Category Archives: College of Nursing Faculty

Thanks, SNA For Another Great Year!

By Jessica Tanner

What do J-Dawgs, College of Nurses’ students, and a dunk-tank all have in common? All were at yesterday’s closing social for the Student Nursing Association. The society is student-run and works to coordinate events and help students become more involved in the community.

At the closing social, students were able to enjoy the crisp but sunny spring weather, eat food, chat, and dunk their favorite teacher or staff member. Assistant Teaching Professor Scott Summers was a particularly popular target as students got him back (in good humor) for a tough semester in his Pharmacology class.

SNA knows how to have fun. Izzy Algeier, SNA’s newly nominated president says that SNA strives to “provide different activities so that they can de-stress and be able to have fun, make relationships, and ultimately to become more unified as a college.”  They also know when to be professional. “Our vision is to help students…have professional opportunities while they’re in the nursing program,” says Algeier.

“It’s been awesome,” says Kami Christiansen, an SNA board member. “I got to go to the National Student Nursing Association conference. That was way fun.” At NSNA, students represented BYU and its values. “I’m grateful for it,” says Christiansen as she looks forward to future involvement.

The evening also included the announcements of the recipients of the SNA Scholarship. Congratulations to Jessica Daynes, Camille Johnson, Megan Western, Christina Hobson, and Katy Harrison. These students showed excellence in participating in several professional and service-oriented SNA events.

Thanks to all SNA members who have made these opportunities and events possible. We look forward to another year!



Earthquake at the MTC: Nursing Students Participate in Mock Mass Casualty Incident

By Jessica Tanner

Watch the video of the mock Mass Casualty Incident here!

In the cool, dark tunnels beneath the Provo Missionary Training Center, 100 victims cried out for help. At 4:00 pm on March 30, 2019, an emergency call was answered by BYU Emergency Medical Services and College of Nursing students, who quickly came to the rescue. They handled the situation with level heads and caring hands, treating scrapes and bruises, broken bones and shock. Within a few hours, victims had been treated and cared for.

Similar emergency simulations takes place each semester for fifth-semester nursing students, organized by BYU EMS. Each time is a different situation and location. The most recent disaster was an earthquake. BYU theatre students volunteered to be earthquake victims, with fake wounds and ripped clothes to set the scene. Some had scratches and bruises, others missing eyes or fingers, some had broken bones, and others had glass embedded in their wounds. Once in the tunnel, these students did not hold back in acting the part of a victim—wounded and afraid, calling out for help and for loved ones.


BYU EMS carry an earthquake victim

Nursing students and EMS rushed in from various locations, including BYU campus and near-by homes. They searched along the tunnel for those in critical condition. Amidst a cacophony of moans and screams, they were able to identify which victims were in the most need by a wristband that identified their vitals and condition. They tied red tags on victims in critical condition, yellow tags for less serious injuries, and green who were not in need of urgent treatment. Most victims, however, fell into the first two categories.

Students set up a treatment center with incredible speed—a large tarp near the tunnel entrance with medical supplies at the ready. EMS carried red-tagged victims to the treatment area. Here, nursing students and EMS were direct and compassionate as they asked questions, such as “What is your name?”, “Can you hear me?” or “Where does it hurt?” They reassured the victims, saying, “We’re going to take care of you, all right?” as they called out for oxygen and gauze. Working together, nursing students and EMS were able to treat those in need.


A nursing student treats and calms an earthquake victim

“I hope that they’ll see another side of healthcare,” says associate teaching professor Dr. Blaine Winters on what he hopes the nursing students have learned from the simulation. “They’re usually in a very controlled environment in the hospital and when things happen outside of a hospital it’s not controlled, it’s chaos. So I wanted them to get an understanding of what goes on before the patient gets to the hospital. And then also to be able to function if they were to be put in that type of situation; to at least have a little experience of what they could do as a nurse in the field if they had to.”


Nursing students and BYU EMS work together to treat patients

One important skill students learned, besides basic treatments, is communication. Fifth-semester nursing student Jaylee Bastian says, “We were working with other EMS as well as the patients, so it was good to know how to communicate and be open and friendly especially with the patients because they were in such dire circumstances.” Even though those “dire circumstance” were simulated, participants like Bastian were fully engaged in the process.

Emergencies happen. But being prepared for these situations, not only through study but through practice, can calm chaos and save lives.


Mentoring the Next Generation: Dr. Linda Mabey

Linda Mabey

After a 30-year career teaching psychiatric nursing and mentoring students, Dr. Linda Mabey is retiring to expand her clinical practice, where she specializes in trauma treatment, as well as to pursue other interests. Mabey graduated from Idaho State University in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in nursing. She began her career in labor and delivery but soon found her interest in psychiatric mental health nursing. In 1984, she began a master’s degree in psychiatric nursing. She remembers this time of her life fondly and says, “I loved my experience as a master’s student. The opportunity to work one-on-one with patients to improve their functioning was so meaningful— especially as I grew to understand how critical mental health is to overall health.”

After graduation, Mabey taught at Westminster College and later at the University of Utah, where she instructed both undergraduate and graduate nursing students in the art and science of psychiatric nursing. She completed her doctorate of nursing practice from the University of Utah in 2009 and joined the faculty at the BYU College of Nursing in 2011.

In her position at the college, Mabey taught courses on both psychiatric mental health nursing and public and global health nursing. She says, “It was an amazing opportunity to work with students on the Navajo Indian Reservation in Chinle, Arizona, as well as supervise students in the care of refugees and other at-risk populations.”

While at the university, Mabey also joined with Dr. Julie Valentine and Dr. Leslie Miles in researching the prevalence and characteristics of sexual assault. With students that she mentored in the research process, she presented regionally, nationally, and internationally on their findings. She also assisted in training law enforcement officials on conducting trauma-informed interviewing of sexual assault victims.

After retirement, Mabey looks forward to continuing to work at her private practice, as well as spending more time with her grandchildren. When asked what nursing has meant to her, Mabey replied, “Nursing was a wonderful career choice. It is eminently rewarding to teach bright students, work with incredible faculty and staff, and continue my growth as a psychiatric clinical nurse specialist. I will be forever grateful to those who mentored me in both nursing and teaching.”

Lather Is The Best Medicine


Petr Ruda

By Quincey Taylor

Assistant teaching professor Petr Ruda (BS ’09, MS ’15) never planned on becoming a nurse; he did not even originally plan to attend Brigham Young University. However, after a long journey that took him from the Czech Republic to an LDS mission in California and later to Provo, he found the place where he believes God wants him to be.

Ruda grew up in the city of Jablonec, Czech Republic. After joining The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the age of 19, he decided to serve a mission. His assignment to San Diego ended up changing his life.

As a missionary, Ruda met many friends and companions who would influence his future. One such individual was a companion named Elder Cook, whose father had heard about Ruda and wanted to give him an opportunity.

Cook’s father called Ruda and asked if he was interested in attending Brigham Young University. Ruda says about the experience, “He wanted to know my decision the very next day. I had only been at home for a couple of months, so it was difficult because he was asking me to leave home again. However, the answer was yes.” Cook’s father generously helped Ruda with the application process and tuition.

At home in the Czech Republic, Ruda had a career working as an accountant. He came to Utah intending to study accounting. However, this decision did not feel right, and he looked for another option. He met fellow student Jared D. Johnson (BS ’06), who was the TA for his linguistics class. Johnson was studying in the nursing program and urged Ruda to take the introductory course. It was a good fit. After graduation, Ruda went on to work at the VA Salt Lake City Health Care System, which he enjoyed immensely.

Nursing has completely changed the way Ruda sees the world around him. He says, “I have tools, I have thoughts, I have education, and I have training that I can use daily. I can help my family, my neighbors, and even a stranger to ease whatever conditions they might have. That’s the biggest blessing of nursing.”

Ruda wanted to find a way to influence the next generation of nursing students at BYU, so he applied to a position as an adjunct faculty member helping with simulation labs. When the opportunity became a full-time position, he took the chance and applied.

Ruda is finishing his second year teaching at the College of Nursing. Among his teaching assignments, he oversees a public and global health nursing course practicum to his home country each spring term. He works to maintain relationships with Czech contacts and to give his students the best experience possible. Ruda is currently working on translating a list of fundamental skills that nursing students learn to share with Czech facilities.

Outside of work, Ruda is a selfproclaimed moviegoer. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Jamie, and their Maltipoo named Winter. He loves to play with his dog no matter what time of day it is.

One of his current hobbies is making homemade soaps. He got into this hobby one day when he was at work. He realized he did not have any personal hobbies, and he wanted to change that. Ruda went online and searched “hobbies,” and the first result he saw was soap making. He promptly bought a book and began making soaps, which has become one of his passions. He says, “It’s important to have hobbies outside of work because you need to find time for yourself. That’s what soap making does for me. It brings joy to other people and me. That makes me automatically happy.”

Giving soaps as a gift, especially during the Christmas season, instead of the regular sweet treats appeals to Ruda’s desire to promote nursing in his everyday life. He says, “As a nurse practitioner, it makes me feel better inside because I can give them something that’s not unhealthy, and it lasts a long time.”

Connection Is Up To You: Dr. Sabrina Jarvis Receives DAISY Faculty Award


Dr. Sabrina Jarvis with her sister after receiving the DAISY Award

By Jessica Tanner

“I was really surprised to be honest,” says associate teaching professor Dr. Sabrina Jarvis after receiving this year’s DAISY Award  Faculty Award. She was nominated by a student to whom she had shown kindness and care. Living by life philosophies taught to her by her father has opened doors to connecting with others and blessed many lives.

Dr. Jarvis worked as a family nurse practitioner in Veterans Administration Hospitals. It was in her clinical practice she not only found fulfillment in nursing but was also introduced to teaching. However, she reports, “It was quite the learning process,” as she was shy and unfamiliar with giving presentations. Thankfully, she had a mentor, one who could teach her about presentations tap on a projector if she was going overtime. “As you go along, you learn,” Dr. Jarvis says. “I don’t think you spring up being a full-blown teacher; you have to learn the craft.”

Those early experiences prepared Dr. Jarvis to teach at BYU, as she has for the past twelve years. For her the craft of teaching is not just in planning lessons or grading projects; it is about the relationships she builds with her students. She lives life by a philosophy her father taught her:  “In every encounter during your day, it’s usually not neutral; it’s either going to be positive or not.”  Those encounters are often small, such as a smile or asking someone how their day is going. Dr. Jarvis is also a firm believer in communication. “I also don’t believe in ESP—that if we don’t ask, we don’t know.”

“We go past a lot of people and how much connection you make is up to you,” says Dr. Jarvis. She makes a habit of talking with her students after class and strives to learn a new name every day. These simple, trust-building acts have paved the way for opportunities to give of herself. “You don’t realize you’ve made an impact in the moment because you’re just trying to help someone and you learn from them,” Dr. Jarvis says.

One student who nominated Dr. Jarvis for the award wrote, “I nominated her as I was impressed with how supportive and positive she was as she helped me during a project. She created an environment where I felt important and could turn to her for help if needed. I knew I had an advocate who wanted to see me excel. During the semester, she followed-up and showed genuine care for me. My understanding of the Healer’s Art has been expanded and deepened thanks to the example of Sabrina Jarvis.”

Dr. Jarvis was touched by the award but the real reward was in the relationship. Of the student’s letter, she said, “It really just touched my heart. You don’t think you’re having that impact on a person, and for her to go to the time and effort and the beautiful words she wrote…that to me was the award.” For Dr. Jarvis it has always been about making connections. “You helped them but the gift is you get to know that person. They’re part of your life, and that to me is what it’s all about.”



There’s a movie star in our midst


Eden stars on the set for NP educational videos.

By Quincey Taylor

Assistant teaching professor Lacey Eden, who is also the chair of the immunization special interest group for the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners or NAPNP, recently starred in some training videos for nurse practitioners. Promoting the meningitis B vaccine, these videos provide nurses with the skills to know what to say in order to educate their patients on the importance of this vital vaccine.

There were four educational videos paired with an explanatory segment. The videos explored:

  1. How to talk to a patient who is hesitant to get the vaccine because they are sick
  2. How to express the importance of the vaccine to a patient who claims they are too busy
  3. How to respectfully talk to parents that don’t want to give their child the vaccination
  4. How to talk to the parent of a child going off to college that needs the vaccine

These simulations, which portray situations that Eden experiences every day in the clinic, will prepare nurse practitioners whom Eden calls the “forefront for advocating for vaccines.”

NAPNP received a grant to make these videos and invited Eden to play the NP. They gave her the star treatment, flying her out to Atlanta to the production studio and airbrushing her makeup. “In between clips they would come in and powder my nose,” Eden laughs, “real nursing is not that glamorous.”

Before coming to Atlanta, the video team created an outline for the script. Eden was able to read through it and change a few things she felt would more closely mirror a real-life setting. She comments, “It was fun to see that my feedback was very valuable to them.”

Nurses have an incredible responsibility to educate their patients about the importance of vaccines. The important thing, however, is to always treat patients respectfully so that they want to come back. Eden says, “It definitely take some mutual understanding and respect and listening to their side. Parents are always trying to do what’s best for their child. You need to present your material on the facts in a manner that is respectful so that they’ll come back to you.”

When asked if this is the start of a budding acting career, Eden laughs “No, but it was a lot of fun and if they asked I would totally do it again.”

These free access videos are on YouTube for anyone to use. They are available here:

Students Present Research at Global Health Conference

By Jessica Tanner

Congratulations to the students and faculty who presented at this  year’s Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) in Chicago, March 8 – 10. Students presented poster presentations on research done in Vietnam with Professor Karen Lundberg and Professor Cheryl Corbett. Davin Brown, a sixth-semester nursing student, shares about his research and conference experience.

What was your research about?

“Our poster presentation was on [what] we did on our study abroad in Vietnam,” says Brown. Working with Black Hmong and Red Dzao tribes in northern Vietnam, they researched and taught about local health concerns.  The biggest concern is trafficking, followed by topics such as first aid, hygiene, and sanitation.

The group prepared beforehand to spend two weeks in Vietnam by doing research and preparing lessons. They then took what they had learned to local leaders. “We met with lots of these leaders of the tribal communities the things that we knew.” They taught ways to prevent human trafficking and sanitation techniques, following the teacher’s method. Brown explains, “The idea was they could disseminate that information to their families and tribes.”

What was your most memorable experience in Vietnam?

“Everything,” Brown laughs. How could he choose just one? “We trekked all throughout these valleys with these guides that we had taught these health techniques to, and we lived in their houses and we cooked with them…It was really cool. It was really pretty there, too.”

What happened at the conference?

At the three-day conference, there were several speakers and presenters. Two hours a day was dedicated to poster presentations. Researchers set up their posters in a large, open room and learned from one another. “Everyone could just walk around and ask questions about your poster [and] the research you had done,” Brown explains.

Was there other research you found interesting?

“A couple things stood out to me,” Brown says. “One of them was the keynote speaker…She talked about how corruption in healthcare has caused us to lose trillions of dollars in healthcare throughout the world…It was kind of a call to researchers to say, hey, let’s start researching and learn to combat this huge elephant in the room.” There was also a presentation on Google glasses—a special pair of lenses that allowed one surgeon in L.A. to connect to a surgeon in Africa. “The L.A. surgeon can see everything the African surgeon can see and hear and is able to walk him through certain techniques.” That is truly forward-thinking technology.

How did other attendees respond to your research?

“We were one of the few groups that was just undergraduate nursing students,” Brown explains. “For the most part, they were all PhDs or MDs. So that was pretty neat to be there; they all thought it was a neat thing that we did.”

At BYU, presenting research is not just for graduate students. The College of Nursing focuses on helping undergraduate students gain experience through research, mentored learning, and studies abroad. It helps them have opportunities like Brown’s—being able to present research and learn first-hand from other medical researchers across the nation. Students enter into the workforce better prepared to serve.