Category Archives: Alumni

What to Expect at Night of Nursing 2020

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NON watch parties will be hosted at various locations across the nation; Photo courtesy of the Spokane, Washington chapter

By Lyndee Johns

The seventh annual Night of Nursing is only days away.

Seven days, seven hours, 51 minutes and 55 seconds to be exact.

54 seconds.

53 seconds.

52 groups across the nation will gather in various locations on February 27th, 2020, to watch the broadcast by Dr. Sandra Rogers at 6:30 MST. Dr. Sandra Rogers is the current international vice president at BYU and the previous college dean.

Parties

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Los Angeles Night of Nursing party; Photo courtesy of Wendy Hart

The informal watch parties hosted by nursing alumni and BYU-alumni chapters across the nation will each have different activities as decided by the hosts. The starting times will also be decided by the hosts. Each party will include refreshments, time to mingle with alumni and other nursing students, games, raffles, and the opportunity to watch the broadcast. The broadcast should last half an hour, meaning that the party itself could last between 90 minutes and two hours.

Guests

The party provides a chance for nursing alumni from BYU and BYU-Idaho to reconnect and a chance for current nursing students to talk with alumni. However, everyone (including alumni from other schools) is welcome to attend!

Raffle Prizes

Raffle prizes at the different host parties include water bottles, copies of the book Nurses at War, College of Nursing t-shirts, and much-coveted BYU socks. (Seriously, everyone loves these socks.)

BYU Party

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Fudge, umbrellas, and other raffle prizes will be won at the BYU party

The BYU campus party—the site of the broadcast—will include Italian sodas, a photo booth, ring toss, and a prize wheel. A doughnut wall is even rumored to appear (but you didn’t hear that from me). Raffle prizes at this location include fudge, umbrellas, and gift cards. The party will begin at 6:00 MST.

The Greatest Prize

In addition to walking away with prizes, new connections to fellow nurses, and great memories, all participants of Night of Nursing will end the night with the greatest gift of all:

A new spatula.

RSVP

So check nightofnursing.com to find the Night of Nursing party for your area, and RSVP via the website. If you are bringing any guests with you (again, all are welcome), make sure that you RSVP for them as well.

Come join us for a memorable evening of connection and fun!

Mary Ellen Jackman: “Go Forth to Serve”

 

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Jackman epitomizes the BYU slogan “Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve”; Photo courtesy of Jackman

By Lyndee Johns

BYU alumni Mary Ellen Jackman (BS ’77, AS ’75) encourages BYU nursing students to take the campus message “Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve” to heart.

When examining her life, it is clear that Jackman has done this herself.

Jackman has worked for Intermountain Healthcare for 33 years, all but 18 months of those years at American Fork Hospital in labor and delivery.

Last November, Jackman traveled to Honduras as part of a humanitarian trip with Smiles for Latin America—an organization that provides medical and dental services to future missionaries.

In San Pedro Sula, 30 dentists and six oral surgeons set up shop in the local stake center to give fillings and root canals. Jackman assisted as a recovery room nurse. Altogether, they were able to serve 670 prospective missionaries.

During the trip, Jackman also helped to deliver supplies to an orphanage and maternity kits to a maternity hospital.

Jackman considers the trip a “very rewarding experience.”

“The Saints are very appreciative and very humble,” Jackman says.

In addition to serving people in Honduras, Jackman has made a significant difference in her own American Fork Hospital.

About ten years ago, Jackman noticed a problem during the clinical days where students would come to assist in the hospital: both nurses and students were getting frustrated. Students wanted to share what they had learned in their classes, and the nurses were overwhelmed by simultaneously trying to mentor students and handle patients. “The only satisfaction the nurse gets is if the student is receptive to learn and take direction, not over-anxious to share what they think they know. In real life it looks different,” says Jackman.

Something had to change.

Jackman worked with the instructors, discovering ways to fulfill both the needs of the students and the needs of the nursing staff. “The immediate difference for the nurses may have been that the nurses were given a way to voice their concerns and plans were made to solve problems,” says Jackman.

Another change was the addition of a student orientation day a week before the clinical day. At student orientation, students are welcomed to the hospital and given a tour. During the tour, Jackman gives the students instructions as to how the unit works and how the students can utilize their skills. The student orientation day is meant to “help them feel welcome and that we care,” says Jackman. “We were all students at one time.”

The changes, as Jackman says, “help students come away empowered and that they’ve had a good time . . . The goal is to have a good experience for both our staff and the students. When we’re at ease with our environment, and our feelings count, it provides a fertile field for learning.”

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Jackman has been a blessing to students coming into the American Fork Hospital; Photo courtesy of Jackman

Jackman frequently acts as a liaison for students coming into American Fork Hospital. She has personally mentored many nursing students who have expressed their gratitude in the form of thank-you cards that Jackman still keeps in her scrapbook.

Jackman serves as an organist at the Mount Timpanogos Temple and in her ward. She enjoys gardening and doing temple work. “Most of all, I love to spend time with my children,” Jackman says. She has six children and 22 grandchildren, with another on the way. She hopes to do another humanitarian trip and to go on a mission. Meanwhile, she is serving at the MTC, helping missionaries arriving from third-world countries and that are in need of clothing items and other supplies.

Jackman wants to remind current and incoming nursing students that nursing is, in her words, “a very diverse field.” The skills that they learn at BYU can be used in a variety of different environments, including hospitals, cruise ships, education, hospice and home health. “A nursing education is adaptable at different times of life, to be built on from an AD or BS degree to masters and doctorate levels. Nursing is a blessing to parents with children as they use their skills for their family.”

“‘Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve’ will last the rest of your life.”

 

 

2019 Master’s Reunion Recap

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Dean Patty Ravert and associate teaching professor Dr. Sabrina Jarvis accept their “retirement leis” during the celebration of their accomplishments. Photo courtesy of Zak Gowans.

By Quincey Taylor

 

This week was a special opportunity for alumni from the BYU nursing master’s program to unite and celebrate their alma mater. In a fun reunion which included dinner, connections, and games for the kids, nurse practitioners and nursing administrators came together to feel the spirit of the Y.

The event was marked by the celebration of the beloved professor Dr. Patricia Ravert and associate teaching professor Dr. Sabrina Jarvis, both of whom will be retiring soon. Jarvis, who is retiring in December, has made a lasting impression on the college and all who associate with it. She has been a full-time employee since 2008 and an adjunct member since 2001. Ravert, who is retiring in July, has acted as the college dean and fearless leader since 2012 and is well-respected nationally.

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Alum Brand P. Reynolds accepts the 2019 Preceptor of the Year Award for his considerable efforts as a preceptor. Photo courtesy of Zak Gowans.

Each year, an honored FNP preceptor receives an award because of their exceptional efforts in mentoring nursing students. This year’s recipient is Brand P. Reynolds (’94 BS, ’98 MS) owns his own clinic. He has been precepting graduate students for the past eight years. He is a great example of the difference a nurse practitioner in independent practice in rural Utah can make in a community.

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Graduate student Charlie Rowberry was also recognized for her accomplishments. She is a ray of sunshine! Photo courtesy of Zak Gowans.

Also honored was graduate students Charlie Rowberry, who received the Utah Nurse Practitioner Outstanding Student Award this month.

Ravert was also able to announce the sizable donation the BYU College of Nursing received from the Fritz B. Burns Foundation. This will go towards the Cheryl R. Robinson Endowed Graduate Scholarship Fund in Nursing, which will allow for increased opportunities for student tuition scholarships, student mentoring, and increased participation in additional global health sites in the future.

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Bingo was a big hit! Notice the Thanksgiving wreath being worn as a hat? Photo courtesy of Zak Gowans.

While the NPs and their spouses listened to the presentation, children were able to play Bingo, make Thanksgiving wreaths, and throw mini footballs.

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Bullseye! Photo courtesy of Zak Gowans.

Overall, this year’s reunion was a great success. We are already excited for next year’s on November 10, 2020!

Brad Walker: Helping All, From Coal Miners to Railroad Workers

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With a long and fruitful career, the College of Nursing is grateful for alumni like Brad Walker. Photo courtesy of Bingham Memorial Hospital.

By Quincey Taylor

Pioneers in the nursing field make leaps in the industry every day. We rely on their innovative research and technological developments to help nursing progress. There are also nurses that make social steps forward in the nursing world. One of those people is BYU alum Brad Walker (BS ’75), who joined the nursing community in a time period when male RNs made up only 2.7% of the working force.

When he came to BYU, Walker was one of the first male nursing students ever in the BYU nursing program. He is grateful for his experience at BYU, saying, “I feel that my education and training at BYU directed me and had me ready to begin a lifelong career. As I have practiced as a family nurse practitioner, I have made friends from every walk of life.”

He remembers once during his senior year, he was challenged to “go outside of nursing” and do something new or adventurous. He reflects on the experience, “So I went out to the skydiving school and made 2 jumps out of perfectly good airplanes.  I absolutely loved it.  I have never done it since.” He is grateful for the ways the college stretched and challenged him in all areas of life.

Brad went to college with the aspirations of becoming an electrical engineer, but his career path took a significant turn because of his mother. After the birth of Brad’s first child, she suggested a part-time job at the hospital to help pay for the bill. He started in housekeeping, and worked part time in the operating room. This experience peaked his interest in medicine and later that year, he was accepted into the RN program.

Walker, who is a recent retiree, had a long and fulfilling career after BYU. His first work experience was in East Carbon, Utah. He worked out of Utah Valley Hospital under the guidance of Dr. Keith Hooker. He was responsible for caring for the workers in two coal mines at the East Carbon Clinic. He routinely flew in Hooker’s private plane to rural clinicals. Walker remembers, “One day we were trying to take off from a plateau near Castledale, Utah.  As we started to take off, a gust of wind caught us and slammed the plane into the ground.  We walked away without any injuries of any kind.” He learned a lot with that experience, delving into the medical world as a nurse practitioner for the first time.

Walker and his family then moved to the Pocatello, Idaho area, where he practiced as a nurse practitioner for the past 41 years. His NP license number in the state of Idaho is only 85, illustrating how few NPs there were in Idaho at that time. He worked for several orthopedic surgeons, as well as worked in the ER for almost 20 years. He was one of the original Lifeflight crew members in his community. He not only worked with coal miners in his career, but even helped many railroad workers as well. He then worked at the UP Railroad clinic for 30 years.

He loved working with that population, and says, “I served the needs of many railroaders over the years. These men and women are like family to me. I am in the process of telling my patients goodbye. This is not easy. It’s been a great life and wonderful career starting with my time in the College of Nursing at BYU.”

Lastly, Walker worked for Bingham Memorial Hospital and had his own practice in Pocatello. He also worked for the past 20 years in urgent care clinics around the area. “One thing for sure,” Walker laughs, “I was never without a job or two.” Over the years, he developed a particular skill for suturing, one that served him well.

For a time, Walker would come down to BYU and help teach nurse practitioner students orthopedics and how to apply different casts and splints.  He worked in close connection with Vicki Anderson.  She also graduated with his class as a nurse practitioner in 1975.

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Walker and his wife are excited for their new adventure. Photo courtesy of Walker. 

On April 1st, Walker and his wife left for their new adventure, serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He is so grateful for his journey that started at BYU, saying, “BYU and the College of Nursing set me on a path for success and happiness.”

Walker looks back on his time at BYU with fondness, and continues to support the college. He loves to watch BYU sports and had season football tickets for almost 10 years. He concludes, “The Lord has taken care of myself, my wife and my family through a career as a nurse practitioner.  I have always had work, and worked at something that I loved.  Especially in taking care of many patients.  I love taking care of patients and being able to see them improve their health.” None of that would have been possible without BYU.

CON Online Cheerleader: Alumna Marianna Pugmire

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It really takes a village! Only with the support of alumni can the college continue to thrive. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

By Quincey Taylor

Chances are, any College of Nursing Facebook post has a comment from alumna Marianna Pugmire. One of the college’s most vocal supporters, Pugmire (AS ‘67), never misses a chance to vocalize her appreciation for the college as well as remind us of how nursing has changed in the last 55 years. The College of Nursing team wants to thank Pugmire for her continued efforts to remember her alma mater.

In 1964, Pugmire was admitted to the BYU nursing program. Thinking back on getting that wonderful news, Pugmire reminisces, “You never forget the joy and relief when that notice is received.” She started out in the Bachelor’s program, but when life shifted and she became engaged, she switched to the two-year program. She like that it was focused more on patient care rather than management. Ironically, even though the plan was to focus more on bedside nursing, she eventually spent most of her career in management.

Many things have changed since Pugmire’s time at BYU. That first year, she received a full-tuition scholarship which totaled to only $220.

Facebook has become Pugmire’s way to continue to engage with the college, feeling the Spirit of the Y. She says, “I love to see the posts of the new students and they bring back so many great memories.”

She continues, “I am always happy to see the Facebook posts from the nursing program and to see the wonderful things they are doing. I am disabled by a very bad back and knees and I don’t get out much, so Facebook has become my window to the world.”

The team at the College of Nursing is so grateful for cheerleaders like Pugmire and want to thank her for her continued support. Pugmire realizes the difficulty of what is asked of the students and adds, “The nursing program isn’t easy and I will continue to encourage the students.” Thank you, Marianna!

From the Ballroom to the Emergency Room: Nursing Student Helps BYU Dance Team Win International Dance Competition

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Nicole Udall and her team leave victorious. Photo courtesy of BYU Dance Instagram.

By Quincey Taylor

On June 18, the Brigham Young University dance team returned victorious from the 2019 British Open Championship in Blackpool, England. Teams from various countries, including places like China and the Czech Republic, came to try and claim the title. BYU’s spectacular students, including recent nursing graduate Nicole Udall, brought them to victory. Their Latin dance team took first place overall, and the ballroom dance team took second.

Finding her Dancing Shoes

Coming to dance at BYU had been a dream of Udall’s since she was a little girl. As a child, she had danced different styles, including jazz and lyrical. She had no idea, however, that ballroom would eventually become her passion.

Her brother introduced Udall and her fraternal twin to the world of ballroom. At the time, he was on the BYU ballroom dance team going on tours. He had been doing ballroom since he was 13, and he wanted his younger sisters to start in that same stage of life. Udall and her sister loved to see their brother perform and to see the impact he was making.

She was inspired to try out ballroom for herself, and Udall loved it. She set the goal to one day dance on the BYU ballroom dance team and was successful, along with her twin.

Dance Led Her to Nursing

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Udall’s first IV insertion! Photo courtesy of Udall.

Udall soon found nursing, and immediately knew that it was the career for her. “I wanted to work with people,” she says, “As a dancer, I was so used to that. I wanted to have a deeper relationship with the people I worked with. When I looked for a career with those aspects, I found nursing. It checked those boxes that I had. I also wanted to find a degree that was intellectually challenging. I wanted to find something that would build me as a person and help me develop.”

Balancing Interests

However, balancing these two interests was not always easy. She reflects, “When I first came to the Y, I thought, ‘I’m going to do ballroom, that’s why I wanted to come to BYU.’ Then I found nursing. I was like, ‘This is the thing for me, this is the degree I want to do.’ However, when I was talking to people, they told me there’s no way I could do both. Nursing is a huge commitment. It definitely takes 100% of your effort. But dancing was such a part of me that I didn’t want to give it up.”

Udall did not give up and found a way to be able to do both. She says, “The thing that helped me balance the two was being able to communicate early with people. If you wait until the last minute, and came up to a professor and said, ‘Hey, I’m going to be gone this week.’ Then they would say, ‘What? You can’t do that.’ Being able to communicate early and to present solutions to problems was key.”

She has worked on being present for whatever she is doing at the moment, and says, “It’s also helpful to learn to prioritize, giving 100% of my effort to whatever I was doing at the time. If I was doing nursing, I was focused on nursing. If I was dancing, I was focused on dancing.”

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Va va voom! Photo courtesy of Udall.

After years dancing, Udall attributes many life lessons to ballroom. She says, “You learn how to unify as a team and be able to build relationships with other people. You’re not only working with a whole team, you’re working as partners as well. It’s important to be able to communicate with one another and problem solve, while still being happy and joyful while you work hard towards a goal.”

Another blessing Udall has gained from dance was her husband, who took a ballroom class where they met.

Udall is not the only nursing student to be on the ballroom dance team. She has always been happy to give advice to other nurses helping them to balance their passions. Having others going through the same thing is comforting and empowering.

The Championship

Udall was ecstatic to compete at the British Open Championship this year, as it was her last year as a BYU undergraduate as well as a competing ballroom dancer. While she has competed on both teams, this year she danced ballroom instead of Latin. She comments, “It was a culmination of our whole experience working together. We were all working towards this common goal unifying as a team through the ups and the downs. Seeing the reward of our progress was really cool.”

Team members support one another throughout the experience. Udall explains, “We got to watch each other, and we are each other’s biggest fans. We were so excited.”

Advice for Future Students

When asked what Udall would tell other nursing students struggling to balance multiple interests, Udall says, “I think the best advice I could give is to just go for it! A lot of people will tell you that you can’t do things because they don’t know how you can do them. However, being open to early communication and being a problem solver can make it possible.”

She expounds, “Live your dreams. There were many times that I wanted to give up, but letting go of one passion was like letting go of a part of me. I think it’s important to still go for your dreams and live them, just prioritize and communicate.”

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Udall (third from the right) and her fellow students pose with associate teaching professor Dr. Shelly Reed. Photo courtesy of Udall.

Plans After Graduation

After graduation and the dance championship, Udall plans on studying for and taking the NCLEX. She looks to find a job in the emergency room in Arizona, where she and her husband are moving. She plans to eventually go to school for a master’s degree to continue her education.

Resiliency in the Face of Adversity: Susan Jero

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Jero speaking at Nightingale College of Nursing graduation ceremony. Photo courtesy of the Nightingale College of Nursing.

By Quincey Taylor

Something the faculty at the College of Nursing at Brigham Young University hopes to teach their students is resiliency. Nursing is not an easy occupation. There are days when patients are irritable, challenges are overwhelming, and topping it off, your feet hurt from standing all day. There is one alumni example, however, who demonstrates the power and determination that accompany resiliency. Susan Jero (AS ’75, BS ’79, MS ’98) has continuously shown a refusal to give up in the face of daunting adversity.

A Challenging Youth

Jero had a difficult childhood and faced obstacles that no child should. Her mother died when she was seven years old, changing her life forever. At age eight, she gained a new stepmother who struggled with alcoholism. To escape, she left home and became married at 15 years old. Even though she never finished high school, Jero highly valued education and was determined to continue school. At 17, she returned to finish high school. Unfortunately, she was expelled—at that time, a married mother was not welcome in public schools.

Jero always had a dream to become a registered nurse. At 18, she completed training and started work as a certified nurse’s aide. She says about her dream, “I wanted to make a difference in patient’s outcomes. I wanted to help them return to good health.”

One day at work, Jero was informed that her husband had been killed in the Vietnam War. She says, “I was devastated.” A widow and mother at age 19, Jero had to find a way to support her family.

Stepping Up to the Challenge at BYU

At 23, Jero learned that she could become a non-matriculated student at Brigham Young University with only a GED. After completing 24 credits, she could apply for full admission. At this time, she was remarried with young children. She remembers, “I was determined; I was resilient. I completed those credits successfully and—with a three-week-old infant—began nursing school.”

Completing her nursing degree was a major turning point in Jero’s life. Over six years, she completed an associate’s degree and then a bachelor’s degree at BYU. Twenty years later, she received her master’s degree in nursing administration.

She says, “My experiences at BYU were pivotal in receiving a blessed career. Because of the College of Nursing, I was successful at serving as a nurse manager for eight years in a busy, intensive care unit.”

With a master’s in nursing administration, Jero was successful in chief nursing positions at two different hospitals as well as later serving as the director of nursing education services at Nightingale College. She reflects, “The skills I learned prepared me to meet the expectations of very demanding positions. I’ve loved every position I’ve ever held, and my success has been due to a great education from BYU, where I received an associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees.”

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She continues, “I can never thank the professors and mentors at BYU enough, including Donna Fosbinder and Dr. Mary Williams, to name a few. Always supportive, always guiding, they made a huge difference in my life.  They taught me how to be a professional.”

Founding Nightingale College

In 2010, accompanied by four other individuals, Jero was part of starting Nightingale College, something she considers her proudest achievement. She served as the director of nursing education services for several years up until her retirement. In honor of Jero and her resilient spirit, the college created a scholarship in her name.

Jero is so grateful for the connections she made at BYU. Photo courtesy of Jero.

The concept of the Susan J. Jero Resiliency Scholarship was originated by Mikhail Shneyder, President & CEO of Nightingale College. While attending the Sundance Film Festival, he had the good fortune to see a film about an impoverished high school in the Mojave Desert where poor and underprivileged teens struggled with life. The high school adopted unique techniques to support and assist these teens to a better outcome.

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Jero will be sorely missed by her students and colleagues. Photo courtesy of Nightingale College of Nursing.

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In keeping with Nightingale College’s mission, he brought the concept to the college and approved a full-ride scholarship to a high school graduate who has faced challenges in their young life and demonstrated resiliency.

According to the Nightingale College Summer 2018 Graduation Recap, “This scholarship will cover the entire cost of tuition for a learner who exemplifies what Susan Jero always has—the ability to overcome, rise, and be strong. The presentation of the scholarship, as well as Jero’s subsequent induction into the newly created Nightingale Hall of Fame, impacted her greatly. We love you, Ms. Jero!”

Enjoying Retirement

Jero retired in March 2019 after 44 years of a successful nursing career. She says, “My life has been very blessed.” Jero has exciting plans for retirement and says, “I plan on spending time at home in Mexico, enjoying my three daughters and grandchildren, and reading books that I have been collecting for years but haven’t had time to read.”

Resiliency is core to Jero’s success. She remarks, “I could have never accomplished what I completed without resiliency. I am so proud and so honored to have this scholarship bear my name.”