Author Archives: BYU Nursing

Teaching Professor Dr. Kent Blad Receives Award for Critical Care Nursing Excellence


The college is proud to support our faculty in their accomplishments and pursuits. Photo courtesy of Blad.

By Quincey Taylor

Last week, our own faculty member teaching professor Dr. Kent Blad was recognized for his “superiority in critical care clinical practice and education.” He received the 2020 Norma J. Shoemaker Award for Critical Care Nursing Excellence and was presented with a plaque of honor by the Society of Critical Care Medicine.

This award honors Norma J. Shoemaker, RN, MN, FCCM, who was the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s first executive director. Her career spanned decades during which critical care evolved into a recognized specialty. She nurtured the organization, helping it become the professionally respected, international and multiprofessional organization it is today. This award is meant to push critical care nurses to seek excellence, never settling for less than that.


There is no doubt that Blad is deserving of such an honor. Photo courtesy of Blad.

Dr. Blad has worked tirelessly at the BYU College of Nursing, focusing special attention for his passion for helping veterans. He is extremely worthy of such an award and has the college’s full support. As a veteran himself, Blad has a special understanding of the struggles and needs of his patients. He works to instill a love for veterans in his students and finds unique opportunities for his students to learn about them, including the annual Honor Flight.

As part of the award, a poster display featuring Dr. Blad will be hung at the 2020 Annual Congress. In addition, he received an honorarium for $1,000. Blad is grateful for the recognition and humbly accepts the award for his efforts.

2020 USNA Convention Recap


Future BYU SNA president Jessica Daynes (fifth from the right) worked hard with her team to make the USNA Conference on Saturday a success. Photo courtesy of SNA publicity director Kami Christiansen.

By Quincey Taylor

On February 15, 2020, nursing professionals came together to educate and connect with the next generation of nurses. At the Utah Student Nurses Association 68th Annual Convention, students learned why nursing truly is a work of heart.

Attendees had the chance to choose from a plenitude of breakout sessions to hear about a variety of topics, from opioid usage to LGBTQ+ nursing to labor and delivery. Three BYU faculty members had the chance to speak. Associate teaching professor Dr. Craig Nuttall spoke about altitude sickness, assistant teaching professor Scott Summers covered hypothermia and heat illnesses, and assistant teaching professor Dr. Noreen Oeding delved into neonatal nursing. Each one spoke with passion and a conviction for their topics.


Everyone was excited to hear from this year’s speakers. Photo courtesy of Christiansen.

Next year’s BYU SNA president Jessica Daynes said about the experience, “It was a great opportunity for nursing students and pre-nursing students to network with other professionals. A chance to meet other nursing students from outside of Utah is super useful. Once I graduate, I will be able to go to come of my friends I made at these conventions and open up a lot of opportunities.”

The keynote speaker was Joan Otten, who has dedicated her life to preventing child abuse. She shared the touching story of her granddaughter who was a victim of Shaken Baby Syndrome. This tragedy was the spark that motivated Otten to participate in local legislature, eventually passing Miley’s Law in 2017. This law resulted in the creation of the Utah Child Abuse Registry, which would allow parents and guardians to make informed decisions about who spends time with their children. Daynes remarks, “It definitely got the tears flowing.”


Daynes looks forward to next year’s events. It should be an exciting time for SNA. Photo courtesy of Christiansen.

Daynes is excited to continue working with SNA next year and to continue to create other unforgettable experiences. Her and her board members have many exciting plans for the future. She says, “It’s going to take work, but I’m ready to do my best.”


The Universal Language of Healthcare – Being a Medical Interpreter


The skills to interpret Spanish in medical settings have become very useful for student Page Turley. Photo courtesy of Turley.

By Quincey Taylor

When sixth semester student Page Turley found herself in Peruvian hospitals with her companions during her mission, little did she know that understanding medical Spanish would soon become her norm.

Turley is one of the few students that has taken the necessary classes to become a Spanish medical interpreter. Even though the skill only requires two additional classes, nursing students that are registered medical interpreters are rare. Turley is hoping to change that. It is by learning about another culture that Turley has truly learned the language of healthcare – love.

When Turley started her Spanish minor, she had no idea that medical interpretation would be part of it. It started when she took a Spanish medical terminology class. She says, “I loved it. It brought back all the anatomy terms I had learned in nursing.” Her professor, Charles Lemon, approached her about taking the follow-up class in order to qualify as a medical interpreter.

Turley was interested, but the class fell on Thursday during her nursing clinicals. There was no way to work it in. However, Professor Lemon saw potential in Turley and wanted to help her in her future profession. “Even though I had clinicals every Thursday, he would meet with me a different day of the week to make up the class I missed,” says Turley. It was through his help and Turley’s determination that she completed the courses.

Turley says, “The College of Nursing emphasizes caring for people holistically. We’re not just treating patients’ physical symptoms, but we are helping them emotionally, mentally and spiritually. One of the aspects of that is providing culturally-sensitive care. Doing a Spanish minor has helped me understand another culture a little better. It will help me be a better nurse.”

During her fourth semester, Turley was able to use her skills during the Spain section of the clinical practicum for the public and global health nursing course. Many students in her section had served Spanish-speaking missions, but they had never learned the medical side of the language. This set Turley apart.

Turley also used her skills during her pediatric rotation. A family came to the hospital with a sick little girl and neither of the parents spoke English. The doctor responded by turning to the online interpreting service normally used. However, in that moment the computer crashed and the service wouldn’t work. Turley remembers, “There was no way for the doctor to communicate with this family. They needed help right away. It felt awesome to be able to step up and say, ‘I can do it for you if you need it.’ It was a good back-up plan.”

After this experience, Turley saw the true value in her skill. She says, “Even if patients speak English it’s hard to go to the hospital and completely understand exactly what’s going on. Add another barrier, and it makes the experience more difficult and scary for them. There is so much risk for confusion. Just being informed can take away some of the scary nature, even if the situation itself doesn’t change.”

By completing the classes, students can become nationally recognized as medical interpreters. They are required to take a test to prove their competency and may be additionally tested at their job.

After graduation, Turley hopes to work in oncology, continuing using her skills as often as possible.

Studio C puts the “C” in NLC

By Corbin Smith

Trivia time.


Are you sure?

Name a comedy sketch show that finds its roots from BYU. It’s now in its 10th season, featuring brand new cast members this year!

Do you know it yet? Maybe this will help.

They are the creators of some viral comedy sketches you may remember. Does the name Scott Sterling ring any bells? What about the worst doctor ever? If not, surely you have seen the one-millionth death!

You got it! It’s Studio C!

Studio C is a comedy sketch television show, similar to Saturday Night Live, that has been produced by BYUtv since 2012. Over the last 8 years, Studio C has shown over 130 episodes, gained over 2.3 million subscribers on YouTube and has had almost 2 billion total views on those videos.

Studio C’s sketches cover a humongous range of subjects. The original 10 cast members performed memorable sketches about anxious secret agents, diving national champions and even a quirky chef obsessed with bisque!

Now the question is: Why would we, the BYU College of Nursing, care? We aren’t necessarily the funniest college on campus (although if you look far enough back on our Instagram page, you might find some memes that will give you a good chuckle). Also, none of the cast members are College of Nursing alumnus, either. Why, then, are we writing about it?

Maybe you can find the answer in these videos:

Did you notice anything familiar? Anything you may have seen or maybe even worked in before?

The curtains must have given it away. The secret is out. Studio C crashed the NLC!

Since the Mary Jane Rawlinson Geertson Nursing Learning Center had its 4 million dollar renovation in 2014, the Studio C cast has visited us multiple times to film some of the memorable sketches we know and love. There might be some future episodes featuring our NLC as well. Make sure to keep your eyes glued to the screen to see how Studio C uses our facility next! Enjoy!



Charlie Rowberry Receives 2019 UNP Outstanding Student Award


Charlie Rowberry (second from the left) represented BYU students and received the UNP Outstanding Student Award.

By Quincey Taylor

Graduate nursing student Charlie Rowberry recently received the 2019 Utah Nurse Practitioner Outstanding Student Award. This award, which is given to particularly dedicated students, shows that Rowberry puts her heart into her work and her compassionate service.

The nursing faculty at Brigham Young University were all impressed with Rowberry and voted to submit her name. All student nurse practitioners in Utah were considered. Rowberry was honored to be selected and hoped to represent the Utah nurse practitioner well.

Rowberry is excited to finish her final semester of didactics and begin her 265 hours of clinical rotation for her last semester before graduation. She says, “It’s been a hard journey, but I’ve loved every minute. I’m so excited to be a nurse practitioner.” In her time at BYU, she has been able to learn so much, including the Utah legislation accompanied by professor Dr. Beth Luthy (see the following article:

Rowberry says, “I work hard and I study hard and I love what I’m doing. I’ve had incredible help from the every member of the faculty here.” She is grateful for all the helpful advice she has received and feels that the professors truly want her to succeed, not only in nursing but in every faucet of her life.

Nurses Empowering Women: A NEW Opportunity

By Quincey Taylor


The creation of this group by students Electra Cochran, Emma Beaumont, and Harper Forsgren promises exciting change to the BYU nursing student experience.

Nurses will inevitably treat more women than men during their career. Therefore, it is vital for them to understand the unique issues that women experience in their lifetimes. To fulfill this need in our nursing students’ education, the Nurses Empowering Women organization was formed.

This group, which welcomes male and female nursing students alike, was started by sixth semester student Electra Cochran. She is truly passionate about women’s health and believes the club’s motto: Helping Women Heals the World. She says, “The goal of this organization is to bring together nursing and Global Women’s Studies.” This doesn’t mean, however, that participants need to minor in Global Women’s Studies at all. All that is required is a desire to uphold women’s health.

Cochran continues, “There are so many bright minds in this program. That’s why having a club where it’s a safe place to talk about sensitive issues will help us come up with a lot of great solutions. We want to know how we can help in the future as professionals.”

The group will meet monthly, having group discussions and activities. Their next event will be hosting a conference on the eighth of February called “Promoting Healthy Relationships” (see flier below). They encourage everyone to go and participate and to bring a plus one.

NEW conference flier

Scan the QR code above to sign up.

The genesis for this group started when Cochran and her presidency counterparts, Emma Beaumont and Harper Forsgren, went on a study abroad together focusing specifically on women’s rights. They were the only students to go on the study abroad, and it was a wonderful opportunity to expand their education. Cochran says the decision to go completely changed her life. She says, “It was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my college career. When we came back, it didn’t stop there. We got together with faculty and talked about the things we learned and experienced.” They decided they wanted to make a difference.

Cochran was particularly influenced after a spiritual experience she had. She says, “One day, I was thinking about Eve and how she is fundamental in the plan of salvation. I just felt this power, and I knew that empowering women is something that is eternal and goes beyond this life. Women are essential to God’s plan.”

Their goal is to keep the group solely student-driven. The group name and motto were created after taking suggestions from students. They have felt support from many faculty members, including college advisor Cara Wiley, undergraduate studies secretary Delsa Richards, and associate dean and associate professor Dr. Katreen Merrill.

Club leaders have big plans for the future, including service projects, a book club, and trips to visit church history sites in Salt Lake City.

Cochran concludes, “There is so much value in getting the most out of your education at BYU. This is a perfect opportunity to expand your knowledge of women’s health and to just have fun.”


Historic: Meeting Three Ghanaian Chiefs


Traditional Ghanaian chief (center) was happy to meet with BYU nursing students as they asked for his permission to perform health screenings.

By Quincey Taylor

Ghana’s government is a unique mix of modern ideals and tribal tradition. They operate under a parliamentary democracy with a president and a separate judiciary branch. However, the constitution also protects the rights of local tribal chiefs, who demonstrate traditional authority and political influence in a changing world.

There are many different tribes in Ghana, each with their own king or chief. Passed down from father to son, or in some cases mother to daughter, this authority makes the ruler a custodian of the land traditionally owned by the tribe. They retain the culture of the tribe and continue with cultural customs.

When our 2019 Ghana section of the clinical practicum for the public and global health nursing course came to Ghana and began their work, they were asked to meet with not one of the chiefs like in past years, but three! This honor was appreciated and felt by all who participated, faculty and students alike.

Assistant teaching professor Dr. Michael Thomas said about the special experience, “We were wanting to do health screenings and we wanted to be as culturally respectful as possible, so we had the opportunity to actually ask the chief and get permission.”

One of the chiefs they met (pictured above) had an interesting story. He lived in the U.S. for years and became a professor. He was living a good life when he heard his grandfather in Ghana had passed away. He was informed that he was next in line to become king. He left behind his job as a professor and returned to Ghana to care for his people. His sacrifice and willingness to serve demonstrates the seriousness of this tradition.

BYU nursing students learned some cultural signs of respect, such as waiting to speak until they were spoken to, giving gifts, and always shaking with the right hand.

The chief responded to the group’s requests with dignity and welcoming words. Our students had the privilege to learn more about another culture and connect with others on the opposite side of the world.