Category Archives: College of Nursing News

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.

A Nursing Example of Service and Caring


Dr. Sabrina Jarvis (right) with her sister.

Sabrina Jarvis recently retired from the College of Nursing at Brigham Young Univesity. Below is a brief summary of her career.

Never one to stop learning, associate teaching professor Dr. Sabrina Jarvis’s educational path reflects her celebrated dedication and hard work. In 1976 she received an associate degree in nursing from Cochise College in Douglas, Arizona, and in 1985, a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Grandview College in Des Moines, Iowa. In 1990 she received her nursing master’s degree from BYU, where she was honored as valedictorian. She completed her doctor of nursing practice from the University of Utah in 2009.

For more than 40 years Jarvis has worked as a nurse in many settings, including piloting the nurse practitioner role in the adult surgical intensive care unit at the veterans’ medical center in Salt Lake; she received its Surgical Service Excellence Award in 1991, and two national recognitions from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. She enjoys the challenges of caring for critically ill-patients and giving service to veterans as a certified family and acute-care nurse practitioner at the Center for Change Psychiatric Hospital in Orem, Utah.

Her academic career began as a part-time clinical instructor for the University of Utah in 1992, and later with Salt Lake Community College. She started at BYU in 2001 as adjunct faculty, became an assistant teaching professor in 2008, and reached her current position in 2014, where she spends the majority of her time mentoring graduate students.

Jarvis obtained a presidential citation from the Society of Critical Care Medicine in 2013, received two recognitions from the Utah Nurse Practitioners—Excellence in Education in 2006 and Excellence in Clinical Practice in 2007. As an honor to her significant career achievements, she became a Fellow in the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners in 2011.

Her creative works are just as impressive with seven manuscripts reviewed, five articles published in peer-reviewed journals, six book chapters, three invited online educational modules developed, and over 20 invited podium presentations during her career. (Some SCCM annual lectures involved keeping the material fresh and exciting for over six hours at a time!)

With more spare time on the horizon, Jarvis looks forward to more road trips and adventures with family and friends, traveling in her convertible car, enjoying her fur babies (two dogs and a cat), and gardening. But she will always enjoy her time at BYU.

College Admin Receives SAERA Award


Jeff Peery (center) receives a SAERA Award from BYU; presented by university HR personnel and Dean Ravert.


Earlier this semester, Jeff Peery, the college public relations and communications manager, was recognized with a university Staff and Administrative Employee Recognition (SAERA) Award. He has displayed levels of continual learning, innovation, and care that have improved the College of Nursing and BYU. The University-sponsored SAERA Award recognizes those who have shown competency, respect for sacred resources, integrity, teamwork, exceeding customer expectation, respect for all individuals, innovation and accountability.

Jeff L. Peery

Exceeding Customer Expectations

“Jeff is always looking for new ways to promote the College of Nursing,” says Dean Dr. Patty Ravert. “In 2018 he organized the first event for our graduate program alumni as an evening dinner for their families to get together, reconnect and expand on recruiting preceptors for current family nurse practitioner students. He oversaw the planning of children’s sessions so parents could visit and hear a message from the college. There were 40 children in attendance and his team helped them make a craft, and play games. The reunion was successful and everyone had a great time. Because of this event, some alumni volunteered to serve as preceptors for our students.”

There are several reasons why Dean Ravert nominated Peery in the exceeding customer expectations category. During his seven years at the college, he has doubled the number of alumni magazines published each year, added social channels to the list of ways to distribute college content, and expanded the number of alumni events from three to 10 each year.

“Another important event is the ‘Night of Nursing’ evening which Jeff started several years ago. He facilitates groups of College of Nursing alumni and friends to gather across the nation. This event has grown and in 2018 there were 41 locations. In 2018, the groups connected via an online conference tool to hear Sister Barbara Perry share a brief message about compassion and caring for her husband Elder L. Tom Perry in his final days. Over 400 nursing and university alumni participated. Jeff continues to work with the College Alumni Board to continue to make this a valuable event each year.”

The college congratulations Peery for his efforts to connect alumni with the college and university.

A Million Reasons to Thank the Fulton Family

Arizona philanthropist Mr. Ira A. Fulton made a $1 million contribution to his already established Myrtie Fulton Mentored Learning Award in the College of Nursing at Brigham Young University. The fund allows the College to spend the account’s interest each year and provides nursing students with a mentored learning experience as they work with faculty members who have received these award grants.

The projects conducted by recipient faculty members and their students greatly impact not only the patient populations they serve but also the community.

Below are two examples from the 2019 Myrtie Fulton Mentored Learning Award:

IMG_8547Earlier this year, undergraduate nursing students Alyssa Hildt and Abby Anderson were mentored by Dr. Leslie Miles. As a group, they reviewed hundreds of case files to determine pain levels following sexual assault and the treatment provided. They shared their findings at the 2019 International Association of Forensic Nurses annual conference as a research poster and received third-place competing against PhD and DNP candidates.

Dr. Bret Lyman is currently mentoring four undergraduate students in his learning history research project: Camie Mendon, Grace Rainey, Marisa Biddulph, and Julie Brogan. He and his team have been trailblazers in researching how to apply organizational learning in a healthcare setting. Because of this guidance, the students have gained much more than a greater understanding of nursing—they have practiced knowledge application, organization, and leadership skills.

Ira and his wife Mary Lou established the account in 2011 and named the College award in honor of Myrtle “Myrtie” Lee Markwell Fulton, his mother whose courage and faith saw her through difficult times. As a devoted mother of 11, four of whom died in their youth, Myrtie not only raised the children in a Christ-centered home but also provided for their physical needs (Ira is the youngest of the children). Of his mother, Ira says, “She was a hard worker, and along with my wife, was the greatest woman I have known. She always gave, even when she had nothing to give. Thank goodness I had a special mother who showed me how to give.”

Conducting research often requires a heroic effort to study, test, and learn about a nursing phenomenon to improve health care. Myrtie Fulton’s example of persistence, dedication to hard work, and being an example of kindness and compassion to others is central to the success of award recipients and their mentored students.

Accepting the donation was dean and professor Dr. Patricia Ravert.

“The College of Nursing is thankful for this recent generous gift and appreciates the continued support of Mr. Fulton—not only for ongoing faculty projects but for future student experiences,” says Ravert. “The Myrtie Fulton endowed fund helps prepare nurses who will be valued members of health care teams and improve the nursing profession.”



Alan J. Moore, a donor liaison for the Philanthropies Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, presents College of Nursing Dean Patricia Ravert with a check from Ira A. Fulton for one-million dollars; interest from the monies will be used to benefit mentored learning experiences with nursing students and faculty members.

5 Reasons (Or More) to Take N320 Online


By Corbin Smith

In times past it has been said that nursing courses must be taken in-person to make the greatest impact and maximize learning. Many say that online nursing courses limit a student’s ability to connect with patients and receive quality training and practice. Critics even go far enough to say that nursing courses online don’t prepare students for the real world.

In the face of doubters, the BYU College of Nursing has recently begun to challenge that mindset, by creating a unique online and in-person course for students to take. This effort has been spearheaded by associate professor Dr. Janelle Macintosh. Along with Macintosh, assistant professor Dr. Neil Peterson and assistant teaching professor Dr. Denise Cummins are teaching the hybrid N320 course this semester.

The N320 hybrid class has been a great success, allowing students to learn in a new and flexible way. Soon, all sections of this class will be a both online and in-person. With that in mind and as registration for the winter semester approaches, Macintosh shares with you her 5 reasons why the N320 has been so successful, and how taking it can be beneficial for you!


  1. It’s Required! Well, this is obvious! For those of you who are going into your third-semester, this class is required for you to take. In this course you will receive valuable training on the research process in nursing, learn how to identify clinical problems and how to write and communicate effectively in the profession. You will even be able to knock out a GE in the process (after taking N339, too!)
  2. Flexibility with Clinicals – Clinicals can be very stressful, especially in 3rd semester when you have your first 12-hour shift in the hospital to go along with your other classes. By taking a hybrid class like N320, the time commitment to be in class is much less, allowing for more time for homework and clinicals!
  3. Work ahead! – In N320, the student has a lot of control over when to do assignments. Like any other class there are due dates to meet and assignments to complete, but the online set-up allows students to work ahead and do assignments, normally due 3 or 4 weeks in the future. With this course, you can easily take control over your learning!
  4. 1 on 1 Consultations – There are tons of benefits of being able to work with a teacher or professor one-on-one. Teaching can be more personally tailored to the student while students can feel comfortable and safe expressing confusions without worrying about what other students think. Not only is learning enhanced and content mastered more quickly, you can also build strong relationships with your professor that you wouldn’t normally get in a classroom.
  5. Comfort! – Wouldn’t you love to have class in bed while you’re in your pajamas? Professor Macintosh hopes that this format can give comfort to the already-stressed student. “College can be pretty tough and demanding,” she says, “we hope this individualized approach can help ease the strain of everyday college life.”

Now, the final reason, which may not come from Macintosh, but is true nonetheless.

  1. Take a Class from Some Wonderful Professors! – Professors Cummins, Macintosh and Peterson are all wonderful! All of the professors are student-oriented and want you to succeed. Macintosh says “The reason I teach is because I love the students and being able to engage with them.” This upcoming semester the course will be taught by Macintosh and assistant professor Dr. Marc-Aurel Martial! Don’t miss out on an opportunity to learn from them! You won’t regret it!



Daphne Thomas Elected as ENA President in Utah

Daphne Thomas

Thomas is one of six BYU College of Nursing faculty members serving in Utah’s ENA council in 2019.

By Corbin Smith

This January, assistant teaching professor Daphne Thomas was elected president of the Utah chapter of the ENA. She is joined by BYU College of Nursing assistant teaching professors Stacie Hunsaker, Ryan Rasmussen, Scott Summers, Dr. Craig Nuttall and associate teaching professor Sondra Heaston in various responsibilities in the chapter. Thomas has already served as president-elect for a year and will serve as chapter president until the end of 2019.

ENA stands for emergency nurses association. It is an international organization with the goal to assure that top quality practices take place in emergency rooms through education. This is done by providing classes and certifications to help continue a nurse’s education and maintain competency. They offer many classes, including trauma and pediatric courses, both taught by Thomas.

When asked why she has decided to take on such an intense commitment Thomas says, “I’ve been an emergency room nurse for about 20 years and I just love making it better.” She continues, “I understand the importance of being an active advocate for these nurses… not only so that they have a better job satisfaction but also that we have better patient outcomes.”

Thomas is also quick to recognize that she needs her whole team to have a successful tenure as ENA president. “There are a lot of different roles and people making sure everything is running smoothly and is organized. There is a lot going on and it takes a whole team to be effective.”

As president of the ENA, Thomas hopes to make a positive, lasting impact on emergency nursing. She shares, “Nurses can make a difference in people’s lives. That is what nursing is really all about. Its very service oriented and we want it to stay that way.”

Nursing Staff and Administration Receive SAERA Awards

Photo courtesy of BYU Human Resources

By Jessica Tanner

Three of our incredible staff and administration have recently been recipients of the Staff and Administrative Employee Recognition (SAERA) Award: Kathy Whitenight, Cherie Top, and Cara Wiley. These amazing women have displayed levels of continual learning, innovation, and care that have improved the College of Nursing and BYU. The University-sponsored SAERA Award recognizes those who have shown competency, respect for sacred resources, integrity, teamwork, exceeding customer expectation, respect for all individuals, innovation and accountability. These women have definitely achieved that.

Kathy Whitenight

Kathy Whitenight

Competency: Striving for excellence and sharpening skills on a continuous basis, 2018.

“As an assistant dean, Kathy Whitenight is essential to the workings of the college of Nursing,” writes Dean Patricia Ravert, who nominated her for the award in 2018. On receiving the award Whitenight reports, “I know when other people are getting the awards but I had no idea I was submitted. So it was a big surprise and really an honor to get it.”

There were several reasons why Dean Ravert nominated Whitenight in the competency category. Whitenight has kept up with legal matters, managed updates in physical facilities, and overseen human resources.  Another major department she oversees is Risk Management, where she helps students get the care they need in case of incident or injury. In this duty, Whitenight demonstrates personal care to each student. “They have my cellphone; they can call me 24/7,” she explains. “I’ve only gotten one call in the last year at 3:00 a.m. but I want them to that. I’d rather have them do that than not get the care they need and the financial coverage.” Whitenight keeps up on policies and procedures to help students avoid potential problems.

On Whitenight’s wall hangs James C. Christensen’s painting The Widow’s Might. “I have this picture on the wall,” she explains, “because…most of the things [we do] are done through tithing dollars. And that’s the widow’s mite.” Working with finances, Whitenight handles sacred resources with great care and respect.

Whitenight has to learn continually to keep up with technology and policies. “Each day something new could come in that I’ve never experienced before. And that’s what makes it exciting.”

Cherie Top

Cherie Top:

Exceeding Service Expectations: Serving the needs of others beyond what is expected, 2018

Cherie Top, the Graduate Program and Research Secretary, was awarded for exceeding service expectations. Associate Dean and Professor Jane Lasseter nominated Top after seeing her interact with the students that would come up to apply for the graduate nursing program. “When we have our new applicants coming in they have to do a writing prompt,” Top explains. “And when they come in for their writing prompt we take their photo so that we can use it for the interview…So I make them take a picture up against the wall right next to Jane’s office. In her letter she talked about how I’m really nice to them because they come in and they’re really nervous for the writing prompt.” She helps to put these students at ease as they apply for their future.

Top is also consistently helpful and kind to the other faculty and staff. In fact, the people she gets to work with are her favorite part of her job. “The thing I like most about working here is the environment and the people that we work with. I feel like the staff and the faculty are a really close-knit group but they’re also really inviting.” She immediately felt included when she started working at BYU almost four years ago.

As for receiving the award, Top says, “I was super, super surprised. I didn’t even know they did those awards,” she admits with a laugh. “And they kept it a really good secret—they did it during college assembly and it was just a normal college assembly and I didn’t know it was going to happen.” It was a pleasant surprise, and the clock she received (the SAERA Award trophy) sits shining on her cabinet.

Cara Wiley

Cara Wiley

Innovation: Finding ways to improve products/services to change the way work is accomplished, 2019

Advisement Center Supervisor Cara Wiley was nominated for the SAERA Award by Associate Dean and Associate Professor Katreena Merrill in the innovation category. This was prompted by Wiley’s push for and implementation of an orientation class for first-semester nursing students.

“Before, the students had nothing,” says Wiley. When she became part of BYU nursing advisement, there was no orientation at all for nursing students. An orientation dinner was introduced, but it still was not enough. Wiley remembers, “I researched…other schools here at BYU who have limited enrollment programs, and they had orientation meetings.” It seemed to work for them, so Wiley worked to implemented it in the College of Nursing. It eventually turned into a 390R class so students could have it in their schedules.

“We’re trying to develop emotional intelligence, students’ resiliency, and [also] working on perfectionism,” Wiley explains.  “It’s literally meant to orient them, [to say], hey, this is what it’s going to be like in the nursing program.” Students are able to meet future faculty and learn about a wide variety of subjects. Wiley reports it is a work in progress. “We just keep tweaking it, trying to make it better, trying to help them come in and learn how to be resilient in the first semester so that when they hit the harder semesters, they can handle it.”

Wiley has enjoyed being a part of the orientation class. “It’s nice for me, for the advisement center, to be involved in this orientation class because the students get to know us.” It also brought about the nomination for the SAERA Award. Though she was shocked to get the award, she was also grateful. “I haven’t gotten an award like that in my 14 years of being here and it was really nice to be recognized by my boss…We’ve been doing a lot of changes, and now we’re seeing the results.”