Kent State University’s College of Nursing was recently awarded a three-year $225,000 grant from Peg’s Foundation, formerly the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation, a private grant-making foundation that supports mental health programs in Northeast Ohio. These funds will support the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs, as well as improve recruitment and increase the number of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) working in Northeast Ohio.
“Financial support from Peg’s Foundation encourages nurses to return to school for psychiatric mental health. By supporting Kent State University College of Nursing students, we are helping to attract, educate and keep advanced practice nurses in Northeast Ohio,” said Thom Craig, Peg’s Foundation Director – Mental Health Program. “Upon graduation, these students will be providing care and treatment for individuals living with mental illness, addiction, and complex health issues, especially those who reside in underserved communities.”
A generous donor to Kent State’s College of Nursing, Peg’s Foundation has been supporting the college for nearly 15 years. More than 130 Kent State nursing students have benefited from more than $550,000 in financial assistance from the foundation.
Funding from this grant was awarded to Jim Tudhope, DNP, APRN, PMHNP-BC, Kent State’s psychiatric Mental health Nurse Practitioner concentration coordinator and assistant professor, and Lisa Onesko, DNP, APRN-BC, Kent State professor and director of the DNP program. This award designates $105,000 to continue the Peg’s Foundation traineeship program for graduate students pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree in the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner APRN concentration; $90,000 to support three DNP scholars; and $30,000 to develop a sustainable community of practice to further support professional development of past traineeship recipients.
“There has been a growing need for psychiatric nursing services in Northeast Ohio,” Tudhope said.
Citing an aging workforce in which three out of five psychiatrists are age 55 or older, increased demand for psychiatric mental health services in the community and the Affordable Care Act, which has allowed more individuals to have access to insurance and health care than before, Tudhope explained that the current workforce has struggled to meet the demand.
“There's a lot of work to be done and not enough clinicians in the field,” Tudhope expressed. “Through the generous continued support of Peg’s Foundation, we can carry on providing traineeships for students, which has increased our admittance capacity. Our students receive a strong foundation and education throughout their program from dedicated faculty who are committed to supporting them in their future careers.”
Financial support goes directly to students to offset the costs of student debt. Three DNP student scholarship recipients will be fully funded, enabling them to complete their DNP without accumulating student debt.
Over the next three years, 30 full-time and 30 part-time traineeships will support students in the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner MSN program. As a cohort, these students will commit to providing a combined 750 volunteer service hours that positively impact mental health initiatives and social determinants of health within Northeast Ohio. Students may complete their volunteer hours on the Kent State campus or within their local communities.
Upon receiving funds, students also commit to working as psychiatric mental health practitioners in Northeast Ohio for at least two years following graduation.
Beginning with this new cycle of funding, Kent State’s College of Nursing will build on the impact it has previously achieved by creating a sustainable community of practice to further support the professional development of past traineeship recipients.
“We will be identifying where our graduates of the past 10 years are now and how things are going for them in the work environment,” Tudhope stated. “By identifying their needs, we can mentor and network with them, which will allow the college to continue to support the workplace wellbeing of our alums.”
A two-time recipient of these funds, Tudhope is passionate about ensuring that other students pursuing advanced nursing degrees in psychiatric mental health have similar opportunities. He received the MSN scholarship award, and years later, was the first recipient of the DNP scholar award granted to the college. Today, he has come full circle as coordinator of the college’s Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program and liaison with Peg’s Foundation.
“My journey speaks to the commitment of both Peg’s Foundation and Kent State’s College of Nursing to graduate students,” Tudhope said. “These entities want to see our students succeed. Now coming alongside the students as a faculty member and having a part in creating opportunities for them to take the next steps, it is wonderful to see such partnership in action. Personally and professionally, it is fulfilling to see the investment others made in my life be extended to the students who come after me. I am proud I get to continue this great work.”
Feedback from students over the years includes expressions of gratefulness and excitement.
“When students see how other organizations are interested in the needs of our community, it helps solidify that they made the right decision to enter this field,” Tudhope explained. “To have backing from strangers who believe you are going to make a difference and are willing to invest in you is a huge blessing for our students.”
Students interested in learning more about participating in the Peg’s Foundation traineeship program can reach out to Tudhope at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Description: Kent State nursing and Peg's Foundation scholarship recipient alumni, along with their colleagues, contribute to the integrated and interprofessional care learning environment at Portage Path Behavioral Health in Akron, Ohio. (Back row left to right: Kristin Poole, Pharmacy Technician - Genoa; Adam Quisno, Pharmacist - Genoa; Vhari Kashay, PMHNP-BC, Peg's Foundation scholarship recipient, Portage Path Behavioral Health; Jen Smith, PMHNP-BC, Peg's Foundation scholarship recipient, Portage Path Behavioral Health; Katy Pirozhkov, PMHNP-BC, Portage Path Behavioral Health; Susan Linz, Pharmacy Technician - Genoa; Mark Werstler, PMHNP-BC, Peg's Foundation scholarship recipient, Portage Path Behavioral Health. Seated left to right: James Tudhope, DNP-Psychiatry, Portage Path Behavioral Health; Vikil Girdhar, MD-Family Medicine, AxessPointe)
A tribute to both their ongoing scholarship and service to the College of Nursing, Loretta Aller, Ph.D., MSN, RN, CHSE, and Taryn Burhanna, MSN, APRN, NP-C, received competitive fellowship awards by the internationally recognized International Nursing Association for Clinical and Simulation Learning (INACSL) and the nationally recognized SOURCE Service-Learning Academy, respectively. These prestigious fellowships offer Dr. Aller and Ms. Burhanna unique opportunities for continued professional development, including new insights and perspectives and exposure to cutting-edge thinking within their chosen specializations. Both faculty members will also receive guidance and knowledge sharing by well-known experts in their fields, as well as the chance to gain valuable leadership experience.
Dr. Loretta Aller, Assistant Professor for the College of Nursing, was named a Research Fellow by the International Nursing Association for Clinical and Simulation Learning (INACSL), an association dedicated to advancing the science of healthcare simulation. Designed as a twelve-month program, the INACSL Research Fellowship includes monthly webinars with notable leaders, broad exposure to the field through extensive reading and writing, and guidance by experts in simulation research. Working under an experienced research mentor, Research Fellows work to complete a research project, grant application, or manuscript for publication. Serving as a Research Fellow for INACSL provides an ideal platform for Dr. Aller to further her current research using multi-platform virtual simulation to measure the experience of two concurrent processes for undergraduate nursing students: the movement from self-doubt and anxiety to self-efficacy and the development of safe patient care based on sound clinical judgment and decision-making. As a relatively new but enthusiastic researcher committed to student success, Dr. Aller has taken full advantage of the many benefits offered through her fellowship, including information shared in monthly webinars, networking with simulation experts and leaders, and the opportunity to improve nursing education through well-designed simulations. As part of her experience as a Research Fellow, she recently participated as an invited speaker for both the Quality & Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) International Forum in Denver, CO and the INACSL Annual Conference in Milwaukee, WI. She also plans to use lessons learned from her fellowship experience to publish a manuscript and prepare grant submissions for research funding.
Dr. Aller received Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing degrees from Kent State University. Before her current position, she served as an Associate Lecturer at Kent State University at Stark for over a decade. Her work experience includes academic, clinical, and administrative positions, as well as curriculum development, implementation, and evaluation for Kaplan North America, Inc. and Elsevier Publishing. Dr. Aller currently serves as Chair of the Patient Safety Special Interest Group at the International Nurses Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning and is certified as a Clinical Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE). Dr. Aller’s study findings were published in Nurse Educator, and she has authored several book chapters for Elsevier’s Fundamentals of Nursing. She has also embraced unique methods of knowledge dissemination through invitational podcasts and webinars, including participation in a recent podcast series by Nurse Educator.
Taryn Burhanna, Lecturer, Clinical Instructor and Course Coordinator for Community Health Nursing for Kent State University College of Nursing, was selected as a SOURCE Service-Learning Academy Faculty Fellow by the Johns Hopkins University Schools of Public Health, Nursing, and Medicine. Designed to assist faculty new to service learning or who currently teach service-learning courses, the SOURCE Service-Learning Academy provides Fellows the opportunity to develop service-learning partnerships and courses through a comprehensive one-year program. Faculty Fellows learn from a community of graduate and health education faculty, community organizers, and non-profit leaders to design critical service-learning courses and projects. Fellows benefit from individual advising sessions with faculty mentors, as well as monthly webinars and a virtual summer seminar presenting information on topics of interest such as best practices for community engagement and the integration of social justice with education.
With more than five years serving as lecturer and clinical instructor for the College of Nursing, as well as more than 10 years of clinical experience as a registered nurse and nurse practitioner for underserved persons in Portage and Summit Counties in northeastern Ohio, Ms. Burhanna is an ideal match for this fellowship program. Her varied clinical and teaching experiences inspired Ms. Burhanna to become an advanced practice nurse to better serve her community and support her focus of assisting nursing students with understanding the context of the communities they serve and how to advocate for vulnerable populations.
Ms. Burhanna earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degrees from Kent State University. She teaches a variety of undergraduate courses for the College of Nursing, including Community Health Nursing, Pharmacology II, and Integration of Leadership and Management. Her clinical nursing experience includes positions at the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals Portage Medical Center, Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and AxessPointe Community Health Centers, institutions serving patients in medically underserved areas as designated by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). She is currently working part-time as an internal medicine nurse practitioner for Primary Care and Preventive Services at AxessPointe Community Health Centers, a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that provides medical, behavioral, and women’s health care to medically underserved areas in northeast Ohio. In recognition of her achievements and impact as a nurse educator, Ms. Burhanna was honored with the national 2021 DAISY Faculty Award.
Bridging the field of early childhood literacy with child health and development, faculty member Elaine Thomas, MSN, RN, CNE, Senior Lecturer, is serving as co-investigator on a recently funded grant award to the Kent State University School of Information in partnership with the College of Nursing. Funded by a National Leadership Planning Grant for Libraries by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), Project SHIELD (Supporting Healthy Infant Early Learning and Development) will investigate optimal ways to support families with children, ages 0-24 months, with early brain development, learning, and health, particularly for underserved communities. Katie Campana, PhD, Assistant Professor in the School of Information, serves as principal investigator along with co-investigators Michelle Baldini, MLS, School of Information, and Elaine Thomas, who brings expertise in pediatric nursing to the research team. “I love pediatric nursing,” she notes, explaining, “Supporting the optimal growth and development of all children is very important to me. I feel this grant will allow us to explore ideas and promote the collaboration of public libraries with health practitioners to enhance health and early learning for infants and toddlers in underserved communities.”
Project SHIELD will bring public library and community health practitioners together for co-design sessions, allowing them to brainstorm and plan ways to support families by promoting both early childhood learning and health. Using interviews, surveys, focus groups, and participatory design workshops, the research team will explore how libraries currently support very young children and their families and how partnership with healthcare providers may strengthen and expand these efforts. The research team anticipates that this initial planning stage will yield valuable ideas as to how public library and community health practitioners may work collaboratively to support families with very young children in underserved communities, improving both early childhood literacy and health outcomes for this vulnerable population.
Elaine Thomas received her Post-Master’s Certificate in Nursing Education from Kent State University, Master of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Akron with a concentration in Child and Adolescent Health, and Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from The Ohio State University. In addition to positions at the College of Nursing as a lecturer and clinical faculty member for the past two decades, she has served as the Health Care of Children Course Coordinator since 2010. Her affiliations include the National League for Nursing and Sigma Theta Tau, Delta Xi chapter. She currently serves on the College’s Coordinating Council-Baccalaureate Committee and is a former member of the College Advisory, Faculty Service and Welfare, and Teaching Committees. Thomas has presented for the annual research conference of the Midwest Nursing Research Society and the Society of Pediatric Nurses Fall Conference, as well as for various northeastern Ohio medical institutions such as Robinson Memorial Hospital and the Summit County Health Department. Her dedication to nursing education was recognized by her receipt of the Outstanding Faculty Award by the Students for Professional Nursing (SPN) at Kent State University and her induction into the Delta Omega Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau.
Peg’s Foundation recently recognized Kent State University College of Nursing as the recipient of the 2021 Morgan Impact Award for Excellence in Education for its work in leading change in mental health care service delivery. James K. Tudhope, DNP, APRN, PMHNP-BC, NPD-BC, assistant professor and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) concentration coordinator and Lisa Onesko, DNP, APRN-BC, professor and director of DNP program, along with emeriti faculty members Wendy Umberger and Barb Drew, received the award on behalf of the college during the dinner and awards ceremony held at the NEW Center at NEOMED in Rootstown, Ohio. To watch the video presentation, visit https://bit.ly/3csCXtx.
“The demands on the workforce in Northeast Ohio are exceptionally high, and the challenges facing providers have been highlighted here and across the country. These challenges, particularly for new advanced practice nurses as they transition to practice, have been of interest to me and are the focus of my scholarship and research,” explained Tudhope. “Our PMHNP graduates are on the front lines caring for high-risk, vulnerable, and underserved families who are dealing with mental illness and the stigma that can still at times go with this.”
Through an academic clinical partnership with Portage Path Behavioral Health, the College of Nursing is involved with the Integrated Community Psychiatry Nurse Practitioner Fellowship Program. This post-graduate fellowship program is designed to improve the competencies and confidence of recent graduates from PMHNP academic programs as they transition into practice. To learn more about the fellowship program, visit www.kent.edu/node/936300.
“All of our faculty and staff at Kent State University College of Nursing are proud of our graduates who are working to improve the lives of our community members by helping them get connected with the support they need,” stated Tudhope. “We are forever grateful for our partnership with Peg’s Foundation. Through our joint efforts, we are bringing about a much-needed change in mental health care service delivery in our Northeast Ohio communities.”
A research team from Kent State University's School of Information working in partnership with Kent State’s College of Nursing received a National Leadership Planning Grant for Libraries from the Institute of Museums and Library Services (IMLS) for $99,982. The funds will support the first stages of what investigators have named Project SHIELD (Supporting Healthy Infant Early Learning and Development).
With the start of the Fall semester, three new full-time faculty members are contributing their knowledge and expertise to College of Nursing research endeavors. Dr. Versie Johnson-Mallard, Ph.D., RN, APRN, FAANP, FAAN, joins the College of Nursing as Dean, Professor, and Henderson Endowed Chair, succeeding retired Dean Barbara Broome and Interim Dean Denice Sheehan. Dr. Loretta Aller, Ph.D., RN, comes to the Kent campus after serving at Kent State University at Stark, and Dr. Stacy Miner, Ph.D., RN, CCRP, joins College of Nursing faculty from University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. Working within their unique areas of research, each new faculty member brings her ideas and experiences to stimulate discussion and enrich the research environment at the College of Nursing.
Versie Johnson-Mallard, Ph.D., RN, APRN, FAANP, FAAN, Dean, Professor, and Henderson Endowed Chair
Leading the College of Nursing following her previous position as Associate Dean for the University of Florida College of Nursing, Dr. Johnson-Mallard’s research focuses on women’s and reproductive health, including sexually transmitted disease screening and prevention and culturally appropriate nursing interventions that promote positive and sustainable behavioral change. Most recently, she engaged in interprofessional research to develop an intervention for young adults concerned about transmission of sickle cell disease or trait to their offspring, authoring the publication, “Development of an Online Reproductive Health Intervention for Individuals with Sickle Cell Disease or Trait,” in Women’s Health Report. Her numerous publications also include research articles for the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, and Physics; Biological Research for Nursing; Health Equity; The Nurse Practitioner; Journal of Pain and Symptom Management; Journal of Clinical Oncology; Journal of Women’s Health;and Journal of Transcultural Nursing.
One of only 15 candidates chosen from across the country for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Nurse Scholar program in 2009, Dr. Johnson-Mallard is an alumna of that program and also served as a Pre-Doctoral Fellow for the National Institute of Nursing Research within the National Institutes of Health. In recognition of her notable accomplishments in research, education, and clinical practice, Dr. Johnson-Mallard was named Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing in 2014. In her previous position, she served as Project Manager for a University of Florida Health Cancer Center Pilot Project grant through the Florida Consortium of the National Cancer Institute Centers Program and taught a range of graduate nursing courses such as Health Promotion, Leadership and Management in Nursing, and Residency in Advanced Nursing. She currently serves as an advisor to National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) and is a board-certified Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner and Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.
Loretta Aller, Ph.D., RN, Assistant Professor
As a doctoral student, Dr. Aller discovered her passion for nursing research and began to develop a contemporary model of undergraduate nursing education centered on decision-making and self-efficacy. By improving students’ confidence and comfort levels as new graduates entering the nursing workforce, she hopes to address underlying problems leading to high turnover rates. Her reimagined theory of undergraduate nursing education centers on informed, evidence-based curricular and program decisions for better nurse preparation and patient safety. “As nurse educators, we have been given the unique opportunity to share the wonder that is nursing,” she explains. “Effectively teaching the art and science of our profession will impact not only our students’ lives, but all of the patients and families that will cross their paths over the next 30-40 years.” Her current research uses multi-platform virtual simulation to measure the experience of two concurrent processes for undergraduate nursing students: the movement from self-doubt and anxiety to self-efficacy and the development of safe patient care based on sound clinical judgment and decision making. Based on her findings, Dr. Aller and her research team are conducting feasibility testing for the Aller’s Development of Decision-Making and Self-Efficacy in Undergraduate Nursing Education model.
Dr. Aller earned her BSN, MSN, and Ph.D. degrees in nursing at Kent State University and served as an Associate Lecturer at Kent State University at Stark for over a decade before accepting her current position as Assistant Professor at the Kent campus. Her work experience also includes clinical positions at Summa Health, Hospice & Palliative Care of Visiting Nurse Service, and Middlebury Manor in Akron, as well as test item writing and review for Kaplan, Inc. and Elsevier Publishing, Inc. She and her research team received funding from the Health Foundation of Greater Massillon and the Austin-Bailey Health & Wellness Foundation, as well as internal funding awards through Kent State University and the University of Mount Union. Dr. Aller’s recent study findings were published in Nurse Educator, and she has authored several book chapters for Elsevier’s Fundamentals of Nursing. She has also embraced unique methods of knowledge dissemination through invitational podcasts and webinars, including participation in a recent podcast series by Nurse Educator.
Stacy Miner, Ph.D., RN, CCRP, Assistant Professor
Grounded in her expertise in the area of autism spectrum disorder, Dr. Miner is interested in studying neural connectivity and neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and sensory processing disorder. She also investigates improving services for transition-age youth with autism, as well as identifying comorbidities that affect symptom variations. In December 2020, Dr. Miner graduated with her PhD in nursing from the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University with a focus on pediatric neurodevelopment. Her dissertation research evaluated the relationship between sleep disturbances and the severity of and common behaviors for those with autism spectrum disorder. Recently published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, Dr. Miner co-authored the study, “Service Use Among Transition-Age Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder” which examined a healthcare utilization model to predict service use among 174 youths aged 16-30 to determine the areas of greatest need for families and guide further research efforts. Dr. Miner has been recognized by a National Institute for Nursing Research Pre-Doctoral Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, as well as the Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society Alpha Mu Research Award.
In addition to her research activities, Dr. Miner has served in various positions for area institutions, including as a research assistant for Case Western Reserve University and clinical nurse and clinical research coordinator for University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. In her current position as clinical research nurse for University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, she provides nursing care, study medicine administration, and data collection for subjects participating in clinical research trials. “My experience and certification are in clinical research,” she explains, adding “I love that my nursing background gives me a different perspective for studying these disorders.” She is a member of the Society of Clinical Research Associates, International Society of Autism Research, Autism Society of Greater Cleveland, and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society and serves as a Chemotherapy and Biotherapy Provider for the Oncology Nursing Society. In addition to her Ph.D., Dr. Miner earned her BSN from the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University.
Janet Reed, MSN, RN, CMSRN, Associate Lecturer at Kent State University Stark, always enjoys incorporating new creative ideas in her classroom. After observing her undergraduate nursing students struggle with heightened anxiety during traditional simulations over the years, she desired a way to make the experience more fun and less stressful. In February 2020, she introduced her students to the nursing simulation escape room, a project she developed as an assignment in her Ph.D. course, Teaching with Games and Simulations.
“I was able to obtain a small grant from Kent State University to cover the supplies I purchased for the escape room,” said Reed. "My advisor, Dr. Ferdig, helped me with the IRB requirements as my goal was for this to be a pre-dissertation study.”
For the pilot study, Reed’s junior nursing students had yet to experience a face-to-face simulation on an adult manikin. Fourteen students were divided into groups of four or five and completed a pre-simulation test to measure their anxiety levels. They were then brought into the lab, shown the equipment they would be using, and received a pre-briefing orientation to the room and how the simulation would work. The groups knew they were competing against one another for the fastest escape time.
“The initial clue, along with the rules of the game, was in an envelope. It set up the patient scenario stating he had been admitted for pneumonia. Students had two objectives; first, find the escape room key and leave before the 20-minute timer ran out. Time started when I handed them the envelope,” explained Reed. “Their second objective was to actually take care of the patient like they would in a normal simulation, by performing an assessment and administering the necessary medication correctly. The catch, all of the nursing care supplies they needed were in locked boxes, so students would need to solve clues and puzzles to figure out how to get the boxes unlocked.”
There were two different pathways in the game. If students gave the patient medicine he was allergic to, this caused a reaction that delayed the group. They would be forced to call the doctor, who would prescribe extra medications to treat the reaction. On the contrary, if students provided care correctly, they would escape faster. Reed described that eventually, both pathways led to the patient experiencing new symptoms, such as a low heart rate. At this point, students would need to call the doctor, who in this scenario, was Reed observing behind one-way glass.
“I instructed the students to attach the temporary pacemaker pads. When they went to the AED box, they found the final escape key. A paper explained they had escaped and instructed them to stop the timer,” said Reed. “Afterwards, students completed a post-test to measure their anxiety. It’s typical that when the simulation ends, anxiety decreases. But it was interesting that the levels of anxiety we recorded were extremely high. What we don't know yet is how much higher this particular group of students’ anxieties would be compared to a group participating in a traditional simulation.”
The following are some of the raving reviews Reed’s students made about the experience:
It was a fun way to run a simulation without the pretend professionalism that is hard to keep during a normal simulation.
The escape room simulation helped me to think quickly and make decisions on my feet.
I wish we had more simulation labs like this!
The escape room simulation game was fun and helped me learn.
I’m typically a quiet person, but the escape room provided an environment where I felt comfortable communicating freely.
Three groups participated in the initial escape room simulation. Reed shared that the first group was surprised when the timer when off because they had not finished the simulation objectives. The next two groups did progressively better with the winning group escaping with a time of 12:46. Reed said it was interesting because the group that won included a girl with previous escape room experience, so she stepped up and assumed a leadership role.
The groups were not permitted to observe each other during the simulation.
“One thing I was worried about was that the first group would spill the beans and tell the other groups what to expect. But that didn't happen. The first group did not want to give the others any hints because they did not want them to beat their time,” explained Reed. “However, once a group finished, the others were eager to find out that team’s escape time."
Looking forward, Reed hopes to continue using the escape room simulation as an introductory experience for caring for adult patients. Additionally, she stated it would be interesting to continue this research with a control group of students who participate in the same patient scenario but in a traditional simulation lab setting.
Reed received The Platinum Teaching Award which recognizes the dissemination of research in teaching.
“I’m honored to receive this award because I always enjoy trying new ideas in my classroom, but this is the first time I’ve researched and published the things I’m doing with my students,” exclaimed Reed. “It’s rewarding to see my work in print, share about the experience, and talk with others interested in implementing something similar in their classrooms.”
The following two studies were published from Reed’s research:
Although widely acknowledged that greater diversity among nurses reduces health disparities and improves quality of care, the U.S. nursing workforce does not mirror the nation’s increasingly diverse population. According to the most recent Ohio Workforce Data Summary Report from the Ohio Board of Nursing, 88.7% of registered nurses reported their race/ethnicity as White/Caucasian, followed by 6.6% who reported their race/ethnicity as African American/Black. With over 25 years of experience at the Kent State University College of Nursing, Dr. Tracey Motter, DNP, RN, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs, has devoted her career to addressing the diversity of the nursing student population and improving transition to practice for new graduates. In addition to overseeing the traditional BSN, Accelerated BSN, and RN-to-BSN programs, Dr. Motter has developed programs and sought funding support to more effectively recruit, retain, and graduate a more diverse nursing student population. She explains her dedication to these efforts and the urgency of supporting minority nursing students, explaining, “If we are going to improve equity in healthcare, we must increase the diversity of the nursing workforce. As nursing leaders, we have the ability to be catalysts for change, and we must act now.”
As a faculty member, faculty counselor for the Diversity Nursing Association (DNA), and past member of Kent State University’s University Diversity Action Council (UDAC), Dr. Motter has focused on removing barriers that undermine the academic progress of diverse disadvantaged students to bolster educational and career success. She developed and served as the primary investigator for five national Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing (RWJF NCIN) grants focused on increasing diversity in nursing. This grant funding provided financial support for student tuition and development and implementation of evidence-based strategies to assist underrepresented students in the Second Degree Accelerated BSN program. Dr. Motter was successful in leading the College of Nursing to identify and solve challenges faced by disadvantaged, diverse students; of the 60 students supported by RWJF NCIN, 95% graduated over the five-year period, and 97% passed the NCLEX on the first attempt. Dr. Motter’s efforts to enhance nursing education for all students, including diverse students, have also centered on developing and sustaining academic-clinical partnerships. She served as the primary investigator for three Choose Ohio First Programs of Innovation grants, in partnership with University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center and Aultman Hospital, supporting the Linked-in to Practice program focused on increasing diversity in nursing. The first cohort of 16 Choose Ohio First Scholars who completed the program had 100% graduation and NCLEX passage rates.
Dr. Motter also developed the Upward Bound Program for Nursing and Healthcare Careers sessions at Kent State targeting underserved high school students who spend 10 weeks in the summer learning about career choices and improving their math and writing skills. These sessions educated high school students about potential nursing careers and the important role nurses have to positively impact health outcomes for individuals and communities. Motter reports, “On day one, when I asked how many students wanted to be a nurse, not one student in 24 raised their hands. On the last day, when I asked the question again, half of the students said they were at least considering nursing as an option.” She also revived the Diversity Nursing Association (DNA) student organization at KSU College of Nursing with the goal to engage and support diverse nursing students from freshman to senior year in the BSN program and increase their sense of belonging at the College of Nursing. In addition to providing student mentoring, developing professional leadership skills, and promoting academic success. Dr. Motter recently applied for funding through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to support the Increasing Diversity and Engagement and Accessibility (IDEA) project at the College of Nursing. The IDEA project seeks to develop a sustainable pathway to the Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) degree, leading to RN licensure for 16 diverse students. This program will increase the number of quality, culturally aligned RN providers who reflect the diversity of the community, as well as develop diverse clinical faculty. Motter notes that “staying connected with diverse students has afforded me the opportunity at KSU to increase the number of diverse clinical faculty, providing role models for current diverse students.”
Dr. Motter earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from Kent State University, her Master of Science in Nursing from Gannon University and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Duquesne University. She is a member of the Ohio Nurses Association, American Nurses Association, and Sigma Theta Tau International and has published articles in the Journal of American College Health, Holistic Nursing Practice, and OJIN: Online Journal of Issues in Nursing. In addition to her faculty and leadership roles at the College, Dr. Motter has served as a practicing nurse for 30 years with clinical experience in critical care, post-anesthesia, med-surg nursing, and home and hospice care nursing. In 2017, she was named a Fellow in the Leadership for Academic Nursing Program (LANP), the leadership academy of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). Her service to the College of Nursing has been recognized with numerous teaching awards, including the Outstanding Faculty Award at the college level and the Outstanding Teaching Award by the Kent State University Teaching Council. Dr. Motter strives to remove barriers for diverse students to succeed in a BSN program, including strategies such as grant funding that supports student tuition, job placement, and professional mentoring and partnerships with area healthcare agencies to offer evening and weekend accelerated programs. Most importantly, she advocates for “helping students feel connected while in Kent State’s BSN program” to ensure the success of diverse nursing students.