working as an emergency room and trauma nurse for years, I decided I needed a change of pace in my life. I wanted a job more conducive to settling down; I also wanted to be able to spend some weekend and holiday time with my ever-growing family (I am the oldest of 8 children; since 2015 I have gained 3 brother-in-laws, a niece, and a nephew, and a brother-in-law projected for 2020). I also found myself falling into a routine. I was becoming bored; I began to crave the challenge inherent in formal education, so I decided it was time for me to go back to school.

Had you told me when I started graduate school that I would be earning a degree in nursing administration, I would have laughed and said ‘no way’. I have a background in teaching in the k-12 system, so getting a master’s in nursing education was my logical objective. God had other plans.

In May of 2018, I was struggling with my choice of major concentration; not because the content was too intense, but because I felt like I was not growing; I lacked gratification. I did not know what to do: do I finish this out; do I look for something else? Like most of us, when all else fails, I found myself turning to God for direction. I am not good with the still small voice concept; so, I may have prayed for a flashing neon sign. Shortly before the summer semester started, I logged onto Messiah’s graduate nursing website and right before my eyes was my neon sign: the new nursing administration program. I contacted Dr. Zinsmeister, my advisor, to learn more about the program. The first day of summer classes, I filed to change my concentration, and I have not looked back since.

As a nursing administration major, I have found both educational and spiritual growth. As a nurse, I never understood how health care fit into a business model. One of the first business papers I wrote was “The Purpose of Business: Why Business Matters to God”. For a new program, the nursing administration program is a flawless mélange of nursing and business. Many times in my nursing classes, I find myself citing sources that were required reading for business classes; and in my business classes, I am able to bring the nursing perspective to discussion boards. I even learned I have a fondness for finance.

Because of being in this program, I was able to land my current job in employee health. I am continually developing my school-work-life balance and have an active family life and a successful long distance relationship with a man who truly is my better half. My dog is discovering what a Monday-Friday workweek is, and I am learning how in successful health care systems, there exists a synergy between the business and clinical realms. While I do not know where all my Messiah education will take me, I know that it is preparing me to be a leader and innovator in the nursing profession.

Five Year Plans

by Valerie Steinweg, BSN, RN, MSN:NE Cohort ‘20

During the final week of my senior year at Messiah, I distinctly remember Professor Marti Derr asking each senior about their five-year plan. At that time, my only plan was to pass the NCLEX, start my nursing job, and try not to hurt one of my patients! However, Marti challenged us to think beyond our immediate plans and not to dismiss the idea of going back to school.

After starting my first job on an intensive-care unit, I quickly realized there is much more to learn than what nursing school has time to teach. It was exciting to start putting my textbook knowledge into practice, and to see that nursing interventions do change outcomes for patients! However, my first year of nursing practice was not always exciting. It presented challenges and some days I doubted my abilities as a nurse. It was in those challenging moments that I remembered conversations with Messiah nursing professors about what it means to be a Christian nurse and how it shapes my practice. I truly began to appreciate all of the wisdom and encouragement that my nursing professors had given me as a student.

My decision to go back for my MSN in nursing education was a combination of wanting to pursue higher education and wanting to give back to future nurses. I never thought I would be a clinical adjunct faculty at Messiah, but this Spring I have the opportunity to start teaching at the Sophomore level. It is exciting to be back at Messiah and to be a part of shaping future nurses on their path to providing excellent and compassionate care. I hope to encourage my students in the same way the Messiah nursing professors encouraged me!

My Graduate Education Journey

by Christine Dinges, MSN, RN ‘18

I was working in an adjunct faculty position and had grown to love working with and teaching students in the clinical environment. However, my time as a teacher was ending. My educational journey began after a conversation with a current Messiah student. He told me how his journey had begun and that he would finish the MSN program over the next three years. He then mentioned the program could also be completed in two years if I was interested. That was the spark I needed. I went home to research Messiah’s MSN Nurse Educator program. It would be a tough two years and I did not know if I could do it. I spoke with my fiancé (who became my husband in 2017) about the program. I described my difficulty in achieving my undergraduate education and my fear of starting something I may not be able to finish. He said if you want to do it, I know you can do it and I will support you however, I can.

I applied…and my journey as a Messiah Graduate student began.

Prior to signing up for classes in the spring of 2016, I had an in-depth conversation with my advisor. (Thank you Dr. Zinsmeister) I was definitely afraid after that conversation but I knew I had to finish the program in two years so I could continue working as clinical faculty. Each semester brought its own challenges but also had its own rewards. There were times I thought I would not be able to continue but with the encouragement of my husband, my classmate, and several faculty members at Messiah, I completed the program in two years. I learned so much in my time at Messiah and tried to take in all the advice I could.

Now that my journey at Messiah has ended, I have not made the jump into a full time academic position but I have used my knowledge to continue working with students in the clinical environment, develop educational opportunities for my clinical unit, and have had the opportunity to share what I have learned with current Messiah students.

Thank you to the entire faculty at Messiah.

Life’s Lessons

by Ellis Choi, MSN, RN ‘17

Two are better than one, because they have good return on their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

I firmly believe that people enter your life for a reason, a lesson always had to be learned with each meeting. After receiving my BSN from Messiah in 1999, it never crossed my mind that I would return for my master’s degree. I had been working at the bedside in the Emergency Department for 15 years before I was encouraged to take a different path and attend school- before I realized my own aspirations to do more in the medical field. One can imagine the challenges I would eventually endure over this process, continuing today.

My journey began with a family friend who encouraged me to teach clinical for her nursing school. Without any teaching knowledge except patient teaching, I accepted the position. Initially, I underestimated the difficulty of instructing around 7-8 nurses at the bedside and quickly recognized the work I would be required to put into this goal. I learned so much in those three months about teaching, myself, and I hungered for more. I began searching for an MSN program with renewed diligence.

After searching locally, another friend told me about Messiah’s Graduate Nursing Programs. I was thrilled to return to some of my professors. My undergraduate time at Messiah in the 90’s was sans technology, a reality virtually unheard of in the 21st century. We didn’t have computers, cellphones, or social media. We had electric typewriters, the library, and a lab with computers for public use. We learned from our professors and textbooks, not from a quick search and browsing of Google or the World Wide Web. There was no simulation lab to debrief cases. We had our imagination and read case scenarios to discuss critically. Looking back, the 90’s were wild times at Messiah, seemingly chaotic without the order technology brings in the modern day. I look back on those memories and marvel in the simplicity of it all.

Messiah in the 2000’s upgraded to a technological advanced school. The nursing wing expanded. A simulation lab was created for students to act out real case scenarios. Everyone had information at their fingertips- it was amazing. I was able to return to a hybrid program of online and classroom setting. I still worked in the Emergency Department, was actively raising a family, all while managing to attend community activities. The technological advances created a smooth transition from expert bedside nurse to novice nurse educator. With the support of the professors and colleagues, the learning curve was manageable and enjoyable.

Even though the medium to learn had progressed with the times, the nursing concepts stayed consistent. At Messiah, we are taught to care for people holistically, deliver individual care, think critically, and express a love of what we do. We learned to do this together. It was an honor to return to Messiah College Graduate Nursing Programs. My experience exemplified professionalism at the highest level.

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!

The Bigger Picture

by Kristen Slabaugh ‘05, DNP, CRNP, CNE, FNP-DNP Coordinator

Some days I feel like I live a life that is crazier than most others. If I stop to think about all the things that go on in my day, I can see it. The problem is that I rarely have time to stop and think about it. Or maybe that isn’t a problem after all!

I spent years waiting for the next break; trying to come up for air to feel like I could take a deep breath and relax. It never came. I clearly remember one of my family’s prayer partners saying to me, “it’s like you guys live life on steroids.” That hit pretty hard and really got me thinking about how I perceive busyness. Life in our house does feel super charged. Between my full-time job, my per diem job, my husband’s job as a business owner, our 3 children (ages 8, 5, and 1.5), and a bunch of chickens, it IS fast!

I was recently listening to a podcast about how to manage family life amidst busyness. It is something I am working on improving. The sticking point for me was the definition of BUSY: Because U Said Yes. Well, yep. I did say yes to this…all of this! I often reminded myself that I signed up for all those things- the jobs, the husband, the kids, etc. However, I did not say yes because I needed more to do. I said yes because God has called me to these things and I am made more whole through them. In essence, I said yes to God, which has led me to a life more fulfilling than I could have imagined on my own. I said yes because this is the leg of the race that I have been assigned to run and I am called to do it well. In Philippians 1:6, Paul reminds us that “he who began a good work in us will stay with us to complete the job by the day of Christ Jesus.” That does not mean that the job or assignment will be completed when I am finished, but I cannot sit down on my leg of the journey. This life is not just about me being comfortable, but about the big picture of the work, God is accomplishing in us and through us. And so, I press on. I keep in mind the question “In this busy season, how do I maintain my focus and live as a people prepared for the coming of the Lord?” I do not have all the answers, but keeping this question in the forefront of my mind rather than “when will this end?” helps me to stay focused and keep running.

Our post-BSN to DNP/FNP program is chugging right along. We continue to learn, grow, and admit new students. We are also preparing our first cohort of DNP students for their DNP projects in advance of graduation in August of 2020! It is an exciting opportunity to celebrate the work that has come before us, the work that we have done, and, more importantly, to celebrate the bigger kingdom picture of what will be. I may never know what that big picture looks like, but I will rest and trust in the One who does.

Bringing research to the patients:

New FNP/DNP program focuses on the science of improving patient care

(Back, L-R): Jamie Messing, Amy Hodes, Tanya O’Brien, Lydia Peavy, Rena Zody, Nick Montgomery, Peiwen Distler (Front, L-R): Karen Wirshcal, Lacey Ehrenfeuchter, Kelly Snyder, Anna Gale, Leighann Ebenezer, Tracy Young, and Gloria Schaeffer

In August 2020, Messiah College will graduate the first cohort of students in the College’s first doctoral program, the Doctor of Nursing Practice/Family Nurse Practitioner! The DNP degree is a terminal degree in the field of nursing, which focuses on clinical practice expertise and translating research findings into practice. Through the DNP/FNP program, students will develop both clinical expertise and a comprehensive understanding of interprofessional collaboration, health promotion, leadership, and the application of theory to research in evidenced-based practice that applied in the form of a DNP project. Unlike the dissertation requirement common to Ph.D. programs, DNP students will apply their newfound clinical and classroom expertise in a rigorous translation project dedicated to improving quality care and health outcomes for an identified patient population.

The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, the 2010 Institute of Medicine report, recommended improving the education and training of nurses at all levels of practice and expanding their roles to more effectively meet the rapidly changing needs of today’s patients. Educating more nurses at the DNP level is key to reducing the current research to practice gap of 15-17 years and bringing evidenced-based changes to the bedside in a timelier manner. Furthermore, the education of more family nurse practitioners will also improve America’s primary care shortage, according to American Enterprise Institute.

Students in the Messiah College DNP program will take four courses to prepare for and implement their evidence-translating projects. Concurrently, students will continue to learn clinical skills in a variety of settings related to the family practice specialty: adult health, pediatrics, women’s health, diagnostics, and older adult care. Our DNP students and faculty will collaborate with outpatient clinics, telehealth organizations, community centers for underserved, primary care, and specialty clinics to identify populations and practice settings that would benefit from quality improvement projects. Some of the projects currently underway include clinical improvements in pre-travel health preparation, diabetic education, screening compliance for colorectal cancer, and technology-based strategies for improving health outcomes for patients with asthma, congestive heart failure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Clinical projects are identified based on the students’ specialty area and clinical or scholarly interests. The students serve as the leaders of the DNP projects, supported by a faculty team and on-site clinician mentors during all phases of their projects. Currently, students are working on DNP project proposals, conducting needs assessments, and reviewing the existing literature. During the Spring 2020 semester, students will implement their projects in a variety of clinical settings and collect data to analyze outcomes. In their final semester, students will evaluate and analyze their data to determine if change was sufficient and sustainable. Ultimately, the goal of each student’s project is to improve the quality of patient care and lead healthcare to the critical change it so desperately needs.

Change Factor

by Gloria Schaeffer, BSN, RN; DNP Cohort ‘20

When I decided to get my BSN I remember telling my husband and daughter that it would just be two quick years and then I would be done with school forever. That was before I met the change factor in my life, also known as Dr. Louann Zinsmeister. When I first met Dr. Zinsmeister, she was in charge of my BSN cohort at Eastern University and although at first, we did not always share many of the same opinions on nursing, she assured me my opinions would change as I continued my education, but I was skeptical. With perseverance, positivity, and a compassion for nursing theory that I may never understand she managed to do just that. I grew to have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for this woman. Thus, when she suggested that I apply to the Messiah DNP program I took her advice to heart. What Dr. Zinsmeister did not know was that I had wanted to be a doctor since I was ten years old, but never believed I was smart enough to do it. The fact that she suggested the DNP program to me made me believe that if someone I respected so much thought I was capable, maybe I am. So here I am, Thank You Dr. Zinsmeister!

I feel truly blessed to be at a school learning from such excellent faculty. And, although most of my classes are online, I always feel supported and know that I can contact any of my instructors at any time and they will be there for me. I have never been part of a school that exudes such excellence and I am proud to be a Messiah College student.

Life is Short

by Daniel Zepp ‘95, BSN, MA; DNP Cohort ‘22

It was September of 1987 and I had just graduated from Messiah College four months earlier, ready to find my place in the world. As I was preparing to work at Philhaven Hospital and move away from home, I heard some tragic news. A classmate of mine had been killed in an accident. Though we were not friends, we all knew each other at Messiah. How could this happen? Life was just starting for us, and my classmate’s life had ended. I vividly remember the awareness, this was the first acquaintance my own age to die. Suddenly sayings such as “life is short” took on a literal meaning. I was a procrastinator, and putting things off until “later” was a bad habit. Thessalonians 5:2 tells us “For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.”

I worked for a year as a psychiatric technician but realized that while the job was fun, I was not being challenged enough. I moved back home, and completed a master’s in psychology. After a few years, I realized that I loved the medical side of my work more than the counseling side. I returned to Messiah College, this time for a BSN degree. I was self-conscious that I was over 30 years old and back in school, but I was surprised to see that I was not the oldest in my class; several others were making life changes after 30 also. After graduation I worked in pediatrics, psychiatry, and geriatrics and taught practical nursing and medical assisting. I slowly realized that while I love teaching, I again was not being challenged enough. After much thought, I decided that at the age of 53, I would head back to school. Messiah had a doctorate of nursing practice program, and so I enrolled.

It is never too late to continue education, and Messiah’s new online programs make it easier for “non-traditional” students. My hope is that anyone hesitant about returning to school because they are “too old” will remember that life is short, and the biggest regrets tend to be the things that we wish we had done, but never found the time.

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

Congratulations to the Graduate Nursing Preis Scholarship Recipients

Claire Jones ’15, BSN, RN; DNP Cohort ‘21 and Abby Schmuck ‘14, BSN, RN; MSN:NE Cohort ‘19

Congratulations to DNP student Claire Jones and MSN student Abigail Schmuck who are the 2018-2019 recipients of the Harry and Nancy Preis Graduate Nursing Endowed Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to financially benefit two graduate nursing students who consistently demonstrate academic excellence in the specialty area of advanced nursing. The graduate nursing committee chooses recipients of this award after reading essays submitted by applicants. The Harry and Nancy Preis Graduate Nursing Endowed Scholarship is made possible through the generosity of Harry and Nancy Preis who recognize the increasing demand and need for highly skilled professional nurses.

Congratulations to the Graduate MSN Cohort of 2018!

(Back row left to right) Sharon Kessler, Jason Stover, Teri Witter, Christina Morgan (Front row left to right) Linda Rhine, Serena Shirey, Christine Dinges, and Kate Taylor


Nurse Practitioners, physicians, advanced practice nurses, and hospital-based nurse educators to serve as clinical preceptors AND online faculty with DNP or Ph.D. degree in nursing preferred for the graduate program in nursing.

FOR MORE INOFRMATION, PLEASE CONTACT: Ashley Ringquist, administrative assistant and clinical coordinator for graduate program in nursing phone: 717-691-6054 email: aringquist@messiah.edu

Support Nursing Through Scholarships

To give online: Visit messiah.edu/give and select Named Endowments under Scholarships and Endowments.

Join us in the Nurses Lounge

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

Liquid Compass Job Search Resource

Messiah College Department of Nursing has a partnership with LiquidCompass, which provides a job resource for undergraduate and graduate students and alumni. It is a website that can be accessed at liquidcompass.com/messiah.

When you land at the site, (no log-in required) simply click a city under the job category that best fits your search. Jobs can be searched for current undergrad nursing students, new grad RNs, and graduate students (MSN, APRN, NP, CRNA, etc.). The job list will load in a new browser tab. The first page shows a summary of all job openings in the city and the employers we are tracking. Scroll down to see the list of jobs. Liquid Compass tracks all nurse hiring activity of all major employers and updates these hiring sheets daily.

You may contact LiquidCompass directly at support@liquidcompass.com or 800-201-8030 with any questions. Additionally, you can contact Beth Aumen in the Department of Nursing at 717-691-6029.


Check us out on Instagram at Messiah Nursing

Check us out on Facebook at Messiah College Department of Nursing

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.